Last week Graham Long, the Chairman for Rural Broadband in Devon and Somerset came along and gave a very informative talk. If you were not able to make it, he has very kindly written a summary of his presentation below.
Summary of presentation, May 16, 2018.
Two hundred years ago, canals were the latest technology with industrialists building new canals to take cotton and wool from the ports to northern mills and coal back to the ports. Following the Rainhill trials in 1829, Stephenson’s Rocket was selected as the locomotive for the newly built Liverpool – Manchester railway and smart investors switched their money from canals to railways. Steam railways were a “disruptive technology” of the Industrial Revolution which created enormous growth for the UK economy.
Today we are at the beginning of the Information Revolution and just as railways were the driving force behind the Industrial Revolution by moving goods and people around, so today telecommunications is driving the Information Revolution by moving data, information and knowledge around. Unlike the steel rails that steam trains need to cross the countryside, telecommunications networks are buried underground and produce minimal environmental impact. Technology now enables data, information and knowledge to be securely transported as laser light down an underground optical fibre rather than as an electrical signal along overhead copper wires and has hugely improved the volumes of information that can be moved between servers and client users to the point that access to full fibre optic broadband makes your physical location irrelevant.
A growing number of properties in the Blackdown Hills are at the forefront of this revolution, with low latency 1,000Mbps symmetric, pure fibre broadband available and soon to be provided to 91,000 properties in rural Devon & Somerset. This pure fibre network provides better internet connectivity than is available in much of the centre of Exeter, Plymouth and Bristol and means that businesses in rural Devon & Somerset can capitalise on this disruptive technology. A recent survey suggests that the south west could add £4.9B to its economy by capitalising on the advantages that fast fibre brings.
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