You couldn’t make it up.
July 7th 2015
After the delays caused by the road closures and John Henrys (the contractors) being required to clear out while the cycle race came through yet another spanner was thrown in the works.
Apparently, a sub contractor working for Gigaclear in the south of the county (no it’s not John Henry’s who’re doing the work here) made so many mistakes that NCC Highways told Gigaclear to stop all work in Northamptonshire with immediate effect.
The sub contractor concerned has been dismissed and John Henry’s are doing the remedial work to fix the problems under the very watchful eye of NCC Highways. Once the work has been completely redone to NCC Highways satisfaction then the rest of the county can start up again.
This does seem a little draconian to me (although I’ve only heard one side of the story) but that’s where we apparently are.
I’m told that Gigaclear are hoping to restart work within a couple of weeks but cannot give a firm date as it relies on NCC Highways handling the matter expediently.
The other spanner dangling over the works is that the fibre has to cross a fuel pipeline by the Doctor’s surgery in Wansford. Gigaclear are being required to have an MOD inspector on site while this last 10 meter run is put in but they can’t book a time until NCC Highways lift the moratorium. Lets hope the man-from-the-ministry has some early slots in his diary.
Despite everyone’s best efforts a spanner has been thrown in the works by Northamptonshire County Council Highways Dept.
The main fibre has to get from Bridge Street to the cabinet opposite the Endowed School which means getting through the Park St/Bridge St junction.
The original plan was to dig this under traffic management (traffic lights) but NCC Highways appear to have changed their minds and required a road closure for this work. NCC Highways are also the ones that say when such road closures can take place and the earliest dates they’ve made available (despite Gigaclear’s protestations and appeals) are in May.
So we might be in the crazy position of everything else being dug in except for this crucial bit and just having to wait until May to make the final connection.
Just for everyone’s information, the trenches that have been dug are not finished and have temporary surfaces.
Once all the local cables are connected and tested, John Henry’s (the contractors doing the digging) will coordinate with NCC Highways to determine the finish required in each area.
The Digging continues…..
While it might seem that everything’s slowed down; that isn’t actually the case and work has continued at a fair old pace.
Boxcom are working in the villages to test and connect the fibres in the ‘junction pits’ and when that’s done, John Henry’s (the contractors digging the holes and trenches) will be able to back fill and take away a lot of the orange barriers.
The link to the main Internet connection in Wansford is being delayed a bit by the Electricity Company’s works on the road by the ex-Little Chef. Gigaclear can’t get down that bit of road until they’ve ‘released’ it and there’s nothing that can be done about that (Peterborough City Council Highways apparently don’t allow two contractors to share a hole in the ground… which sounds a bit silly to us but that’s their rules).
With respect to work in Cliffe itself, Wood Road and Church Walk are being finished off and then it’s Hall Yard and the biggie that is West Street. Unfortunately we don’t have specific dates as there are ongoing negotiations with NCC Highways about the timings of some aspects of the work but we do know that Gigaclear are pushing very hard to get things moving at the fastest possible pace.
The other biggie is Sovereign Grange and, as we understand it, while everyone’s in agreement that it will be done there are still some specific technicalities involving Persimmon and NCC Highways that need resolving. More news on that when we get it.
The Early January Dig Schedule.
After the two week ‘Winterval’ break, the digging restarts on January the 5th. Here’s the planned schedule:
- Howards Meadow 5th Jan until 16th Jan.
- Main Street, Apethorpe 5th Jan until 16th Jan incorporating Laundry Road, 7th Jan until 16th Jan.
- Wood Lane, 5th Jan until 23rd Jan.
- Mazewood Gate 5th Jan until 16th Jan.
- Fineshade Close 6th Jan until 30th Jan.
- Daleswood Rise 12th Jan until 30th Jan.
November 25th – The whole project is ‘Good to go’!
After a ‘bit’ of discussion between KAHSI and Gigaclear, we’re very very pleased to be able to say that Gigaclear have reviewed Kings Cliffe as a whole and just announced that the whole project is ‘Good to go’.
So that’s KC1, KC2, Sovereign Grange and Apethorpe all being installed with no need to worry any more about targets.
November 24th – Yes! it’s really happening!
The base for the first cabinet opposite the Endowed School is dug in.
Trenching along the Stamford road.
Observant villagers will have noticed orange canes and numbers appearing in parts of the village. If there’s one of these outside your property you should have had a card popped through your letterbox telling you all about it.
These orange marks show the position of the ‘pot’ outside your property. If it’s in the wrong position then please contact Gigaclear to get it re-sited; don’t be tempted to just move it yourself as the fibre cable lengths are all pre-cut and the contractors need to know about any changes in advance.
November 20th – Sovereign Grange Hits Target
Today Sovereign Grange hit it’s target so it’s going to get Gigaclear fibre installed.
The only area of the village that’s not quite there is ‘KC2’ which consists of the following:
- Wood Road
- Walkers Field
- Willow Lane
- Wood Lane
- Kings Forest
- Fineshade Close
- Mazewood Gate
- Daleswood Rise
So if you live in one of the above roads, please sign up and make sure we all get the opportunity of being connected up.
On the physical digging front… it’s still due to start this week and materials have already been turning up in the village.
November 14th – The Dig Starts!
I’m slightly abusing my position here by preempting the official announcement but unless something completely unexpected happens the digging will be starting next week
Usually the dig starts with the backhaul (the connection to the internet to feed the whole village) and then spreads out to the cabinets and properties. Unfortunately, Vodafone’s records of what’s installed on the A47 seem to disagree with what’s actually in the ground so Gigaclear have ordered and planned a second backhaul connection with SSE. Discussions are ongoing so it’s not confirmed which one will be used but there are two irons in the fire now.
This means that the dig will take place for the village first and the backhaul connection will go in later in the project. The practical result of this is that we’ll probably all be going live together rather than piecemeal as each property is reached.
I’ll post the actual street by street dig schedule when I get it but initial works will be on the Stamford Road and Park Street.
October 31st – Sovereign Grange Reopens
Gigaclear have reached an agreement with Persimmon that means they can gain access to Sovereign Grange.
If Sovereign Grange can reach it’s target of 58 households signed up by the 12th of December (there are already 25 at the time of writing) then the Gigaclear contractors will install the fibre to all the properties on the estate. If this deadline is missed and the contractors finish building the network in the rest of the village then all bets are off and who knows when, or if, Sovereign Grange will get fibre installed.
So it’s now down to the Sovereign Grange residents to help themselves by signing up. Click on the link at the top of this page.
October 30th – News Flash
Earlier today KC1 (West St, Park St, Bridge St and Apethorpe) reached it’s target.
This means that the project is going ahead and the villages will get pure-fibre high speed broadband installed.
KC2 (Wood Road and points west) is expected to reach target in a few days time and there’s even hope for Sovereign Grange (more on that as things solidify).
Well done to everyone that helped and supported the project by signing up.