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Fibre GarDen in Cumbria Wins First UK Rural Community Broadband Cash

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012 (10:18 am) - Score 673

The UK governments Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) has today given its first of two pre-contract agreements for £157,500 to help 525 homes and businesses in Garsdale and Dentdale (Cumbria) gain access to a superfast “fibre optic” broadband service through its £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF).

The Fibre GarDen project aims to create a fibre optic network that connects every property in the two “isolated and sparsely populated upland rural communities“, with initial speeds expected to reach 100Mbps (Megabits per second). This will be built and operated by the Fibre GarDen CIC community interest company.

On top of that a second community project in the isolated Fell End (Ravenstonedale) region of Cumbria, where sub-0.5Mbps speeds are currently the norm, has also won investment of £17,400 from the RCBF. This will help to connect 58 local premises to a super-fast broadband service.

Maria Miller MP, Culture Secretary, said:

Superfast broadband is key to the economic prosperity of rural communities. The Government is investing £680 million in delivering the best broadband in Europe – and we are slashing red tape to get the programme moving quickly. The Government means business and superfast broadband will help kick start our economy.”

Today also sees the related launch of DEFRA’s new Rural Statement, which is apparently a contract that gives people in rural areas “new power to hold the Government to account on its promise to grow the rural economy and support thriving rural communities“.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Chris Conder says:

    Great news for Fibre GarDen, and fantastic that the first community altnet gets some support. Let us hope many others can follow their footsteps and start to help the areas that telcos can’t. Where angels fear to tread. Power to the People.

    1. Avatar Tom says:

      Yes indeed, fantastic news. I live in rural North Wales, I have an unlit fibre link passing through my village, which is in between Caernarfon and Pwllheli.
      No one is interested in creating a not for profit community ISP here, no matter who I speak to.

      Any idea’s or insight would be most welcome as I am getting no where at present.

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