Broadband Champions

Libby Bateman becomes the North West’s Digital Hero!

24 November 2011 at 18:32 in News by Louis Mosley

Lots of congratulations to Libby Bateman, who was at the House of Lords this afternoon to pick up her £5000 prize for winning  TalkTalk’s North West Digital Hero award 2011.

Libby Bateman with Charles Dunstone, chairman of Talk Talk, Martha Lane-Fox, UK Digital Champion, and others at the House of Lords.

She beat two other nominees to win the prize. She sadly missed out on the national prize of £10,000 but will come back to Cumbria with £5000 for the East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum.

In case you missed them, here are the articles about Libby in the Westmorland Gazette and the News & Star.

Well done Libby!

Jeremy Hunt meets Eden’s Broadband Champions

10 November 2011 at 11:10 in News by Louis Mosley

Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport –and the Minister in charge of broadband - was in Penrith yesterday where he met some of Eden’s Broadband Champions.

Jeremy Hunt MP, Sec of State, Miles Mandelson, Gt Asby Broadband Champion, Lindsey Annison, Warcop Broadband Champion, Rory Stewart MP

Best of all, he ‘virtually’ opened Warcop’s Cyberbarn by fusing together a fibre-optic cable (with some help from Lindsey Annison!).

Rory said: “I was delighted to introduce Jeremy to some of the key players of the East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum. And it was a real honour to have him virtually open the Warcop Cyberbarn by actually fusing a piece of fibre-optic cable! It’s been great that the Secretary of State has seen just how effective our community broadband activists are here in Eden, and to see how Cumbria is driving forward the government’s superfast broadband agenda. I’d also like to congratulate Lindsey on the opening of the Cyberbarn, which will be an amazing resource for the people of Warcop and the surrounding area.”

Lindsey has some great videos of the meeting on her blog:

Cyberbarn, Warcop and Bleatarn, is open on Mondays, Wednesdays and Friday between 1 and 7pm. Fibre, 3G And satellite technologies are on show. UK Online Basics course are available on everything from email to online safety, DEFRA to CTS, social media to computer programming.

November issue of Connecting Cumbria Newsletter

3 November 2011 at 12:32 in News by Louis Mosley

Can be read here, in case you’ve missed it.


with an interview with Fra Cooke, chair of Cumbria’s Hub coordinators!

Digital Heroes Award 2011 - vote for Libby!

20 October 2011 at 15:52 in News by Louis Mosley

Vote for Libby Bateman!

Click here:

And help the East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum.

Could she be the North West’s Digital Hero 2011?

The Christmas Elf!
Libby Bateman at the Brough Christmas Fair, 11 December 2010

If Libby wins, she will get a £5000 technology grant to help the work of the East Cumbria Community Broadband Forum.

She will also get the chance to get the chance to be overall winner and win a grand prize of £10,000.

Every vote counts!




Digital Hero Awards 2011

3 August 2011 at 21:47 in Uncategorized by Louis Mosley

The TalkTalk Digital Heroes awards are currently looking for the Digital Heroes of 2011!

Nominate yourself

Winners get £5000 and free broadband for 12 months.

Awards will be given to “twelve outstanding individuals who are using the power of the internet to implement bright ideas which bring about positive social change.”

The criteria are as follows:

- The project is using digital technology to solve a social problem or improve people’s lives

- The project mustn’t be a commercial enterprise

They need nominations from you - you can even nominate yourself …


Let’s make sure at least one Digital Hero is Cumbrian

Interview with a Broadband Champion no.8: Kate Norman

11 March 2011 at 11:47 in Broadband Champions by Louis Mosley

Name: (Sarah) Kate Norman

Age: 31

Parish: Stanwix Rural

Occupation/Professional experience: .NET Developer and Project Manager in the heart of Manchester’s digital sector. Now freelance - so I get to work on a variety of projects to keep me busy and out of mischief.

You live in Cumbria because?

I fell in love with a double glazing salesman; it’s also my place of birth and where most of my family live; it is home, and as a county has such a lot to offer.

Your idea of happiness?

Going on an adventure.

Your idea of misery?

Not getting to go outside. As you can see, I am a simple creature!

When and why did you first use the Internet?

I think I was visiting a friend c1995 who went on to study computers and pure maths at Oxford. He was the first person I knew who had an internet connection. He showed me a bulletin board system and I left my first message and I remember then wondering who it would be who would reply. I got my very own email address when I was at Cumbria College of Art & Design in 1998.

What characters in history do you most dislike and why?

I have always liked the quote from Robert A Heinlein: “Never appeal to a man’s ‘better nature’ - He may not have one.” So I suppose anyone who show no restraint and pursues self-interest with complete disregard for others’ lives or freedoms.

Why did you become a broadband champion?

I know a great deal about IT but not so much about the pipes that connect us all. It is a chance for me to learn about how it all connects together and help my community to translate all the details into practical understanding. I also live in an area of shockingly bad broadband and it would be a miracle to get a level of service that I came to expect in Manchester - it would also make my life a lot easier.

If not yourself, who would you be?

Well I think it would be interesting to be a man and to see if it was any different.

What would you use a 100meg symmetrical connection for?

I go to a lot of tech conferences and some of the gismos and gadgetry that I have seen there would easily use data at that rate.

Cloud computing: Software as a Service is of great interest to me, as it would allow me to have the latest applications at a fraction of the cost. Cloud services would be a distinct reality.

3DTV: I saw an amazing holographic display at Thinking Digital a few years back and I can see that TV will more than likely be replaced by devices that display true 3D.

