Frequently Asked Questions
What is BiGDiG?
BiGDiG - Broadband in Greater Devauden interest Group - is a group
of local volunteers working together to help obtain the best
available broadband provision for Devauden AND its surrounding
Who is in the BiGDiG Action Area?
The communities of Creigiau, Llanfihangel Tor
y Mynydd, Wolvesnewton, Gaer Fawr, Newchurch, Kilgwrrwg, Itton
The Cot and, of course, Devauden are included in the BiGDiG Action
Some properties in Penterry are included but those who have BT
Infinity available through the St. Arvans exchange are excluded
because they aren't eligible for the Welsh Government Broadband
BiGDiG started receiving registrations in May 2012. More
recently a similar group has been established for the Trelleck area.
We think the residents who receive telephone services from the
Trelleck exchange will be best served by this new group and those
who registered with BiGDiG have been invited to join it.
View BiGDiG Registrations (with ID numbers) in a larger map
Who will benefit?
There will be immediate and obvious benefits for the many local
residents and businesses who have very slow or intermittent
broadband service, or who cannot access broadband at all.
the highest broadband speeds available in our area are around 5 to
50 times slower than those available in nearby large towns and
cities. Given the increased importance of being online - from
communicating with loved ones, through experiencing the best in
entertainment, to working or trading via the Internet - there is an
argument that we are already a deprived area.
community action that digital divide is only set to widen. By
supporting BiGDiG and subscribing to the new services, you can help
improve your broadband experience and help the community at the same
the benefits of fast broadband?
Many of the online services that you've come to rely on are already
taking advantage of the much higher speeds available in towns and
cities to offer a bigger, better and more vivid experience. Skype is
a good example - now offering group video conferencing (ideal for
smaller businesses and distributed families alike) but only if you
have a reliably fast uplink to the Internet. To benefit from the
evolution of these really valuable (and often free) services your
Internet connection - which you might think is fast enough for your
current purposes - is going to have to speed up.
Then there is a
whole world of new services which were never, and will never, be
available at the paltry broadband speeds available to most in our
- World-class entertainment - perhaps particularly interesting with
the London 2012 Olympics around the corner: the latest on-demand
on-line music, high-definition movies and on-line gaming. From your
own home see high quality movies straight away without waiting hours
to download, and with no jittery pictures. Receive SKY TV via
broadband for less per month and do away with satellite dishes which
can be difficult to position.
- Working from home – the ability to work efficiently and
keep-in-touch with the office using advanced videoconferencing
technology which is so clear and 'virtually real' it’s like actually
being in the office. The network would support VPN and remote
desktop due to fast upload speeds and low contention ratios.
- Telemedicine and social services – imagine having a consultation
with your doctor or an international specialist by videoconference
from your own home, or talking to your social worker or other health
care professional face to face at the touch of a button just
some examples of the possibilities of superfast broadband.
- Keeping in touch with your family and friends - talking to family
and friends over high quality video conferencing, great for keeping
in touch with family or friends who are less mobile or housebound.
trading - recent studies have indicated that using the internet for
online shopping, travel, utilities etc. can offer savings on average
of £700 per annum when compared to equivalent physical or telephone
methodology. SKY TV is now available via broadband (if you have
>10Mbps) – meaning satellite dishes will not be needed, and costs
- Multi-Uses and Multi-Users - with higher bandwidth levels than other
providers many users in the same household can access the internet
simultaneously without reducing the quality of service. Additionally
the network enables different functionality simultaneously –
telephony, music downloads, internet browsing – all at the same time
and without loss of quality.
Who is organising/coordinating this?
BiGDiG is, as described
above. We have a small amount of financial support from
Monmouthshire County Council (MCC) to start the ball rolling, which
will lead to more substantial funding from MCC and the Welsh
Won’t BT or the Government provide this?
BT prioritises its
investments on a commercial basis. The BiGDiG Action Area is very
rural, with a low concentration of businesses and households. It is
unlikely that we will be significantly upgraded for several years.
BT’s ‘Race to Infinity’ requires 1000 subscribers per exchange.
There are only 500 lines into the Wolvesnewton exchange in total.
Similarly, the Welsh Government has published its strategy for Next
Generation Broadband for Wales, setting targets for all businesses
being able to access 30Mbps (high-speed) broadband by 2016 and all
households by 2020. Again though, commercial telecoms providers will
bid to provide the service, and will then prioritise locations for
delivery using economic modelling. BiGDiG has been reliably advised
that our area will not be covered.
What grant funding is available?
The Welsh Government is offering
a one-off Broadband Support grant of £1,000 to each home, business
or other organisation that either cannot get broadband or has a
broadband service with a download speed of less than 2Mbps.
addition, Monmouthshire County Council has a budget for community
broadband projects that could yield as much as £47,000.
total grant funding pot will depend on the number of homes that
support BiGDiG and apply for a Welsh Government grant.
Why did BiGDiG choose Spectrum Internet?
After a lengthy and thorough selection process we have chosen
Spectrum Internet to supply our communities with greatly improved
broadband services. Spectrum will implement a mix
copper, fibre and wireless delivery which promises levels of
performance, reliability and future-proofing which we believe to be
the best solution for Devauden and the surrounding communities.
