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Catterick Village Gets Broadband

Posted: 03rd Jul, 2003 By: MarkJ
Yet another place in the UK with a broadband cause to celebrate would appear to be Catterick Village. The region looks set to benefit from a combination of broadband wireless and satellite access:


The first phase of the community broadband network in Catterick Village, in the Yorkshire Dales, is now installed and ready to offer a super-fast Internet connection to homes, businesses, and the new LearnDirect centre.

Community champions, local business people, and the DigitalDales.co.uk team have worked together to raise the necessary funding locally and to bring broadband to the village using the latest satellite based services together with innovative wireless technology. Wi-fi, the wireless technology used, eliminates the need to use the telephone system for delivering broadband to each user, and means that a community network, run by the community for the community, can be set up without requiring BT or other telcos involvement. In Catterick Village, Purple Technology Limited, a local business, provides the broadband connection to the Internet using Aramiska's unique satellite system. A key feature of the system is its scalability, allowing upgrades as more people subscribe to use the network.

Community networks are springing up around the country in response to market failure, and such networks create local employment, keep investment within the region, and encourage new enterprises. The initial capital investment required is minimal, meaning that even the smallest rural community can create their own sustainable broadband network. The Catterick Village network is a flagship project, leading the way for other regional projects to bring broadband and its benefits to rural areas in the near future, enabling communities, and encouraging regeneration.

Phil Upton, Managing Director of Purple Technology, said "Broadband allows both business and residential communities in Catterick Village to have the same advantages as larger towns. We now have educational and training opportunities, as well as being able to compete as businesses in a global market place."

Digital Dales is holding a conference on July 17th at Harlow Carr Gardens in Harrogate entitled "Broadband in Yorkshire". This includes updates on the developments in the region, the central Government rural broadband agenda, news from industry and communities, followed by the DIY Broadband workshop. This workshop covers all the required elements for setting up your own community network - funding, business models, technology options, licensing, case studies, best practice, and much more. All are welcome. Register now on http://www.digitaldales.co.uk/broadband

The Digital Dales team spokeperson, Lindsey Annison, who is also co-founder of the Access to Broadband Campaign, said, "This is a really great achievement in Catterick Village. In just 3 months, the initial funding has been raised, the village surveyed, and the equipment installed. This should give hope to all rural communities that broadband is available to everyone, now."

The LearnDirect centre in Catterick Village main high street will be opened by the Rt Hon William Hague on Saturday 5th July at 10.30am, Purple Technology and the Digital Dales team will be on hand to answer questions, advise and encourage other communities to follow the lead of the broadband pioneers in Catterick Village.
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