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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
Social Broadband Tariffs
Households in receipt of specific benefits are eligible for discounted broadband packages know as ‘Social Tariffs’ which could help people save almost £150 a year. According to Ofcom there are over 4 million homes missing out on the potential savings with only 55,000 homes currently utilising the tariffs.
All claimants of Universal Credit are eligible for discounted broadband packages along with Employment and Support Allowance, Income Support, Pension Credit, Income-related Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), Housing Benefit, Personal Independence Payment, Attendance Allowance, Care Leavers support or Income-related Employment and Support Allowance (ESA).
Social broadband tariffs are available from the below suppliers, to see what deals are available and to check if you are eligible click on the supplier links.
Talk Talk offer 6 months free broadband service to job seekers in receipt of Universal Credit who do not currently have a broadband service. Those interested in making use of this service should speak to their Job Centre Work Coach for more information.
In addition to these tariffs, other support might be available to customers who might not be able to get online because they struggle to afford internet services. If you are struggling to pay your mobile phone or broadband bill, you should speak to your provider as soon as possible to see how they can help.