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Fibre to the people arrives in Cumbria
Tuesday 17 September 2013 10:06:28 by Andrew Ferguson

Melkinthorpe in Cumbria is the latest part of the UK to gain a full FTTP/FTTH connection, i.e. one that can be totally described as a fibre optic broadband service since there is a fibre rather than a metallic cable running to the property.

This rural location is being served by LonsdaleNET who may be better known for their fixed wireless service in Cumbria and join the elite of UK broadband connection.

It can be a source of frustration when seeing the worldwide coverage of projects like Google Fiber in Kansas City, as from what we can determine the UK has many more people connected to Gigabit capable services, or subscribing to a lower speed/price tier on full fibre infrastructure. The difference being the firms running these services have got the same sized PR department behind them, and the concept of fiberhoods appears closely modelled on the old BT Wholesale ADSL roll-out demand led campaigns of a decade ago.

The fact that the UK has some 100,000 homes passed by the Openreach FTTP service, we suspect Hyperoptic are in second place (over 20,000 passed and over 20% take-up rates), CityFibre probably next (21,000 passed but very low take-up), KC Lightstream (hard to discern FTTH/P figures due to mix with FTTC), then as one moves into the more rural areas there is the poster child of B4RN, Gigaclear enabling communities as they show the demand, Overbury Estate (Gloucestershire) and more are in the pipeline e.g. Cotswold Broadband and www.fibrelincs.org.uk.

If the Government wanted to try and encourage these activities even more, it might focus less on concentrating Internet start-up activity in East London, and instead create incentives for start-ups to move to locations where FTTP is available. Our suspicion though is the lure of a shiny US style tech campus to take VIP visitors around might be too much a lure for the big money.

Update 1pm: lonsdaleNET has told us that the there is the option of a lite (10GB allowance) for £19.95 a month, or an uncapped Gigabit service for £29.95. Their website currently focuses on the much more widely available fixed wireless service, which is the same price but has a maximum speed of 60 Mbps and a 150GB fair usage limit, which is apparently lightly enforced as in only if you keep exceeding this level will they contact you to discuss a different package.

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