While there is excitement that the pilot projects aimed at exploring how to resolve the superfast broadband coverage problems for the last 5% of the UK are edging closer, it needs to be remembered that the pilot projects are limited in scope and only have funding to run for one year.
The superfast wireless broadband project in West Witton in the Yorkshire Dales is getting closer to delivering working connections, planning permission is being sought for four masts in West Witton of varying heights: 6m, 2x9m and 13m mast to house a mixture of dishes and antennae to cover the surrounding areas with a mixture of Wi-Fi, fixed wireless, LTE and TV White Space. The mixture of solutions is aiming to overcome line of sight issues that the higher frequency solutions suffer from, so it will be interesting to see how superfast for example the TV White Space proves. The project is aiming to connect people at 25 Mbps and faster.
West Witton currently gets ADSL speeds in the 0.5 to 2 Mbps region, and while served by cabinet 2 from the Leyburn exchange, the premises are spread over a wide area which makes FTTC unfeasible. The backhaul for the masts will involve a line of sight wireless link to a mast at the Leyburn exchange.
For those living in the area and keen to see if they might benefit the planning applications include indicative maps of the coverage footprint from the £1.5 million project.
Hopefully if this project is successful, the plug will not be pulled on the service after the pilot period of a year and the solutions be left running permanently without on-going subsidy.