Pitch Hill build update

Box Broadband issued the following statement yesterday.

We have now completed between 75%-80% of the build which includes all of the challenging build through woods (Boxcom teams were in the woods recently as some residents  saw) and across farms. These sections proved to be far more difficult than we had first expected but they are all pretty much completed.

The remainder of the build now requires a number of road crossings to complete as it is more on the main sections of road. We are working with Boxcom at the moment to work out how we get their other teams off furlough to complete this work.

I cannot express how difficult working around Covid and furlough has been so that we can avoid redundancies to our teams but we are as keen as you to get Pitch Hill completed for the residents and get the connections in place for both of our benefits, the project has been hugely expensive to date so we need to get it finished also.

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Central Ewhurst Expansion

I had been waiting for more information, but this seems a good opportunity to publish a little bit of good news.

A new pure-fibre distribution cabinet has been installed at the EYSC and some adjacent customers in Broomers Lane are now connected and working well. I do not yet have any information about the full area to be covered by this new cabinet; hopefully service will eventually be available to the whole of central Ewhurst. I understand that the Parish Council gave Box Broadband a free way-leave across the Recreation Ground; from the Bowls Club to beyond the tennis courts, in exchange for free connection to the EYSC, Village Hall and Glebe Centre.

Homes need a fast Internet connection now as never before, with perhaps several family members working from home and others needing entertainment. This will amply demonstrate the advantage of symmetric pure-fibre over FTTC, BT’s partial fibre substitute. For example, I have not noticed any reduction in connection speed over the last few weeks, and our Box connection is as reliable as ever.

I have seen several complaints about pre-sales communication on social media. Apparently enquiries are not always dealt with efficiently, and it seems Box continue to suggest very optimistic delivery timescales. Perhaps these issues are understandable under the circumstances, but they really should have been sorted out by now.

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COVID-19 Update

Most construction work on our pure-fibre network, including the Pitch Hill area, had already been much delayed by the high rainfall over the winter. Box Broadband have recently issued the following statement:

In this time of uncertainty regarding COVID-19, at Box Broadband, we are committed to protecting our customers and employees.

For the time being, all customer visits and installations have been suspended on the advice of the government, and we are reviewing the situation daily.

New internet installations, and wireless extender installations are not currently taking place. The only time an engineer will visit your property is to setup your telephone service in the event that your phone number transfers to us in the near future. These visits will only be to deliver a small adapter which will be left on your doorstep or posted to you. The configuration required will be done remotely and our engineers will arrange this with you.

Our technical team are still fully operational and available by email and telephone during this time. They’re also available to be mobilised in the event of any major outage.

The safety of our customers and employees remains our number one priority and we are continuing to closely follow the advice of Public Health England and the UK Government. We will continue to inform you with latest updates through email, social media and website updates.

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Pitch Hill Progress

The Pitch Hill Box Broadband network continues to progress and I’m advised that it will be going live by the end of January for all those Pitch Hill properties who have subscribed. Graham Sargood, the CEO at Box, told me that this network is being built as several fibre rings.  He explained that they have already built the network to Coneyhurst Lane, and now need to complete the various fibre rings, which will then be connected underground along the road verges.  One ring was built at the Warrens (above the Windmill Inn) which will serve those properties to the west and the north. Another ring is being networked to the Holmbury side at present which will bring in those properties on the east side.  These will soon be connected by specialist teams, with a join along Moon Hall Road and Barhatch Lane for example. At this point residents will be contacted directly to arrange access and to discuss specific routes on each property. Chris Box is leading the engineering and networking side of it all and many of you will have seen him and the teams around the area. Also, some of you may have heard me on LBC radio recently, when Eddie Mair launched a quest for the UK’s worst internet.  I was driving at that moment and pulled over and called in.  Eddie kept saying that we have “Jeannie pitching for Pitch Hill” as he encouraged others to call in. I advised how bad our internet was, and compared it to the island of Jura in Scotland where I’d been recently where the internet (and the roads) were much better than we have in Surrey at Pitch Hill.  I think we won – ours was clearly worse than any of the other callers. We are all looking forward to the new year and our new internet service and thanks again to Chris Box and his colleagues for making it happen.

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Coneyhurst Lane, Lyefield Lane, Cox Green and Cranleigh

Following a significant private investment deal, Box Broadband Ltd continue to expand our pure fibre (FTTP) network in all directions. To the north, Coneyhurst Lane, and Lyefield Lane to the east are expected to be online by the year end. In the south the coverage will include Cox Green, and the huge western expansion into Cranleigh now extends to Mead Road and part of Horsham Road, close to the village centre. Please note that the network can only grow into areas where there is sufficient demand, as registered on the Box Broadband web site.

