This account is heavily reliant upon the excellent Youtube videos supplied by Citizen Reporter John Popham
Hard on the heels of his very dynamic and crammed-to-capacity Big Society Meeting at Gt. Asby on November 5th, our Penrith and the Border MP Rory Stewart followed up his successful Rheged Broadband Conference with a meeting of local community Broadband Champions and Community leaders at Great Asby Village Hall on Saturday, 6th of November.
It was a well organized event that enabled important ideas to disseminate and coalesce.
These ladies and gentlemen, drawn from Parishes all across the constituency gathered to achieve three purposes:
1) to hear, from Rory, the latest developments in the campaign to connect our rural populations with super fast communications that are becoming increasingly essential for our future prosperity and improving the quality of life. He has managed to secure more than double the amount of funding that we’d hoped for in order to help connect rural Cumbria to the fast lanes of the information superhighway! Our MP has stressed the particular importance of high speed broadband in our area which has the highest number of self-employed people who work from home per capita of any UK constituency.
It is the very remoteness of our communities that makes fast broadband so important for them!
Above Video Courtesy of John Popham
2) to be brought “up to speed” about community fast broadband by leading experts including Dr. Barry Forde (founder of the CLEO fast broadband network for Schools), representatives of the Great Asby Broadband Group, Mike Kiely & Robert Ling of Broadband Delivery UK, Mr. Simon Jones from the UK Division of the Cisco Systems communications giant and Ms. Nicky Getgood of Talk About Local .
Rory Stewart Interviews Barry Forde, Government Consultant on fast broadband and founder of The CLEO project about fast broadband. Video Courtesy of John Popham
Miles Mandleson of Great Asby Broadband Group explains what they’re doing (above) and John Bevan explains how to manage a project as a Community Interest Company (below) Videos Courtesy of John Popham Please click here to read about the Great Asby Community Broadband Case Study
Mark Kiely and Robert Ling of BDUK explaining their mission to help get fast broadband to people across the UK.”We really want to achieve the best for this area, and really want to push the boundaries of what can be achieved,” Robert Ling. Videos Courtesy of John Popham
“The objective of BDUK is to deliver fast broadband to the final third… we have to keep the local communities engaged because there’s a lot that we’ll have to work on together….we’re not looking to leave anybody behind as we move forward.” Robert Ling. Videos Courtesy of John Popham
More Q&A .Rory Stewart explains that it was community engagement and enthusiasm that enabled BDUK to include Cumbria in their pilot program.
Simon Jones of CISCO Systems UK (above) talks about “the human aspect” what we can do with the fast broadband when it is established. “We need to make sure that the Internet is meeting human needs in the way we want to take it.”
Nicky Getgood of Talkaboutlocal teaches people how to make nice community websites without resorting to coding using WordPress.com
Videos Courtesy of John Popham
More Q&A. Rory Stewart explains that “It’s a two part thing” CISCO is ready to help once the infrastructure is in place. Also Mark Kiely talks about the role of mobile phones in Telemedicine and the need for low latency (smooth fast real-time live video streaming on hand-held devices as well as desk and lap tops)
3) for a focused discussion of key questions in smaller, local working groups of Community Broadband Champions. Our summarised findings were then delivered to the whole gathering so that we could share information.
Rory Stewart’s Summation (above) was followed by an outstanding supper provided by The Crosby Ravensworth Food Alliance.
A fine account complete with associated video and nice photographs can be found at Citizen reporter, John Popham’s weblog.
Broadband Champions engaged in brainstorming! John Popham Photo