Optical Fibre

Broadband FAQs

Post in Utilities by Steve Jones
Everything you've always wanted to know about the Garve & District Broadband scheme but were too afraid to ask!

Frequently Asked Questions

What are BDUK and CFP properties?

Your premises is classified as either BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) or CFP (Community Fibre Partnership with BT Openreach (BTO)). The Scottish Government is paying for the fibre infrastructure to BDUK premises. Our community through LCT is paying for the fibre infrastructure to CFP premises. Both BDUK and CFP premises will get FTTP broadband.

Which properties are BDUK and which CFP?

The Scottish Government has decided which premises it wants to pay for. The BDUK premises are:

  • all Achnasheen, except Luib, Badavanich and Lubmore
  • in Achanalt, only Station House, The Auld Church and Achanalt House
  • all Lochluichart from Chullin to Lochluichart Lodge, except Chullin and Eilanish, Broadoaks and number 3 Grudie Bridge
  • Strathmore House
  • in Little Garve, only Woodlands and Glentawick
  • and from Silver Bridge to Aultguish, only Silver Bridge Lodge, Tigh Fiona, Taigh-na-Croit, Struthan Na H’earba, Garbat, Carn View and Carnmhor
All other properties rest with CFP.

GDB has a contract with BTO to deliver fibre to all the CFP premises except Luib, Badavanich and Lubmore, Fannich and Aultdearg, and Strathvaich. As these premises are more remote, survey and costing work is still being done but should be completed soon.

For BDUK and CFP premises, the infrastructure is being designed and rolled out by one team from BTO.

How will the fibre roll out happen for CFP properties?

BTO has been surveying our area to plan the new fibre infrastructure. FTTP needs the physical installation of a new cable to your house – it can’t use the existing phone line like Fibre To The Cabinet. First, they will build the infrastructure to the edge of your property. This will require roadworks soon and possibly some delays. Then they will look at individual properties. During the rollout, BTO will install a small black box, called a CBT, within 160 meters of your property. It will either be buried or up a pole. This will be the connection point from the fibre network to your house. BTO will check to see if the route of your existing phone line can be used to take the fibre cable from the box to your house. If it can’t be used, a “self-dig” is required. With a self-dig, BTO will agree with you the route of a new duct / fibre cable across your property from box to house. They will leave enough duct / cable for you to arrange to have it dug in. When this has been done, you will be able to order a fibre service from a relevant ISP (internet service provider). The ISP will arrange all the final connections, both inside and out.

Is this process the same for a BDUK property?

It will be the same if you don’t need a self-dig. If you DO need a self-dig, then again it will be the same - PROVIDED that your self-dig meets BTO’s timetable. BTO will tell you whether you need a self-dig and agree the route it should take across your property. BTO will also tell you when it needs to be done by. You must then make sure it’s done in time.

What happens if I can’t get my self-dig done in time?

If you cannot get your self-dig done in time, don’t worry. You will still be able to get a fibre service. It just means the process will be delayed. In these cases, you will need to order a fibre service from your ISP to trigger this last part of the process. After you order, the ISP commissions BTO to visit your premises to agree with you how to get the fibre cable from the box to the house. And the process continues as for CFP.  The downsides are that the process will take longer, and it might cost more. So, it really is worth getting your self-dig done while the BTO team is here.

When will the FTTP infrastructure build start and when will it finish?

BTO started work in April. They anticipate completing the infrastructure by end September for all premises except the Lochluichart area. Here the anticipated date is end November.

When will I know whether I need a self-dig?

BTO will tell you direct when your CBT is installed. They will agree with you where the CBT goes and the best route from the CBT to your house.
GDB will let all self-dig households know in June when it tells you about the self-dig grant scheme

When must I do my self-dig?

You must get your self-dig done as quickly as possible once you know that you need one. It must meet the BTO timetable. In this way, you will be able to get a fibre service in the shortest possible time. When BTO tell you the details of your self-dig, feel free to go ahead and get quotes for the work. If you do not want a grant to cover the work but want to get it done sooner at your own expense, you can do this.

Who does the self-dig work?

