Our Chance to Upgrade Little Comberton's Broadband

Little Comberton Parish Council Coordinator: Nigel Jamieson

Contact through the LC email account

I found this video which may prove useful to residents.


Bretforton were working with Airband last spring and now have their broadband up and running.  This video was recorded with their coordinator at around the same stage as we are this year


Email sent on 25/01/2022


We have another update for you to let you know how our build in your area is getting on.

Whilst we are still designing our fibre route in your area, our engineers have been working on some prebuild tasks.

The most important of these is that we have situated our cabinet in your area! This represents a big step towards bringing ultrafast fibre to you.

Our team have also submitted applications to replace all the damaged poles along our fibre route, and will shortly be working on testing ducting in the area to ensure it is suitable for our fibre.

Email sent out from me on 18/12/21

Dear Villagers


Airband are continuing with their project to bring high speed fibre broadband to our villages. They are starting to make contact with villagers who expressed an interest in FFTP (Fibre To The Premises).


May I remind everyone that our current internet runs along old copper phone lines to the green fibre optic cabinet in the centre of the village.  It’s these old phone lines which limit the speed of our internet and BT/Openreach have said that they have no plans to improve these lines (they will maintain them for phones and current levels of use) but as internet demand increases and as they age we are likely to see deterioration over time.  


By bringing fibre optic cables right to our homes we should have greater stability and speed which will see us receiving speeds which match towns and cities.  Currently the DCMS is funding these developments so it is vital we take this opportunity to claim the vouchers that will help Airband build the network across ours and other local villages. 


At this stage there is no financial commitment and in fact you can have the cables installed to your home and a month's free trial before you make any payment.  Airband have stated that you can cancel up to 30 days after your FTTP starts.  If you cancel they will remove their modem but the cables to your house will be left and could be activated at a later stage.  Ideally we need as many residents in all the local villages as possible to sign up so the vouchers cover the cost of the infrastructure and cable installation. 


The 1st email will look something like this and is not a phishing email:




















As soon as you receive the DCMS gigabit voucher email please book your voucher.




Please support the all our villages village by making this initial commitment.


Kind regards


Nigel Jamieson

Coordinator working on behalf of Little Comberton Parish Council. 


A brief update 12/11 regarding Airband’s progress – please bear in mind that delays may occur, however, all of the schemes are progressing, which is very positive.


Eckington – survey in progress, design not yet started, expected build start – by end of Feb 22.

Cropthorne – survey in progress, design complete, expected build start – by end of Jan 22.

Wick – survey in progress, design complete, expected build start – by end of Feb 22.

Elmley Castle and Bricklehampton – both survey and design in progress, expected build start – by end of Feb 22.

Little and Great Comberton – survey in progress, design complete. expected build start – by end of Feb 22.

Fladbury – both survey and design in progress - expected build start – by end of Feb 22.


As mentioned above – these dates are heavily caveated – I am sure Airband will provide an update before and after Christmas.




Robert Stepniewski

Worcestershire Senior Project Manager


Update from Airband on 2nd November

We have an update for you to let you know how our build in your area is getting on!

We have started designing our fibre route in your area. This process takes 5 phases- an overview design document, a round of on site surveys, a more detailed design document, a second route of on site surveys, and then creating instructions for engineers and buying equipment. 

We are currently in the second phase of this design process, so keep an eye out for Airband engineers surveying local infrastructure.

If you have any questions, please feel free to reply to this email.

Best regards,

The Airband Team



Email from Airband 20th October

Due to some changes in the design for the build (additions of cabs in the villages to ensure resilience), I have had to make some adjustments to the budgets sent to DCMS. We have had a meeting with them to outline the changes and they are agreeable for me to resend the adjustments. Once this has gone through their checks the remaining villages will be released, however this does and has not affected our planning activity!


The designers have been working on the combined build plan for a number of weeks now and the Project Manager has booked in surveys for November. This is the start of the on the ground activity.


From now I have asked the Marketing team to continue with updates as and when we have things to say, but rest assured it is all happening – but like swans paddling,  a lot of it is unseen in the initial stages!



