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In the latter part of 2014, Ubi-Tech were approached by Sambourne Parish council to assist in their efforts to get superfast broadband provision for the village as part of the Coventry and South Warwickshire rollout of the BDUK rural broadband plan.
Sambourne occupies an unusual position both geographically and politically in that it straddles the county boundary between Worcestershire and Warwickshire, with telecoms support being provided by exchanges in both counties. It was immediately apparent that the fibre enabling projects in each county saw the village as being ‘the other counties problem’ and would remain a roll out ‘no go’ area unless substantial change was introduced. Phil Wells had previously been the Project Director for the superfast broadband deployment for South Herefordshire and the Forest of Dean, and was ideally placed to advise and guide the Parish Council on the tactical approach to adopt and where to apply their arguments to greatest effect.
Phil’s expertise combined with the boundless enthusiasm of the Parish Council developed a carefully crafted business case, with evidence, supporting the need for the adoption of the village into the roll out plan for Warwickshire, having already triggered the open debate as to which county authority should take responsibility for the area.
Application of the right message, with the right evidence, to the correct point in the authority made the Sambourne case very hard to resist. The recent announcement of the inclusion of the village into the next phase of the roll-out plan for the country is seen as a major coup for Sambourne. The first, and possibly most significant battle has been won by a small rural community with a clear, but easily overlooked case.
Phil said “The purpose of the BDUK funding was to address exactly the need and physical location represented by the likes of Sambourne, an objective that is all too frequently overlooked by those rushing to harvest the low hanging fruit rather than areas suffering genuine market failure. Ubi-Tech are very pleased to have been able to help our friends in the Council to secure a high tech future for the community”.
Footnote by Dr Chris Clews Chairman, Sambourne Parish Council
The involvement, guidance and advice given by Phil to our action group has made it likely that our broadband services will be upgraded.
His experience was decisive in navigating the bureaucracy and made the complex seem straightforward. We are very grateful for Ubi-Tech help.