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MP calls on residents to back Fibre GarDen project

October 22, 2013 2:03 PM

 (Tim broadband photo)South Lakes MP Tim Farron has congratulated a community broadband scheme in Garsdale for reaching the half-way mark in raising the cash they need from a share issue. The company are offering superfast broadband to the community and Tim has called on people to keep buying shares.

Tim believes that FibreGarDen has shown the way in acting to complete community-owned plans to construct and operate a fibre optic network. The network will provide a superfast broadband service at download speeds of 30Mb/s and 100Mb/s, throughout Dentdale and Garsdale in the YorkshireDalesNational Park.

A team of volunteers in FibreGarDen, have now formed a company called Digital Dales (UK) Limited, which has been working over the last three years to create the right structure and success has already come in the following ways:

  • They were the first broadband pilot in the country to receive a pre-contract grant offer from the government under the DEFRA/BDUK scheme, now amounting to 50% of project cost, circa £325,000, or £650 per premise. Tim helped lobby for this funding.
  • They will be the first pilot in the country to use Network Rail backhaul to provide the wholesale link to the worldwide web;
  • A significant commitment from the YorkshireDalesNational Park to support the project has been received.

They are now working to raise the final match funding, a minimum of £225,000, which is needed to complete the project. The share offer will run from 16th September 2013 until 15th December 2013 or until the subscription level has been met.

Tim said: "It is wonderful to hear that Fibre GarDen has reached the half way mark and I hope more local people support and buy shares in the scheme. I want to congratulate John Colton, Stefan Kosciuszko, Andrew Fleck and the whole team for their efforts so far and I know they will keep working until work starts on delivering broadband to the valley."