Email from Airband 20th September


Currently, we have the following projects authorised for vouchers


  • Fladbury

  • Eckington

All the others are still waiting in a queue for authorisation. Although, I do not foresee a problem with the authorisation  this is very frustrating. However, this should not affect the timetable of build unless it continues to be held up for several months.


As soon as all projects are authorised we will start taking orders and applying for vouchers. Please note we will not be asking for any direct debit details with the order.


Direct Debit information will be taken at the time of booking your installation after the network is built.




Airband are finalising their plans with The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport to ensure they meet all the criteria needed to release the vouchers on our behalf.  Their planning engineers are woring on plans for the fibre optic backbone and once they have the go ahead they will start contacting individual customers.



June - Next Steps


Airband are now our prefered (and only) viable provider.  They have posted leaflets to every household in our and all the surrounding villages for people to register interest.  Those who have already expressed interest have had their details sent to Airband so there is no need to register again.  Airband intend to arrange a pop up gazeebo in the coming months to allow villagers to call in and have any questions answered.  We will still need the majority of those who expressed interest in all our villages to continue with the project if it is to be viable.


End of May - Next Steps


Dear Villager,

Following our recent update I am pleased to inform you that we now have a viable option to bring Ultrafast Broadband to everyone – everywhere within our villages – subject to a survey, individual commitment and achieving sufficient numbers.
Some of the coordinators met with Airband of Worcester recently (The Proposed Provider) to test their credentials and ability as an unknown provider compared to Openreach. The Community Ambassador for Welland, near Malvern was present to share their experience with Airband having taken this journey recently.  


Firstly, let's remind ourselves why we are doing this:

1. Some within our community have very slow or no access to the internet. 
2. Whilst some are fortunate to have what appears to be a good speed, this will only deteriorate as demands become greater, combined with no further investment by Openreach in copper connectivity. (What we have today)
3. Important - The people in category 1 need the support of those in Category 2 above to make the project commercially viable.
4. Government funding is available to make this possible and Worcestershire is one of the Top 5 areas identified for the greatest need.

Why Airband?

1. Regulated by Ofcom
2.  - 30 Day “Cooling off ” period – you can cancel your contract after the installation is complete and you have tested it. 

3. Costs are competitive on like for like packages. We would expect marketing offers to be available similar to the link below.
4. You can run Airband alongside your existing provider until you are happy.
5. Up to £250 is available to help terminate your existing contract.

6. Airband cabinets have 4 times more back up power than BT

7. Speeds initially 100 – 250mbps – eventually able to deliver 10gbps

Next Steps:

To enable us to get a firm quote, I have registered an expression of interest on your behalf with Airband.

This is what it says; it is not contracting you to anything other than an open dialogue.

To direct any initial questions you may have you are welcome to email Airband and quote “Pershore Villages Cluster”. We will be arranging a community meeting with Airband so you will have plenty of opportunities to have your questions answered.

Meanwhile take a look here


Kind regards


Nigel Jamieson

Working on behalf of LC Parish Council


Mid May Update

The broadband coordinators for our local villages have had a virtual meeting with the Worcestershire Broadband team to discuss progress and to understand decisions that need to be made.  This document will hopefully keep you informed and help us with decisions as to the way forward.


We are delighted to report that Worcestershire has been selected to be one of the first counties to benefit from the new ‘Project Gigabit’ – the Government’s objective to cover at least 85% of UK premises with gigabit broadband infrastructure, once the initial pilots have been completed. Although it is great news for Worcestershire, our communities are not guaranteed to benefit from this deployment. Securing gigabit broadband service, otherwise known as full fibre to each premises, we believe to be an excellent opportunity to “future proof” our homes. Download speeds that seem adequate now, may well prove inadequate in the future and the grant scheme currently favours Worcestershire rural homes.


