First rural broadband cabinet goes live today

The first cabinet to be fully connected as part of the Isle of Wight’s multi-million pound rural superfast fibre broadband project has now gone live, it has been announced today (Wednesday 27 August).

Shirley Smart and Peter Cowen - BT Rural Broadband Exchange

This in from the council, in their own words. Ed

More than 240 residents and businesses will be able to benefit from connection to the cabinet in Farriers Way, Shorwell. Homes and businesses will be able to order fibre broadband services from providers within the next few days.

Among the first local residents to benefit from the service will be David Lumley, employed by a multi-national company in IT and who works from home in Shorwell one day a week.

He said:

“This will make a massive difference for both myself and my wife. We are big internet users and this will enable us to work far faster and more efficiently.

“As well as the major work benefits for both of us it will also be a great help with everyday things such as streaming television programmes and online shopping, as well as booking holidays and family history research. It will also be a real help with contacting our children on the mainland and relatives overseas.”

Pamela Wynn, landlady of The Crown Inn at Shorwell is also looking forward to the benefits of the project.

She said:

“We use the internet for our till operation and to offer free wi-fi to customers, so greatly improved access and speeds will be a real boost to us as a business. Until now, access and speeds have been quite frustrating.

“This project will give us the opportunity to confidently expand the business in terms of offering business meetings and small conferences which require full internet and wi-fi facilities.”

First village connected
Shorwell is in the first phase of communities to be connected under the major infrastructure project – a partnership between the Isle of Wight Council, BT and the government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme.

Other communities in phase one this summer are parts of Gurnard, Whippingham, Brighstone and Merstone.

BT has been working closely with Island Roads in planning the installation works.

Network open to all providers
The new fibre-based network will be open to all broadband Internet service providers on an equal basis, so customers – both domestic and business – will have access to a wide choice of broadband providers.

Once completed in autumn 2015, the overall project will have enabled around 20,000 premises in the largely rural parts of the Island to access high speed broadband – making the Island one of the best connected areas in the UK. When combined with BT’s commercial roll out, 95 per cent of Island homes will have access to a superfast broadband connection.

£2.4m council investment
The multi-million pound partnership is jointly funded by the Isle of Wight Council, which is investing £2.4 million in the project to match the funding provided by the UK government through the BDUK programme. BT is contributing capital and ongoing revenue funding of £2.7 million towards the overall cost of the broadband partnership.

Isle of Wight Council Executive member for economy and tourism, Councillor Shirley Smart, said:

“This is terrific news that the first cabinet has gone live. We can now look forward to many residents and businesses in rural areas being connected up over the coming months.

“This will bring significant benefits to people in these areas and should over time assist with attracting inward investment and providing a real boost for business and tourism.”

Bill Murphy, managing director of next generation access for BT, said:

“This is great news for Shorwell and the Isle of Wight. The broadband partnership will ensure more households are able to benefit from high-speed broadband, whether they are using the internet for research and online training or just browsing for entertainment and leisure purposes.

“This announcement builds on BT’s commercial investment, which has already made the fibre broadband available to around 49,000 premises, mainly in the Island’s towns. Faster broadband will also help local businesses grow, attracting inward investment and boosting the local economy.”

Communications Minister, Ed Vaizey, said:

“This fantastic news marks the next stage of a remarkable transformation of broadband on the Isle of Wight and we’re on track to deliver access to superfast speeds to 95 per cent of UK homes and businesses by 2017. We understand how important access to superfast broadband is – the UK already does more business online than any other European country, and the widespread access to superfast broadband that this scheme will deliver will provide a tremendous boost to the Island’s economy.”

Image: © Isle of Wight Council

Wednesday, 27th August, 2014 7:00am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Shorwell, Top story

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12 Comments on "First rural broadband cabinet goes live today"

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Yup. The council have given £2.4 million to a multi-million pound company with no financial return whatsoever. This would be the same council that commissioned a badly built £32 million school and gave it away. Sold the Winter gardens and the Botanic garden for a pound each. But it wants you to pay more for parking and can’t afford to repair any landslips. Might as well roll… Read more »

Be fair. Not the same Council. There was a significant changeover in who runs the Council in May 2013, in case you missed it. The BT contract is down to the current Independent lot. All the rest are down to their Tory predecessors, who ran the Council for 8 miserable years


And in fairness all of the idiotic cash donation to the large multi-million pound company, to do the work it would have done anyway was set up prior to the current administration being elected.

It’s just a shame they didn’t have the nerve to stop it and kick the officers who made this poisonous recommendation in the same nether regions and tell them no!


Be fair? Since when did that word enter in to it?

Robbing the poor to give to the rich, me thinks.


What speed is considered superfast?


…. and the BT contract and installation schedule is still secret so nobody can check if the company is keeping its promises. (Like the PFI contract, the last IWC and its officers were hopelessly outgunned in negotiations by BT.)


Clause 50 appears to gag IWC councillors and officers.

From what I can find ‘superfast Broadband’ ranges from 38-152mbps and one company even limit downloads to 40gig, or 10 minutes at full speed! The BIG issue of course is the fact that superfast requires fibre optic cable which a majority of homes do not have, and installation may require a large trench from the box to the street to lay main cables where the trunking is… Read more »

See the previous weighty discussions at the time the contract was being negotiated about the achievable speed being restricted by the usual twisted-wire connects that feed most properties.

Not to mention that as more people on your cabinet sign up crosstalk will cause your speeds to drop. I was initially getting 45Mbps down and 6Mbps up when i signed up a year ago but am now getting 38Mbps down, 6Mbps up. Hopefully speeds will improve when BT finally implement vectoring on the cabinets but who knows when they’re actually going to do it (it’s been… Read more »

Thanks Davimel. My 15mbps is BT’s idea of superfast but even that suffers from hiccups most of the time – which could be due to a multitude of little things en route.
Glad I don’t need it for what was my business of international photography but I’d be furious if I still did.


Just try .6 of a singe meg, gets better after rain when the string is wet.