Click for Box Broadband Full Fibre Coverage Map

ThinkBroadband Mapping for both Box Broadband networks

Box Network Coverage by Postcode, online already or due by end of 2019:

GU6 7BD GU6 7HH GU6 7LU GU6 7SE RH12 3AW
GU6 7BG GU6 7HJ GU6 7LX GU6 7SG RH12 3DF
GU6 7DT GU6 7HZ GU6 7PN RH12 3AH RH5 5RG
GU6 7DW GU6 7JB GU6 7RP RH12 3AL RH5 5RH
GU6 7EB GU6 7JG GU6 7RR RH12 3AP RH5 5RJ
GU6 7ED GU6 7JH GU6 7RS RH12 3AR RH5 5RL
GU6 7EE GU6 7JQ GU6 7RT RH12 3AS RH5 5RQ
GU6 7EF GU6 7LE GU6 7RW RH12 3AT RH5 5SN
GU6 7FR GU6 7LT GU6 7RX RH12 3AU

Jeannie tells me that she plans to send an update for Pitch Hill very soon.

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Pitch Hill Endorses Box Broadband Solution

I am very excited to report that Pitch Hill area residents and businesses have responded overwhelmingly in favour of the pure fibre network proposal from Box Broadband Ltd. Jeannie Cameron and her helpers have worked incredibly hard to contact all premises in the area and answer the multitude of questions about the ambitious plans to provide a world class broadband, TV and telephone service in this challenging terrain. Box Broadband’s engineering contractor and sister company Boxcom Network Services Ltd already has an active base in Ewhurst, and much of the planning has already been done, so it is hoped that construction of the Pitch Hill Network can start as early as next month (July 2019).

Anyone who has received details from Jeannie but not yet asked to be included should do so urgently to pitchhillbroadband@gmail.com. The exact route has not yet been finalised, so those in the surrounding area who did not receive Jeannie’s invitation should quickly register their interest at www.boxbroadband.co.uk or contact Box at enquiries@boxbroadband.co.uk or 0330 113 0180.

I also heard that Box recently took a call from a resident whose Internet connection had been down for weeks with no resolution in sight; he was losing bookings and unable to run his business. Box connected him the next day to  their 1 Gbps service, for which he was very grateful.  Being local, Box has the flexibility to provide this type of great customer experience and really make a difference in the community.

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Interview with Graham Sargood

The Challenger Magazine (June 2019 Cranleigh edition) has published an interview with Graham Sargood, Box Broadband Ltd CEO, answering questions such as:

  • What services do Box Broadband offer?
  • What is your background?
  • How is the company financed?
  • What are the plans for Box Broadband?
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FTTP Coverage Update

The following postcodes have been added since the last Box Broadband network coverage update. These are confirmed live with premises now connected to Gigabit broadband services.

GU6 7RP The Green, Ewhurst
GU6 7RR The Green, Ewhurst
GU6 7RT The Green, Ewhurst
RH12 3AP Furzen Lane, Ellen’s Green
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Box Broadband Sales Office

Box Broadband have recently opened a Sales office in Cranleigh. Graham Sargood, the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) is based there while building the fibre link to Cranleigh.

Box Broadband Limited
The Old Bakery, Collins Court, 39 High Street
Cranleigh GU6 8AS
0330 113 0180

Local support staff remain based in Ewhurst on 0330 113 0180.

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Pitch Hill Update from Jeannie

Dear All,

You have no doubt seen the Box Broadband engineers getting closer toward Pitch Hill.  Things have certainly moved on from that Ewhurst Village Hall meeting I organised in November 2017 – and within a couple of weeks Box will be in a position to provide a very clear cost to bring full fibre broadband to Pitch Hill.

Once the cost is known we will then each be in a position to decide whether it is something we each wish to proceed with or not.   It is expected that we will have a window of time to decide to be in or out.

This circulation list was formed mainly from those who contacted me after I originally letter-boxed.  There may well be more people on Pitch Hill who did not advise interest at that time and if so, please ask your neighbours to send me an email and I’ll include them in the communications.   It is also likely that I will letterbox Pitch Hill again to ensure that everyone is included with the latest information – volunteers welcome!

Box has now opened an office in Cranleigh. Here is the website:  https://www.boxbroadband.co.uk

Thank you to Chris Box for sticking with Pitch Hill despite the odds!

Kind regards,  your neighbour

Jeannie Cameron
Windmill House
Pitch Hill

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Expansion into Cranleigh

Box Broadband have also confirmed that they are now expanding into Cranleigh.

“We aim to have some parts live from June onwards. The post codes aren’t yet included in our checker on the website but we will add these later.”

