Here's where you'll find the latest news about what's going on within ORRA and Old Ratton. Do please check out the ORRA Facebook page, though, for all updates.
The ORRA Committee would like to thank Phil Tong for his time and commitment in heading up the Fast Fibre Working Party for the last year. We wish him well with his theatre projects. ( Phil will still continue in his role as Webmaster for the website and Facebook Group ).
The committee has approved a new chair for the FFWP - this will be Leeland Pavey of Ratton Drive. Leeland was part of the group from the start. He is ideally placed to help ORRA being the Chief Executive Officer of Optimity a company which provides IT and connectivity solutions to the business community. He has 30 years experience of the telecoms sector and is well regarded internationally as an expert in this field.
The other members of the Working Party are John Cuzick and Gary Robinson, also of Ratton Drive, both of whom will continue with the project. The Committee wishes to thank all three for their continuing help and advice.
Please note that County Clean will be coming to Ratton on the afternoon of Thursday 19th October. Could residents please be aware that it would be really helpful to avoid parking on the road during this time in order to facilitate this operation.
Will all residents please note that the catch pit will be emptied at 8am on Tuesday 24th October, so please be aware of the traffic implications.
20th Septmember 2023
On Wednesday September 6th a meeting took place with the OpenReach project manager and his team for fibre broadband in this area, together with a representative of Morrison Telecom Services, the contractors who have been tasked with the installation of fibre broadband in Old Ratton. All of this will be of no cost whatsoever to residents. The Working Party eventually settled on OpenReach because, with an existing network, their installation would create the least disruption to the estate. The process of bringing fast fibre to Old Ratton involves two distinct phases - the first of which is the provision of the main cables or “arteries”of the system - which is explained below. The second is that of connection to individual homes. More information will follow about this.
It is important to note that were another company to undertake the provision of such a network, they would have to dig up the whole estate in order to lay cable, as no permissions have been given for other companies to utilise the present OpenReach infrastructure.
At all times we have tried our utmost to make decisions about this that have the best interests of residents at heart. We recognise there will be a level of disruption in the implementation of this, however it should also be noted that the price of properties may well be devalued by an absence of fibre broadband in the area. The impending technological changes to the phone system in this country and the fact that, in the future, we may all come to rely on the internet not only for communication and entertainment, but for the provision of basic services in our homes, necessitate these works being undertaken.
The ORRA Committee
25th August 2023
Further to the news passed on to residents yesterday, I have today written once again to Openreach to request a schedule of work on the estate.
I am aware of people’s concerns, but I can only reiterate once again that all the conditions requested by residents have been passed onto the company and ORRA will be diligent in ensuring these are met.
As soon as I have any further information, I will pass it on via Facebook and via the Latest News section of the ORRA website, as I have always done since this issue arose.
Webmaster and Chair of the ORRA Fast Fibre Broadband Working Party
You will be pleased to know that Openreach have today begun the installation of fibre broadband on the estate.
When the workers were questioned by the Chairman, they made it quite clear that they fully understood they were not to undertake any digging without the explicit permission of the Chairman of ORRA.
However, they did vouchsafe the information that some cables (armoured cables) were laid underground without ducting. Where this is an issue, it is possible to use a ‘mole’ to ensure that there is no disturbance whatsoever to the surface. We will be vigilant that, where this is deemed necessary, there is no damage to tree roots - as specified in the National Joint Utilities Recommended Practice documentation.
Please be aware that all this pertains to fibre broadband being brought onto the estate. It will be for individual householders to negotiate separately for the installation of fibre broadband on their own property.
I will, of course, keep residents informed of any developments in these matters.
Chair of ORRA Fibre Broadband Working Party
On page one of the Summer Newsletter, that is about to be distributed to all residents, I was asked to give an update on the present situation re the delivery of Fast Fibre. This had to be curtailed in the Newsletter because of lack of space - however I have been asked to publish the full text of that article on the website and on Facebook.
Firstly, I have to inform residents that despite Lightning Fibre being championed by some sectors of our community, the overwhelming opinion of residents who submitted views was that they did not want the disruption of intrusive digging on the estate. The Fast Fibre Working Party have tried to hold true to that point of view. And so Lightning Fibre will not be providing infrastructure on the estate. Indeed, they have written to say that they will not be.
Here is the full report :
First of all in this saga of Fast Fibre Broadband it is important to say that ORRA still maintains its policy of the non intrusive, and non invasive delivery of fibre broadband into Old Ratton. Many of you have expressed concern at the disruption and damage caused by some fibre broadband companies around the town, and it is our intention to avoid that at all costs.
Consequently, we are delighted to be able to tell you that it is our understanding that Openreach have now completed their survey of existing cabling and ducting throughout Old Ratton and their promise is to install fibre broadband in Old Ratton though existing ducting and overhead infrastructure, over the next three months (July to the end of September). Openreach have advised us that they will provide us with a schedule of work once this becomes available which will be published by ORRA through Facebook and on the ORRA website.
Regardless of whether residents, in the end decide to opt for services provided by another company, the fibre infrastructure that will be used will be that laid down by Openreach in the next three months. Openreach have a legal imperative to lay such infrastructure, as government legislation will soon make the present copper cabling redundant. People have asked why this might be important - if they have no interest in downloading films, is there any necessity to have it. The view of ORRA’s Fast Fibre Working Party is that in little or no time good broadband services are going to become the fourth utility, as important to you all as water, gas and electricity; so many of the functions in our households will soon become internet controlled and if we do not have sufficient band-width in the service connected to our houses, we may lose control of these. Indeed some estate agents are already publishing details of broadband signal in their property sales documentation, and there are some thoughts that not having fibre broadband will eventually devalue the property price of your home.
Please keep an eye on Facebook and the Latest News section of the ORRA website for updates about the progress of this in Old Ratton.
Previously posted on Facebook at the end of June 2023:
I'm delighted to be able to tell you that in the next week or so, Openreach are hoping to complete their survey prior to the installation of fast fibre. As soon as I know I will alert residents to the beginning of work and the extent of that work. Please be assured that ORRA still maintains its policy of not allowing intrusive interventions in Old Ratton.
Old Ratton residents turned out to mark the coronation of King Charles III on Sunday 7th May. Below are some photos of the event taken by residents.
In December the Old Ratton Estate experienced winter conditions the like of which have not been seen in many years. The combination of snowfall and extremely low temperatures for a number of days resulted in icy conditions that meant the snow did not melt away as quickly as we may have wished.
Thank you to those residents who made contact with Lacon to enquire what plans might realistically be considered for the future.
The Department for Transport has produced the “Snow Code” which sets out a number of measures that we can all take to improve conditions after snow fall. We all need to consider our own safety when faced with icy conditions and do everything we can to be careful both when walking or driving.
We know that Local authorities have a legal requirement to take “all reasonably practical steps’” to keep major roads free of snow and ice and the onus is on the motorist to drive in a manner to suit the conditions. We are also aware that even the local authorities do not have the resources to grit every road, pavement or footpath and they have no responsibility for private estates.
All of this raises the question of what is practical and reasonable to consider for the Old Ratton Estate in the future. We are interested to hear from residents what they think would help them to cope when presented with future snow fall and icy paths and roads.
Historically we know that there used to be grit made available in bins located on the Estate although the practicalities of residents using the grit provided to clear their pathways is sometimes fraught with difficulties.
Some years ago individual bags of salt were offered to every home on the estate and this could be repeated but these would be inadequate to counter most snowfalls effectively. We are also aware that to book slots with local gritting contractors for use on the Estate at a time of extremely high demand doesn’t always result in them being available at the time they are most needed.
It is proposed that this issue is raised and considered at the AGM in May. Meanwhile if you have any thoughts or ideas you wish to be considered by the Committee please send your suggestions to Liz Bedwell at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her on 01424 219848.