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

Thursday, April 26th, 2012 (9:21 am) - Score 1,637
uk fibre optic broadband cable

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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Mark Jackson
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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3 Responses
  1. Avatar desouzr

    NYnet in North Yorkshire have already used the county’s PSN to provide backhaul for a number of projects where wireless SFBB is provided to residents in some deeply rural areas. The plan is also to use the county’s PSN as backhaul so that the market towns in the county can be upgraded to FTTC/FTTP by the winner of the BDUK project here. The preferred bidder (between BT and Fujitsu) is due to be announced by the start of July with work starting in September.

  2. Avatar DTMark

    So that’s what East Hants meant when I was discussing providers and solutions with them, and they said, knowingly, that BT certainly was not and is not the only wholesale option. Believe they were/are also trialling mixed WiFi and FTTP in another area too.

    How does this work then, is this sub-loop unbundling in that the customer pays the ISP and they pay a bit of that back to BT for the use of the bit of phone wire that goes to the house?

    We have phone cabinets and a fibre link to our village, so it probably wouldn’t be beyond the wit of man to join those together except that the fibre would take a long run to the cabs on the edges of the village (it starts in the middle) and then another long run back over the phone wires to the properties 🙁

  3. Avatar PhilT

    I’m not clear what has actually been done to provide the service, other than use the PSN for backhaul ?

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