Celebrating their 10th Anniversary with another Cybermoor 1st
“The 1st UK fibre optic community"
Celebrating 10 years and now entering their next exciting new phase … building on the success of Cybermoor, a new social enterprise Cybermoor Networks Limited has been established. It will provide high speed fibre connections to residents and businesses on Alston Moor for the next 30 years, bringing a range of benefits and opportunities, including better streaming of TV & movies and access to telehealth services. Cybermoor Networks will provide a basis for future investment in digital infrastructure on Alston Moor, building on the existing network and using the latest fibre optic and wireless technologies.
Cybermoor is now seeking investment of £100,000 to complement the £300,000 already secured from the Rural Development Programme for England. The offer opens on 30th January 2012 and the target is to raise the total by 30th June 2012. As well as raising investment from within the community, Cybermoor Networks expects to raise money from investors outside Alston Moor. The Community Share Offer requires a minimum investment of £25 with an initial 3 year commitment. Cybermoor Networks is aiming to pay dividends to investors after the initial development phase is complete in Year 2.
Daniel Heery, Cybermoor Project Manager says “This is a great opportunity for people to invest in a company that will bring benefits to the whole community. A fibre optic cable network at the heart of the community will provide high capacity connections to residents and businesses on Alston Moor for the next 30 years, helping to attract people and businesses who want to live in a rural area and benefit from high speed connections. This is a chance to own part of the UK’s first co-operative fibre optic network.”
The fibre network will initially cover the most populous parts of Alston Moor, starting with the centre of Alston town, including The Firs, Church Road, Jollybeard and Church Road, but will be extended to cover more remote areas as more investment is raised. Cybermoor Networks will benefit from the expertise already developed by the Cybermoor team and aims to work with local contractors and draw on support from the local community as much as possible to keep costs down (up to 75% of the prices charged by large operators).
The website www.cybermoornetworks.org has more information about the project and the community share share and all the relevant documents for investors. Or if you would like to find out more about how to invest, contact the Cybermoor office on 01434 382 808 or e-mail email@example.com.
Notes to Editors
Background on Cybermoor
Cybermoor started in 2001 in response to the Government’s “Wired up Communities” initiative which aimed to connect disadvantaged communities to the internet and it soon became known as ‘the broadband capital of the UK’. This was at a time when first-generation broadband was not available to remote communities and Alston Moor was selected owing to its remoteness and the distance that people had to travel to access basic services. The original funding provided computers for households, a wireless broadband network for homes and businesses and a community website.
Cybermoor Ltd was set up in January 2003 as the UK’s first broadband community co-op to develop the activities further and Cybermoor Services Ltd was established in 2004 to provide support for other rural communities using the experience and expertise developed from the Cybermoor project.
About Cybermoor Networks
The Cybermoor team has completed the first phase of this new fibre optic network - this links the town of Alston with the village of Nenthead and will provide Next Generation Access to the primary school, businesses and residents. The route is 5 miles long and uses ducting and 48 core fibre optic from Emtelle (a fibre manufacturer based in the Scottish borders).
As well as the fibre, the network uses a wireless internet backbone to bring fast broadband via a microwave link (capacity of 250Mb/sec) from Northumberland County Council’s fibre network at Prudhoe to Alston. A 30m mast erected on Mt Hooley outside of Alston and a 12m mast has been installed on a farm outside Kirkheaton. A Ceragon microwave link joins these two sites and a wireless link joins Mt Hooley to Samuel Kings School in Alston and then onto the existing wireless network around Alston Moor.
Cybermoor Networks Ltd is a co-operative, with directors democratically elected by members. Each member has one vote, regardless of the size of their investment. The ethos of Cybermoor Networks is to keep control of this vital digital infrastructure within the community, rather than with distant multinational telecomm companies, ensuring a secure financial foundation for investors. In the future, a range of services will be developed as a result of faster internet access on Alston Moor. Next Generation Access will define the next decade – new internet based services, public services and businesses will develop and grow where they have access to the best and fastest broadband. It is this standard which Cybermoor Networks has set as its target. The fact that these new connections will be fibre means that they can be easily upgraded in the future, so long as the costs of such services can be met by the subscribers.
About Community Shares
Community Shares are shares issued for a community purpose. The concept has been developed through a joint initiative of the Development Trusts Association and Co-operatives UK with support from the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Cabinet Office.
Cybermoor Networks Ltd is one of the pilot projects in the government funded Community Shares project (see www.communityshares.org.uk for more information), which supports community share offers to raise finance for local projects such as alternative energy and local shops. This project is extremely innovative as it is the first attempt to use a community share offer to raise finance for NGA services. It is accepted that as part of the “Big Society” communities will have to take on greater responsibility for delivering future services and community shares offer an opportunity for communities to raise the finance necessary for new services, and also share in any surpluses generated by those services.