Demonstration Open Day on Saturday

Now that our new pure fibre communications network is LIVE, Box Broadband will be demonstrating their Ultrafast broadband services this Saturday; all are welcome:

Saturday 27th January 2018
10am to 4pm
Walliswood Village Hall
Froggetts Lane
Walliswood RH5 5RJ

 

Here is some more of the feedback I have received from users of the first connections:

  • “The difference is truly amazing … at 100 Mbps”
  • “Phone wifi is a solid 200 Mbps up and down”
  • “Watched UHD TV from Amazon (which consumes 17 Mbps)”
  • “Great to backup 60 GB of photos in a little over an hour”
  • “VOIP calls are noticeably lower latency”
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Initial Test Results

I have now been using a Box Broadband test connection (installed by Boxcom) for a couple of days. During this test phase we expect variable speed test results; most have been between 100 and 300 Mbps on my equipment. The overall user experience is a huge improvement of course. Here are the differences I have noticed so far:

  • Emails with large attachments download in less than a second
  • Upload speeds are similar to downloads
  • Complex web pages appear in full almost immediately
  • Uploading a new web site took seconds rather than minutes
  • Podcasts download instantly to my phone
  • Connecting to client networks is faster and more stable
  • Files transfer to and from clients in a fraction of the time
  • Videos start to play immediately
  • Being online is just much more enjoyable and stress levels have reduced!

Our new Calix 844G router from Box is located centrally, and its superior Wi-Fi signal covers the whole house at “superfast” speed without boosters or extenders, so the place now looks tidier. The Boxcom engineer took great care to hide cables and install the router exactly as we wanted. Speeds over Wi-Fi are now limited by the devices; tests are reporting 30 to 50 Mbps on my phone and 30 to 110 Mbps on a laptop.

Other early testers have commented:

  • “Very much enjoying being able to see and hear people properly in meetings.”
  • “What a difference!”

We had a couple of brief power cuts yesterday (due to storm damage I expect); the connection came back up very quickly and with no adverse side effects. I now need to get a small UPS (battery backup power supply) for the router so that power cuts do not affect our connection at all.

New customer installations will proceed as fast as possible, and many more should be enjoying this futureproof service over the next week. Please let me know who you are and how you get on. Enjoy!

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Planned connection dates

I am informed that selected household connections will be tested next week, and all being well, the Box Broadband service will formally commence at 8am on Monday 22nd.

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January Open Day Postponed

Some of the configuration work by a service provider has been delayed due to the holidays, so it is not yet possible to demonstrate an end user connection. Therefore, the January Open Day has been postponed. A new date has not yet been booked. Box Broadband have issued the following statement.

The open day at the Walliswood Village Hall, booked for Saturday 6th Jan, will now be rescheduled for later in January, the new date will be confirmed over the next few days.

We are in the final stages of configuring the network, initial customer connections will be completed next week.

BOX Engineers will be busy over the coming days, completing network fibre optic splicing and testing in preparation of connecting our first customers onto our brand new fibre optic broadband network.

Looking forward to an ultrafast 2018!

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Box Cabinet 1 is Online

The fibre connection to the Bridgehead Network cabinet at Walliswood Village Hall finally lit up late on Friday afternoon, and preliminary testing confirmed a working connection to the National network. Testing and configuration work will continue next week, and the village hall connection should be operational in time for demonstration at the Open Day on 6th January. Customer connections are now expected to commence in the second or third week of January.

Digging in Lower Breache Road has been obstructed by huge blocks of concrete, apparently from WW2 fortifications, but is now close to completion. The Boxcom team plan to resume work in Somersbury Lane next month.

Merry Christmas to all from Brook Place, and congratulations to the whole BOX Broadband team!

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Lower Breache Road and Somersbury Lane

A number of residents in Lower Breache Road have kindly helped with financing, and SCC have permitted works here to proceed before Christmas. The fibre installation on private land adjacent to Somersbury Lane is now complete, and we hope to finish Lower Breache Road around the end of the year, before returning to the lower section of Somersbury Lane early in January.

Significant progress has been made on the final stages of the national network connection in the last week or so, but with the holiday season upon us, and likelihood of adverse weather conditions, it remains uncertain whether the Walliswood Village Hall Open Day demonstration will proceed on 6th January.

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Network build progress

The top section of Somersbury Lane is now complete and ready for inspection by SCC. Due to the holiday period, the work on the lower section will start in early January. Meanwhile the Boxcom team have started the installation of fibre right into customer premises, and have some further work to do on private land. The process of connection to the national network is proving more complex and time consuming than Boxcom have experienced on previous projects. Whilst very frustrating for those of us with urgent need for better service, one positive consequence is that the initial coverage will now be much more extensive. This means that more homes and businesses will be connected at their choice of 50, 200 or 1000 Mbps (upload as well as download) when the network first goes live.

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Next Open Day

The Box Broadband Open Day in Walliswood Village Hall has been postponed. Originally booked for 9th December, Box now plan to hold the event once they can demonstrate a working pure fibre connection in the hall. This could possibly be on Saturday 6th January, if there are no further delays.

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November Open Day Report

Jeannie reports that the Pitch Hill zone meeting went very well and the level of interest seemed to be sufficient to make pure fibre broadband in that area viable. 19 people registered while at the meeting and others have done so online. The next step is to plan the routes that the network will include. Jeannie will continue to help co-ordinate the locals on and around Pitch Hill. Box Broadband staff have also commented that the Open Day event was a huge success and everything went to plan.

