“Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet Community Interest Company” is one of the five winners of the European Broadband Awards 2018. The project gained start-up capital from the local community and provides 1 Gbps broadband to a small region. Any profits generated by the broadband services are reinvested. This project is an excellent example in its pursuit of future-proof technology solutions.

Stakeholders of the Michaelston-y-Fedw Internet Community Interest Company

A core team of 40 volunteers from the local community have generously given their time and effort in all activities, saving a significant amount of the project’s budget.

Innovative model of financing, business and investment

This community-built project installed 1 Gbps upload and download FTTP infrastructure. The works for implementing the project were carried out with the support of local contractors and volunteers. Working with a budget of EUR 300.000, they have achieved massive cost savings because the local community worked together to roll-out ducting, install chambers, blow fibre, carry out fusion and splicing, and fit out the hub.

Working towards a common goal and being so directly involved has brought the community much closer together. In order to future proof the internet service, two fibres per property were installed. The current capacity provides 10 Gbps, whilst in the future, with some updates to equipment, there will be the capacity for 100 Gbps and beyond. The project gained start-up capital from the local community, which they then used to apply for a seed enterprise scheme to pursue their broadband development plans. This project provides broadband to a small region, comprising 70 properties; the impact felt by those 70 properties, however, is immense.

The 10 Gbps fibre feed has been brought to the hub via a shared ducting arrangement with Openreach and Hub Network Services. Farmers and land owners granted wayleaves for free. Volunteers carrying out many of the tasks and activities have ensured that costs were reduced by hundreds of thousands of euros. Ongoing maintenance will be carried out by volunteers, thus ensuring further cost reduction for the project.

What was achieved?

Both residents and businesses have benefitted by having much improved internet access and speeds. The project has increased efficiency, improved communications and significantly raised community spirit. Local businesses can now operate more efficiently and effectively from anywhere in the service area, with the ability to send and receive large files, use video conferencing and cloud storage with ease. Moreover, the younger generation are more likely to stay within the community because having world class broadband opens many more opportunities to them.

More information: