Hampshire uses school fibre networks to erase not-spot
A variety of partners have worked together to create a case, showing that certainly in Hampshire, there is scope for using Public Service Networks such as the fibre services linking schools to also connect residents.
The village of Little London now has people connecting to the hybrid FTTC/Wireless service which has people running at speeds of 30 to 40 Mbps and uploading material at 10 to 15 Mbps, previously about the best they could hope for was 0.5Mbps. The village had very limited broadband service previously and through the partnership of Hampshire County Council, Magdalene, Netadmin, Fluidata and Virgin Media there is now a live service.
"We wanted this project to have extra credibility by being open and allowing any service provider to get involved. Where we are now, the residents of Little London, Hampshire have superfast broadband, with the choice of 30 different service providers. This would not have been possible without Netadmin and the other partners, Magdalene and Fluidata. These parties together enable a platform that allows residents to connect to a world of new services."Glyn Paton, Manager Hampshire County Council’s rural broadband project
Takeup looks encouraging, with projections of 60 to 70%, the age old problem of people waiting for existing contracts to expire so they can signup means some will wait a few months before migrating across to the new network. Interestingly IFNL who provide Gigabit fibre are joined to the network, which should help to ensure the longterm nature of the project, and also help with more fibre to the premises being rolled out in Hampshire.
Fluidata operates a Service Exchange Platform, which is connected to some forty providers around the UK and interconnects onto the BT WBC ADSL2+ platform, O2 national network, IFNL and Digital Region. With Fluidata operating as an exchange platform there is a lot more scope for small community projects and other BDUK projects to utilise the platform, and immediately ensure a wide range of providers are available on any new infrastructure.
A presentation by NetAdmin at the Next Gen York roadshow, reveals a little more about the project which involved running a 1km fibre between the villages, an upgrade to the schools connection, a cabinet for the VDSL service and a telegraph pole. For those curious to know how much this service costs residents, we found some pricing on IDNET, which has packages ranging from £35.73 to £67.41 a month.