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“Pitch Hill” Zone

Whilst the Pure Fibre Broadband Open Day on Saturday is for everyone, there will be a zone set aside residents and businesses on and around Pitch Hill. Jeannie Cameron, who is coordinating local interest and cooperation for the area, will attend from 10.30am to at least 12.30pm. This will be a chance to discuss the issues together with Box staff, and perhaps some strategic planning.

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Open Day on Saturday 18th November

Box Broadband have booked the EYSC from 10am to 4pm on Saturday 18th November, and this will now be an Open Day for anyone interested. They are particularly keen to speak to those from surrounding areas who need better service. The venue will include a special area for Pitch Hill.

Box staff will also be talking about the construction to date, and the areas already covered by existing plans. They will demonstrate how the service will be connected from the verge into the home or business, and the router. There will be a splicer demonstration and an interactive board. Details on the Vonage telephone packages and Roku box or streaming stick for TV services will be available.

10am – 4pm
Saturday 18th November 2017
EYSC
Broomers Lane
The Street
Ewhurst GU6 7RD

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Somersbury Lane

Boxcom are making good progress in Somersbury Lane, working down from Horsham Lane, and have reached the vicinity of CCM Vehicle Service, Repairs & MOT. More information and map on the Box Blog.

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Pitch Hill Meeting

Box Broadband have organised a meeting for residents and businesses on and around Pitch Hill. More details later, but please put the date in your diary. It will be at the EYSC, Broomers Lane, The Street, Ewhurst GU6 7PX on Saturday 18th November between 10am and 4pm.

 

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Somersbury Lane plans

Box Broadband have announced the completion of works in Horsham Lane/Road and the coverage map has been updated to show this. The Boxcom team will work on private land next week. Digging in Somersbury Lane is scheduled to start on 30th October, once again with the help of funding from residents who will benefit.

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Horsham Lane/Horsham Road Works Day 10

The works in Horsham Lane have presented several challenges, not least the remains of the Roman road obstructing the “mole” at all road crossings. This SCC roadworks permit is also rather restrictive, possibly due to the Thames Water activity in the same area, so the Boxcom team have so far concentrated on the main excavation and infrastructure, to complete this within the permitted dates. Next week they will return to do the smaller jobs and tidy up. Unfortunately the recent rain has inevitably created a lot of very sticky clay mud, so please be patient and do what you can to help.

Three residents have kindly plugged the funding gap for the 400m segment south of Froggetts Lane (towards Rowhook), and Boxcom plan to start work on this next week as well. Preparation for Somersbury Lane is progressing well.

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Horsham Lane/Horsham Road Works Day 1

I walked up the Horsham Lane this afternoon, to the junction with Froggetts Lane, and found the Boxcom team busy guiding a “mole” under the road, confirming that works there started on schedule today. See the announcement on the Box Blog, which also includes a very positive report on the Rectory Fete. While there, take a look at the updated coverage map on the Box Broadband web site. Chris Box will attend the Ewhurst and Ellens Green Parish Council meeting this evening, to discuss one of the proposed extensions to the network.

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Plusnet speed issue

ThinkBroadband have reported that a significant number of Plusnet customers experienced poor connection speeds on Saturday. Performance has since returned to normal.

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Box at the Rectory Fete tomorrow

Box Broadband will be at the Ewhurst Rectory Fete tomorrow, Saturday 16th September. The Box team will be there to answer all your questions about our new “full fibre” ultrafast broadband and communications network. The annual fete, for St Peter and St Paul Church, is held in the Ewhurst Rectory Garden and Churchyard, from 12 noon to 4pm. Entrance is free, so come along and spend in aid of church funds.

There will be lots of traditional side stalls, games, bouncy castle, BBQ, teas, plants, cake, craft stalls, tombola, raffle, a circus fancy dress competition for all ages, and for the first time, a children’s flower arranging completion in the church. Don’t forget the wonderful Teddy Bear Hunt then return and enjoy the Teddy Bear’s Picnic.

All children are invited to take part in the first ever children’s flower arranging competition at the Rectory Fete on 16th September. Children need to arrange some flowers (from the garden or hedgerow is fine, you needn’t buy anything) in a jam jar and bring along to the Church between 11 am -1 pm on the day of the fete. Please also bring a label with your child’s name and age to display alongside the arrangement. Winners announced at 3.15 pm and everyone gets a prize.

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SCC Roadworks Permit

Surrey County Council have granted the permit for Boxcom to install fibre optic cable down Horsham Lane, from Monday 18th to Friday 29th September.

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Start of Works in Horsham Lane

Four local “community investors” have stepped forward to meet the funding gap, so that fibre laying works can start in Horsham Lane. Subject to Surrey County Council permit, Boxcom plans to start digging at the junction with Froggetts Lane next Monday, working towards Somersbury Lane over the following weeks.

A satisfactory long term funding deal is proving elusive, and construction progress will remain slow until this is secured. A number of potential investors have wanted to see a working network, so it seems probable that funding offers will improve as soon as the first connections go live. However, the issue with connection to the backhaul has not yet been resolved.

The Box Broadband team wish to reassure the community that they are determined to complete the first network as planned. This will include Somersbury Lane, then the B2128 south to the junction with Furzen Lane, Furzen Lane, Lowerbreache Road, part of Plough Lane, and part of Horsham Road in Walliswood. They are also expecting to announce various extensions once negotiations with landowners are finalised. Finally, have a look at their announcement about the cabinet installation.

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