Practical Broadband Implementation for Cambridgeshire

The CEO of Cambridge Network Claire Ruskin organised a superb event last night (17th April)  focussed on “Economic Growth in Cambridgeshire” There were superb presentations by Cllr Nick Clarke Leader of Cambridgeshire County Council, Sir Neville Rayner Chair of the Local Enterprise Partnership and Ray Anderson CEO and founder of Bango.  What was really refreshing was the enthusiasm, ambition and common purpose being shared by all the speakers.

There was a big focus on physical and virtual infrastructure.  Nick Clarke provided some very interesting insights into the Broadband Infrastructure he was looking to put in place.  He was expecting at least 120-100 Mbps coverage rather than the meagre specification put out by Government.  I made the point that the Government specification was neither “Super” nor “Fast” when you consider that Jersey had just finished deploying 1Gbps to all companies on the island and were now working on getting the same speed networks to all houses.

I would like to propose a radical but very practical proposition to the County Council and the LEP.  Initial funding should be used to create a “core” high speed fibre network for Cambridgeshire following the route of the new Guided Bus Network. The Guided-Bus route and the land alongside is already owned by the Council and probably already has an electrical and services conduit running alongside the track.

I would also install an LTE Advanced Wireless hub aerial and fibre splicing points at each of the main Business Facilities along the route.

1. The new Addenbrookes Biomedical Campus

2. Cambridge Railway Station and surrounding area.

3. The Science Park and St John’s Innovation Centre. Possible site for the new “Northern” transport interchange proposal.

4. Every bustop along the route to St Ives – including the proposed new town at Northstowe.

5. The Ermine Business Park where Nokia already has its main “connection node to” and “control centre for” pan-European and Global high spreed networks

6. The new Enterprise Zone at Alconbury which will help attract new high-technology businesses to the region.

7. Alconbury Village which is a Broadband and Mobile blackspot

8. Then on to Peterborough using the “Trunk Network” Fibre ducts already in place alongside the East Coast Main Line and the new A1(M). This would be where we could connect to the National Core Networks.

This fairly basic infrastructure could be deployed rapidly and would provide high speed wireless connectivity to all the new communities and innovation centres planned along the route.  New areas of business development and housing along the route then only need to plan to connect to this core trunk network. All new housing and businesses will be built with high speed fibre interfaces.

The idea of using a new piece of physical infrastructure (the Guided Busway) to create a truely “Super” and “Fast” information highway is truely innovative.

What do you think ?

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