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Monday, 6 June 2011

This harsh geography is not conducive to fibre lay.....

I have to admit my jaws ceased to meet on overhearing this the other day....not that title statement, but what followed. Libby Bateman, you are a very astute young woman! And if anyone headhunts her from Eden, you will find yourself facing Rory's Reivers and many more who value her, who will fight tooth and nail to keep her here where she belongs, doing what she is incredibly good at, and putting hundreds of overpaid people to complete shame. In our region as well as in most others. Libby is Big Society personified - learn from her.

This blog post can be read at

Location: Rheged. When: coupla days ago. Present: someone with a "Responsibility for making life-changing decisions about broadband for some of us". (I actually like this person, but ....well, another blog post will be writ on that matter.)

(Paraphrased) Libby: Laying fibre across Cumbria is a nightmare of an engineering task. "Apparently." According to the telcos. In tiny little trenches. But look what runs right through our region? The Settle-Carlisle Railway. So, over 100 years ago with no mechnical assistance whatsoever and in the most difficult of climates, they could build a world-renowned railway, with viaducts such as Ribblehead, tunnels and bridges, the longest, steepest hauls on UK rail, through some of the harshest [yet most beautiful] landscape there is. And yet now they are claiming no-one can lay fibre here?

You have to admit, she has a point. So, you short listed folk, get this. If you don't lay fibre across this county, we'll take to you to the bloody cleaners for incompetence and failing to learn from the past. Not just in the last century and more, but the last decade too.

You will NOT repeat Project Access's utter failure on our doorstep again. Not with this region's history for DOING MAJOR ENGINEERING WORKS right. We are not Numbrians. We are proud of our heritage and want to leave our legacy for future generations too.


chris said...

spot on.

MB94128 said...

Wikipedia article : "Settle-Carlisle Line"

Let's see - lay fiber along the ROW and put DVP's at each of the stations. Next, add links between the stations and the nearby villages. Yes, it will cost money and a little time. But a railroad ROW has the HUGE advantage of those steel ribbons that can carry both flatcars (aka open goods wagons) and trenching machines.

Here is another example of fragmented thinking on the part of the powers-that-be. They think in terms of cross-country (greenfield) runs or roadside utility poles / trenches. Hell's bells ! I'd run a conduit right down the middle of a canal if that gave me a shorter run and / or easier access.


ROW = right of way
DVP = digital village pump

Cybersavvy UK said...

MB - I have the market price for laying a substantial length of that railway. £1.4M. It is peanuts, would provide a minimum of 48 DVPs, and includes a pretty long run to my house which is nowhere near the end point of our railroad stretch. ;o)

Anonymous said...

Aye Libby is indeed top class and no nonsense.

Cumbria is already a year behind where it should be broadband wise and that is due to the entirely unwarranted presence of the shiny bauble of public subsidy via that dead duck BDUK

Unwarranted and unneeded as what is actually required is folks stepping up, demanding a better service and working together to make that happen - there is no better set of communities or place than Cumbria to do this.

simon.denton said...

for a fibre backbone, how about sharing the fibre or the spare duct capacity that is already running along the M6 . Ask the Highways Agency and they might get their Telecoms Contractor to play ball... they also have a fibre solution for deployment on their trunk roads…

Railway fibre is not normally trenched in - sits in troughs close to the rails hence it's popularity with cable thieves – think that line has fibre comms already – share the capacity? Make contact with their Asset Protection team -

Cybersavvy UK said...

@fibreguy Cumbria is 10 years behind. Not one. Don't blame all this on BDUK.

They are the latest quango thrown into Cumbria to get it wrong, but the wholesale blame for the mess here should fall fairly and squarely on the shoulders of NWDA and Commendium for Project Access's out and out failure to deliver what was promised.

And no-one should forget it, especially not CCC.