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Fibre GarDen Rural Broadband: What’s happening?

What is Fibre GarDen?

Fibre GarDen is a rural broadband project launched by the communities of Garsdale and Dentdale (Gar and Den, see?).

Aiming to bring faster broadband speeds to the remote Cumbrian communities, Fibre GarDen wants to bring FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband to the two parishes as well as FTTP and 4G wireless broadband to the surrounding areas.

Fibre GarDen hopes that residents and businesses will be able to access broadband speeds ranging from 40Mbps to 100Mbps on the Fibre GarDen network.

It’s a similar plan to that of B4RN in rural Lancashire. The organisers are now in the process of developing a share offering and bidding for rural broadband funding as well as looking for broadband suppliers to do the digging, ducting and installing of fibre-optic cable across the area.

While there is no concrete timetable at the moment, Fibre GarDen hopes to have people accessing faster broadband by Christmas 2013.

Previous news stories about Fibre GarDen Rural Broadband 

Previous news stories about Fibre GarDen Rural Broadband

National Park to fund broadband network 

Click to enlarge

Fibre GarDen has secured more funding for it’s rural broadband project.

Some welcome extra coin for the network comes from the Yorkshire Dales National Park Social Development Fund, which is helping with ‘project start up costs.’

Businesses and projects which will ‘promote urban/rural links’ and provide ‘a clear and direct benefit to the Yorkshire Dales National Park,’ are eligible for funding, up to 75 per cent of the total cost of the project.

Already Fibre GarDen has received an offer of £157,500 from Defra and pledges of £225,000. The estimated total needed for the entire project is £600,000, so over half has been raised already.

While there’s no word yet on exactly how much funding the YDNP has set aside for Fibre GarDen, the two will be working together on meeting ‘regulations and required permissions’ so the digging can begin. As you can see from the map detail (click to enlarge), Garsdale and Dentdale are well within the borders of the park. Some foresight will be needed before digging in areas of natural beauty can kick off.

Fibre GarDen will release an invitation to tender next month, outlining the full costs and ETA of the project.

January 28, 2013

Fibre GarDen Rural Broadband: EU State Aid Notice published

Over 500 homes to get 30Mbps by 2014 

Rural Broadband community project Fibre GarDen has announced it will supply 525 homes and 159 businesses with speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2014.

Using £157,500 of funding from the RCBF (Rural Community Broadband Fund), Fibre GarDen plans to have 100 per cent of its community able to access FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) broadband.

Fibre GarDen has published its State Aid Notice, outlying exactly what it plans to do with EU funding.

In publishing this, we can get a clearer picture of exactly where Fibre GarDen is planning to lay its cables across the Garsdale and Dentdale areas.

The full-fibre broadband network will supply 525 homes and 159 businesses with speeds of at least 30Mbps by 2014.

Thanks to the Google Maps screengrab attached we can see exactly where these homes and businesses are and where the main fibre backbones will lie.

Fibre GarDen will put out an Invitation to Tender on February 1 2013, whereby companies and ISPs can come in and apply to do the digging.

January 3, 2013

100Mbps by Christmas 2013  

Community broadband project Fibre GarDen has announced plans to provide 40Mbps and 100Mbps fibre broadband by Christmas next year.

£157,500 from DEFRA’s Rural Development Programme for England (RDPE) has been awarded to the project which will see fibre broadband headed to Gardale and Dentdale in Cumbria.

The company aims to start digging in early spring 2013 and have the fibres lit by Christmas 2013.

Fibre GarDen rural broadband: 100Mbps by Christmas 2013

Chairman Andrew Fleck said, “This represents 25% of our funding and we expect it to trigger further grants and investment. We have had enormous support from our communities which has enabled us to progress the project with confidence that it is what people want.”

Fibre GarDen will oversee the deployment for FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) lines to all homes and businesses in Gardale and Dentdale. This will guarantee faster, more reliable download speeds and services.

Main image credit: Flickr user aussiegal

September 13, 2012

The future is FTTP, says Lib Dem MP

The future of rural broadband rests with community FTTP, claims a Cumbrian MP after Fujitsu dropped its bid to build a superfast broadband network for the county.

Tim Farron described the latest setback to the 18-month-old rural broadband pilot scheme as a ‘self-inflicted blow’, leaving BT as the only bidder for more than £25m in public funds.

But Farron, the Liberal Democrat MP for South Lakes, believes the future of Cumbria’s rural broadband lies with community fibre-to-the-premises schemes like Fibre GarDen.

Farron said: “This is another blow for the broadband project and sadly another self inflicted blow by the County Council.

“This process has been going on for 18 months now and it’s appalling that we’ve not been able to move any further. Securing the modern infrastructure our county needs should be one of the council’s top priorities.

“I want to see the county council supporting community schemes which are ready to be rolled out, such as Fibre GarDen in Garsdale and Dentdale. This would help to get things moving whilst we continue to work to bring super-fast broadband to the whole of Cumbria.”

Fujitsu told Cumbria County Council that is would not be economic to build the network as part of its national plan to reach at least one million homes for ISPs like Virgin Media and TalkTalk.

July 13, 2012

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