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North Dorset UK Could Solve Rural Broadband Woe via Old Railway Line

Sunday, July 8th, 2012 (1:15 am) - Score 1,337
dorset england uk

The Communities Partnership Executive of North Dorset (CPEND) claims to have gained a positive response from DEFRA’s Rural Communities Broadband Fund (RCBF) after it proposed to solve local rural broadband woes by laying a fibre optic cable along a former railway line (trailway) that runs from Sturminster Newton to Blandford.

According to This is Dorset, the plan would involve running a fibre optic cable down the 8 mile stretch of trailway and linking up several villages along the way including Durweston, Stourpaine, Shillingstone, Child Okeford and Okeford Fitzpaine. Several further villages, Manston, Hammoon and Fiddleford, could potentially also be included into the project.

The CPEND is now understood to be developing a full application that would aim to secure a slice of RCBF’s £20 million budget and might also seek additional money through private investment. Bournemouth University has also started a local survey to assess the projects potential economic and social impact. Overall some 2,200 people and 100 businesses could benefit.

Further details about the Trailway Broadband project can be found on the DT11 Forum.

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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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17 Responses
  1. Avatar Deduction

    This actually without more detail sounds like a really good idea. I wish them all the best. Thats pretty creative thinking to use an old railway line, i doubt any of us that comment here would had came up with an idea like that. If creative thinking and what sounds like a very workable solution like this doesnt get funding then i dunno what deserves it. Probably the most realistic scheme ive read about in a while, which from the sounds of it (im guessing) will cost far less than some ideas that could had been dreamed up. Of all the “alternative” solutions ive read this is the most unique which in theory should still deliver a very good product.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      It is a good idea yes, but also very common, you’ll find a lot of fibre is run up and down the nations railways and motorways

    • Avatar Deduction

      In that case it boggles the mind why Virgin are stuck at 48% coverage and BTs plans only included around 60% FTTC coverage by 2015. Those 2 just for starters should be able to manage far higher percentages than that if this was mirrored up and down the UK.

  2. Avatar FibreFred

    I’m talking more about fibre for the core backbone than to premises

  3. Avatar zemadeiran

    This is the kind of shit I like and have mentioned before….

    Old stations could in essence be re-purposed as pops and thinking about it in a logical manner the usage really does not change!

    After all, old stations are definitely points of presence which have always provided communication and transport 🙂

    Being situated in a convenient location close to said village/town could make sense in providing a reasonably secure location to bridge fiber lan to wan.

    Any holes in this?

  4. Avatar Steve A

    Thank you all for your kind comments. I am the project team leader of the Trailway Broadband project. The Trailway was there and it seemed logical to use it to run a FO cable along it. This will give us a straight run – no traffic, no temporary traffic lights and almost no disruption. there is also a substantial reduction is civils costs. We then spur off to each of the villages

    The principle factor with our project is that it will provide FTTH to these five villages.

    • Avatar Deduction

      Wish you all the best with it Steve 🙂 Hopefully if it proves successful it could be replicated in other areas which have basically been ignored or want millions/billions to provide to 🙂

  5. This was originally proposed around 8 years ago for the Wensleydale Railway as a project called Online Online, bringing additional revenue for the private railway and connecting all those villages along the line to the fibre, as well as providing the necessary fibre for signalling. Unfortunately, railways receive the same dismissive attention as many rural broadband projects from the powers that be and purse holders/grant funders and the project has not yet become reality, but it is a far more cost-effective way to reach rural areas. For instance, the Settle Carlisle passes through a corridor of the Final Third in Cumbria that would make a deal more sense spending money on than giving BDUK money to BT…..

  6. Avatar Somerset

    Zero detail on the DT11 link.

  7. Our web site http://www.northdorsetbroadband.co.uk is now up and running. It certainly answers some of the queries you have posted.

    The web site will be up dated regularly with news of the Project

    • Avatar Deduction02

      He was never interested hes just a troll here that questions everything that everyone except BT have to say. It has nothing better to do with its time.

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