The Cumbrian village of Melkinthorpe has benefitted from a gigabit fibre broadband connection thanks to wireless ISP LonsdaleNET.
While upgrading a mast based in the Whinfell Forest to a fibre link to Manchester, LonsdaleNET realised that the Lonsdale estate near Melkinthorpe could benefit from FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connections at the same time.
The FTTP line can provide speeds up to 1Gbps, but the kinds of speeds enjoyed by customers at the moment range between 10Mbps on a light package and 40Mbps on a heavier service. John Robson, director at LonsdaleNET said that only a few residents were using the FTTP service but he told Recombu Digital that anyone in the village who wants it can get it, provided it’s economically viable to connect their home.
Read our guide to Rural BroadbandLonsdaleNET typically provides wireless broadband connections across the rural Eden Valley, Cumbria. While Cumbria has benefitted from the likes of Bentley Walker and EE, it remains one of the most poorly served parts of the UK in terms of broadband.
Given Cumbria’s population distribution, there will be some residents and businesses who stand to miss out on superfast broadband. The Connecting Cumbria project, funded by government money from BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) will connect 93 per cent of premises across Cumbria to fibre-based broadband by the end of 2015.
Robson says that ISPs like LonsdaleNET are better placed to serve the 7 per cent right now: “What we’re able to provide is better that what might be available [under BDUK] within the next two years.”
The majority of premises are due to get FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) broadband which provides download speeds of up to 80Mbps, with the actual top speed you’re getting decreasing over distance. Robson argues that LonsdaleNET’s wireless connections provide more consistent download and upload speeds of up to 60Mbps, with most people getting 35Mbps on average.
Image: Peer Lawther/Flickr