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CLA Praises Worlds First Live Stream of a UK Village Cricket Match in Rural Wray

Posted: 16th Apr, 2011 By: MarkJ
rural cricket uk david howlettukThe Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has praised the rural English village of Wray (UK) for making good use of their new 30Mbps capable wireless ( Wi-Fi ) broadband network to hold what is believed to be the world's first live stream of a village cricket match.

Wray is a typically idyllic, small village in the north of Lancashire with a population of around 500 people. Until very recently it was an area of dialup connections or extremely slow broadband links. Mercifully that all changed when Lancaster University assisted the area by helping to install a community wireless network with 100Mbps symmetrical backhaul.

The match itself ('Wray vs the Rest of the World') is set to take place on Easter Monday and has received a lot of support, not least from the likes of Stephen Fry, Fibrestream and Aquila TV as the live broadcast partner.

Organiser, John Popham (http://www.twicket.info), said:

"I’m excited about this. It’s a bit of fun, but it has a serious purpose too. The serious side is to demonstrate that it can be done, it IS possible to stream live broadcast events like this using relatively cheap equipment and a good internet connection. It will also demonstrate the importance of good internet connectivity in rural areas, and the need for fast UPLOAD connections if we are to realise the aspiration to use the internet to enable more people to produce their own content."

Douglas Chalmers, Director CLA North, said:

"I think that this is a tremendous initiative. While others were talking and waiting for broadband, the villagers of Wray simply rolled up their sleeves and just did it. The network will bring both economic and social benefits to this rural area, and local businesses can now compete on equal terms with their urban competitors.

Broadcasting a village cricket match to the world is a master stroke. Of course it will interest cricket fans, and I can imagine many ex-pats very keen to be virtual spectators at the type of quintessential English event they remember and miss.

But of course it highlights the potential of effective broadband in a novel and entertaining way. To some, it may be just a village cricket match, but if an action based event can be beamed from a remote village to around the world, the other applications seem limitless. Of course you will need a good broadband connection to watch it!

This may encourage other communities to consider following Wray’s example, and I would hope that our politicians take note and recognise broadband as an essential utility worthy of priority investment.

This is one match where everyone could win."

Meanwhile local households appear to have been sent a marketing flyer that promotes BT's up to 20Mbps Total Broadband service and its improved home wireless networking quality (a stealthy reference to the improvements in their new Home Hub 3 router). In reality the local telephone exchange can only do up to 8Mbps and homes in Wray would struggle to get a connection even close to that.
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