ITS Technology nominated for three broadband industry awards

ITS GroupITS broadband projects make 2014 Next Generation 

Digital Challenge Awards shortlist

23rd July 2014 – Ultra high speed broadband infrastructure firm, ITS Technology Group (ITS), has today announced it is a finalist in three categories of the fourth annual Digital Challenge Awards.

ITS has been shortlisted due to three standout projects across the UK which include Fibre GarDen, a community broadband initiative in rural Cumbria, a connected city rollout in Hammersmith & Fulham, as well as a wireless broadband model it has developed to connect social housing, multiple dwellings and student accommodation.

Roy Shelton, CEO, ITS Technology Group said: “The Digital Challenge Awards embrace all aspects of the UK’s digitally transformed economy and we are absolutely delighted to get this recognition for the part we play in delivering superfast broadband to hard to reach places and those that are digitally excluded. ITS is delivering internet connectivity to many households that previously had little or no access which is unacceptable in a society that considers broadband to be the fourth utility.”

The awards, which take place in Derby later this year, showcase the best in next generation broadband innovation and the ceremony will run alongside the UK’s leading annual NextGen Conference.

Marit Hendriks, director NextGen Events, said, “It’s great to see so many brilliant projects selected as finalists – the judging panel will be hard-pressed to decide who will  be onstage receiving the trophies at NextGen 14.”

UK Broadband not fit for purpose

Interesting article on the BBC website by Jane Wakefield:

“UK broadband is not fit for purpose and a major government rethink is needed, according to a business lobby group.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) says that the UK’s broadband target is simply not ambitious enough when compared to other nations.

It is calling on the government to commit to delivering a minimum of 10Mbps (megabits per second) for all homes and businesses by 2018/19.

It would like to see this rise to 100Mbps by 2030.”

Community Project Co-ordinator Appointed

Ian DartWe are delighted to announce the appointment of Ian Dart as a Community Project Co-ordinator for Fibre GarDen.

Ian lives locally is highly qualified and experienced in the management of network systems and user interfaces. With strong communication and organisational skills he will have much to contribute to the project and will be a valuable resource during the network building phase. He will work closely with the Board and the network build Project Manager but his main focus will be working within the communities in both Dales.

Ian’s first task will be to firm up the wayleave agreements so that the final route of the network can be confirmed.

We hope to be able to appoint a second Community Project Co-ordinator shortly.

Congratulations Ian!

Green Light for Fibre GarDen

Garsdale and Dentdale are a huge leap nearer to getting superfast broadband services after the community owned co-operative, Fibre GarDen, received an offer letter for £382,500 from DEFRA/BDUK through the Rural Community Broadband Fund.

Chairman of Fibre GarDen, Andrew Fleck, said “We are absolutely delighted to have met all the requirements laid down by DEFRA. Their scrutiny has been relentless and this endorsement demonstrates their confidence in Fibre GarDen as a long term service provider for our communities. Along the way we have received enormous support and encouragement from our communities and YDNP.”

Fibre GarDen has signed contracts with Cheshire-based telecommunications company, ITS Networks (UK) Limited, to start construction of the 64km network which is due to be finished in August 2015. This will bring residential superfast speeds of 50Mbps and 100Mbps to the Dales, exceeding speeds in Central London.

Roy Shelton, CEO, of ITS Networks (UK) Limited, said:This is a massive step forward for rural broadband. This funding will mean that households and businesses in these hard to reach places will be able to benefit from broadband speeds that exceed many urban developments in the UK. This project only goes to show how the determination of a community can ensure it doesn’t get left behind and digitally disadvantaged. This network is all inclusive, as every household and business can connect if they wish.”

Business services will be provided at Gigabit speeds to encourage the digital economy in the area The not-for-profit co-operative is able to undercut commercial providers and is committed to providing the service to every resident. The project is attracting national interest because the community network will be connected to the World Wide Web through services provided by Network Rail, a first in Britain.

Tim Farron MP saidThis is brilliant news and a testament to the hard work and determination of the whole Fibre GarDen project.  I have been proud to support and campaign with the team.  Being able to deliver superfast broadband to Garsdale and Dentdale will make a massive difference to residents and businesses.”

Dan Rogerson, Minister for Rural Affairs, said: “Communities like Garsdale and Dentdale will be transformed by access to fast and reliable broadband coverage.  The £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund is a crucial element of the Government’s long-term economic plan. It will help build a stronger economy and a fairer society, allowing rural businesses to compete and grow.”

For further details >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

Contact Fibre GarDen:

Fibre GarDen is a community owned broadband initiative covering both Garsdale and Dentdale in the County of Cumbria. The area lies in the last 10% of hard to reach properties, according to the Governments Rural Broadband Programme.

The Government is investing £530m in rural broadband up to 2015.  Superfast broadband is vital to boosting sustainable economic growth and creating jobs in rural areas.  The Rural Community Broadband Fund, with funding provided by Defra and BDUK, is supporting communities in the hard-to-reach, final 10% of areas.


Community Project Co-ordinator

Many thanks to those who have expressed an interest in the Community Project Co-ordinator position with Fibre GarDen.

We are holding interviews this Friday and we hope to be able to appoint from this with an early start. Whoever is successful is going to be busy!

Community Project Coordinator

Fibre GarDen are seeking to secure the services of a Community Project Coordinator who will assist with the many aspects of the project that will deliver high speed broadband to both Garsdale and Dentdale, as it moves into the delivery phase. Reporting directly to a nominated Member of the Board, the Community Project Coordinator will act between the Board, the Community and the Network Build Project Manager.