Who are Spectrum Internet?
Spectrum Internet is the leading Welsh Internet service provider.
Until recently they have specialised in offering high-grade business
services. They have built our own fibre optic network that
runs from Chepstow to Haverfordwest and in 2011 completed south
Wales’ first independent super-fast broadband project in St Brides
Wentlooge, near Newport.
Form more details please have a look at their
Community Broadband Information
Will I get the benefit of faster broadband without signing up with
No. Not in the short-term. You'll have to use Spectrum
as your broadband provider in order to get the faster service.
If you stick with your current provider you'll not benefit from the
work Spectrum are planning.
Can I wait until the new broadband service is up and running before
deciding to join?
We need as many households as possible to apply for the Welsh
Government grant. The scheme will only be completed if enough
people commit to it in advance. There is likely to be a
connection fee for anyone who joins after the deadline for grant
applications has passed so fill in the
Will I have to buy a new router or pay
a connection fee?
No. Spectrum will provide you with a new router. The
connection cost will be paid by the Welsh Government grant. If
you are not eligable for the grant you call avoid the connection fee
by signing-up now.
What do I have to do to receive the new service?
Please download and complete the forms on our
Applications Page. You will
also need to submit the results of
speed tests to prove that you currently receive a service which
is slower than2MB/s.
When will the new service start?
The project is due to be completed by the end of March 2013.
Some residents in the BiGDiG area may be able to receive a faster
broadband service before then.
How much will the new service cost?
Spectrum have devised a list of options which range in cost and
start from £15. Premium services will also be available for
those customers who need even faster speeds and who will downloading
larger amounts of data. Full details are available in their
Community Broadband Information
Will I be able to keep my @btinernet.com email address?
you take up the new service with Spectrum Internet and stop your BT
Broadband service your BT Internet email account will be downgraded
to a Pay-as-you-go or Basic email service. You'll be able to access
your email account for up to 90 days from the date your BT Broadband
service stops. You won't be charged for the email account, but to
continue to use it after 90 days you'll need to upgrade it to a
Premium Mail account.
I've recently renewed my contract with BT. Will I
have to pay extra to end that contract early and take up the faster
service from Spectrum?
Spectrum may be able to help you with this but it may depend on
how long you have left on your BT contract. We have also been
advised that BT are due to increase their prices and when this
happens you will have the opportunity to end your BT contract early.
This would involve switching to Spectrum Internet's current service
in advance of receiving their faster broadband service when they
have completed the upgrade.
Will I still have to pay BT line rental for my phone calls?
up to you. Spectrum do offer a line rental for their broadband
customers so you could use that (or another provider) instead.
Spectrum's line rental costs £15 per month and that includes a call
allowance of £5. Full details are available from Spectrum.
Click here to view their brochure.
My broadband speed is already faster than 2Mbps can I still
You won't be able to apply for the Welsh Government grant but you
will still be able to subscribe to the service from Spectrum.
This will mean you get even faster broadband. To avoid any
possible connection fees you should registered your interest with
Spectrum now by completing their sign-up form and then return it to
BiGDiG. See the BiGDiG Application
Page for details.
How will Spectrum 'guarantee' a minimum of 4Mbps
Spectrum Internet has committed to do everything it reasonably
can to ensure that all subscribers in the BiGDiG action area receive
a minimum of 4Mbps. This includes working 'one-to-one' with
difficult to reach properties in order to find an appropriate
solution. The commitment is underpinned by a thorough assessment of
BT Openreach's database of telephone line length and quality
statistics. Spectrum has calculated that it can deliver a minimum of
4Mbps to the majority of homes in the BiGDiG action area. For those
homes that cannot be served 4Mbps over their telephone lines,
Spectrum will consider using wireless technology. It is extremely
important for homes that today receive very poor broadband services
to complete a Welsh Government grant
form, ideally before the end of October 2012. This funding will
go a long way towards making individual, innovative solutions
possible. This should not be interpreted as an absolute guarantee of
a 4Mbps service.
Why do I have to complete
Spectrum Internet's Sign-up Form
Spectrum Internet, our chosen provider for
faster broadband, will not receive the funds from the Welsh
Government until after the project has been completed. As a
result, they need you to show your commitment to the scheme before
they start digging! It is essential that you also download,
print and complete their Sign Up/Expression of Interest Form and
return it to BiGDiG along with your Welsh Government grant
Is Spectrum Internet prepared for the change to IPv6
IPv6 is industry short hand for a scheme to massively increase
the number of IP addresses - the Internet's equivalent of telephone
numbers - available for Internet-connected devices. Believe it or
not, the world is on the verge of running out of Internet addresses
using the current scheme. The new scheme will allow for around 1
billion addresses for every person on the planet! As you might
imagine, changing the Internet's telephone numbers (they're moving
from a 32 bit to a 128 bit address length) has implications for end
devices and the switches that move traffic through the Internet.
Spectrum Internet is fully prepared for the move to IPv6 and has its
migration plans in place. You can read a statement from Spectrum here.