Martley Web Mesh
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For years, Martley and its surrounding hamlets was unable to get high-speed internet connections due to the distance from telephone exchanges, the difficult landscape and a lack of investment in the ageing infrastructure.
In 2005, a small group of local stalwarts created Martley Web Mesh, a not-for-profit company, limited by guarantee, company number 5451060. Initially financed by the chairman, Richard Jackman, a couple of years into the project they applied for and received a £5000 Nexus grant via Community First. The project uses wireless technology and line of sight antennae to supply broadband a fibre connection and also a FTTC connection, to members in the surrounding area.
MWM is run by a small team of volunteers – J Richard Jackman, John Nicklin, Alasdair Maxwell Stewart,and Margaret Colburn – and currently services over 110members with two or three times that number of connected computers, including local businesses, the local B&B and the village hall. A spokesperson for MWM stated that “for a long time, the inability to secure broadband coverage in the village had caused us all sorts of problems.” He continued “MWM is a cooperative scheme for local people, organised by local people and maintained and serviced by local people.”
As of January 2016 we have a Fibre line -initially 50/100 which should give our members much superior connectivity and faster connections. How much faster depends on what subscription they elect to use and the distance from the transmitter.
One of the biggest problems, apart from ensuring there is a line of sight view to the antenna, is the condition of some prospective members’ computers and the WiFi connectivity within their houses [we have been known to put in a 25mbps connection and further in to the house it has dropped to 8Mbs]! These often need ‘sorting out’ and this the team can do, not always for free. Certainly MWM has all the necessary kit and knowledge to deal with any computer and WiFi issues and their advice does come free.
The main stumbling block to expansion is the lack of willing persons to help develop and maintain the network, so, if you are of a technical bent and have some experience, for example in amateur radio, this could be an interesting and quite challenging opportunity with a ‘Big Society’ flavour.
Contacts: John Nicklin 01886 888318, Richard Jackman 01886 821237 or email (John Nicklin)