Superfast Broadband is coming to Coniston and ...
... sorry, not to Torver
Chris Bradley represents the Parish Council in pursuing our campaign to bring SFBB to Torver.
Here's his recent update:
"Under the first phase of the Connecting Cumbria program, Torver, in common with many rural parishes, has been overlooked for SFBB connection.
"Torver, along with many other areas of rural Cumbria, is on the map (right column below) which indicates that there are no plans to connect us to SFBB, we will get the 'residual' speed of a minimum 2 MBPS (see lower map) which for many will be a vast improvement, but very slow in this day and age.
"The Connecting Cumbria project has just completed the Phase 2 consultation which was an opportunity for all of the neglected areas (us) to have their chance to put their case for some modest government and EU money to do as much as possible to increase broadband speed with the funds at the tail end of the project. I put in the representation for Torver and on paper it's a reasonable case as we are only 2.5 miles from fibre connected Coniston. There are new pole-top boosters which would be ideal in our situation to bring Coniston speed to Torver. The responses from the consultation will be assessed to see which are the most deserving causes and which represent best value for money, I am not sure when this will produce an answer, but I would expect any implementation to be going in before the end of this year."
What's going on?
The Connecting Cumbria programme attracts Government and EU grants towards bringing Superfast Broadband (SFBB) to rural areas, but the vast majority of this money is being been used to increase broadband speeds in the major towns where commercial demands would have resulted in SFBB installation anyway, so the Connecting Cumbria money is just a great way of subsidising an already profitable deployment.
I don't know what broadband speeds Kendal had before their recent upgrade, but here's what they have now according to an October 2012 press release:
"FTTC, where fibre is delivered to the street cabinet, offers download speeds of up to 80 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps. FTTP, where fibre runs all the way to homes and businesses, offers a variety of download speeds with the current top speed being 330 Mbps."
Kendal: 80 Mbps download - 20 upload
Torver: 1.5 Mbps download - 0.4 upload
80 Mbps! Blimey! OK, we can forget the 330 Mbps because there's no way we'll ever get fibre optic cables to our homes, and maybe 80 Mbps is a bit much to ask out here in the Cumbrian wilderness, but don't you think they might have used some of that funding to give us at least the government recommended basic 4 Mbps before taking Kendal and other main towns into the Broadband Stratosphere?
The numbers on the right, assembled after long research and as accurate as I can make them (we don't need to cheat), show the true extent of Internet usage in Torver parish and along the A593 this side of the Coniston SFBB upgrade. That's a lot of second class broadband citizens who deserve better than to be left in the slow lane of Information Technology.
The new Superfast Broadband is the grey area, covering Bowmanstead and possibly as far as Park Coppice.
The grey here shows the extent of the promised 2Mbps minimum - reaching the junction, but missing out most of the centre and and everywhere SW of the village.
I'm sure nobody in Torver begrudges Coniston a single megabit-per-second of its forthcoming Superfast upgrade.
But please, don't leave us in the slow lane of information technology. Torver is a growing community with 8 new homes recently built and 9 more schedule for the coming year.