Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Cumbria - Loss of broadband service which proved not to be sustainable without a subsidy

The Guardian reports the loss of broadband service in part of Cumbria as a consequence of the ending of a subsidy.

The Duddon Valley is losing its Cable & Wireless broadband service, with the alternative being the Ku band satellite service:

Cable & Wireless Worldwide has written to residents to say the public funds raised to pay for the service have expired, and because the connection is "uneconomical", it is to be withdrawn.

Using European money, the North West Development Agency, which was abolished along with all other regional development agencies in March, spent £15m to bring broadband to Cumbria. The investment was made in the wake of the foot and mouth epidemic 2001, which decimated local agriculture and tourism.

About £500,000 was spent on connections for Duddon, Branthwaite and three other valleys that were all too remote for BT broadband. The hardest-to-reach homes were connected to the internet not via the copper wires but using radio masts, with small receivers on the outside of properties to pick up the signal.

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