We're committed to working with communities in the final 5% to find a fibre solution, and our community fibre partnership scheme is designed to enable this. A Community Fibre Partnership is where we work with a local group – this could be the residents of a rural village or a block of flats in a city centre or even a group of business owners in an industrial park – that isn't covered in an existing fibre upgrade plan to find a solution to bring fibre to their area. There usually needs to be a joint funding arrangement, where we cover the costs in line with our commercial model used throughout the country and the community has the option to self-fund the remaining gap. We always look for solutions to be as affordable as possible.
As part of this scheme, BT has made £2m available via a grant for Community Fibre Partnerships that could benefit a local school.
We also intend to deliver fibre and 4G solutions for communities who lack access to superfast broadband and have poor (or no) 4G coverage.
We've a dedicated team providing management and support.
If a community wants to work with us, we provide a single point of contact for the full journey and have established a crowdfunding partner - Spacehive.
Enter a phone number or postcode below to find out the current status of the line or premises in question.
A community would typically look at a partnership when it is:
Find out how we have already been working with communities by reading the case studies.
A Community Fibre Partnership is where BT works with a local group – this could be the residents of a rural village or a block of flats in a city centre or even a group of business owners in an industrial park – that isn't covered in an existing fibre upgrade plan to find a solution to bring fibre to their area. The community works directly with BT and helps fund part of the fibre build.
A Community Fibre Partnership is when we work together with a local community (that's not in our commercial or BDUK fibre roll-out plans) to develop a solution to bring fibre to their community. There usually needs to be a joint funding arrangement, where we cover the costs in line with our commercial model used throughout the country and the community has the option to self-fund the remaining gap. We always look for solutions to be as affordable as possible.
If you decide a community fibre partnership is the way you'd like to proceed, check the availability checker against your post code or land line to make sure you're not already covered by the rollout or that there isn't an existing co-funding initiative in your community.
If your property isn't covered contact us (link to this) and provide the details of the property you're enquiring about for fibre broadband, and an associated landline number. Once we've received that, one of our team will get in touch.
First check with your local council and - if one exists in your area - your BDUK authority to see if your community is included in their fibre plans. If not, contact us with us providing the contact details of the people wishing to explore a community fibre partnership solution, and who would lead the local side of any potential co-funding arrangements to bring fibre to the community.
Having a community partnership with BT means your community will be connected to the national fibre network. This brings some key benefits:
The average lead time from contract signature to enablement (of the infrastructure to enable service) is approximately twelve months. This will all depend on the amount and complexity of the infrastructure that needs to be deployed.
This depends on the amount of infrastructure that needs to be deployed, so naturally will differ from community to community. Once an application is assessed, we'll provide costings.
Crowdfunding is a way to raise money, awareness and support for a project, from the people around you. It's a means of funding that allows individuals to make their ideas a reality with the power of the crowd. It is based on the idea that a number of people can split the cost of something – in this case broadband infrastructure, with multiple people contributing an amount, rather than any one person footing the whole bill.
Yes, we'll explain the different costs as part of our discussions with you. Different technologies require different amounts of infrastructure to be installed and the level of network equipment and labour needed to provide the technology will also determine the costs.
This is dependent on the amount of infrastructure that needs to be deployed. And this will differ from community to community. A community will only be asked to cover costs above those of our commercial model. Once agreed, 50% of the gap funding must be paid prior to work starting and the final 50% on completion (once the infrastructure is in place it becomes part of the Openreach network). Please note: it's the responsibility of Openreach to maintain and update the infrastructure.
Yes, Openreach provides access to its network to all service providers, on an equal basis. This means that wherever we deploy fibre, a whole range of different service providers can offer broadband, bringing plenty of choice to consumers and local businesses.
For most solutions, using fibre to the cabinet, bandwidths will range up to 80Mb/s. Final speeds are dependent on each property's distance from the fibre cabinet but you can typically expect a minimum of 24Mb/s at a range of approx. 1200 metres from the cabinet. The nearer the property is to the cabinet, the greater the speed.
We're open to exploring different types of fibre solutions, but what we can provide will depend on the existing communications infrastructure in your area. We'll examine this at the application stage of each request.
This is an exclusive grant that's available to communities whose co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school that doesn't have access to fibre broadband, or has a low broadband speed (typically <10Mbps).
A further list of FAQs about our grant scheme can be viewed here.