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As might have been imagined, given that the main communications suppliers such as BT have failed to come up with an effective solution to rural broadband, that although we are making progress it is very much a case of snakes and ladders. The very nature of our area with its scattered properties (be they homes, offices, farms, businesses…) in wooded, rolling countryside conspire to ensure that arriving at a broadband solution will not be straightforward.
So, to review what we’ve been up to over the last couple of months.
We visited a community group called B4RN in Lancashire where their investment in fibre broadband is working very well. The broadband network is delivering speeds of 1,000Mbps both upload and download. The network uses fibre to the property. The fibre itself passes though buried ducts to protect it from environmental factors that may affect its reliability and has, in fact, proved to be very reliable. Sweden has used fibre technology for over 25 years and Israel has just spent $1 billion in upgrading their fibre based communications infrastructure. Fibre is low maintenance and the best long term technology, but like any physical point-to-point system can be expensive to install due to the costs associated with burying the fibre. We are working with several potential partners to get competitive costings for fibre broadband directly connected to properties.
As an alternative to point-to-point systems Wireless connections are attractive in physically dispersed areas such as ours. As one of these solutionz uses wireless that’s not too dissimilar to what you may have at home you will be aware that the wireless signal will not go through trees or buildings, the fact that this area is quite heavily wooded makes it unsuitable as a single solution for much of our area. We have partnered with a Basingstoke company who supply a wireless broadband solution in Hannington to look at options.
A newish wireless communications system termed WhiteSpace which is not affected by trees and buildings is being backed by OFCOM, Microsoft and others. Connection speeds are currently around 10Mbps but “next generation” equipment due for approval for UK use soon should give 40Mbps. We have met with the company who make this equipment and are currently awaiting costings for their solution.
So, as you can see, from a practical level we anticipate delivering a hybrid system using a combination of these technologies.
We have 3 principles.
- Speed of connection will be faster than other telecom suppliers and costs will be competitive
- The investment must be long term and sustainable. “Do it once and do it right “
- Money will have to come from local people and so we will be 100% locally accountable. Returns for investors must be better than general investments.
Once we have reviewed the quotations we can put together a proposal and will arrange public meetings.
No solution can work, or be cost effective, unless it is shared by a large number of properties.
The more people who will sign up to, a faster service at a competitive price with a local guaranteed high quality service, the quicker that we can deliver .
Please will you encourage everyone you know to register with us at www.baughurstsociety.org.uk/rural-broadband
To consider investing or if you have any further questions please email firstname.lastname@example.org .