Touch technology: Haptics have an amazing potential for all sorts of medical and physical breakthroughs but need a stable and high capacity connection. I would have no qualms being operated on from a top surgeon who could do the operation from the other side of the world if it meant the best quality of care. I suppose I would have the opportunity to take advantage of the latest in technology - with virtual being the latest revolution, if you don’t have the access you will miss out on the opportunities.

Your heroes in real life?

Heroes in the classical sense can be inspiring, but there is nothing like practical application, which is why I like inventors. Gutenberg would have to be up there. I find writing a challenge with my dyslexia but reading has always been a joy, so authors who can put their imagination on the page are my heroes. In fact, I admire anyone who uses their skills and talents to their maximum be it through creativity or bravery.

What has been the world’s greatest invention?

The printing press followed very closely by the internet.

What’s your favourite place in Cumbria, and why?

Any bit with a nice view - and there are a few. I like the stone circle at the top of Talkin Fell Cairns overlooking Talkin Tarn - but that in part is because is just the closest inspiring view to where I live.

Things You May Have Missed…

3 March 2011 at 11:58 in News by Louis Mosley

Miles Mandelson has been blogging about the terrific progress being made at Great Asby.

The last of the mesh boxes have been installed and a 220-metre long trench has been dug for the armoured mains cable and the first fibre optic ducting to the Goodlie Hill wireless node. Read all about it here. Inspirational stuff!

Bill tamps down soil in the trench, 1 March 2011

Meanwhile, Carol Bowe, from Vale of Mowbray Community Broadband in North Yorkshire, has written a wonderful account of her community’s campaign to get better broadband. She did the research, surveyed the village, and is now on the brink of getting connected: her How To Be A Broadband Champion is a must-read.

Vale of Mowbray, North Yorkshire

And finally, over on Fibrevolution, Lindsey Annison has been blogging about the King’s Fund’s International Congress on Telehealth and Telecare. Click here to watch the sessions live.

As Lindsey argues, telehealth and telecare technologies could transform people’s quality of life, especially in remote areas. But communities will need to have their superfast broadband infrastructure in place first. Lindsey reckons that the typical measures of cost-effectiveness used to assess telehealth and telecare technology fail to capture the true value and benefits of these kinds of services: “government and local authorities must look at more than just cash projections and profit forecasts“.

For those who’d like to know more, a quick guide to telehealth and telecare can be read here. The WSD Action Network is an brilliant online resource for research into telecare, telehealth and the management of long-term conditions. The King’s Fund’s website is an excellent all-round resource for health-related issues.

Fibre to the home Council, Milan 2011

25 February 2011 at 16:22 in guest post by Tom Woof

As the only community representative at the Ftth council in Milan, I was definitely in the minority where 3500 delegates gathered to further the cause of Fibre to the Home.  As a potential end user I was also in the minority, as most of the other delegates represented suppliers of a bewildering array of equipment for fibre.  They supplied, ducts, fibre, sub ducts, jointers, splitters, access nodes, manholes, data handling equipment for putting TV and telephone systems into the fibre.

What struck me first of all was the sheer number of ways that fibre can be put around.  It can go through special ducts, existing ducts, sewers, water and gas pipes, buried directly, wrapped around electricity wires, hang off garden fences.  It can go almost anywhere.

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Interview with a Broadband Champion no.7: Ronnie Auld

at 08:48 in Broadband Champions by Louis Mosley

Ronnie Auld

Name: Ronnie Auld

Parish: Dalston

Occupation/Professional experience: IT Consultant with particular interest in the food industry and the Internet

You live in Cumbria because?

It is close to Scotland (my country of birth) and mid-way between my children’s homes.

Your idea of happiness?

After spending time with my family, spending time in the hills, sailing or playing golf.

Your idea of misery?

Playing golf badly.

When and why did you first use the Internet?

During the 1980s.

What characters in history do you most dislike and why?

Any leader who has caused total misery to his people and enriched himself/herself at their expense.

Why did you become a broadband champion?

The current state of broadband development in the rural areas is akin to the motor industry in the mid-1930s.  People used vehicles but they were limited by design and the available road system.  Broadband in Cumbria is like that.  The future motorways have yet to be conceived and built and there is much to do in the design of the systems which will run on these super highways.  Broadband champions can make a huge contribution to this provided that the right leadership is provided by the managing authorities.  Champions must be prepared to work as a team for the benefit of the County as a whole and not just their own vested interests.

If not yourself, who would you be?

Someone with the power to really make a positive difference to those around them.

What would you use a 100meg symmetrical connection for?

100meg – who knows?  We know all about tele-medicine, improved communication, education and entertainment and many other things that next generation broadband will provide, but these will be feasible at half that speed.  However, just round the corner, and which we haven’t yet dreamt of will be many things which will be made possible by 100meg and faster – possibly holographic imaging for virtual meetings and family gatherings, to name just one.

Your heroes in real life?

People who DO make a positive difference to the lives of others without thinking of their own enrichment.

What has been the world’s greatest invention?

It has to be the wheel.

What’s your favourite place in Cumbria, and why?

Bannerdale behind Mungrisdale.

Latest News on Cumbria’s Broadband Pilot

22 February 2011 at 16:09 in News by Louis Mosley

Don’t expect any official announcements until March at the earliest, but Cumbria County Council’s officers have been busy working away behind the scenes. They even have a name for the pilot: Accessible Cumbria!

Here’s what you need to know.

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