Where we are now

We have more than 50% of households in all the villages interested in FTTP (Fibre To The Premises). By joining villages together we gain from collective savings and upgrading our area becomes a more viable option for the broadband companies so we have been working on costs as a group of 5-8 villages, possibly including: Little Comberton, Great Comberton, Elmley Castle, Bricklehampton, Cropthorne, Fladbury, Wick and Eckington.


We have initial estimates from Openreach and a Worcester based company called Airband.


Using all the Government vouchers we are entitled to, we still fall well short of Openreach’s estimated costs meaning that we would need everyone to make a financial contribution.  As this is outside what we proposed we do not think going any further with Openreach is an option.


However, Airband is able to provide the infrastructure and installation within our financial constraints so we need to share with you the pros and cons of their offer so we know whether to proceed or not. 


Airband is a growing Worcester based company who has been in the wireless broadband business for some years and has now expanded into the FTTP market.  The company has successfully installed FTTP networks in Kempsey, Welland & Stock Green to name the few projects in Worcestershire.  It, along with a number of other growing companies elsewhere in the country, is an approved provider and would use elements of BT/Openreach’s infrastructure to overlay the FTTP alongside our existing phone cables. Our existing BT/Openreach phones and internet access across the old wires would remain unchanged. After the new contract period, if any villagers were not satisfied with the quality of service, they would be able to return to their previous setup and internet service provider (ISP).


The Pros & Cons with Airband

Using Airband is within our budget so there would be no personal costs for the network build, cabling, hardware in our homes and installation or monthly landline charges.  So long as we have sufficient homes it would undertake the collection of the Government vouchers on behalf of customers during the initial contract period. Airband would hope to start work towards the end of this year and then install to homes in early 2022.  We would all have to sign an ISP contract with Airband and terminate our current internet services. Airband has indicated it will offer up to £250 to help customers terminate their current ISP contracts if necessary.



Airband is a small developing company and currently does not have agreements with any other companies to offer ISP services, although they are in the process of bringing other service providers to sell over their network, as this is one of Government’s requirements. At the time of signing any agreement we would not know of any future competitive packages. The Government voucher scheme stated that all recipients would have to sign up with their new ISP for at least 1 year. The shortest package Airband currently offer is 24 months although an 18 month initial contract is very likely but at the time of writing this is not confirmed.  Details of its current packages seem comparable with other companies and are shown below.


There are still a number of unanswered questions that we need Airband to address and will obviously share their responses as soon as they become clear.


Moving forward

Before we progress with more comprehensive negotiations, including detailed surveys to ensure Airband cover all homes, including properties that fall outside village boundaries, we need to know if the majority wish us to progress with Airband? We are happy, and Worcestershire Broadband team does not have any concerns with progressing with Airband, to move on with the project towards the next stage of a finalised quote. We will be asking for an opportunity for villagers to meet with Airband where we would receive and share all finalised details before we ask anyone to sign individual contracts.  However, we would ask any residents who DO NOT wish to be included to email us to remove them from our lists.  In the event that significant villagers withdraw then we will let you know and will probably have to end the project.


Please email Nigel Jamieson at if you wish to withdraw from the scheme. If I do not hear from you I will assume you wish me to continue working with the other village coordinators and Worcestershire Broadband team to start more detailed negotiations with Airband.

Other projects undertaken by Airband

6,200 premises in Devon:

4,100 in Cheshire:


12,000 premises in Oxfordshire:

4,500 premises across Herefordshire & Shropshire:

2,200 in Shropshire:

The above are full fibre deployments, many previous ones are wireless, which is not what is being proposed for your community:

Airbands investment:

Mid April Update

Email received 19/4/21

Dear coordinators

I chased Openreach today, and things are slowly getting back to normal after a massively busy period.

They are in the process of producing the final quote and looks like they are looking to produce one quote for all 6 projects (despite being on 2 exchanges).

It looks like they have produced an initial indication for 973 premises across all 6 areas at c. £1.2m (this is still being revised and expected to be reduced). Although it is high value, it actually is a very good cost per premises at c. £1.3k.

Lets wait to see when the final cost arrives.

