A crowdfunding appeal has been launched to bring superfast broadband to part of a North-east village. Residents in the Clyans Wood development in Monymusk, near Kemnay, are looking to raise almost ?9,000 to get the internet option. Roger Esson, who has launched the crowdfunding project, said it was the only chance residents had to get fibre broadband.
He said: “We are not part of any commercial roll-out plans, so the crowdfunder to pay for the option to get it installed is our only way forward.
“When roll-out plans were made, it was done based on postcode a few years ago and ours didn’t exist then, meaning we were never part of any plans.
“We would like to get as many people involved as possible so we can get the fibre broadband.
“I don’t think it is a luxury any more as with things like streaming it has become a necessity.
“We’re in a group of properties that cannot get access to superfast broadband at present, despite the exchange in Monymusk being enabled.
“BT has confirmed that our development is not part of any commercial roll-out plans, and have come back to us with a proposal that would bring fibre into our homes all the way from the telephone exchange.”
So far, the crowdfunder has raised 66% of its target with 19 backers pledging ?5,800 to the cause. It is hoped that the funds could be in place by October 13. Mr Esson added: “There are around 44 homes in this development and many of them have already contributed to the fund.
“I am hoping that many more will contribute by the time the fundraiser is finished but I’m appealing to anyone who might be able to help.
“There isn’t a plan B after this.
If the fund fails then we won’t be able to get the fibre broadband meaning others in the village will be able to enjoy the speed but we won’t.”
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Monkton, Md.-based Freedom Telecom Services Inc. proposes building a 129-mile network of “dark” — or private, dedicated — fiber optic cable that would reach Fauquier’s extremities. It would connect 39 public buildings directly to the network and make access available to “last-mile” providers for service to remote homes and businesses that lack broadband.
A Maryland company has proposed construction of a 129-mile fiber optic cable network to provide broadband service to rural areas of Fauquier County.
The county supervisors last week voted, 4-0, to accept the preliminary, conceptual plan from Freedom Telecom Services Inc., doing business as FTS Fiber1. Founded in 2015, the Monkton, Md., firm would run dedicated fiber optic cable2 throughout Fauquier — from Goldvein to Upperville and Remington to Catlett — according to its 253-page proposal. It would connect schools, libraries, fire/rescue stations and other public buildings directly to the fiber network. Submitted under Virginia’s Public Private Education and Infrastructure Act, the proposal must compete with any bid that another firm might offer in the next 45 days. After review, county officials plan to select a contractor with which to negotiate a final contract. Financial details of the FTS proposal remain secret, redacted from the public version of its submission, under provisions of state law. > FTS proposal at bottom of story
Fauquier’s board of supervisors has committed to invest up to $20 million in a rural broadband solution. “I love where we are right now,” board Chairman Rick Gerhardt (Cedar Run District) said last week. “We haven’t made any decision. It’s a Virginia public-private process from here on out.
“I think at the end of the day, we’ll get a very good project.” FTS recently built a similar network of 110 miles3 for rural Kent County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. Under the county plan, Fauquier’s new broadband authority — with the supervisors as its board of directors — would provide capital to build the fiber optic backbone.
The selected network company would sell access to “last mile” providers that serve homeowners and businesses. The authority would share revenue, used to repay the county’s investment. Center District Supervisor Chris Granger said he didn’t want Warrenton and the surrounding area, which has the county’s best internet service options, to get left out.
“I worry this could put my district at a competitive disadvantage,” Mr. Granger said. “There’s not fiber like this in town.” But, Mr. Gerhardt predicted that building a county fiber network would improve options in already-served areas, including Warrenton. Comcast and Verizon would face new competition, which should benefit consumers throughout the county, he added. “I expect any final offer to provide fiber to homes in Warrenton and other areas,” even though the plan calls for extending broadband to remote areas as its primary focus, Mr. Gerhardt said. The FTS plan calls for installing fiber optic cable underground and on utility poles in four phases: o May/June 2018 — From Goldvein to Bealeton and Catlett, connecting 15 public sites, including parks, schools, fire/rescue stations, libraries and trash/recycling centers.
o February 2019 — From Bealeton to Remington and Warrenton, New Baltimore and Vint Hill, connecting 11 public sites. o November/December 2019 — Warrenton west along Route 211 to the Rappahannock River, and Warrenton north to Marshall, The Plains and New Baltimore, connecting seven public sites. o October 2020 — Marshall to Orlean along Route 688, and Marshall to Linden, Rectortown and Upperville, connecting six public sites. The FTS proposal presumably would make it practical for wireless service providers to reach more than 90 percent of the county with broadband. Wi4ME LLC of McLean also made a proposal to provide rural broadband in Fauqiuer. “The other company is basically a startup,” Supervisor Chris Butler (Lee) said. “The move to FTS seems best to me.”
Mr. Gerhardt, who has led the county’s broadband effort, said improving service — particularly in rural areas — remains one of the board’s top priorities. “Our ultimate goal is to engage with a proposer who is willing to build a revenue-producing infrastructure that provides needed connectivity to county assets, facilitates last mile solutions and offers ROI (return on investment) for the county through revenue sharing and economic expansion,” he said last Thursday, reading from a prepared statement.
“I’d like to emphasize, once again, that this board has no intention of spending $20 million to merely provide broadband for only 10,000 households,” Mr. Gerhardt said. “That notion is simply false. We see this is a substantial project with multiple wins for individual households, commercial businesses and the county as a whole.”
FTS founder and CEO failed to return phone messages seeking comment about his company and its proposal for Fauquier. Supervisor Holder Trumbo (Scott) missed last Thursday’s special meeting.
Lyse subsidiary Altibox said it will be raising the prices of all its consumer broadband services on 01 November. It said it has raised the internet speed several times over the past fifteen years, but has only increased its price once. It said it remains competitive and its prices will still be below its rivals’ prices for corresponding services.