going further with fibre Menu
Community Fibre Partnerships Delivering fibre to the hardest
to reach communities

Bringing fibre broadband to your community

 

If you're in part of the UK that's not included in any fibre broadband rollout plans then you've come to the right place

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 aim to make the process as simple as possible for communities

We've a dedicated team providing management and support for anyone wanting to represent a co-funded approach to bring fibre to their community.

We want to help communities to secure the funding they need to get fibre broadband in their area so we've established a crowdfunding partner - Spacehive - and encourage people to consider crowdfunding to raise the community's share of the cost of a new fibre infrastructure.   

Crowdfunding is a safe and transparent way to raise money, awareness and support for a project from the people around you.  Crowdfunding is based on the idea that a number of people can split the cost of something – in this case fibre broadband – with multiple people contributing, rather than any one person footing the whole bill.


  • The first step is to see if we’re coming to your area by using the line checker at www.communityfibre.bt.com
  • The checker will let you know if you can get fibre broadband already, or if your cabinet’s in scope or being built.
  • If that’s happening, you don’t need to do anything as the infrastructure serving your home or business will be enabled in due course.
  • If your premises show as ‘exploring solutions’ that means there’s no current plan to deliver fibre in your area.

^ Back to the process steps

  • If the line checker shows ‘exploring solutions’ then investigate a partnered approach with us to get fibre.
  • Use the simple form at www.communityfibre.bt.com to let us know you’re interested in having a community fibre partnership.

^ Back to the process steps

  • We’ll send you an email with confirmation of your enquiry and will give you a reference number.
  • In that email we’ll attach a template for you to complete with the addresses, postcodes and landline numbers of the other interested parties in your community.

^ Back to the process steps

  • This is the point you’ll need to start drumming up interest in your area.
  • Talk to your neighbours about getting fibre broadband and the benefits it will bring.
  • We can help you go about engaging your community.

^ Back to the process steps

  • We work with Openreach to get a ballpark cost to bring fibre to your area.
  • The cost we quote will be the money you need to pay on top of the Openreach contribution to the solution.

^ Back to the process steps

  • At this stage you’ll need to share the estimate with other members of your community and reach out to other premises (whether business or residential) that would also be set to benefit.
  • If you’re still keen to proceed, we’d love to know - there’s no obligation at this time.
  • Also please let us know if you’ve decided not to take things further.

^ Back to the process steps

  • We’ll give you a firm cost (subject to survey), and will let you know exactly which premises would be covered by the infrastructure upgrade.
  • We’ll start the modelling work to deliver you a more accurate cost and create a proposal that you can contract for.
  • We’ll send you that full proposal, outlining the proposed solution, and exactly which areas would be covered by fibre broadband.

^ Back to the process steps

  • Now it’s time to get the community together to raise the money for your solution.
  • You’ll need to pay 50% upon contract signature, and the balance when the infrastructure is delivered - around a year after you’ve signed.
  • We can give guidance and material to help with engaging your community, and fundraising.

^ Back to the process steps

  • Once you’ve signed the contract it’s over to Openreach to build the infrastructure.
  • Deploying fibre can be a complex job, so it won’t happen overnight. Once work has begun, you’ll be able to track the progress of your project through the interactive map on our website.
  • As soon as the infrastructure is live, you’ll need to contact your preferred internet service provider (ISP) to upgrade to fibre. Because our fibre solution is part of the Openreach network, you can shop around for the best deal to meet your needs.

^ Back to the process steps

Enter a phone number or postcode below to find out the current status of the line or premises in question.

Register your interest

Check availability using the checker above (we will use that information) then enter your details below:

Why BT

Why BT image

More communities are getting together to bring superfast to their area

Why BT image

We’re working with more communities to help get them superfast broadband

Why BT image

They weren’t in any national fibre rollout so we’re pleased to help them

Why BT image

Thousands of people are getting superfast broadband because we’ve partnered with them to help

Why BT image

If a new fibre infrastructure also serves the local school that doesn’t get superfast, communities can get a grant of up to £20,000

FAQs

When should a community consider a Community Fibre Partnership? +-

A community would typically look at a partnership when it is:

  • Not in our fibre roll-out plans, in BDUK plans or is too far away from a fibre cabinet
  • Keen to have fibre and would consider generating the necessary funds to cover the gap in the cost of the fibre solution

Find out how we have already been working with communities by reading the case studies.

What is a Community Fibre Partnership? +-

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.

How does a Community Fibre Partnership work? +-

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.

What are the next steps to take? +-

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.

If you’re interested in a Community Fibre Partnership, how do you find out what’s possible? +-

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.

Why should communities work with us? +-

Having a community partnership with BT means your community will be connected to the national fibre network. This brings some key benefits:

  • Choice: healthy competition between service providers providing choice for you, the customer
  • Value: as a number of internet service providers will be able to access the network they can offer a range of packages and bundles at competitive prices. More than 80 communications providers are currently trialing or offering fibre broadband over the Openreach network
  • Sustainability: a long term solution for fibre broadband provision for the UK
How long does it take to get fibre broadband once you’ve agreed a Community Fibre Partnership? +-

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.

How much will it cost my community? +-

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.

What is crowdfunding? +-

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.

Do different technologies have different costs? +-

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.

Will my community have a choice of which voice and fibre broadband supplier they have? +-

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.

What bandwidths will be available? +-

For most solutions, using fibre to the cabinet, bandwidths will range up to 80Mbps. Final speeds are dependent on each property's distance from the fibre cabinet but you can typically expect a minimum of 24Mbps at a range of approx. 1200 metres from the cabinet. The nearer the property is to the cabinet, the greater the speed.

 

We also provide fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) offering speeds of up to 330Mbps.  

Can a community select the type of fibre technology deployed? +-

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.

We make our fibre solutions to be as affordable as possible, and can deliver fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) and fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP).

What is the grant I can apply for? +-

This is an exclusive grant that's available to communities whose co-funded fibre infrastructure serves a school that doesn't have access to superfast fibre broadband (typically <24Mbps).

A further list of FAQs about our grant scheme can be viewed here.

Show more FAQs More

Twitter feed

Who says you can't get superfast broadband in #​​LittlePurston? Find out how we can help. https://t.co/VkM64VSzbK​​… https://t.co/QDFEdr6kC4
#Astrophotograpy #SuperStuff https://t.co/81EizRjmna https://t.co/ZsnfikIiV1
Unusual cars #LOL https://t.co/xtTxyZCb0J https://t.co/vDcLYNgoLV
Live in #GreatHarrowden and fed up with slow broadband? It could be time to go Ultrafast! https://t.co/2ryG2jtEPA https://t.co/DdVkxYTpWR
Newton Bromswold - Re-Opening of the Parish Church #OnThisDay 23 July 1879 https://t.co/QJrczjgS1R https://t.co/23GRPlQK9t
@fibrecommunity

Contact Us

If you represent a community or are simply an interested party and would like more information about co-funding fibre broadband to your property then please get in touch with us.

register your interest >