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Fibre Network Coverage Update

Two more roads have now been added to our pure fibre network:

Postcode Road
GU6 7SG Plough Lane
RH5 5RE Fern Lane

Please help to grow our network by encouraging everyone with premises in these roads to call Box Broadband on 0330 113 0180 or visit www.boxbroadband.co.uk and order a hyperfast Gigabit connection, available right now.

Please note that Gigabit (1000 Mbps) refers to the capability of the connection. Box Broadband Ltd have quoted an “average upload and download speed of 500Mb” on recent advertising, with “estimated speed 500Mb-900Mb upload & download”. Speed test results for gigabit connections will vary considerably for many reasons, not least the load on the server sending and receiving the test data. Yesterday I clocked speed test results between 273 and 976 Mbps, with the average being 768. The more important point is that a large family each with multiple devices can just get on with their online lives without conflict.

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Ellen’s Green – Gigabit Internet Now LIVE

Box Broadband Ltd has now activated their first connection in Furzen Lane, Ellen’s Green. This marks completion of the (Phase 1) Ewhurst, Ellen’s Green and Walliswood network first announced in March 2017. Happy new subscribers Katy & Steve Pocock write:

Many thanks to the team for all your hard work to get us connected on Friday. We are delighted with the result – we have upload / download speeds in excess of 800MB/s. We really appreciate the hours and effort that everyone put in to make it happen, the team have regularly gone above and beyond the call of duty over the last few weeks in the mud and rain.

I would like to add my own effusive thanks and congratulations to Chris and his team, especially for persevering with the project when obstacles seemed insurmountable and anyone else would certainly have given up.

This first network is still being extended, and currently covers the following postcodes.

Postcode Road
GU6 7SN North Breache Lane
GU6 7SP Somersbury Lane
GU6 7SQ Lower Breache Road
GU6 7SR Somersbury Lane
GU6 7SW Horsham Lane
RH12 3AR Furzen Lane
RH12 3AS B2128 Horsham Road
RH12 3AT Somersbury Lane
RH12 3AW Furzen Lane
RH5 5RD Walliswood Green Road
RH5 5RG Walliswood Green Road
RH5 5RJ Froggetts Lane
RH5 5RL Horsham Road
RH5 5RQ Oakfields
RH5 5RS Sheep Green

Please do encourage everyone with premises in these roads to call Box Broadband on 0330 113 0180 or visit www.boxbroadband.co.uk and order a pure fibre connection now. Remember that existing contracts can be terminated early if price or other terms are changed, or by negotiation (when the fee is often minimal), so that the benefits of hyperfast 800 Mbps can be enjoyed right away. Alternatively, some prefer to run two services in parallel for a few months. The more customers who take our new gigabit broadband service, the faster it can expand into surrounding areas.

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Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Box Broadband Ltd are now installing gigabit (1000Mbps) connections funded by the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, a government grant. Gigabit vouchers can be used by small businesses and the communities surrounding them towards the installation cost of a Box connection. Many businesses and home workers can claim £2,500 and residents get £500 vouchers as part of a group project. This will be a key source of funding for expansion of our existing pure fibre network, so Box Broadband staff are highly motivated to advise and help you and your neighbours to claim. Please call them on 0330 113 0180 for further details; the scheme will end when the allocated funds have been claimed, so do not delay. Residential applications need to be linked to a local SME or micro-enterprise, but of course Box will organise this for you.

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BT Cabinet 20 Fault (Bulls Head FTTC)

A Sky FTTC (fibre to the cabinet) customer in Peaslake Road has reported an issue with the cabinet near the Bulls Head (BT Openreach PCP 20). His connection speed is usually around 10.5 Mbps but on 14th January it dropped to 4.7 Mbps and there was a significant hum on the phone line rendering voice calls almost impossible. He reported the issue to Sky on Tuesday and was pleasantly surprised that an Openreach engineer attended first thing on Wednesday morning. This engineer traced the issue to a fibre port in the cabinet, perhaps resulting from a power surge/outage the cabinet suffered around Christmas (a generator was seen next to the cabinet). Apparently there are currently no spare ports in the cabinet so the line cannot be switched to another port, and the engineer is now aware of at least 3 other lines with the same issue and no scheduled fix date. So it seems that the connection will continue to deteriorate and more lines may be impacted over time. The BT Group Availability Checker currently shows the status as “Waiting list”. The fast response from BT Openreach is almost certainly due to the impact on voice calls rather than the drop in speed. Others who are only suffering from poor connection speeds are unlikely to get the same treatment. We very much look forward to the pure fibre service reaching the northern side of Ewhurst soon. If anyone has any further information please let us know.

