Village opportunity for Superfast Broadband

Superfast Broadband project manager Alan Cook from Cumbria County  Council is organising a Mori telephone poll for residents linked to the Threlkeld telephone exchange.

Threlkeld and surrounding area residents will be contacted over the next few days.

Alan’s article is shown in this week’s Keswick Reminder explaining why it is a current ‘one time offer’ for our villages to show a level of commitment in wanting to ready ourselves with superfast broadband.

Why is this important? Faster connections mean quicker downloads and higher quality for things such as BBC’s iPlayer and other online television services, huge benefits for local business, school kids trying to do work online, attractions for B&B owners and their clients, higher quality skype/video calling, etc. Basically if you use the internet and any online facility faster broadband will make a huge difference!

Many of us will want to be ready to tap into an explosion of service offerings available now and over the next few years. Consider how important this opportunity may be for you, your family and visitors/business so you are ready for the telephone call.

If sufficient interest is shown Threlkeld may be eligible for extra funding over and above the current Connecting Cumbria proposals. This could make the difference between a rapid roll out of faster broadband or nothing at all.

The future of Superfast Broadband in our area depends on how we respond over the next few days.

More Information
Threlkeld has been chosen by Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-mobile) for a trail of 4G mobile internet, the only other place in the UK at the mo with 4G is a small town in Cornwall. Several folk are already connected to this and enjoying some pretty fast speeds. I'm currently on around 20Mbps download and 10-15Mbps upload (Threlkeld is usually around 6.5Mbps down and 0.5Mbps up depending on your provider) This has the potential for far higher speeds.

You can register your interest for the 4G trail at you're selected you basically get free fast broadband for the duration of the trial via a little dongle plugged into your computer, although it's a mobile technology it's very easy to use with a pc/laptop/etc. I'd recommend everyone signs up for this anyway to show interest.

The first round of tenders for the providers of traditional phone line based superfast broadband as part of Connecting Cumbria have just closed. Neither applicant was awarded the contract as the companies hadn't actually met the requirements! They've been asked to resubmit tenders by September, further delaying the roll out.

The roll out promises a minimum speed across every resident in Cumbria (which is lower than the speed we currently get in Threlkeld) and the potential for many to achieve 20Mbps or more. Hopefully us. This will depend heavily on the technology used to implement the broadband. Basically if we can get fibre optic cable to our houses it'll be faster, if it's just to the exchange with the normal copper line the rest of the way it won't be as fast (especially if you live more than a mile from the exchange where speeds will drop away) Fibre to the property has the potential for 100Mbps or higher speed. No more waiting for iPlayer/youtube/downloads/large emails/etc. They'd be pretty much instant.

There's been a recent announcement that Threlkeld may be eligible for extra funding to help roll out Superfast Broadband (not 4G). We were originally asked to survey everyone in the village with 20 odd questions with less than a weeks notice! This has now been scrapped in favour of a random telephone poll of the village which should be targetted towards existing users of broadband. Only a few villages in the entire of Cumbria have been selected for this possible funding. The funding could make the difference between us getting increased speeds or not. 

We need to inform as many people as possible in Threlkeld and the area covered by the exchange that they may receive a telephone call for this survey. It's important that this is answered in a positive way, questions would be along the lines of 'Do you feel you would benefit from faster broadband? What advantages would this bring to your business, kids schoolwork, personal life, etc, etc.'