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Fell End Broadband Project Starts Fibre Optic Rollout in Cumbria UK

Friday, Nov 29th, 2013 (7:54 am) - Score 1,957

The tiny Fell End Broadband project in Ravenstonedale (Cumbria, England) has this week begun deployment of a new fibre optic cable that will be used to connect 58 local premises (these are spread out over an 11km area) to super-fast Internet connectivity.

The project is supported by £17,400 from the RCBF and more funding has also come from other sources (the total value is said to be around £80k) including the Prince’s Countryside Fund, The Holehird Trust, TalkTalk (Digital Heroes), DEFRA and of course BT (it’s currently very difficult to get RCBF funding without BT’s involvement).


A trial dig took place during the summer but the scheme, which is being pushed by Ravenstonedale Parish Council, has now started to install the primary ducting to carry its fibre optic cables. Previously local homes and businesses could only access sub-0.5Mbps broadband download speeds but once complete the premises should be within reach of an up to 80Mbps capable line.

Libby Bateman, Ravenstonedale Councillor, said:

Today Fell End Broadband started to install the ducting to carry fiber optic cables to take superfast broadband to 58 deeply rural properties.

The first part was easy digging and the mole plough navigated a worrying rocky outcrop with ease. Fortunately Tony shared my concerns about the area and did some tests yesterday to seek the best route trough.

The challenges came later in the day on the fell track , this was initially considered to be less of a challenge but has yielded a number of large rocks!

It’s interesting to note that the “mole plough” is a newish method that allows small diggers to both drill underground and pull through the new fibre optic cable more quickly than before and all at the same time. The project expects a take-up of 70% and the first homes could be live on the new service by Christmas.

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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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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