BTO will leave equipment at your house to complete the self-dig. This could be a length of ducting pipe (like a stiff hose pipe), or an armoured fibre cable. Either way, this needs to be dug in from the CBT outside your property to where the fibre will be coming into your house. BTO will tell you the best route to take across your property.

We have suggested several local contractors who have expressed an interest in doing this work for us. Whether or not you choose one of them is entirely up to you. If you prefer, you could ask someone you know to do it for you eg a different contractor, friend, neighbour, gardener, relative, employee, or person you have used for small jobs before. It’s up to you.

For legal reasons, GDB cannot get involved in organising any part of the dig across your property for you, but we will make it as easy as possible. Where necessary, you must make sure that the contractor you choose has the relevant insurance to cover you and them if something were to go wrong when they dig across your property eg cut through an electricity cable.

Can I do self-digs with my neighbours?

Yes. It is much better if you can coordinate your own self-dig with that of your neighbours, You could use the same contractor and get all the work done at the same time – cheaper and more convenient all round.
We will tell you the other addresses in your neighbourhood that need self-digs, so you can coordinate getting a quote for all of you at the same time if you wish.

How do I get my grant for the self-dig work?

We have issued grant letters to all self-dig households explaining how to do this. You need to complete a self-dig grant application form and send it to us with a signed invoice from your contractor containing specific information.

Can someone help me through this self-dig process?

Everyone who needs a self-dig has a specific person on the GDB team who will be available to you for help and advice.

How do I order a fibre service?

Once BTO have ‘commissioned’ the network in your area (ie connected it all up and tested it) BTO will set a marker on their system to say you’re ready for the actual Internet connection. You can choose any of the (current) 5 ISPs that are connected to Openreach. And you can get prices for their packages from here. The ISP you choose will send out an engineer ( or send BTO) to put the fibre cable from your connection box to your house, and to make final connections inside your home, and get you set up.

When will I get a fibre service?

Once BTO say you are ready to go, the time from ordering a service from an ISP to it being up and running is between 6 and 8 weeks.
If you need to order a service from an ISP and get the BTO survey and self-dig work done afterwards, which some BDUK properties might have to do (see above), then this could take between 3 and 4 months.

How fast will it be?

The current fastest connection that Openreach supports is 330 Mbps, but it’s up to you what speed package you choose from the ISP.

What happens to my existing Internet connection?

Once you’re connected to the fibre network, you’ll effectively have 2 Internet connections. You can now cancel your old service. Be careful. You only want to cancel the Internet connection, NOT the phone service as well.

What will happen if I don’t want Openreach to connect me?

The CBT will be installed at the edge of your property anyway. It will be outside your property line on the public road. If you choose NOT to get connected during this rollout that’s fine, it’s your choice.
HOWEVER, if you want to get connected at a future date after the project is finished, then YOU will need to pay for any self-dig costs involved, as the LCT grant is currently only available during this rollout period.

What happens to my phone line?

You will need to keep your existing BT phone line if you want to keep the same phone number.
BTO may be able to alter the Garve and Achnasheen exchanges so that you can transfer your existing landline number across to the new fibre service. We will let you know if this becomes possible.
Alternatively, you could decide to change your landline phone service to the new fibre. In this case, you would have to change your telephone number, but you may think this is worth it given any saving in landline rental / call costs that may be available to you.

These FAQs are also available as a PDF.

Questions & Comments

Here's what others said...


Paul Moxon said:

Anyone got any thoughts about the difference between BT s super fast and ultrafast service.

Sadie-Michaela Harris said:

Hello Steve :)
The self dig has been completed at Strathgarve Farm.
The cable is now to each of the properties as required. 
Please can you advise how we move forward, to have the cable that is outside under with window brought in and connected so that we can engage an ISP?
Thank you for reading, guidance appreciate, Sadie


Steve Jones said:

Hi Sadie

All the self digs have just been completed.

I am now chasing Openreach for them to come back to check the network and commission it, that is, to confirm that it is working and ready to enable people to get a service.

When this has been done, you will be able to order an FTTP fibre service.

Inevitably this final piece of work is being affected by the virus. They have said that they will schedule it in as soon as they can. They are contracted to finish the work by October but they hope to complete it before this.        

I will let you know of further proegress when I get a response froom OpenReach.



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