Benefits for residents
So many aspects of our modern home and working lives are dependent on a fast and reliable internet connection. With superfast fibre, you can take full advantage of everything the internet has to offer.
- Connect to the cloud and work from home
- Stream the latest blockbusters and boxsets in HD, or ultra-HD
- Keep in touch with friends, family, colleagues, or clients via video calls and conferencing
- Get competitive with low-latency online gaming
- Find the best bargains when shopping online
- Set trends and influence people on social media
Take a look at the case studies below to see how residents across South Yorkshire have benefitted from superfast fibre broadband.
Billingley residents benefit from government funded broadband vouchers
Billingley residents are reaping the rewards of the Gigabit Voucher Scheme 12 months after they set out on their journey to improve connections in the village. With the support of Superfast South Yorkshire and Openreach residents are now better connected than ever before.
Martin who is a company director for Euroglaze based in Carlton, Barnsley and a Billingley resident is one of the first residents to take advantage of the newly available broadband speeds and said, ‘it has made a significant impact for the whole family’. Prior to the full fibre upgrade they were receiving speeds of 24Mbps. Now with the upgraded network they are receiving over 30x the speed with over 900Mbps download and up to 150Mbps upload speeds.
The increased speeds are making a difference for the whole family with three adults working from home full time there is a lot of demand on the network. Prior to the upgrade they were relying on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) connection that was limited them to 24Mbps which meant making video calls, streaming and downloading files often came with interruptions or took a long time. Now they are all able to work with the peace of mind knowing their broadband is not going to let them down. The family have also noticed the improved picture and audio quality when streaming films via online platforms which has enabled them to make use of their streaming services more. Martin also commented on the reduced time in downloading audiobooks from hours to seconds which means he can now enjoy his audiobooks when he wants to rather than waiting for them to download.
Martin, who is registered blind, has also found the upgrade to help his day to day living through the adoption of assistive smart technology which he has previously discarded due to the intermittent and unreliable broadband. Since upgrading his broadband he can now rely on the technology to help him which includes programming commands into his Alexa devices ensuring rooms are already lit before he enters them. Martin also spoke of how he plans to incorporate more assistive smart technology into his home thanks to the reliable connection.
Martin was instrumental in the success of the Gigabit Voucher Programme in Billingley and took on a role as a community champion encouraging other local residents to pledge their free gigabit vouchers towards the works. He did this through visiting local residents and posting in local social media groups letting others know of the opportunity. When reflecting on the process and communication with Openreach he said it was a smooth and simple to use process and especially found the online fund totalizer function useful in seeing how close to the target they were. This motivated him and fellow residents to give it an extra push to ensure they met the target of needed voucher pledges to ensure the upgrade was viable and the work would go ahead.
Residents of Billingley are not the only community in the region to benefit from the programme as many homes in Tankersley and Pilley have recently been connected to the fibre network through their Community Fibre Partnership.
If you are interested in finding out if your community could benefit from the gigabit voucher programme please visit here and check if your postcode is eligible. Superfast South Yorkshire are looking to support communities through the process. If you have any questions, please get in touch at email@example.com
Aaron, Service Delivery Engineer, Penistone
We recently sent out letters to premises that had been upgraded to Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) and Aaron got in touch and told us how he had beaten us to it and was already making use of the improved connection. This was great to hear and it meant the upgrade was needed if they had been waiting for it…
Aaron works as a Service Delivery Engineer for Openreach so having a good reliable broadband connection is important to them. They spend their days ensuring others have a reliable service so why wouldn't they want the same at home. Aaron lives in Penistone with his wife and two children who are often online at the same time. Prior to getting FTTP Aaron had to settle for ADSL (Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line) broadband offering download speeds up to 20Mbps (Megabits per second) which they were lucky to achieve as it was more often between 13-15Mbps with a 0.8Mbps upload. Since upgrading to an FTTP service they can now receive speeds more than 300Mbps download and 52Mbps upload. The speeds they are now getting are around 20x faster than previously. However, they aren't stopping there, when we spoke, they mentioned they are planning to upgrade to a 900Mbps service in the near future which would be around 60x faster than the speeds they were getting prior to the completion of the upgrade works.
When we spoke with Aaron we asked what do they use broadband for the most and like the majority of people these days they said they use it across all parts of their day to day life which included streaming movies, making video calls on platforms such as Zoom and using smart technology around their home including a smart home security system. Accessing the homes security system when away was an issue before but now they can access it with ease and have increased peace of mind when away that their home is safe and secure. We asked Aaron what the best thing was about having upgraded their broadband service and this is what they said, 'I had always wanted to create my own media streaming platform but was unable to with the extremely slow upload speeds however now that I have upgraded to a full fibre service I have been able to do so. This has meant I have been able to access my content remotely as well as being able to automatically back up my content whilst away.' They also mentioned how they can now stream across multiple platforms at the same time without having to wait for the content to buffer which is great for a family with different interests.
The most important question we asked was 'would you recommend upgrading to full fibre ultrafast broadband to others? Here is what they had to say,
'100% anybody that makes the move even if they think (well mine works so I don't see why I should move ) will notice the difference. Mine worked but I have benefited big style as I love my tech. I'm a service delivery engineer for Openreach I tell anyone I can to switch to fibre if they can as it is the future.'
All in all Aaron and his family are happy that they have been able to upgrade to a full fibre broadband service. If you would like to find out if you could upgrade your service, you can use our postcode checker to find out.
Did you know having a full fibre connection available to your home can increase the value of the property by up to £1500 according to the ISP Zen.
David Bateman, Armthorpe
“The upgrade to fibre broadband was pretty much seamless”
David moved to the Armthorpe area from York in 2011, and currently work as a telecoms technician installing VoIP phones and maintaining analogue lines. Outside of work, David is tech-savvy and enjoys custom-building his own computers.
After making the move to Doncaster, broadband access became a problem. David had to settle for an old copper-based connection because fibre broadband was not available:
"The main issue with the connection was the slow download speeds. It could take up to several hours to download games. In many instances, games were downloaded overnight."
Eager to upgrade, David kept an eye on local broadband news and registered his interest with several service providers, so he would be notified as soon as faster broadband was available.
In October 2016 Superfast South Yorkshire brought fibre broadband to parts of Armthorpe. David's whole street was able to benefit from Phase 1 of the Superfast South Yorkshire programme. When the Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) service became live, it was possible to place an order.
For David, switching to fibre broadband was straightforward:
“The upgrade to fibre broadband was pretty much seamless. I plugged in the router that was provided and waited for the service to become active.”
The first provider that David chose offered a reliable service. However, after a period of time it was possible to switch. For David, this was a no-brainer. It was easy to find and compare the best deals online. By shopping around David was able to upgrade to a new package with faster speeds. The new package also offered great value for money, as it was cheaper than the old one.
To get even more out of his connection, tech-savvy David has adjusted his home network. By replacing the dated router with a more powerful one, the wi-fi range has improved. This change also helps to ease the strain on the connection when multiple devices are connected at the same time.
David's connection is largely used for streaming and gaming. Thanks to the upgraded connection multiple tablets, computers, phones and consoles can be connected at the same time with no issues.
As he's on the move again, broadband will a top priority for David when searching for a new home:
“We are looking to move so one of the first things I will check for is a full fibre connection.”
When choosing a new home, it is important to check if fibre broadband will be available. You can do this by using our postcode checker.
For those looking to move into a new build property, the Government will be introducing new legislation to place obligations on housing developers to work with network operators to install gigabit-capable full fibre broadband.
Full fibre broadband uses fibre optic cables to connect the exchange directly to each premises. Residents and businesses in the region have been covered with full fibre through Phase 2 of the Superfast South Yorkshire programme, with more set to benefit over the upcoming months.
James Smallman, Conisbrough
"It was mainly the speed that was the problem, but we did have connection issues due to living in a three level house"
James works in the telecoms sector and away from the day-to-day enjoys streaming and gaming in the comfort of his Doncaster home.
Like many others, James was an early adopter of Ultrafast Fibre to The Premises (FTTP) broadband, choosing to take advantage of the service as soon as it became available in January 2018.
It was enjoyable to catch-up with James and find out how the improved connection has made a difference two years on.
Before being able to upgrade, James' broadband came from a copper phone line connected to a local exchange. The broadband speed hovered between three to six megabits per second (Mbps). James added that the provider he was with at the time offered "the broadband for free with a TV package" because of the slow speeds.
The old connection caused many challenges for James:
"It was mainly the speed that was the problem, but we did have connection issues due to living in a three level house".
It could take as long as twenty minutes to download an hour long series episode on Sky and it was impossible for James and his partner to do things at the same time (which even caused arguments).
