We had a great turn out yesterday evening for the first meeting of volunteers – about 25 – 30 people. With this degree of commitment HyperFast Fibre Broadband will be in Garsdale before we know it.
We discussed and agreed three ‘Wayleave’ teams that will re-visit all landowners to formalise the 40 or so wayleaves we need signed (and routes agreed) to begin the digging phase.
Administrator/B4RN liaison/materials quartermaster
We asked for a volunteer to take on the role of B4RN liaison/administrator/materials ‘quartermaster’, and someone agreed to do it.
The main ‘core’ route is very close to being finalised but it does need to be modified slightly to bypass a very small number of landowners who have not given wayleave permission to cross their land (if these landowners subsequently want B4RN internet they will be charged the full commercial cost of the diversion that had to made around their property). The main route will be dug using a professional contractor, unless a landowner wants to dig and receive shares in B4RN. The central control box or ‘cabinet’ will be sited at Garsdale Village Hall. The ‘spur’ routes to individual properties, or groups of properties, that come off the main route will have a ‘chamber’ sited approx. every 500 metres.
It was agreed that we should split up the route into sections and a team of people volunteer to take responsibility for most tasks in that section, including:
- visiting all homeowners and contacting second home/holiday home owners to find out who wants to be connected (£150 gets the fibre to a property) and who wants B4RN as their Internet Service Provider (£30 per month) – this can also include advising where their router should go and getting the resident to fill in a BDUK grant form (so B4RN receive £350 towards the actual cost of providing the service to each home, from a Government fund) etc
- liaising with landowners about dig timing for both the professional contractor and resident dig teams
- coordinating resident dig teams (these teams are yet to be arranged)
- assisting the professional contractor to negotiate walls, ditches, streams etc
- manually digging the spur routes
- connecting the ducting to each property (connecting different ducts together, drilling walls, fixing plates on the inside and outside of walls etc) – this needs coordinating with residents as they need to be present or provide a key and permission
- liaising with our newly appointed B4RN liaison/administrator to source materials
A couple of volunteers said they could store materials – main and spur duct reels etc – at their properties, so we have material on hand and don’t have to go to B4RN HQ at Melling to collect all the time.
Next Volunteer Meeting
Most importantly, we arranged to meet again NEXT WEEK, on Wednesday 25th Oct at 7.30pm in Garsdale Village Hall to receive training from B4RN in route planning/administration/dig preparation AND to agree teams to take responsibility for a ‘section’ of the dale (most likely in the vicinity of where volunteers live). We will have a very large map of the entire dale to use for this purpose.
Once we have had the training we can then move on to get the wayleaves formalised with each landowner.
It’d be great to see as many volunteers next week as came yesterday. We can only keep the momentum going with everyone’s help!