Gridline Pilots Powerline Broadband in Cumbria Village, Shap

  • Posted on: 9 June 2011
  • By: chw staff

Gridline Communication in partnership with Cable and Wireless Worldwide, Electricity Northwest and T-Systems U.K., has setup a Smart Grid and Broadband over Powerline pilot in the U.K. According to Gridline, The purpose of the pilot is to demonstrate the viability of both consumer broadband services and smart meter operations within a deep rural environment. Full implementation of the project is expected to finish by the end of this month.

Once completed and validated, the partnership expects to move to a full deployment model addressing approximately 2.5M meters/structures throughout the Electricity Northwest power grid. "It will help people to work from and continue to live in remote communities and help those of who live in rural Cumbria to overcome the barrier of distance. This is a dream come true,” said Rory Stewart, Tory MP for Penrith and the Border.

The village of Shap in Cumbria County has a population of just over 1,000 and represents a typical rural community that is part of the digital divide.  Internet connection speed available to U.K. rural communities are way behind what is available to those living in the urban areas. This year the government said it has set aside money to address this problem.

Gridline did not say what speed they expect the residents to get from the service, but we can assume that it will be better than what they get at the moment. Also, being a part of a smarter grid will increase the number of services.

See also: Fujitsu Launched Fibre to the Home Project For Rural Britain