Dolphinholme overcomes FUD to light up on B4RN’s 1Gbps fibre
“I am delighted to tell you all that Dolphinholme now has hyperspeed broadband! Thanks to the ‘fusing team’ the Village Hall and the first few houses came online today. A fantastic effort by everyone concerned, those who planned, those to dug and those who did the ‘technical stuff’. A real community effort by everyone involved. Particular thanks to those who have given us access over their land, those who have invested time and money and those who have supported this is so many ways.
“Of course there is still a huge amount to do and at the Fleece meeting this evening the DB4RNAG dedicated ourselves to completing this project, which means bringing the service to all those in Dolphinholme who want it. This will of course take time, but in the meantime having the Village Hall live means that there is a facility for anyone in the Village who needs to use it.”
Thus was the news broken last night that a tiny Lancashire village overcame red tape, appalling weather, and a fear, uncertainty and doubt campaign to get future-proof, fit for purpose broadband access to their residents.
After learning that Dolphinholme, which is less than five miles from the county seat in Lancaster, was unlikely to get high speed broadband from BT in the Lancashire County Council next generation roll-out, residents resolved to dig their way to hook up with the 1Gbps network installed by B4RN.
B4RN had included Dolphinholme in its original plans, but in a later phase. Impatient villagers vowed to speed things up. This led to correspondence reported in July last year by the well-connected blogger Philip Virgo. It went as follows:
I thought you might be interested in an update on how BT is behaving around the B4RN patch.
We are busy digging towards a village called Dolphinholme (included in our list of postcodes for B4RN build out which RCBF/BT and LCC have had for a very long time). As we are getting close interest has climbed and some villagers held a meeting to see how to progress things into the village and the distribution around it.
One inhabitant of the village is very pro BT and went back to Lancashire County Council to ask for an update on where the Lancashire County Council SFBB project was in relationship to Dolphinholme.
LCC wrote back saying they were going to deliver SFBB soon and there was no need for them to support B4RN, the villager then emailed everyone saying B4RN wasn’t needed as BT were going to do it.
I responded saying the patch was in the B4RN build out and we thought we had an agreement that LCC’s build out wouldn’t overbuild us. Also that because the village was a long way from the exchange and there was no PCP then FTTC would not deliver true NGA broadband to the village.
This was apparently fed back to LCC/BT (see snippet 1/ below) and triggered what appears to be a general letter about to go out to residents, see snippet 2/ below
In view of Barry Forde’s comments, I wrote and subsequently spoke to Andrew Halliwell, Assistant Director at the Lancashire CC, overseeing the roll out scheme throughout Lancashire, and he has assured me the roll out to Dolphinholme is still on schedule to arrive sometime between September and December, 2013. In order to allay any scepticism, Andrew Halliwell has agreed to give us written assurances and I will notify you upon receipt of same.
Due to the distance from the exchange BT will use FTTP technology in order to ensure that you and your residents in Dolphinholme get the best possible service.
This means that the cabinet location will not effect the installation of fibre into Dolphinholme as this will be fed direct from the exchange to the homes and business’s.
This is excellent news for you and your residents and I will look forward to keeping you upto date with the latest plans!
With Kind Regards
Superfast Lancashire Programme Control Manager
So what do we make of the fact that BT are choosing to roll out an FTTP deployment, focused entirely within the B4RN footprint targeting the core of a village we are digging into?
Also that they can find the resources to do this between September and December, before any other bits of the county are done but coincidentally matching the time frame for our service build and go live dates . I’ve not got any data on which properties they are targeting but wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s just the easy to service core of the village and that all the surrounding isolated properties are excluded unlike our project that is 100% inclusive.
That is now water under the bridge, although people in these parts have long memories. As Dolphinhome says, “The work goes on. Tomorrow we hope to bring a few more houses online and then in the afternoon at 2:00 we hope to start the duct from the cabinet to Corless Cottages.”
But for the moment, take a bow, chaps – you deserve it.