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UPD Fibre GarDen Make Progress on Broadband Plan for Garsdale and Dentdale

Monday, September 2nd, 2013 (9:07 am) - Score 374

The Fibre GarDen (altnet ISP) project, which aims to build a new fibre optic superfast broadband (30Mbps+) network to help connect homes in Garsdale and Dentdale (Cumbria, England), has now had its application to run an Enterprise Investment Scheme approved by HM Revenue & Customs.

The scheme, which is also known as Digital Dales (UK) Limited (trading as Fibre GarDen), eventually aims to connect everybody in the two “isolated and sparsely populated upland rural communities” to its new fibre optic network (i.e. just under 1,000 people).

As a result Fibre GarDen is now well on its way towards the building phase and last month revealed that it had managed to raise £435,000 to help pay for the work, which is in addition to £28,000 that was raised to “cover startup costs” (note: locals have pledged nearly £225,000 of their own money to support the development). DEFRA’s RCBF grant and the SIB Group (Social Investment Business) will also help to fund the project.

Fibre GarDen Statement

We have received confirmation from HMRC that our application to run an Enterprise Investment Scheme for the project has now been fully approved. This is a significant event as it should attract more investors to the share offer.

The final draft of the share prospectus is being considered by the Board tomorrow [Sunday] following which it will be published. This is the final part of the funding strategy that should enable the project to supply fibre optic broadband to every dwelling in both Garsdale and Dentdale get underway.”

The share offer, which could be published this week or later this month, should give locals the opportunity to invest in the community project and thus help Fibre GarDen to roll-out its superfast broadband network.

It’s possible that the first premises could then be connected as early as December 2013 and the original plan was to achieve full coverage by sometime in 2014. But setting up such a project is extremely tedious and thus we wouldn’t be surprised to see some delays.

UPDATE 8:29am

As expected Fibre GarDen has released its share off and new website (here).

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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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