How much does it cost to set up a rural broadband project? Half a million? Quarter? How about £15,000?
Wireless broadband ISP Quickline has been selected to set up a wireless network that will turn 30 village halls across rural Lincolnshire into local WiFi hot spots. The West Lindsay authority is spending £15,000 on setting up the network, which will allow residents to connect to 20Mbps speeds.
The project starts this month and is due to finish way ahead of when residents could expect to see similar speeds deployed by any kind of fixed-line broadband solution.
Steve Jagger, managing director of Quickline said: “Rural communities need not wait until 2015. Our service is available right now with access to internet speeds of up to 20Mbs, which is 40 times faster than some were previously used to.”
Note that this is being set up in addition to rollout of faster broadband by BT under the Broadband Delivery for the UK (BDUK) plans and forms just part of the local government’s plans to connect communities. West Lindsey District Council leader Burt Keimach said: “Our priority is to support communities to help themselves and we feel this project is a great enabler to do this. Improving access to high speed broadband will help support community activity, encourage people to pay their bills on-line and improve communication through emails and social media.”
BT’s superfast contract will see the UK’s largest ISP connecting 88 per cent of Lincolnshire to speeds of up to 80Mbps with those in the last 12 per cent getting at least 2Mbps speeds. Rural communities in remote areas will likely make up the bulk of the 12 per cent. The £48 million BT and BDUK project is expected to be finished by April 2016.