Remote estate homes can access ultra-fast internet
By Martin Paul - Senior Reporter
SOME areas of the upper dale which previously had little or no broadband can now access up to a one gigabit a second.
Alncom, a company which has connected rural areas in Northumberland, made its first foray in County Durham when it teamed up with Raby Estates to put up broadband infrastructure in the upper dale at the end of last year.
The average download speed in the UK is estimated to be 22.37 megabits per second (mbps), but people in some areas receive as little as 0.9mbps. One gigabit equals 1,000 megabits and the promise of getting near such high speeds has been made by Stephen Pinchen, managing director of Alncom.
He said: “We have literally just finished putting it in. We did a joint project with Raby Estates predominantly to connect estate properties and High Force Hotel. The impact was immediate with ultrafast broadband transforming access to the internet for the business and guests. It was our first venture into Durham.”
Mr Pinchen added that people in the area can get connected to the wireless network with a fully-funded installation. The infrastructure is provided at no cost to residents but they will have to pay for subscription as normal.
Funding for the scheme comes from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport’s Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme.
Other areas, even with a low population, can be connected Mr Pinchen said.
He added: “We can do this for a low number of properties. We are unique in that we can connect people with wireless quite quickly and then follow up with fibre when it is viable.
“We can fill the gaps, so if there are any areas with low broadband, we can connect them very easily.”
A spokesperson for Raby Estates said: “Raby Estates have been working with Alncom on an innovative project to bring ultrafast broadband to areas of upper Teesdale which currently struggle with little or no connectivity.
“The first phase of the project is to bring ultrafast broadband to the High Force Hotel.
“This will provide a full fibre and wireless broadband service which is being rolled out and made available to properties across the wider area. Phase two will be to examine other areas of Raby’s County Durham and Shropshire landholdings that experience poor broadband connection so that we can we can deliver solutions elsewhere.”
County councillor Richard Bell said: “This is welcome news. As someone who has tried without success to get BT interested in serving Holwick with broadband it is good to see a company taking the initiative.”
Communities that would like to find out more about the offer or to have a free survey done can contact Alncom on 01665 604816 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.