Parish Council Provisionally Supports Community Broadband and Mobile Phone Service

Parish Council Provisionally Supports Community Broadband and Mobile Phone Service

By Charles Paxton (Local Broadband Champion)

This Monday evening (Dec 6) at Crosby Ravensworth Village Hall, Crosby Ravensworth Parish Council heard a brief presentation on Community broadband, what it is, why it would be useful and how we could get it established.  Though many were still unclear about how much they’d benefit personally, the pertinent observation that this was a decision with long term implications and that other Parishioners and generations of Parishioners might benefit more than those in attendance was persuasive.  I would like to praise and thank our Parish Council for their wise decision. This is an important landmark event because our Parish council has ‘clout’ and can help encourage cooperation, negotiate wayleaves and grant permission to dig on Parish land and to erect poles if necessary.

Craig Brass (Grandson of Dorothy Brass of Low Row) who works with NextGenUs reminded us that the service would be future-proof, the same fibre could deliver 1 Gbps service if people wanted to upgrade. He clarified the distinction between domestic and business premises (cottage businesses get the same terms as homes because they serve as homes) reiterated his offer of free service to our village halls and offered our school 100 Mbps fibre to the premises for the same price that they’re currently paying for about 10Mbps on copper wires.

The actual cost to connect a home would be somewhere between £600 and £1000, but we are being offered this for £149.99 if we can dig the fibre back from the perimeter of our premises to the home – the rest of the cost difference would be bridged by very patient finance. What a lovely phrase – most welcome in this age of pinched finances.

This strikes me as an exceptionally good offer – but it is contingent upon community sign-up. Can we do it? See Community Broadband Page for an overview of the NextGenUs offer to our community.

We need to organise teams of volunteer diggers to help elderly or infirm folk complete the last yards to their homes. It’s time to dig again for victory folks. Please can each village’s broadband champion in Leith-Lyvennet area put the word out that we need digger teams? The old adage is true, many hands do make light work! In this case the infrared light that will work for us in wonderous ways bringing the world to us and us to the world!

We now need 80-90% of existing broadband users to switch to our Community Interest Company Communications project. People new to broadband will be very welcome to join too, of course.

100% take up would enable faster expansion of the best service to the more outlying homes in our Parish.

Communications Survey
Our LVC Communications Survey Questionnaire is in your copy of The Lyvennet Link (December January edition). Please can you detach the centrefold , fill in the survey as soon as is comfortably possible and return it either:

  • To the cardboard box in Crosby Ravensworth Bus Shelter
  • To the box in Margaret Wilcox’s front porch in Reagill
  • To the green box in Maulds Meaburn Bus Shelter
  • To the little green metal bucket on the step outside Charles Paxton’s home at Greywalls, Maulds Meaburn

Nick Thomas and Lisa have done us proud, the information in the Link looks great and is now circulating thanks to the stalwart delivery network.

I hope we’ll eventually get a fairly good picture of our Parish communications situation.
I have sent one by email to Lisa and Tim Ayres at the school (this is likely to be a very key return). I’m hoping that whatever we do can benefit school too and thus all the local children. It would be really something to fix the school up with a fast fibre connection!

Rory Stewart’s Broadband Cumbria Site and ‘The Eden Declaration’

Please can you have a look at ?
If you haven’t done so yet, please forgive me for asking that you do so sometime soon as you will then have a chance to see the ‘Eden Declaration’ , and to sign it too, if you personally agree with its content. I have signed it, as I think it encapsulates some very important messages.
Our Penrith & The Border MP, Rory Stewart’s website has launched a petition to demand superfast broadband and universal mobile broadband coverage in Eden by 2012.
This will hopefully convince BDUK, the broadband funding arm of Government that we’d like first crack at (and to dig deep into) the money-pot for rural broadband expansion in our area.
I trust that our MP knows what he’s doing here and so would be grateful if you would support this venture as it is likely to yield dividends if it is well supported. As far as I can see, this declaration is very sound and says all the right things for us.
(Admittedly it works on the assumption that people around here want to improve communications. People I have spoken with do. I think this is a good starting point, because it allows for pick and mix solutions to suit different people’s needs and preferences – some people are likely to make their connections via mobile devices, others via fibre to the home for a very fast internet set-up and services akin to cable TV, and others may just plan to benefit from the mobile telephony at first – either directly or via benefit from First Responders or for their Children.

To sign the petition, please go to ‘your account’, click on ‘profile’, click on ‘edit profile’, and scroll down until you see a ‘sign the petition’ box.

Tick this box and your name will appear on the list of signatories on the petition page:

Current non-members have the option of signing the petition when they create an account on the site. It’s free to join. So, please pass this news on to your friends and neighbours by word of mouth, email, post, Facebook, Twitter, door-to-door at Church or at socials – it doesn’t matter how!

The more who sign-up, the merrier.  It will naturally be seen as a gauge of our collective enthusiasm and desire for improved communications services. Services that are likely to benefit us all to some extent and in various different ways, at home, in work, through the Village Halls, School, First Responders, Neighbourhood Watch , Church and Chapel and social groups.

People new to the Internet maybe interested to know that there is a very user-friendly training service available locally called Myguide. Shap CDC is one provider, we may be able to run courses in the future in one of our village halls.

Our microsite

Our community website has a broadband area now. Please check out our site and tell me what you’d like to see on it.
We have also been given a microsite attached to which can be found at
I’m running this site as a ‘banner’ around which villages in the wider area can rally to form friendships, exchange ideas and raise issues and solutions. It is likely that a degree of inter-community cooperation will be necessary to help benefit everybody. Please can you have a look at this site too and let me know what you feel could be usefully added to it or removed from it?
I’ve shared our communications questionnaire so that other villages in this area of Eden can modify it to conduct their own surveys if they want.

Please don’t hesitate to call me if you have any questions or need any help with navigating any of these sites. Finally I should add that I’m taking no kick-backs or secret benefits or pay-offs for promoting better communications. I want better communications because I believe that they will improve quality of life around here and help overcome some problems associated with remote country living.

Many thanks for reading and thinking about this. Please do circulate this widely among family and friends. I look forward to hearing your responses at your earliest convenience.


Charles Paxton


One thought on “Parish Council Provisionally Supports Community Broadband and Mobile Phone Service

  1. I am so happy to read this. This is the kind of manual that needs to be given and not the random misinformation that is at the other blogs. Appreciate your sharing this best doc.

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