Growing frustrated with the sluggish connection, James was quick to look at his options. Through visiting the Superfast website, it was possible to check if his property would become fibre-enabled by using our postcode checker.
For James it was great news to find out that his property in Doncaster was soon to be fibre-enabled and able to benefit from Ultrafast FTTP broadband technology through the Superfast South Yorkshire Programme.
From the initial check, it was then only a matter of months until work took place allowing James to place an order.
It was also at this time James made the decision to switch provider adding:
"It was a no-brainer switching when FTTP was ready, I went for a package with speeds of around 320Mbps."
The upgraded connection supports James' tech-infused lifestyle, whether that's streaming on his three smart TV's, or gaming on PC, Xbox One or PS4. James and his partner have just finished watching the Witcher on Netflix and have started watching Lucifer on Amazon Prime Video. As a heavy internet user, the FTTP connection ensures that James will never be slowed down again.
"The download speeds are great, I've had no problems at all. There is no lag, latency is always good. It's actually been life changing."
Donny Dave Connected in Cantley
“Live streaming just wasn't an option before, my old connection simply wasn't fast enough… but now I can live stream with ease.”
David Shanks—that’s ‘Donny Dave’ to his subscribers—produces YouTube videos to share his passion for video games with a wider online community; ‘If I can make one person laugh who's having a bad time or a hard day then I've succeeded.’
Unfortunately for David, poor connectivity brought bad times of his own, as videos would take the whole day to upload to YouTube, even after compressing the videos files and reducing their quality.
David’s housemates also suffered at the hands of their lagging connection. Hannah, studying for her PhD, had to travel to Manchester for a one-hour meeting because the connection couldn’t handle online video conferencing, wasting her valuable time in the process.
A new ultrafast fibre to the premises connection means David, Hannah, and their housemates now receive speeds of over 300 Mbps (six-hundred times faster than the 0.5 Mbps of their old connection!), making life much easier and more enjoyable for everybody involved.
David can now live stream to a global audience, broadcasting his gameplay in ultra-HD at a constant 60-frames-per-second. The faster connection allows him to play the latest online games while still making videos (with the old connection, it was ‘either… or’), and streaming provides him the opportunity to directly interact with viewers, building his relationship with his audience.
Hannah now has instant access to a wealth of digital academic resources, and attends meetings from the comfort of her own home via video conferencing, and the rest of the house can work or play online to their heart’s content.
Peter: Rural Doncaster
“The lack of connectivity was such a barrier to home based working”
Peter is a home-based management consultant in the legal sector. Peter’s passion for the last 18 years has been restoring a 300 year old property that he saved from dereliction in rural Doncaster.
Peter lived a connectivity black hole. Poor mobile signal meant Peter was reliant on using ADSL broadband to make calls, and the 2Mbps broadband connection just couldn’t cope. The connection could only do one thing at a time, and not particularly fast!
On a call with a client and they send you a document to review? The call would drop out until the document was downloaded; frustrating to say the least! Other residents in the area resorted to wireless and satellite broadband; neither was viable for Peter due to the unique nature and location of his property. Peter struggled to even get a TV signal.
Via the SFSY programme, fibre broadband rolled into the village. Unfortunately Peter couldn’t place an order straight away, so Peter got in touch with SFSY for our advice. SFSY were able to support Peter in finding a path to superfast broadband, and we’re happy to report Peter now enjoys a 30Mbps + connection. The TV signal hasn’t improved, but catch up and streaming services now work without buffering, so Peter can get the most out of his internet TV package.
Barnsley resident benefits from broadband boost!
Silkstone’s Rob Cartwright could not be happier with his new fibre broadband service after it went live in January of 2017.
Rob works for a large IT solutions provider, and a fast and reliable connection allows him to work from home, carrying out his daily tasks and working remotely for various clients. He also has a number of other devices connected to the internet, and in the evening it’s all about streaming his family’s favourite TV, film and music.
With a standard broadband package the internet speeds would dip throughout the day, causing unnecessary delays to his work. When other devices started to connect and take bandwidth the connection would slow to a crawl, so when the time came to relax at the end of the day, the choice between downloads which took an eternity, or streaming with endless buffering , was really no choice at all.
Fibre broadband arrived in Silkstone in January 2017 and Rob was quickly connected after placing his order. Now he can’t wait to connect more gadgets and make the most of the new speeds available.
This busy household no longer grinds to a halt when the family want to work, stream, or game simultaneously, and the new connection allows Rob to download programmes in seconds, and stream without buffering.
