Sunday, 10 July 2011

Broadband for the Parish and Beyond

As many of you will have already seen, Cumbria has been awarded £16.8M for the next generation of broadband. Some of this, and other funds, is due to be spent on community broadband projects.

As Warcop Parish representative of East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum, I was invited to attend the Broadband Industry Day at Stoneybeck Inn on Friday last, and spoke at length with Mike Kiely of BDUK (Broadband Delivery UK) as well as representatives of Cumbria County Council.

Due to a rapidly approaching funding deadline, Warcop will be submitting two outline proposals for fibre optic broadband, and will follow these up with a public meeting for the parish to refine these and align them closely to the community needs. The last two days have seen a flurry of activity in and around the Parish to establish what will be possible as a first phase and we have got in principle agreements for future-proofed plans to begin ASAP, dependent on some more conversations with external parties.

For those who have not been involved in the discussions to date, (15 years long for me!), this may not be the appropriate place to bring you up to speed (scuse the pun) with all that has been going on and what Warcop will be able to do. Suffice to say that if you are interested in better connectivity, improved mobile coverage and a chance to bring new jobs to the area, please stay tuned and please, please, please come and knock on my door at Croft House on Brookside if you are a resident of Upper Eden and would like to talk about the broadband plans.

If you are a landowner in the area and I have not yet seen you, please do get in touch. We may need access to your land and would like to discuss this with you at the earliest opportunity. Maps will be available shortly, both online and in print, that will show the proposed routes for the fibre optic dig. There will be opportunities for many to get involved and to be paid for their involvement so if you have a mole plough, digger or a spade, we may need your muscle!

Please keep an eye on the notice boards and this website for more news, dates of meetings and so on. There will be full updates given at the next Parish Council meeting on August 22nd.

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