The Final Phase of the GAB Project
In 2010 the Government announced a £500m+ investment in broadband infrastructure to be overseen by the Government agency, Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK). County Councils, including Cumbria, were each allocated a portion of these funds and required to procure the development of their local infrastructure so as to enable the delivery of Superfast Broadband to households and businesses in those parts of the county not served by the market.
The Connecting Cumbria programme, delivered jointly by Cumbria County Council and the BT Group, has been running for several years. Phase 1 was due for completion in March 2016. By then 93% of premises in Cumbria were expected to be able to access superfast broadband. As local residents know, work was underway during 2015/16 to install a fibre-to-the-premises (FttP) network in Great Asby, which was planned to provide around 90% of properties with download speeds of up to 330 Mbps. Retail commercial offerings with download speeds of up to 80 Mbps are now available, and despite a continuing range of difficulties, FttP connections can now be ordered – see the Superfast Broadband page on this website.
The Future of GAB
As the migration to FttP proceeded we expected almost all GAB subscribers to transfer to a commercial ISP, and this has now largely happened. The GAB network will continue to operate until all the planned FttP connections are in place, assuming that wayleaves can be obtained and that subscribers and others sign up to an available commercial service.
Welcome to GAB
We were set up in 2005 to secure broadband access for Great Asby, and incorporated as a Community Interest Company in 2007. The conventional means of getting a broadband connection (via cable or by ADSL over a copper wire phone network) were not available in our village.
GAB acquired an alternative with two elements.
- A fixed leased line to the Village Hall, with an available bandwidth of up to 100 Mbps.
- A community wireless network of fixed nodes situated around the village to which individual households can connect using a suitable wireless device.
Most households benefited from a 15 Mbps (symmetrical) connection.
Network Development 2012 to-date
In May 2012 we reached agreement with our technical support provider, TNP Ltd., for a much improved connection to the Internet (the “backhaul”). The new service was made available to subscribers in March 2013 with speeds of up to 18 Mbps download and upload (symmetrical). At the same time the majority of the equipment used to control the network was relocated from the roof space in the Village Hall to a new Communications Room at the other end of the building. The ‘Comms Room’ is more accessible and more secure than the previous location, and makes it much easier to manage and maintain the network.