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Most houses in Garsdale are still without an adequate broadband connection to the country's internet backbone.  We were all very disappointed to hear that Fibre Garden scheme has failed.  The extent to which this failure was the result of interference by a major competitor, or incompetence by a major partner is open to debate, but a planned bankrupcy by a partner company looks very suspicious . A new project with "B4RN" is going ahead.  It is spreading round Dentdale and will reach Garsdale soon.  
Facebook updates are here >>>>>.

FibreGarDen issued this statement more than a year ago:


No Light in the GarDen

 
Fibre GarDen, the community owned superfast broadband project in Garsdale and Dentdale has reported disappointing progress to its Members at its annual AGM held in Sedbergh on 17th November 2015.
 
In June 2015, the green light was given to start construction of the fibre-optic broadband network to every home in the two dales with funding from the community, DEFRA and other investors. But by July it was clear the project was in difficulties as contractors’ machinery was bogged down on Longstone Fell and then removed with no more construction work undertaken.
 
At the AGM, the board of Fibre GarDen revealed the extent of the difficulties faced by the project. Chairman, Andrew Fleck, reported that the troubled project had spent £136,000 with contractors, ITS Group, on project design, project management and project initiation.
 
And he revealed that in correspondence with Fibre GarDen, ITS Directors Roy Shelton and David Cullen acknowledged that “there have been difficulties and inconsistencies in our project management of the early stages of delivery. These have included insufficient attention to the overall plan and sectional design information such as geophysical and other environmental conditions. This damaged both the project process and design documentation. A premature start to the build before full funds were in place as an attempt to recover lost time due to the delays above and mitigate impact on funding deadlines was ill-advised as the cash flow was not available to support the work. The hasty instruction and deployment of contractors resulted in inappropriate machinery, inadequate terrain planning and site supervision”.
 
Andrew Fleck explained that ITS had signed an open-ended contract to gap-fund any financial shortfalls in the project. Roy Shelton, representing ITS at the AGM, stated that because a recent on-the-ground survey had indicated a higher build cost than ITS had originally forecast and because the DEFRA funding window had closed, ITS had withdrawn its offer to gap-fund the project.
 
Andrew Fleck advised Members that legal advice received by Fibre GarDen confirmed that ITS were still contracted to fund and build the network and that Members had strong claims against the contractor for breach of contract and consequential damages including payments made for work not delivered, escalating costs due to delay and loss of DEFRA funding. This could total £502,500.
 
In a subsequent statement to the broadband blog ISP Preview, Roy Shelton claimed that, “the project came to a halt due to a lack of funds which was the result of a catalogue of issues – not least the delays in the de-scope process and Network Rail’s decision to back track on the backhaul provision.”
 
The Fibre Garden board rejects this stating, “It is hard to see how ITS can claim there was a lack of funding when DEFRA were contacting us on a weekly basis in July and August to seek progress updates so that they could transfer grant funds to the project. And ITS know that backhaul arrangements did not delay the project because they signed a three year contract to supply service to Fibre GarDen in February 2015, well before construction was due to start.”
 
Members debated an offer made by ITS to buy Members’ shares 12 months after the network had been built but returned a vote of no confidence in ITS’ ability to honour its funding contract or in its project management abilities and thereby deliver its buy-out proposal. This leaves the original contracts between the troubled community group and ITS intact and the subject of dispute. Members tasked the Board of Fibre GarDen to pursue all routes to recoup losses incurred and to pursue all means by which to bring superfast broadband into Garsdale and Dentdale.
 
Speaking after the meetings, Andrew Fleck said, “The meetings demonstrated how deeply disappointed the community is by this turn of events and how determined it is to receive high quality broadband services. We were delighted to receive so much support, the Board remains committed to the task set by our members and neighbours. The Board will consider all the options and bring forward new proposals to Members in due course.”
 
Requests for further information should be made to info@digitaldales.com
Copyright © 2015 Digital Dales (UK) Limited t/as Fibre GarDen, All rights reserved.






















































Chris Condor of the successful B4RN broadband project (just south of here) has written:

Fibre GarDen trusted the wrong people. BDUK made them do what they did, so in my book BDUK are the ones to blame. Fibregarden will grow again, and one day they’ll be able to expose what has really happened. Every cloud has a silver lining, and there is room for altnets, as long as government keep their noses out of how to build them. BDUK funding models are as obsolete as the copper they want to spend it on. If FibreGarDen had been allowed to control their own project it would have been built by now. But government funding has been the one bad move they made. Far better to use private money or loans than dance to the tune of the piper’s monkey. There are enough good people in those two dales to gather up the project and breathe life into it again. Those people deserve fibre. They already have moral fibre, they just believed that funding would help build their network. Easy mistake to make when the carrot is dangled. They didn’t realise the carrot was fish bait and had a rotten core. And now it’s there for the world to see, exactly, how corrupt the government policy really is. It is determined to keep the country on copper. It is determined to hoodwink us into believing we get fibre down phone lines. It really is a superfarce.

Broadband Speed Tests:  here >>>>>      or  here >>>>>     or  here >>>>>      (no recommendation is intended).