That said, I have also shared your project areas with 3 other suppliers, potentially interested in providing a quote.

If I hear back from them - I will of course share their quote immediately.

Many thanks


Robert Stepniewski

Superfats Worcester Team



Late March Update

Worcestershire to benefit from 'Project Gigabit' launch

We are delighted to share with you the news about ‘Project Gigabit’ and inclusion of Worcestershire amongst the earliest areas to benefit from the launch of this £5bn scheme: &


Many areas already benefit from superfast or ultrafast connectivity and we are continually updating our interactive map available here:

Launching in April, Project Gigabit will largely be driven by three core strands:

  • Project Gigabit; where Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) will work closely with local authorities to extend gigabit coverage through a centralised procurement approach. More details will be shared in the coming months,

  • Hubs: Over the next 3 years, up to £110m of government funding will be invested into connecting rural schools, GP surgeries, libraries and other public buildings to bring new fibre right into the heart of communities for the first time. These buildings will then act as ‘hubs’, from which industry can connect surrounding homes and businesses.

  • Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme: Over the next 3 years, up to £210m will be allocated to deliver a Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme, which we know from experience provides a rapid method for communities to club together and get a subsidised upgrade. These vouchers will be available to rural businesses and households with current speeds of less than 100Mbps in areas unlikely to receive commercial gigabit broadband rollout.

If you are part of an existing Community Project – you do not need to do anything - we will be in touch in the next couple of weeks, to discuss next steps for your project. If you would like to start a project in your area – please contact us from April onwards via email on  

The Superfast Worcestershire Team


March 2021 Update

We have completed everything required by Openrach to register all our interests in improving FTTP broadband for Little Comberton. Along with our other local village coordinators we are being advised and helped by Robert Stepniewski, the Worcester Senior Project Manager, Broadband & Connectivity Team. We have asked for an update for our villages and he has provided the following summary:


The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) are keen to continue voucher-supported delivery during 2021 and the details of a new scheme are expected imminently - targeting the hardest to reach areas which are least likely to benefit from commercial rollout.


While the majority of rural premises are likely to remain eligible for the new voucher scheme, in order to ensure that vouchers continue to support premises in the hardest to reach areas to access gigabit-capable connections, those that are likely to receive commercial rollout (Ofcom's proposed Area 2 postcode sectors) will not be eligible. Your project is expected to remain eligible.


We believe that DCMS aim to provide further information imminently.


At the same time, Openreach are in the process of producing quotes for projects, which are expected to continue post April (like yours).


As soon as I hear more I will let you know but for the moment it appears we are in a waiting game.

January Update

We have now closed registration for the Gigabit Broadband scheme with over 90 residences in the village having requested to be included.  If you have missed the deadline pleasse email the village email account and we will hold your details in the hope that your home can be added at a later stage.


We now expect Openreach to carry out an onsite survey over the following months to produce a final quote and contract.  It looks probable that Openreach will combine us with Elmley Castle, Bricklehampton and Great Comberton.  We are working with Worcester Gigabit team to try to make sure all costs can be met.  We  will work with Openreach on your behalf to claim the vouchers and will probably ask for a small working group to look at the plans and contract once we have received them.


With the number of applications being processed across the country we can expect at least a year before any installation works take place so there is no need to worry at this time about renewing your ISP provision.


The installation is likely to use our current infrastructure.  Most of the fibre optic cables should follow the old phone lines and are fixed to the same poles.  Within the home they bring the cable into the house terminating in a wall mounted box.  The new terminal will need to be positioned so it can be plugged in for power.  Your modem (if it is less than 5 years old) can be plugged into the new box rather than the BT socket.  Our old phone phone lines remain so phones etc remain unchanged.  An example (a bit techy) can be watched here:


The only commitment any of us will have to make will be to sign up to an ISP for a 1 year package of at least 30MB.  There are a range of providers and more are being added all the time as this rollout continues.  Nearer the time I hope to work with a few of you to identify the best deals and hope to bring in quotes which offer best value similar to current costs.  Current ISPs offering FTTP packages: