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Thread: Your vote is essential for parish broadband improvement progress

  1. #1

    Your vote is essential for parish broadband improvement progress

    If you want to improve the likelihood of getting better broadband for our Parish THEN YOU MUST REGISTER YOUR INTEREST ON THE FOLLOWING KCC WEBSITE . KCC have informed us that our Parish has so far only registered around 100 votes for better broadband and has been easily overtaken by the community of Brenchley/Horsmonden, which has already registered 350 votes. We have recently been listed for 2 potential grants. If you do not vote for better broadband then there is a real chance that we will be downgraded in priority relative to other areas. Funds are limited and those parishes demonstrating the greatest popular demand will be first in the queue

    The voting process only takes a couple of minutes.




  2. #2
    Thanks Lawrence.

    I would point out that this very much depends on everyone's belief that whatever money KCC provides is spent wisely, with providers that can make a realistic difference. It won't change the secrecy around over-committing bandwidth, or the bias towards an ISP's shareholders rather than its customers. Clever ISPs say they're the same thing - demonstrably not, from some of the comments about Virgin Media's service in Brighton on their own forum.

    The B4RS initiative isn't relying on public money. The above poll is provided by KCC to allow them to distribute public money from BDUK to the communities that signal they want it the most. It is nothing to do with B4RS which will be all about communities "doing it themselves". Some public money would be nice, but if we can't demonstrate the need ourselves, then B4RS won't succeed either, and we're stuck in the duldrums and commuting up to London or into Tunbridge Wells to get enough bandwidth to watch HD TV while tele-healthing to our doctor. The demo suite is being built, to let everyone see just what 1000Mbps downstream AND upstream can do, with local people running the service in a not-for-profit company. Watch this space!

    Last edited by RobL; 11-04-2012 at 10:10 AM. Reason: Spelling mostly - must buy dictionary
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  3. #3

    Your posts trouble me. I thought the purpose of the Parish Broadband Project was to obtain funding from KCCDEFRA/BDUK and to improve our local broadband? Yet Rob says its' nothing to do with B4RS? Surely, if we don't all get behind the KCC initative, though engaging parishioners to register, the Parish has lost an opportunity to take our local broadband to the next stage. B4RS, appears to me, to be very "Blue Sky" whilst the KCC solution is very real and deliverable. As suggested in an earlier post surely dialogue with BT using the last few months White Box data could also possibly provide further ammunition for them "to step up to the plate" as well.

    I would appreciate your thoughts.

    Paul W.

  4. #4
    Hi Paul,

    Don't be troubled. The parish Broadband Initiative is to improve the broadband service for the benefit of our communities, exploring all avenues to do this. The KCC DEFRA/BDUK grant process is one way to do this. I happen to disagree with BDUK's approach for many, many reasons, and with much of the overhead and process associated with applying for many of these grants. There are documented examples of grants being awarded, them reneged upon -

    Grants that require orgnisations to spend the money, then beg for payment ... business risk that is unacceptable.

    The B4RS "Blue Sky" approach doesn't require funding from BDUK (as B4RS is not BT or Fujitsu - the last of 12 BIG organisations PERMITTED to bid for the procurement contracts) which is the majority of the money KCC is looking to distribute, probably to BT or Fujitsu, or perhaps small amounts to other ISPs as yet unknown. DEFRA is a bit different, but the conditions and bid process are complex. Rather than suffer at the hands of government process, playing by their rules, the "Blue Sky" approach is to JFDI with local knowledge, skills, capability and yes, funding!

    So, when I say "B4RS isn't relying on public money", it isn't conditional on getting ANY of these grants. It can be done without them, once, the right way, removing any dependence on monolithic ISPs that have held our country back for more than 40 years with reliance on copper technology in the ground. The UK is now ranked 25th in Europe for broadband deployment.

    I would point out that this article suggests BT and Virgin will help this - perhaps, but not for anyone outside BT or Virgin's "commercially viable zone", which they're not publicising. A lot of the furrore around the grants is related to giving the BDUK 530M to BT and Fujitsu to make it "commercially viable" (on their terms) to get better speeds to rural areas, without breaking EU state aid legislation. Governments aren't allowed to provide aid in competitive markets. Neither BT nor Fujitsu are currently saying how or where they will make these improvements for the rural 3rd or "final ninth" of our communities. It's all a gamble.

    I hope this clarifies the above statement Paul. Until KCC and BDUK come clean on what, where and when, we have a healthy motivation to push for building our own network without grant aid. There are many horses in this race, all relatively independent. Who are you picking for Grand National this weekend?

    Last edited by RobL; 27-05-2012 at 03:46 PM. Reason: grammar and spelling
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  5. #5

    Thanks for your reply and clarification of your postion. B4RS is one potential deliverable and being your baby clearly the one with your vote. At the same time is it not important we don't lose sight of the six threads outlined in Chris Woodwards' SPCBBWP News of 5Feb12.

    Not a betting man (well only on certs) I assume like the Grand National it is probably better, in a large field, to back a number of runners to improve any chance of winning. At present we have no local form (full details) for any of the broadband runners (all of which will require some type of funding). There is a need to create chances (broadband choices). KCC funding is one of these. It would be tragic if we can't field a broadband chance because the horse failed to turn up or ran with another stable, through local inerta. A real potential outlined by Lawrence. The whole Parish would lose, hence my continued concern. Enough horse racing for today! My neighbours all have the address.

    Paul W.

  6. #6
    Precisely Paul.

    B4RS isn't "my baby", but the communal name we're using to cover all the nags in the race - "Blue Sky" is how we refer to the self-funded Fibre to the Home (FTTH) project, which I believe is the only sensible option with a meaningful return on investment - public money isn't "free". No one is suggesting we abandon the six threads mentioned by Chris, indeed there are funding options which necessitate a joined up cooperation with other parishes.

    As for form, I've been in the IT business and networking industry long enough to have an idea of who and what I fancy to deliver something real. Not so much in the equestrian world, as I failed to bring home the booty today.

    I completed the well hidden and badly advertised "makekentquicker" form many weeks ago, as if I hadn't, someone else might get the benefit of my tax money. It's thanks to this forum that more people are hearing about it, and how pivotal it appears to be in influencing KCC to distribute BDUK grant money.

    I have little confidence in that money delivering value to anyone, including myself, as no-one to my knowledge is considering FTTH as a solution across our parishes. Nothing I can do about that, other than help demonstrate "Blue Sky" as the only sensible option for our communities, which is what I'm doing. If anyone at KCC or BDUK or any of the ISPs that will be given the money can produce a business case like ours, not under NDA, I'd love to see it. Ours will be published, much like B4RN when we're ready to take it to the next level. The shareholders who benefit are local communities themselves - nobody else!

    So to sum up ... B4RS is for everyone, and all the options, not just my "vision" of Blue Sky [SMILE].

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