Great Mollington exchange was first converted to use “Superfast” broadband during 2015. This project managed by Connecting Cheshire (CC) on behalf of Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) is now into the third of four projected phases.
Our exchange has what is termed Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) for most lines within the parishes of Mollington, Lea-by-Backford, Backford (including Chorlton by Backford and Caughall) and the block of houses in Kinnington Way, Backford Gardens and Rosemere Drive which are actually in Great Sutton. The first two phases of the CC project involved installation of four cabinets sited nearby to the existing cabinets (Cabinet One at the junction of Station Road, Backford with the A41 Liverpool Road, Cabinet Two in Grove Road outside Grove Farm, Cabinet Three in Townfield Lane near to the junction with Well Lane and Cabinet Four outside Costco in Chester Gates Business Park.
Phase Three will involve the installation of an additional cabinet (Cabinet Five) outside Backford Belles on the A41 and will serve the Kinnington Way estate with better connections than currently available, as well as some additional improvements in Backford itself and for the industrial properties between Station Road and the Canal on the A41 and will also involve the upgrading of service to properties along the Parkgate Road between Overwood Avenue and Fiddlers Lane.
In 2017 Virgin Media obtained permission to run their new fibre trunk through Lea, Mollington and Saughall to Blacon and then on to Wrexham to replace the existing trunk route through the middle of Chester (which was scheduled to be seriously impeded by the proposed Northgate development). However, Virgin have experienced serious financial issues with building their new Project Lightning network and work to connect the residents of Mollington and Saughall has now been deferred until at least 2020.
Openreach (BT’s network investment) has now announced that it intends to connect approximately 6 million properties to its new FTTP (Fibre to the Premise) network by 2025. This work is unlikely to be covered in the BDUK rollout projects before that date as most properties impacted by this are likely to be urban and suburban properties mainly in the larger conurbations. Additionally, Openreach are intending to switch all existing telephone circuits from the current analogue voice technology to use Voice Over IP (VOIP) which will rely on the FTTP/FTTC connections that have largely been installed over the country. This switchover is scheduled to occur by 2025.
You may have seen stories in the local news a couple of years ago about Virgin Media’s announcement that they were intending to connect the majority of properties within a 5-mile radius of Chester to their Ultrafast network. Although work did start at one point it now seems that their plans for our area are on hold due to concerns about its financial viability and will not resume until 2020 at the earliest.