Rob's wife has her own photography business and the new connection speed means she can offer clients a fully functional download portal to deliver images instead of more traditional postal delivery, saving everybody time and money.
A House in Burngreave…
"If you’re not online, you can feel very alone. It’s easier to find out what’s happening so you can get involved in your community with social media."
Alice, Joe, Ieva and Michael
About the housemates
What does an EFL teacher /office worker, a dental technology student, a translator and a part-time DJ have in common? They all face the problem of finding somewhere affordable to live in a time of sky rocketing rent. House sharing is a practical way of reducing the monthly expenses.
One person can strain standard broadband to its limits, in a shared house; bandwidth is definitely at a premium. Whilst everyone has a mobile, the laptop is definitely king for entertainment and productivity. When the fridge packed up, Joe found that shopping for a replacement on a mobile left him cold, unlike the dead fridge…
Fibre broadband! Burngreave was one of the first places in Sheffield to receive support from the Superfast South Yorkshire programme. Fibre broadband has been enabled to over 6600 properties so far. Michael found that fibre broadband was available and placed an order for the house, the speed boost has been universally welcomed!
Joe keeps the house up to date via social media whilst keeping on top of his studies. Ieva streams her fix of Lithuanian TV. Michael can take part in online study sessions for teaching English as a foreign language. Jack can upload his latest musical creations to the World Wide Web. There’s even a bit of spare bandwidth for when friends pop over. Try doing all that on 4G!
Ian Lloyd -Chairman of Harthill with Woodall Parish Council, Rotherham
“I’ve discovered just how much stuff there is to watch on YouTube!! I didn’t look at it that much on standard broadband as it was so slow.”
Ian is the Chairman of Harthill with Woodall Parish Council. Ian takes a very active role in the local community as a Director of Harthill Village Hall Ltd as well as Tower Captain and Ringing Master for the bells at the village Church in Harthill. When not living and breathing Harthill, Ian likes to unwind in front of a good film.
In the past, with slow internet speeds, streaming 4k video was impossible, Ian wasn’t able to take full advantage of his 4k TV.
Even in lower resolutions, videos and films took an age to download meaning Ian had to plan his viewing in advance, instead of watching what he fancied.
Fibre broadband arrived in Harthill in June 2016. Ian was one of the first people to order it, by upgrading with his current internet provider. With fibre installed Ian can download and start to watch a film almost instantaneously and not have to think about it in advance. Ian said “One of the main things about fibre is that I can now watch 4k video on my 4k TV! Standard broadband didn’t have enough bandwidth”.
Meet Alan Goy, one of RotherFed’s Digital Champion volunteers and a partner with Superfast South Yorkshire through the Rotherham Digital Inclusion Network.
Alan is a lifelong resident from Treeton, and a bit of a techy. He loves his gadgets, including the internet.
Despite Alan having had access since the old dial up days, he was frustrated with the low download speeds available in the village, under 1mb being the norm. He couldn’t listen to streamed music from radio stations, and trying to download a television programme was a joke. He had to do it overnight, and only in standard definition, not HD, as it took so long.
July 2017 saw the message which brought a smile to Alan’s face. Fibre was enabled!
Alan said:” I was straight on the phone to ‘ISP’, and must have been amongst the first in the village to book the service, with an early August date to change over. I’m now getting over 25mb download speed, I can stream music without buffering, a download is available to view in seconds, not hours, and I can now use multiple music services. The cost is competitive too. The funny thing was I got a message from Martin (SFSY) two days after I had ordered the fibre package telling me it was now available! I replied,” You’re too late mate, it’s booked!”
Alan is now helping spread the word in Treeton, distributing Superfast South Yorkshire posters and leaflets in key locations in the village , as well as enabling an advert in the Parish Council magazine that was hand delivered throughout the village in September.
Funding for Broadband
There is currently a central government voucher scheme which provide financial support to businesses and residents wishing to access faster broadband.
Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme
Rural premises with broadband speeds of less than 30Mbps can use vouchers worth up to £3,500 for each small to medium-sized enterprise, and up to £1,500 per residential premise when part of a group project, to support the cost of installing new gigabit-capable connections.
Gigabit Broadband for Existing Developments
If you currently have the fastest broadband your provider can supply, and are finding that it is still too slow for your needs, here is some guidance for forming a community project to take advantage of the above funding schemes.