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Gravy train comes to an end, so Duddon Valley to lose broadband
Friday 25 May 2012 10:42:45 by Andrew Ferguson

Just how much is broadband worth to people living in rural areas? Back in 2008 Cable and Wireless won a contract to provide a service to some 50 people in the Duddon Valley and Branthwaite area of Cumbria, but it appears that now the Government subsidies are coming to an end, C&W are to withdraw the service, citing that it is 'not commercially viable'.

The original service cost some £500,000 to install, which if covering 50 people, means it has cost £200 per month since 2008. A sum that could very easily have paid for full fibre to the premises for these people.

If a similar spending spree took place to connect the most rural 10% of UK households we would be looking at spending, £26 billion, hardly a scale-able solution and given that there are commercial operators providing fixed wireless solutions around the UK without these level of subsidies, some serious questioning of what Cable and Wireless were charging needs to take place.

The area in theory should benefit from the Connecting Cumbria project, which should announce the successful bidder next month, with the work starting in the Autumn, but if getting the service to this area is so difficult, then these 50 people may be stuck with satellite access as the only solution, which while adequate for many business tasks is still not a level of service people would opt for usually.

Comments

Posted by otester over 5 years ago
What type of service was it?

Wireless? FTTC? FTTP?
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
Wireless.

These public sector contracts are like stealing candy from babies, right from the offset when they "tender" for something with a price tag attached.
Posted by wirelesspacman over 5 years ago
@herdwick

I know what you mean, but unfortunately only the lucky few (eg very big companies and/or those with very big mouths and good at blagging etc) are able to get away with the candy. Small, local, customer focussed companies rarely get a look in - "too risky to deal with" sort of thing.

The BDUK farce is just this multiplied by a thousand.
Posted by arcturus over 5 years ago
wirelesspacman is absolutely correct. I run a small rural, wireless, customer focussed ISP and with a small (less than £50k) injection could quickly extend our service to cover several areas (and hundreds of customers) that have slow or no broadband. But 'we are too small to deal with' apparently. The fact that we are successful at what we do appears to be irrelevant. Idiot's.
Posted by omnius over 5 years ago
Shame C&W carnt be forced to pay for those poor people to be connected to another service
Posted by kijoma over 5 years ago
Where do they get their costs from? , I guess C&W are having to wind down non profitable ventures in the current climate.

Not that the climate is in any way having a negative effect on the small operators, the main negative effects there are the farcical BDUK funding fiasco and as mentioned the view that smaller , competitive Wireless operators are not worth supporting and only serve to annoy the likes of BT and all their wholesale parasites.
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