Villages that were to be missed by the Digital Durham plan could be in line for some superfast broadband after all.
Durham County Council has decided to look at redrawing the map which would bring the Hamsterley Forest area into the superfast fold.
Extra bids for rural funding from Defra’s Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF) could see the villages of Walworth, Killerby and Denton included as well.
Local paper Teesdale Mercury revealed the council’s plans to get an extra £1.53 million from the RCBF, alongside the £24 million project that will connect 94 per cent of the county to speeds of 25Mbps and above.
The council has been gauging local interest in superfast speeds, with the Hamsterly Forest area actively campaigning for better broadband. Resident Jonathan Peacock from Hamsterley, who has been campaigning for better broadband, said: “I’m delighted to get Hamsterley into the area though I still think they have insufficient money. I know we’ll have a long wait. In Hamsterley the exchange is in Witton-le-Wear so if you’re on that side of the village it’s not so bad but I’m stuck almost twice as far away on the other side and it’s utterly and completely rubbish.”
The further you are away from your exchange on a BT ADSL line, the slower your speed will be. We heard during our visit to Trispen with Superfast Cornwall that speeds in homes connected to an exchange five miles away were unviable for anything but basic internet access. No iPlayer, no YouTube, Facebook if you were lucky.
FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) upgrades would bring faster speeds to many but as with ADSL, your overall distance from the cabinet determines the quality of service you’ll get. Trials of vectoring technology on BT’s FTTC lines are taking place this summer should see faster speeds available over longer distances. This could make for huge improvements in rural areas like Hamsterley Forest.
Hopefully the area isn’t named after the local wildlife or else rollout of fibre broadband could be hampered by rodent damage.
Image credit: Flickr user miketually