Fell End Broadband has gone live with its first customers live on the network including the Fat Lamb Country Inn where in 2010 the initial idea to bring FTTH to the area germinated.
The project will connect some 58 premises (28 are businesses) to the network once complete and has seen some 15km of fibre laid using mole ploughing. The funding for the project is a mixture of community funding (£6,000) RCBF money (£53,000), Prince's Countryside Fund (£26,000), Holhird Trust (£2,000) and TalkTalk Digital Heroes (£1,000), with BT contributing material and labour (believed to be worth a value in the six figure region).
The deployed network is a GEA-FTTP deployment offering the various price and speed points from 40 Mbps down (10 Mbps up) to the fastest 330 Mbps download and 30 Mbps upload over a GPON architecture. Speed tests are even appearing and the BT Wholesale checker (CA17 4LL) e.g. confirms the availability of the WBC-FTTP product, which is available at the wholesale level from BT Wholesale or LLU operators who buy direct from Openreach.
"This is Cumbria showing Britain how broadband can be delivered to the most remote places in the country. It is a project driven by the community, supported by BT and the Government – and it reaches the most inaccessible area at a fraction of what it would cost to do through Government alone.
Now that we have done it once, I’d like us to repeat this model again and again across Cumbria and then across rural Britain. It will provide the key to ensuring 100 per cent of Britain has the option of superfast broadband, and will make sure that we in Cumbria have the best rural coverage in Europe."Local MP Rory Stewart
For those keen to order the higher speed FTTP products where it is available, there is one snag at present if ordering via BT Consumer (Retail) where in the past if you entered details for an FTTP enabled area you got shown Infinity 1, 2, 3 and 4 options currently only 1 & 2 show up. To order the faster than 80 Mbps versions from BT Consumer people need to ring 0800 800 150 and ask for the FTTP sales desk. We have been informed that the products will be back on the pages in the future. Of course the services are available on a wholesale basis and via other retailers, but the next largest provider with GEA-FTTP available is PlusNet and you have to sign up to ADSL2+ first then migrate across.