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Monday, 5 September 2011

Fibre Walk Colloquium

Sponsored by ITS Technology

Prepare your wellies and clear your diary for 16th September. It's Colloquium time in Cumbria........and you need to act fast if you want to attend as space is limited (unless you have your own transport).

This blog post can be read at

Just to be adventurous, we are going to try something different - a mobile colloquium aka a fibrewalk! Generously sponsored by ITS Technology.

PLEASE NOTE: tickets are limited and the purchase deadline is Tuesday 13th September.

Why is rural FTTH so difficult? To find the answers and debunk a few myths, we will be going for a meander along a typical rural fibre route. (It is only 1 mile so don't panic about your fitness!) During the journey, you will be able to ask questions of the experts as everyone sees for themselves the ground we need to cover in rural places such as Cumbria.

The mile has been carefully chosen to highlight as many of the issues facing rural fibre and FiWi rollout as possible, giving everyone an opportunity to see just what this country needs to face up to if we are to meet the targets of delivering next gen to the Final Third.

Our planned afternoon destination is a local farm where we will be congregating to colloq, network and cover a few of the most pressing issues that are facing rural next generation broadband in the UK.


We are very honoured to have Donny Smith, CEO of Jaguar Communications in Minnesota as guest speaker on the FibreWalk to answer all your questions, share his unrivalled expertise in rural broadband networks, as well as some amazing stories and tips for anyone interested in the Final Third.

Jim Savege of Cumbria County Council will also be available to chat about Cumbria's plans and vision. Industry and community networks will be represented, including sponsors ITS Technology, local fibre training company, Lucid Optical Services Ltd, B4RN, Broadband Cumbria, East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum, Upper Eden Community Partnerships, as well as communities from further afield who are tackling the rural FTTH problem.

We are hoping that Rory Stewart MP will also be dropping in to join us.

Whether it is sustainable business models, dealing with scarce populations, the latest technology being used, community engagement, direct drilling, moleploughing, remote wireless access points, or the logistics of building and maintaining a rural fibre or wireless network in mid-winter - we will probably discuss it!

There will be a charge for the event of £30 (£20 for concessions) - full details and booking are on the Eventbrite page

After the walk, there will be networking when we go to support a local eatery which does the most superb food without breaking anyone's bank, and possibly visit a Cumbrian hostelry or two. This is of course optional, but an ideal opportunity to network, chat, follow on conversations, etc.

Housekeeping: Bear in mind, this is Cumbria. Firstly, it is likely to rain and secondly, it hasn't been warm in August so unless we get an Indian summer, September is unlikely to be different - dress sensibly as there are no outdoor shops for emergency jumpers or waterproofs where we are walking. There is also patchy mobile coverage, little chance to livestream the walk, and no internet connectivity to speak of. So, you're either here to take part, or you aren't!

The last train out of here south is 19.13 if you want to arrive in Leeds on the same day! B&Bs in Kirkby Stephen (our Colloquium Base), Brough, Appleby and the surrounding area are plentiful and cheap (£28+) as is the Black Bull Hotel or the Kings Arms (01768 371378

What better opportunity to spend the weekend in the Lake District and Cumbria with your family? Come and explore Eden - the only rural Big Society vanguard area, and there is plenty to do including the World Sheepdog Trials and Country festival at Lowther, Cumbria Artists Open Studios, Borrowdale Show, and much more!



chris said...

I will bring me wellies.

Anonymous said...

...And I shall wear my walking boots all the way from Surrey. The disused railway track looks quite inviting too !

Somerset said...

What is the link with ITS who do not yet appear to have completed any projects?

Cybersavvy UK said...

@somerset ITS are the sponsor who stepped forward at very short notice to make this happen so people can meet Donny Smith. And a big thank you to them. Sadly, the other American community network gurus who should have been here have been hit really hard by Hurricane Irene and were unable to come as planned.

Cybersavvy UK said...

Our thoughts are with all those hit by Hurricane Irene.

Mike said...

I'm coming!

Mike said...

I'll be there along with boots,wellies & Overlander....