Evaluate Current Provision

Check the status of the current broadband supplier in your community

  • Are there plans to improve your existing community broadband

Check the existing underlying broadband suppliers (not necessarily the ISP’s) as to whether these have plans to invest in the upgrade of their infrastructure in your area.

Generally the underlying broadband supplier will be BT or the cable company Virgin.

  • Assume that where no fixed time frame is given for the investment that none is actually planned in the next 24 months.
  • If a lengthy time frame is given by the incumbent supplier then question whether your community can wait that long?

This information will help you decide whether to run a community broadband project or wait for natural enhancements to what you currently have supplied.

UPDATE December 2011 – in order to access the RBCF, projects will need to have completed the data book. This includes information about your area as well as current provision, and can be downloaded from the Rural Community Broadband Toolkit.

It is always of use to survey households within your community to understand what people are actually receiving in the way of speeds. The only reliable consumer speedtest is software within the router, but using an online speedchecker eg speedtest.net for a series of tests (e.g. three) at different times of day and taking the average will give an indication of each home’s connectivity.