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Rural Ewelme Village Secures UK Rural Community Broadband Funding

Monday, October 22nd, 2012 (2:40 pm) - Score 661
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The civil parish village of Ewelme in southern Oxfordshire (England) has won a decade long battle to secure faster broadband connectivity after the UK government’s £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund(RCBF) preliminarily approved plans for a new network.

The RCBF funding, which is supported by the Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) and the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office, is designed to help build smaller scale broadband and business projects in some of the country’s most isolated areas.

Neil Blake, Ewelme Parish Councillor, said (Henley Standard):

The parish council has been working very actively to bring decent broadband to the parish for about 10 years now. We have conducted endless surveys and ticked countless boxes. A few years ago, pressure on BT did result in achieving 50 extra lines to the village capable of supporting slow broadband links.

In November we achieved an agreement in principle with BT Openreach that if the marginal costs of installing three new cabinets could be found, the job would be done. Unfortunately, BT withdrew its offer.

This area includes a part of RAF Benson, where the family quarters and single accommodation units suffer just as bad a broadband service as the rest of Ewelme residents. The deprivation of our services’ families and personnel is a disgrace.”

Sadly details of the plan remain sparse, although ISPreview.co.uk separately discovered that it will involve the installation of a new fibre optic cable into the village and the possible use of a wireless broadband solution. It should be said that BT does plan to upgrade the local Wallingford exchange again but it’s unclear how many Ewelme locals will see a benefit.

The new service should support significantly faster speeds than BT’s existing fixed line network, which currently averages sub-2Mbps speeds in the area. Even the local mobile operators, Three UK and Vodafone, seem able to deliver better performance of up to 5Mbps.

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1 Response
  1. Avatar Somerset

    @awooster For the avoidance of any confusion, Ewelme have had their #RCBF expression of interest endorsed only

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