People in rural areas of North East Somerset may soon start to see groups of people laying fibre ducting across the boundaries of fields. A community interest company that has raised an initial £150,000 to build a FTTP network has started to build its network with the first trench dug in the Newton St. Looe area.
The group operates under the name Wansdyke Telecom and the coverage in the Somerset Guardian suggests that the aim is to build a Gigabit FTTP network to eventually cover large parts of the area from Blagdon Lake in the west to Bath in the east in a 15 mile long and roughly 5 mile wide corridor which we estimate covers some some 14,000 properties if you exclude any properties in Bath.
The projects own website reveals the secret to how this and other community projects are able to proceed and install full fibre relatively cheaply and that is by negotiating free wayleave access to cross land rather than having to pay expensive wayleave fees, as well as utilising volunteer labour for as much work as possible.
The Bath and North East Somerset council had at one time dropped out of the BDUK process, but returned in time for the contract signing a year ago. The current deployments announced under that project do not overlap with the FTTP project, but only time will tell if there is to be any overlap.