Saturday, 24 September 2011
This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
From Section 2 of the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald 24th September:
Above: Freddy Markham, armed with laptop, and other enthusiasts prepare to board the 1946 Leyland bus.
IT was a case of old meets new on Friday as a group of internet enthusiasts gathered in Kirkby Stephen's Market Square in order to be transported to Warcop via a classic coach for the UK's first public "Fibre Walk".
The group, led by broadband campaigner and Warcop parish councillor Lindsey Annison, walked a route from Warcop School towards the proposed site of the UK's first cyberbarn. Along the route, a group of 23 people discussed the challenges presented by DIY fibre cable laying across the landscape.
Present on the walk were representatives of a number of remote villages in different parts of the country who have grown tired of waiting for their lack of Internet access to be solved by the big telecoms companies and government, and have decided that their only solution is to take up spades and ploughs to dig the trenches that will house the fibre cables that bring future-proofed internet to their communities and businesses.
Also present were parish and county councillors, broadband consultants and fibre optic experts from across the north of England.
Special guest Donny Smith, of Minnesota-based Jaguar Communications, which has rolled out an extensive fibre broadband network in an extremely remote part of the United States, shared his expertise.
"Donny's experience in all aspects of fibre optic broadband, from the pitfalls to solutions, was incredibly valuable," said Lindsey, who was joined by John Heron, chairman of Warcop Parish Council, and Richard and Liz Wynne, of Warcop village hall new build committee.
The event was sponsored by ITS Technology, which is experienced in fibre and advanced network technologies. John Bookless, its chief executive,, said, "This event has done fibre to the home in rural communities proud, and ITS is delighted to have had the opportunity to share our expertise and be involved in such a fantastic initiative to increase awareness of the challenges we all face with hyperfast broadband."