Residents in Newton and Stape, both located in North Yorkshire can now look forward to vastly improved broadband coverage thanks to Fibrestream and its NextGenUs strategic partnership.
The deployment of a wireless network fed by fibre based broadband is not exactly new, but the issue for many areas of the UK is finding someone willing to do the leg work and getting funding to build the infrastructure. In the case of Newton and Stape it has taken a fibre feed from a school that runs for 20km into the village to then be fed out to the wireless network. The NextGenUs blog has pictures of the hardware used.
The Fibrestream approach is interesting as it is a firm that builds the networks, but these are built so that they can be handed over to the users/community it was built for. The about page on Fibrestream's website goes into more detail over how their approach works.
With the service supplying up to 10Mbps now, and with apparently potential to increase capacity to handle 100Mbps in the future, there is some degree of future proofing. With the forthcoming Universal Service Commitment (supported by both major political parties) setting a target of 2Mbps, then if firms like Fibrestream can meet and exceed this for a reasonable price they stand a good chance of winning work when the nascent Network Development and Procurement Group finally starts working on tenders. A lot hinges on how the USC is handled, e.g. single contracts for a UK region, or will it have a much greater resolution allowing solutions more suited to individual community needs.