This is a key position within the project and will be the main contact point for day to day issues. Ideally, the person appointed will be able to work from home and any equipment, such as laptop, mobile phone and broadband connection will be provided if required. Access to own transport is essential during all working hours. An immediate start is available.

The position is offered for a fixed term of one year but it is hoped that this will be extended, subject to funding. Flexible working will be required to attend meetings and events during evenings and weekends. Various types of employment can be considered.

Position / Person Outline

  • Good local knowledge of both Garsdale and Dentdale is essential;
  • Be based in either Dale, Sedbergh or close by;
  • Good communication skills, both verbal and written, with an approachable and diligent character;
  • Flexible working, some evenings and weekends will be required;
  • Awareness of the function and operation of both Parish Councils;
  • Promotion of brand image and marketing opportunities;
  • Ability to coordinate information and actions between the three main parties (Fibre GarDen, the Community and the Network Build Manager);
  • Liaise with Community Members who may have questions or concerns about the project, its progress, effect and purpose;
  • Liaising with landowners, whose land the project will cross, to ensure smooth progress before, during and after any cables have been laid;
  • Manage all requirements surrounding wayleave agreements, securing and administration of. Training can be given.
  • Experienced in the use of email, word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software is essential;
  • Ability to organise and manage Community Meetings as required;
  • Point of contact for all members of the Community;
  • Report any day to day issues to the nominated Board Member;
  • Present progress reports to the full Board as and when required;
  • Willingness to learn about fibre optic network installations;

For further information or to submit an expression of interest with your up to date CV please email or send to The Secretary, Digital Dales (UK) Limited, 4 Queens Drive, Sedbergh LA10 5DP.

References, both character and previous employment or track record, will be required and taken up. Digital Dales (UK) Limited is committed to a policy of equal opportunities regardless of their sex, marital status, age, race, colour, religion, ethnic or national origin or disability. The full policy can be found at

Background information on the project can be found on

This post is funded by the Yorkshire Dales National Park Sustainable Development Fund.

Progress Update

FG Logog

Whilst the blog may well have been relatively quiet these past couple of weeks, as usual there has been much activity and progress in the background. Here is a short summary:

Fibre GarDen Board
Two new Members joined the Fibre GarDen Board at the last meeting held on the 11th June. Roy Shelton, Group CEO of ITS Networks (UK) Limited and David Cullen, Non-Exec Director of ITS Networks (UK) Limited were welcomed to the Board cementing the key relationship between Fibre GarDen and ITS Networks (UK) Limited. Both Roy and David (also Chair of INCA) have a wealth of experience in the industry and will add much value and resources to the project.

Contracts and Funding
With both the funding and build contracts signed we are now in a position to start building the network. However, until we have received the funding contract from DEFRA/BDUK we cannot place a spade in the ground otherwise we would contravene the rules. The contract has to be delivered to us by the 30th of June, for reasons not worth explaining here, so watch this space!

Appointment of a Community Project Coordinator
Fibre GarDen are now looking to appoint a Community Project Coordinator to act as liaison between the Fibre GarDen Board, the Community and the Project Build Manager. This is an urgent appointment and we are looking for someone from either Garsdale or Dentdale to fill this position, which is funded through the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority Sustainable Development Fund. Further details will be published very shortly.

Project Team
A new project team has been established to focus on the detail of the network build, which is divided into a number of sections across both Dales. The intention is to build from the outside in, so from the most remote areas into the most populated. There is good reason for this not to mention the location of the connections to the backhaul feeds and ensuring that those in the greatest need receive the service first.

The first Project Team meeting is being held on the 1st July, lasting about 8 hours.

Marketing and Promotion
Our marketing strategy is currently being reviewed and developed that will result in various packs of information about the service, what it will initially consist of and how to subscribe.

Connecting Cumbria Project
Many of us will now be aware that Alan Cook has left the Connecting Cumbria Project, we would like to thank him for the support he gave to Fibre GarDen and wish him well in the future. David Morton is the new man at the helm and we were recently able to introduce ourselves to him. David is very knowledgeable about Fibre GarDen and will be working with us to secure a de-scope of BT from Garsdale and Dentdale so that we can benefit from the DEFRA/BDUK grant funding.

UPD Study Claims You Will Need 165Mbps of Broadband Speed by 2020


“A new study conducted by NL Kabal and Cable Europe, which is a trade association for cable operators like Virgin Media, has boldly predicted that in around 6 years’ time the average consumer demand for broadband ISP download speeds will reach a staggering 165Mbps and uploads of 20Mbps. Miles above today’s current average.

According to the report, the average “sufficient provisioned speeds” were estimated as 15.3Mbps (downstream) and around 1.6Mbps (upstream) in 2013 and the demand for bandwidth is expected to “grow exponentially” by 2020. The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) is stated as 40.3% for downstream and 43.9% for upstream traffic demand.”

Better get the Fibre ordered from Fibre GarDen then!

Build contract signed

ITS GroupFibre GarDen has signed a contract with ITS Networks (UK) Limited, part of the ITS Technology Group to build out the fibre optic network in Garsdale and Dentdale. This is another major milestone in the journey to securing super-fast broadband for every property in both of the Dales.

Final discussions are now being held with some of our funding sources that will then enable the build to start in the very near future. It is anticipated that all of this will come together for our next Board meeting on the 11th June.