Movin' on....

Across Cumbria and North Yorkshire in the last 24 hours, there have been some seriously ground-breaking meetings. I suspect that similar meetings have occurred in the Highlands and Islands, and Herefordshire.
Farmers, landowners, communities and citizens have come together and said, “What do we need to do to sort this broadband lark out, then?”
Personally, in 15 years in this game, I have never seen mapping like it nor challenges laid down between neighbours to dig across their land faster than the other. I am glad the CANdo Awards are being re-launched as I think we have some new categories I had never imagined! (Want to sponsor? Let me know).
BDUK money may be the catalyst, but desperation and frustration more so.
Waiting around till next March just for bids to be submitted may prove that there has been a gross under-estimation of rural need for broadband. (Some of us will say, “Told you so” and you will finally admit the truth in our beliefs).
Rural communities are ready to start digging – tomorrow. No sitting around for another winter, but NOW. No waiting for money. You thought civils were expensive? They really aren’t when approached like this.
No-one seems willing for the wrong player to come in and take that money. They would all prefer that the solution found is right for HERE. And the way to ensure that is: JFDI. And I’ve never quite seen anything like it – communities are doing it for themselves.
If public money is used to undermine these solutions next spring, there will be judicial review. What BDUK need to do now is catch up, fast. 
The dosh is required: many of these communities have no idea yet what the real costs are for back or longhaul…….. The telcos are happy to screw them, and will!  
The enthusiasm is there but let’s wait till any of them get a quote from BT for a fat pipe. (Our request for quotes are going in shortly.)
We are talking a 1Gbps pipe not a 2Mbps leased line. It should be around £1-2/MB/month – London rates, but if it ain’t, the BDUK money will just be going nowhere, even into an already dug and connected community first mile that no telco could ever provide.
I am waiting to see the next steps everyone takes…….

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It is vital to sort out the DVPs, the digital village pumps that will bring connectivity to these people. It is the rural areas who supply the towns with fresh water, I feel this should be returned the same way as a fibre right to the heart of each community. Urban people aren't charged more for their water, so why should rural people be charged on distance for a connection? Internet access is a utility. Government needs people online to save millions. The people need to be online. Fibre is the answer. If the telcos can't do the last bit then its up to government to make sure the people have a pump to dig to. It looks like BDUK have realised this and are giving Cumbria and North Yorkshire the chance to prove it. This could become the model for other counties. Speed is of the essence. Lets get on and JFDI. I do take your point though, there has to be a guaranteed pump to dig to, or it is pointless if you can't get on a pipe.