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Happy Birthday FTTP

Today is the first anniversary of my excellent Pure Fibre connection from Box Broadband becoming live. Naturally the connection quality remains first class, and the Box team have now proven their ability to maintain the network efficiently, repairing even the malicious cutting of fibre cables within hours, working through the night. For various reasons I am still using an elderly laptop too far from the router, resulting in poor Wi-Fi performance in my office. Whilst entirely my responsibility, the locally based Box support have been very willing to help with diagnosis, and I recently installed a spare pair of Power-line adapters as a short term solution.

There’s more good news in Ellen’s Green; I understand that all the necessary way-leaves and permission are now in place and construction progresses apace. Sincere thanks to all who helped drive take-up in support of this, and we look forward to final completion of this section soon.

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Connect with your neighbours

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Final Push

We are fast approaching the first anniversary of our pure fibre network going live, yet premises in Ellen’s Green still await connection. Completion of this “bridgehead” network remains the top priority, so I will continue to focus attention here until done. Ground works are now underway in Furzen Lane, and will work back towards the junction with the B2128, where construction is nearly complete. A wayleave is needed from Waverley before these two sections can join up, and this is now close to agreement. We can help to drive this forward by encouraging all premises along the route to order the Box Broadband service now. If already available, then this will boost the necessary income stream, and if not yet available then it will provide ammunition for getting permissions and overcoming other obstacles, and ensure residents are connected as soon as possible.

Please speak to anyone you know with premises in or near the following roads, and if not already connected, ensure they understand the benefits and that Box Broadband is not just another ISP but is offering an unique opportunity.

  • Furzen Lane, Ellen’s Green
  • B2128 Horsham Road (Furzen Lane to Somersbury Lane)
  • Somersbury Lane
  • Horsham Lane, Ewhurst
  • The Green, Ewhurst
  • Lilyfields Chase
  • Plough Lane, Ewhurst
  • North Breache Lane
  • Lower Breache Road
  • Horsham Road, Walliswood
  • Froggetts Lane
  • Walliswood Green Road
  • Oakfields, Walliswood
  • Okewood Hill (West)

A few reasons to switch:

  • Ultrafast or hyperfast upload and download, up to 1000 Mbps, in any location, with unlimited usage
  • Brand new pure fibre optic cable right into your premises, entirely separate from old phone lines
  • Customer support based in Ewhurst office
  • Top quality WiFi router with optional MESH extension
  • Optional bundled phone and TV services or complete flexibility
  • Can be run alongside the old services, or can completely replace them and eliminate the BT phone line
  • Get it using the Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme

Call Box on 0330 113 0180 or email enquiries@boxbroadband.co.uk

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View from Ellen’s Green

I run a small business from home and my husband is a remote worker for an IT company. We have lived in Ewhurst and latterly Ellen’s Green for nearly 20 years. As our work and family internet demands have increased (we have two teenage children) we have become increasingly frustrated with the poor service available from BT and limited alternative options. We have two broadband connections into the house but often experience problems, especially in the evening. We’ve explored 4G (no signal), satellite (ditto) and a recent enquiry to BT for direct to home broadband was quoted at a five year cost of £45,000.

My husband attended the Box Broadband open meeting held last year and we registered our interest soon after that – we welcome the opportunity to access ultrafast broadband as it means we will be able to continue to work from home and enjoy video and music streaming at any time of the day. We’re also aware that property values are affected by internet speed and don’t want to be left behind other areas with a better service. We intend to move our telephones to an internet-based service once we are connected, as we have used this in the past and found it very simple and reliable. I would encourage everyone to consider signing up to Box Broadband – for most residents it is likely to offer a far superior service for less money. As our kids said – it’s a no brainer!

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I’m not a big fan of Facebook and Twitter, but I have now been happily using Nextdoor for more than a year. It’s a great way to reach and help over 1000 neighbours, make new friends and get more involved in the local community, or just keep tabs on what your neighbours are up to. In our neighbourhood it has recently been most used for finding and recommending local tradespeople, organising and promoting local events, re-homing unwanted items, and finding lost pets or owners.

It’s quite an active group, so if you sign up, remember to check the notification settings if you want to limit the number of emails you receive.

Nextdoor is the private social network for neighbourhoods; we hope that neighbours everywhere will use the Nextdoor platform to build stronger and safer neighbourhoods around the world.”

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People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Borrow a ladder
  • Organise a Neighbourhood Watch Group
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter
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  • Find a new home for an outgrown bike
  • Finally call that nice man down the street by his first name

Nextdoor’s mission is to provide a trusted platform where neighbours work together to build stronger, safer, happier communities, all over the world.”

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