Community broadband effort chalks up a win

A local campaigner who wouldn't give up has succeeded in making broadband available in his area

Broadband connectivity has reached West Haddon and Winwick in Northamptonshire, thanks to the efforts of one man who refused to accept that it couldn't happen and was nothing more than a fat pipe dream.

West Haddon and Winwick fall within the 10 percent of the country that BT has said will never be ADSL-enabled but 'Broadband Hero' Sherman and a number of like-minded souls refused to take 'no' for an answer and set about finding a way to bring broadband to their area, as ZDNet UK's sister site silicon.com first reported in October 2002.

And amazingly the service that West Haddon and Winwick is launching today will offer a service in some ways more compelling than that users would get from BT or other ISPs.

For just £27 per month users will receive broadband with speeds as high at 2Mbps downstream - 40 times faster than dial-up and four times faster than conventional ADSL.

West Haddon and Winwick Community Broadband Ltd is now taking subscriptions from users in the area and is offering the service by using satellite technology from Aramiska and 802.11b connectivity from Hotwireless.

Speaking to silicon.com ahead of the official launch, Sherman said: "In some ways this feels like the end of the whole process but in truth this is just the beginning. Now this is a community project and the aim is to get as wide a group of people as possible involved."

"Hopefully now what we will see is our project acting as a catalyst for others to launch similar schemes. I have already been contacted by people from all over the country asking me how I've done it and what they can do to bring broadband to their areas. I think what we have shown here in West Haddon and Winwick is that we can all do this."

Added Sherman:"I was told we were too remote and too small but it's happened."

Attending the event to launch the service was local MP Tim Boswell who echoed Sherman's hopes that this launch will prove a catalyst for other communities to follow suit.

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