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A community in Cumbria is installing its own next-generation broadband access, with the aim of turning on the fibre-based connectivity by the end of the year.
Alston Moor, based around the town of Alston, will get the high-speed broadband access through a social enterprise called Cybermoor. The company's chief executive, Daniel Heery, told ZDNet UK on Monday that the equipment being installed was capable of giving speeds of up to 100Mbps, but residents would have to make do with 20Mbps when the network goes live.
"We're currently in the process of securing 20Mbps backhaul," Heery said, adding that 100Mbps backhaul — referring to the connection between the access part of the network and the core network — "tends to be quite costly, so we have to wait for the prices to fall".
The backhaul link will be based on a microwave link between Alston Moor and Telewest's network in Newcastle. Deploying the masts and link will incur a one-off cost of around £100,000, Heery said, whereas other ISPs quoted more than £50,000 per year for extending their networks to the area.
All photos are courtesy of Cybermoor.
This picture shows fibre ducting waiting to be laid.
Cybermoor's deployment is being supported by a mix of community and public sector funding, including money from the NHS, Heery said.
"One of the key things we intend to do is around telehealth," Heery said. "[The NHS] will be using devices to monitor people's blood pressure, blood oxygen levels and weight at home. Nurses can monitor these things remotely and intervene [if necessary]. It saves the NHS quite a lot of money in terms of ambulance, hospital beds and so on."