eContact Magazine




The clear Cumbrian air is set to bring more than just health benefits to workers in the county.

The region is on the verge of economic renewal, driven by quango Britain’s Energy Coast (BEC) which has the twin remit in West Cumbria of managing extensive
business parks and promoting the economic revival of the area – a central element of that is wireless broadband for business.

BEC approached Carlisle-based wireless Internet provider Solway Communications to look into the feasibility of delivering web access to much of the West of Cumbria, and the company partnered with ATDI to provide planning and modelling of proposed new systems. A report based on this work has now been delivered to BEC.

ATDI managing director Peter Paul comments: “What was particularly interesting about this project is that we were looking not at sheer numbers of people in an area but the number of employees. BEC’s remit is about business so jobs is their most important criterion.”

Solway Communications managing director Nick Kittoe adds: “The west coast of Cumbria is a depressed area, though there are firm prospects for regeneration through nuclear decommissioning or new nuclear plant. The problem is that there is poor digital and other infrastructure. Solway Communications is committed to the simple, wireless way of delivering the quality broadband services that business needs and, because of our work with ATDI, we now have a very clear idea of the practicalities of doing so.”

ATDI plotted coverage for individual postcode areas, looking at the number and location of base stations that would be needed to produce the reliable, high capacity communications that BEC is seeking.

Peter notes: “In our 16 years, we have amassed plenty of experience in planning how fast broadband can be delivered in both urban and rural environments. The towns of Maryport, Workington and Whitehaven and the areas around them represent a mixture of the two and it was gratifying to bring our knowledge of both to good effect.”