This section explains what has happened so far, the options that have been explored and the status of developments. The project began in February 2011. You can read the full history below.
The power cables have now been installed to the antenna sites and the poles installed ready for the wireless broadband equipment to be mounted. We expect the equipment to be installed week of 30th July and for subscriber installations and further surveying to begin shortly afterwards. A very big thank you to Keith & Rachel Guy of Mitton Farm for their efforts in making both these installations happen!
Thank you also to the landowners and tenants of the land and properties involved with these two installs, for their cooperation.
At Mitton House the major work to install the power cable for a main repeater antenna up on the moor has begun.
On Wednesday 4th July, more than 50 people gathered in the function room of the Cross Keys pub in East Marton to find out about the super-fast Broadband
wireless network which aims to roll out to cover the parishes of Martons Both, Broughton with Elslack, Bank Newton and Thornton. The network will bring
super-fast Broadband speeds of up to 50Mb/s to the district which currently has ‘not spots’, where some people cannot get any broadband at all, and many
areas which struggle with intermittent services of less than 0.5Mb/s.
Speakers included Clive Downing, from NYnet, Andrew Laycock, economic development officer for Craven District Council, Chris Pomery of Bradley and Phil
Beadnall of LN Communications.
We were very pleased by the turnout and we met a lot of people desperate to get better broadband. We have enough interest for the project to move forward,
but feel that there are many more people in the district who could benefit from this network. Anyone resident in these parishes who is interested in
subscribing to the service can still register their interest at www.ilovebroadband.co.uk
View Julian's message for Martons Both and Neighbouring Districts Community Broadband Project here:
Would you like a new broadband service by the end of August? We will be holding a public meeting at the Cross Keys Inn, East Marton, at 6.30pm on 4th July. Representatives from LN Communications (the wireless broadband company) will be there to explain how the network works, discuss the packages and options available and answer all your questions. A representative from Craven District Council will also be there. If we gain sufficient sign-ups quickly, so that the project can proceed immediately, then there is some DEFRA funding available to cover the subscriber installation costs. In order to get access to this funding we have to get the first elements of the network in and at least 30 subscribers installed by the end of August. So don’t delay – express your interest in signing up for this new broadband service now! If you can’t make the meeting or would like to sign-up immediately then you can do so here: http://www.ilovebroadband.co.uk/home/enquiry For details of the packages available see: http://www.ilovebroadband.co.uk/home/packages
We are now referring to this project as MBAND (Martons Both And Neighbouring Districts) community broadband network... as it appears to be getting bigger. It now includes a cluster of the parishes of Thornton, Martons Both, Bank Newton, Elslack and Broughton.
Currently we are pending agreements from a number of proposed wireless antenna sites. If we can get those agreements in place then we should be able to begin with the rollout of the initial infrastructure of this network fairly soon.
We are now looking to survey Elslack and its immediate surroundings in order to assess the demand for better broadband there. We are looking at ways of extending the proposed network coverage to cover this area. If you live in this area and are interested or would like to get actively involved with this please contact us.
It was confirmed that the villages of and around both Martons will be classed as being in the 'last 10% hard to reach' areas under the local authority broadband plan.
Discussions have now begun to look at the viability of putting an additional backhaul/repeater antenna up on Elslack Moor. This would provide line of sight and therefore an easier link to West Marton and may also provide properties in Elslack with access to the system.
The simplified diagram below shows the elements involved in the proposed wireless network.
Presentation for Parish Council Meeting. Click here to view the PDF of the presentation.
On a wild and windy day LN Comms visited the parish to explore how to provide the wireless distribution on from the backhaul antenna location
to individual properties in the parish. Their conclusion was that it is a challenging area, due to the small hills and the woods, and that it will
require quite a number of repeater hops to provide the required coverage.
LN Communications came over to East Marton to check out whether the wireless backhaul would be feasible. They have now confirmed that
they are happy that this can be achieved by putting a small antenna up on Langber hill (where the TV mast is) which would pick up a signal
from their existing installation in Bradley. They will of course require permission from the landowner to do this.
First we’d like to thank everyone that returned the community broadband survey. We were pleased to receive a 60% response (having excluded unoccupied properties) within the parish of Martons Both. Less than 4% of respondents were not interested, 78% said ’Yes’ they were interested and the rest said they ‘maybe’ interested. This covers a total of around 180 potential internet users. Of those that reported their current internet connection speed, only four properties within the parish reported a download speed of over the key figure of 2 Megabits per second. Only one of these was above 2.4Mb/s.
From analysing the responses it is apparent that keeping the costs of any new service down is more suited to local requirements than achieving the highest speeds that may be possible. We are therefore now in discussions with one of the community broadband providers who is looking at whether they can provide a wireless backhaul link to a site in the parish. From there they should be able to use mainly wireless distribution to provide a service, although some fibre links may be needed to reach some properties. This provider would then be able to offer a range of packages to suit different needs. If a wireless backhaul can be provided then that will be cheaper and easier than tapping into the fibre optic cable that runs along the A59 as we had originally hoped to do.
Once we hear if the wireless backhaul can be provided then we will aim to get the working group together to tackle the next steps.
By request, this project has now been extended to include the neighbouring parish of Bank Newton. Bank Newton is a small parish that like Martons Both doesn't have a public building. If you live in Bank Newton you should receive a survey form before the end of August.
The next stage was to begin the process of proving that there is sufficient demand in the community to get a supplier interested and also obtain funding. We distributed an initial survey to everyone in the local area. If you haven’t received your survey then you can download it here.
Richard & Sarah attended Julian Smith's rural broadband seminar in Ripon in February (www.broadbandnorthyorkshire.com).
Our conclusion from that was that Martons Both did not fit the NYnet template as we have no public building (or NYnet fibre connected site) for a 'hub', so there is no existing optical fibre into our community. BT who are the current fibre backhaul supplier to NYnet don't have fibre running into E/W Marton and our BT exchange is in Earby which is actually in Lancashire. This means that our case is not as simple as many other similar projects.
We therefore began to investigate alternative potential providers of backhaul connectivity and/or dark fibre. We approached another telecoms company that does have fibre running along the A59 with a joint outside the Cross Keys in East Marton. We have discussed a couple of different options with them and now have rough costings for both options. The most feasible option currently seems to be to link into NYnet via a fibre link from East Marton to the next joint at Broughton and then into the Broughton Hall business park, which links into the Nynet network. We would then share the unused capacity on Broughton’s existing Nynet connection. We now have agreement in principle from the Broughton Estate to this concept. We also have support and agreement from David Nelson of the Nelson Estate, that we can make use of part of a disused building near the joint location to set up a village hub in East Marton. There would be installation costs involved and also an annual cost for the fibre link. We are also in discussion with one other telecoms company that has fibre running along the A59 to see if we can get comparative costings.
We also need to sort out how to link each of our individual properties into the main fibre optic backhaul link described above.
This distribution would be either all wireless or a combination of fibre optic cable and wireless. At the seminar in Ripon we spoke to a company called LN Communications and they came to an initial meeting with a group of us. Their solution is all wireless. However for best performance this needs ‘line of sight’ between points. Our local terrain with its drumlins and trees does not make this quite as straightforward as it can be for villages surrounded by open moorland/fells. We have now (August 2011) also had positive contact with another company that offer a fibre+wireless option. Their solution could offer 100Mb/s performance where fibre was used and 50Mb/s where wireless is used. This compares to the less than 2Mb/s experienced by most of the community currently. This is our favoured solution. They are now looking at our situation and we hope to have a meeting in the locality with them soon.