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Tove Valley Gain DEFRA Funding to Rollout 1Gbps Fibre Optic Broadband

Monday, Jul 21st, 2014 (9:09 am) - Score 501

The Tove Valley Broadband scheme (formerly Abthorpe Broadband Association) in Northamptonshire (England) has secured £123,000 of public funding from the Government’s Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), which will allow them to roll-out a 1000Mbps capable fibre optic network across several villages.

Readers might recall that the Tove Valley scheme, which aims to help connect around 500 premises (600 people) in Abthorpe, Weedon Lois, Wappenham, Slapton and Weston, was one of the first to receive preliminary approval for funding under the much delayed £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund during March 2013 (here).

Several months after that it was reported that the same group had connected their 100th home to a 100Mbps capable wireless broadband network, which saw wireless access points being positioned in places like St Loys School and on top of Wappenham Church Tower (here), albeit not through the use of DEFRA/RCBF funding (TVB asked local premises to pay a £100 membership fee to help fund the early build). By comparison the new network will add an extra zero to that network speed.

The new grant deal means that the project can finally begin Phase 2 of “building a future-proof fibre network between our villages” (FTTP), which should push 1000Mbps of “bandwidth equally [to] each village’s wireless access point“. The timeline on their website suggests that this work should complete by around September or possibly a little later.

It’s worth pointing out that the wireless network in TVB’s plan is designed to deliver more than 30Mbps (symmetrical) by WiFi at 5GHz. Aside from the initial membership fee, locals must also pay an annual rental of just £120 for domestic users and £75 for the cost of connection hardware and installation. Some homes may also incur additional installation costs, although it’s not clear how big these could be.

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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