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Broadband hopes for "unviable" / high trigger rural areas
Thursday 11 December 2003 08:34:00 by Sebastien Lahtinen

Pipemedia and Easynet, two companies unbundling the local loop have recently enabled exchanges for broadband in a move that is quite unprecedented by beating BT to enabling the exchange. Byfield, Middleton Cheney, Market Bosworth are now able to receive broadband via Pipemedia's service whilst Easynet is able to offer high speed internet to users around Dimsdale in Staffordshire.

BT has given these four exchanges trigger levels but at the time these two LLU operators decided to enable the exchanges, it looked as if it might be quite some time before the BT trigger level was reached and we still expect the earliest one of them to trigger in March next year. Market Bosworth could even be more than a year away.

By enabling the Dimsdale exchange, Easynet have broadband enabled the Lymedale Business Parks bringing economic benefits to the local businesses and encouraging businesses to set up in the area. With the support of the regional development agency Advantage West Midlands and local authorities, Easynet was able to roll out its service based on local business demand for broadband. Ironically, an area which was struggling to get broadband can now receive ADSL services up to 8Mbps and SDSL services up to 2Mbps, ahead of many other exchanges which have been enabled for some time.

Easynet Exchange Enable (E3) scheme differs from BT's trigger-system in that it takes into account the increased margins from business services and can thus deliver broadband services to areas where it would otherwise have taken longer.

"You can’t do business today unless you have easy access to affordable broadband. But there are still too many broadband black spots around the country including industrial areas like Lymedale. The solution is private-public sector cooperation to justify the business case for broadband and this project is an excellent example of what can be achieved when both sides work so closely together. The success of Lymedale is a trailblazer for our E3 programme"

David Rowe (CEO), Easynet

Pipemedia believe the three exchanges in Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Leicestershire could become the blueprint for delivering broadband to rural areas and are planning a Rural Broadband Enablement Campaign targeted at 'unviable' and high trigger exchanges. To this end, Pipemedia will be seeking the support of local communities through individuals who want to help get broadband into their area--More information will be available in the new year, but in the meantime, if you would like your rural area to get broadband, you can contact Pipemedia on [seb]


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