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Rural Hampshire UK Village Gets 40Mb Broadband via a Public Service Network

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 (9:21 am) - Score 1,692

Residents of the aptly named rural village called Little London in Hampshire (England, UK), which could previously only receive internet download speeds of around 0.5Mbps (Megabits per second), can now access superfast broadband of up to 40Mbps thanks to a clever use of the local fibre optic Public Service Network (PSN).

Hampshire County Council (HCC) claims to be the first county in the UK to have connected all of its schools to the local fibre optic PSN, although until now no other local authorities have expanded their public infrastructure to specifically connect up residents in rural areas too (we note that some counties are considering this as part of their respective Local Broadband Plans). At least that’s what HCC claims, although NYnet have done something similar.

Glyn Paton, Manager of HCC’s Rural Broadband Project, said:

As a result of this project the residents of the village of Little London, Hampshire now have improved broadband than those in the City of London. Residents in the area now experience 40 Mb per second. Considering they previously had no access to broadband, they cannot believe how fast their service now is.

We wanted this project to have extra credibility by being open and allowing any service provider to get involved. Where we are now, the residents of Little London, Hampshire have superfast broadband, with the choice of 30 different service providers. This would not have been possible without Netadmin and the other partners, Magdalene and Fluidata. These parties together enable a platform that allows residents to connect to a world of new services.”

Torbjorn Sandberg, CEO of NETadmin Systems, added:

I see many opportunities for other local authorities to use this model to solve their residents’ need for fast broadband. Using a PSN can be a very cost effective way of providing suitable connectivity. The residents in Hampshire now have a greater range of service providers than most.”

Mr Paton claims that “take up” of HCC’s pilot project has been “very successful with 60 to 70 per cent of residents projected to utilise the PSN in Hampshire once previous broadband contracts have expired“, although nobody can be entirely certain of what will happen until after that actually occurs. Turning strong expressions of interest into actual customers is a difficult battle.

In addition Paton notes that Independent Fibre Networks Limited (IFNL) has now connected to the platform, which should extend its reach to a further 40,000 properties, while Virgin Media was responsible for providing the infrastructure / backhaul for Hampshire’s PSN.

The development also helps to prove the case for Fluidata’s Service Exchange Platform (SEP), which effectively aggregates open access wholesale networks for use by multiple broadband ISPs.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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