I am currently trying to find answers from Openreach (OR) as to what is going on in relation to the ‘voucher situation’. I have been trying to communicate all week with OR but have not had replies from my emails, other than to say that they are trying to resolve the situation. So if you are feeling frustrated, I can share your feelings.
I have nonetheless heard from Gregory Merrett, Project Manager, Gigabit Voucher Scheme, West Sussex County Council, who has assured me that the county council wants the scheme to go ahead. They are still committed to providing the funding, assuming that the majority of people apply for new vouchers when/if they are asked to. Also that OR are continuing to progress the elements required to complete the build.
People have joined the scheme at different times during the last year and therefore have different positions in relation to the vouchers. I have chosen to call you group 1, 2 and 3 to make things easier to understand:
Group 1: Those who pledged to join the project a year ago and whose vouchers have now run out.
Group 2: Those who have pledged to join the project and whose vouchers have not yet run out.
Group 3: Those who have pledged to join the project and have not yet received validation details.
I will now try and give advice to the 3 different groups!
For those who haven’t responded to emails from the DCMS, we suggest that you wait until we get clear answers as to the position of OR.
For those who have responded positively to one or more emails offering new vouchers, I am confident that things will be sorted out in the next few days.
For those who have validated their vouchers and have not received emails that they are about to expire, keep a look out for an email from email@example.com or from GBVSHelp@culture.gov.uk headed UK Gigabit Voucher Scheme – action required. I will send out further information, when I know exactly what the plan is for the future.
For those who have pledged to join the project and have not yet received validation details, I need first to give my attention to the immediate problems of whether the vouchers in Group 1 are running out. As soon as I have this sorted out, I will give my full attention to ensuring that you get your vouchers!
It is obvious that OR have been completely overwhelmed with projects generally during the last year and have been unable to give us accurate information. However Greg has proposed a weekly call between himself, OR and myself so that we can ensure progress is being made and that our project team is confident in the communications we are relaying back to the community.
With best wishes
On behalf of the Bolney Broadband Team