End User internet

Twicket lovely twicket #digitalbritain #deappg

The domestic cricket season is well under way and my lad plays his first U11s game this coming Friday. Village cricket has also started as witnessed by yesterday’s #twicket match between Wray and the Rest of The World.

The result is immaterial although the home side won (it is sometimes difficult for the likes of Andrew Strauss and Brian Lara to click in at a standard lower than they are used to).

The real result was the broadcast of the match live online on using Wray’s new 30Meg symmetrical connection. The game was watched online by thousands with thousands more tweeters following the #twicket hashtag.

The game was played in a farmers field and this broadcast is a great example of how rural communities might benefit once they have decent internet connectivity.

Business internet

Episode 2 – JFDI – Just Farmers Digging for Internet access

This is episode two of the Lancashire based rural soap opera in which farmers dig for victory in the Battle of Digital Britain and Fibre To The Home. Yesterday’s post attracted a lot of attention which suggests there is a great deal of interest in this subject. 

Note in this acronym infested industry I had never quite understood (I’m an innocent boy from small town Wales) what JFDI meant and obviously kept quiet about it to avoid embarrassment.  Now I realise it stands for Just Farmers Digging for Internet Access! :-).

Looks like there might be a third episode coming along in this video manual on how to lay fibre. NTL et al take note!

It really does feel as if you are there when you watch this video. Good luck to all rural dwellers everywhere.

broadband Business internet

Farmer Rolls Out First Rural Broadband Fibre Network as Digital Britain Takes Too Long

On the hills high above Wennington in Lancashire the local community is taking its internet destiny into its own hands and is laying broadband fibre.

The Wennington/Wray communities were no hopers when it came to the provision of ADSL so in 2005 they were awarded a £25k grant by the North West Development Agency to roll out a 2Mbps symmetrical mesh wifi network. The initial 12 users charged themselves £25 a month which provided a kitty for further expansion of the network to 22 endpoints.

They are now at the point where the remaining 30 homes/businesses are out of reach of wifi and the only way to get connected is by using fibre.  The YouTube video, hot off the press this morning (thanks to Lindsey Annison for that), shows the first cable run being laid.

This is initially an experiment to get to understand the costs involved before deciding when to add more locations to the network.

The network is a huge boost to the quality of life in the community allowing workers to stay put instead of commuting as far afield as Manchester and Edinburgh.

It is clear from the numbers here where the issue surrounding Universal Service Obligations being discussed in the Digital Britain Report reside. That initial £25k served 12 users –  just over £2k each – which realistically can never hold down a business case based on £25 a month. Being generous that probably would result in £1,500 Gross Margin pa which will never repay the initial investment.

There are problems for the community in increasing the size of their 2Mbps backhaul. A 100Mbps link to Lancaster would cost £76k to install with a £64k pa ongoing cost. This is almost an order of magnitude higher than the same connectivity in large metropolitan areas that would also have many more users at the end of the line.

It ain’t going to happen without Government assistance and I believe that it is key to the economy for UKplc to provide this. Now is the time to make it happen.

Find out more on the Wray village website with thanks to cyberdoyle for the info and  Fibrestream, Lucidos and Optech Fibres who have helped with this initial fibre project.

Check out the promo video of the initial project here.