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Happy “Gimme Fibre Day” 2014

Tuesday, November 4th, 2014 (12:30 am) - Score 755

Advocates of true ultrafast fibre optic (FTTH/P/B) broadband connectivity from across the world have declared that today is officially Gimme Fibre Day 2014, which started last year as an annual event to help promote the benefits of related connectivity as the “only future-proof solution” for Internet access.

The decision to hold such an event on 4th November every year is also intentional because it corresponds with the birthday of Nobel Prize winner Sir Charles Kuen Kao (aka – the “Father of Fibre Optics“). Kao was jointly awarded the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics for “ground-breaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibres for optical communication“.

Sadly Kao himself has been suffering from Alzheimer’s disease for the last 11 years, but his name continues to be known thanks to today’s event and support from The FTTH Council Global Alliance, which consists of the FTTH Council Africa, FTTH Council Americas, FTTH Council Asia Pacific, FTTH Council Europe and FTTH Council Middle East & North Africa.

As usual various events will be held around the world to help promote fibre optic connectivity as the way forward, although at the time of writing we only know of two such activities taking place in the whole of the United Kingdom (although there may be others that, at the time of writing, haven’t yet been listed on the website).

UK Gimme Fibre Day Events (2014)

1. B4RN and sibling B4YS will be attending a meeting with the owners of the Leighton Hall Estate and their tenants to tell them all about fibre optic broadband, which the operators are currently rolling out around rural parts of Lancashire in England, with some areas of Cumbria and Yorkshire likely to follow in the future. Oddly the Gimme Fibre site doesn’t include much information on timings etc.

2. Cybermoor Networks, which also operates a partially community built fibre optic broadband network in Alston Moor (Cumbria), is organising a range of events in conjunction with Gimme Fibre Day (here).

A. Demonstrations and information about how new Cybermoor services can help elderly people who wish to stay fit and healthy at 12pm in the Cumberland and how new technology can support carers and help older people remain in their homes for longer at 3pm at Grisedale Croft.

B. Big Cumbria will be explaining how fibre broadband can boost businesses in Cumbrian Pantry between 2.30-4pm.

C. Local Links at AlstonTown Hall will be giving a fibre theme to their Knit and Knatter group at10.30am and will be demonstrating how easy and quick it is to download e-books at 1.30pm.

One day we’d love to see true fibre optic connectivity become the norm, but first the issue of funding needs to be resolved (somebody has to figure out where to get the needed £20bn to £35bn – depending upon which report you read) and then we’d have to be prepared for what could be a decade long deployment project, where rural areas might once again be the last to benefit.

Granted it might make more economic sense over the longer term to put that investment in now, yet sadly that’s hard to do when the country is still standing on a knife edge mountain of national debt (around £1.4 trillion), which accounts for most of our GDP. On top of that the problem is actually getting worse, not better, thanks largely to weak tax revenues (i.e. too many low paying jobs and fewer people who pay income tax etc.).

Meanwhile many other people are still stuck waiting for even decent standard broadband to arrive, which needs to be solved ASAP.

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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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