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

“Countless studies show that wellbeing is higher among people who have regular contact with their neighbours. We need no convincing that this is a reality. We see it all the time on Nextdoor.” Click here for details

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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.”

Click here to have a closer look

Nextdoor is the private social network for you, your neighbours and your community. It’s the easiest way for you and your neighbours to talk online and make all of your lives better in the real world. And it’s free.

People are using Nextdoor to:

  • Borrow a ladder
  • Organise a Neighbourhood Watch Group
  • Track down a trustworthy babysitter
  • Find out who does the best paint job in town
  • Ask for help keeping an eye out for a lost dog
  • 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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Pitch Hill area network

After the successful meeting at the Ewhurst village hall in November, a small steering group of Pitch Hill Residents, met with Chris Box to take matters forward.

Various routes were discussed and planned for and routes were walked to check feasibility and eventually a route was settled on and residents around the route were contacted and discussed permissions etc. This route was to come up Pitch Hill between Barhatch Lane and Shere Road, along Coneyhurst Road and up Pitch Hill. Box is ready to start the digging and has secured the route for most of the way but needs the final approval of some of the landowners for the final stretch north.

As a result of this wait Box has begun works in other parts of the country and Pitch Hill Broadband residents steering group are now investigating alternative route options potentially coming across from the East toward Coneyhurst Lane and then up the hill.

Local Pitch Hill residents in the Steering Group have given a lot of time and been extremely active with Box behind the scenes to get things moving and things are on the brink of happening. This is the best chance that Pitch Hill has to get internet fibre and if we lose this opportunity we will have status quo internet for years to come.

Should anyone want any information please write to the steering group via Jeannie Cameron at pitchhillbroadband@gmail.com

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Ellens Green, Somersbury Lane and B2128

The Box pure fibre service is now live along the whole of Somersbury Lane, and work has progressed up to Pollingfold Manor on the B2128, awaiting SCC inspection before work starts on the next stretch up towards Furzen Lane.

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Gadbridge Lane and GU6 7SA extension

According to the last report from Chris, Boxcom is still waiting for permission from Waverly Council for the fibre to cross The Green. Apparently Val Henry has promised a resident that she will investigate and assist if possible.

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Summer review and My VoIP experience

The summer holiday finally provides an opportunity to write, various family matters having consumed my available time and energy since January. Meanwhile, our Box Broadband pure fibre 200 Mbps connection has efficiently worked exactly as hoped; fast and reliable.

We have had quite a few power cuts over these seven months, and had I time to purchase and install a UPS, it would have avoided any interruption to the service. As it is, sometimes the connection has recovered by itself after a cut, but other times we had to reset the router, perhaps because the power “spikes” as it comes back on. Once reset, connection speed has never decreased, unlike previous services from BT Openreach.

My VoIP experience

One change I did find time for was the switch to VoIP, so that we could terminate the “copper” phone line rental, and thus bring total monthly costs back to their previous level. We wanted to keep our landline number, and worked out that usage based call charges will be cheaper for us than the call inclusive package offered by Vonage. I also felt confident enough to configure VoIP myself, so did not really need the higher level of customer support available when taking Vonage via the Box web link. I looked at Voipfone and Sipgate offerings, and chose Voipfone because they are UK based and responded to all my questions very quickly and helpfully. But Sipgate does work out cheaper for almost identical service otherwise, and at least two locals are happily using it.

December 2019 update: Box now offer their own VOIP telephone service which removes all the hassle of sourcing your own and dealing with yet another supplier.

I also had to decide whether to buy a device to interface our existing DECT phones to the Box router, or to buy new phones designed for VoIP. Since our existing phones are a few years old and have some less than ideal features, we decided to buy two new Gigaset C430HX handsets and N300IP VoIP base station from VoIPon. The result is a far more capable phone system. For example, we can take two calls at the same time, voice messages are automatically forwarded by email, and I can take or make “landline” calls on my mobile phone when away from home, thus giving the impression of working from home as usual (since the VoIP caller ID is set to our landline number).

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Six months on with Box Broadband

It’s now over six months since we had our internet upgraded to full fibre with Box, and David has asked me to write about my experience. Overall, it’s been great, whilst it’s hard to pin point one thing, it is the whole faster internet package that just makes modern life easier. The service has been very reliable, a couple of small outages at the beginning during the beta testing phase but since then it’s been functioning perfectly. I will pick out some of the capabilities that make Box so good for our family.

When working, I am often required to download very large files. These only become available at 7am for the next working day, and are occasionally updated during the UK working morning. Previously, when working from home, I would set the download off when I woke up, and then would have it to work with, maybe, by mid-day. With Box, it takes 5 minutes – and if I bothered to plug my computer into network cable, rather than Wi-Fi, it would be quicker still! Furthermore, it means that if both my wife and I are working from home, (e.g. to do child care shifts when a child is off school sick, or for holiday) we are able to do it without competing for internet bandwidth.

We have also completely swapped away from BT as our phone provider. If I was in an area where we actually had a mobile signal, I would have just used those, but as mobile coverage in our house is non-existent we still needed a landline. However, some years ago, I chose a 3rd party VoIP provider and connected some VoIP phones in the house to enable us to call abroad for less than BT rates. This VoIP provider has a greatly enhanced service compared to BT – we now get missed call notifications and answer phone messages delivered by email, so no longer have to wait to get home before finding out that someone called us. Whilst we did have this before Box, it required quite a lot of manual setup due to the slow internet speed.

We also appreciate the internet connection speed at home when we are not there. I can remotely drop into our cameras to check around the house, for example, I did this to check that a parcel had been picked up by a courier:


In addition, I would like to also mention that whilst we were on holiday, our power tripped. Seeing that we had lost internet connection for a while, Box telephoned and then emailed me to check that all was ok. I would never had got that level of care from our previous ISP!

Oh, and of course, video streaming has become a smooth affair, no longer do I ever see the spinning disc whilst waiting for iPlayer or a film to download, and am now able to stream UHD contents which isn’t possible unless the internet connection gets at least 20-25Mbps.

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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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