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This is now an archive page and won't be updated.

Wray now has the best connection in the world, via B4RN fibre. All the houses in Wray and the surrounding farms now have a pure fibre to the home and currently use gigabit symmetrical connections, which can be increased as the years go by. A truly futureproof network for the generations to come. Thanks to all the amazing volunteers and staff at Broadband For the Rural North, and the inspiration from Lancaster University. Check out the B4RN web site for more information.

This is the end of the diary page, updates are posted here at the top as they happen, stuff is also posted on the blogspot... If you wish to be added to our mailing list for network updates please email us on subscribe[at]wraycomcom.org.uk

OR Scroll down to read about how the network has happened and see photos of the village corners.

Be warned, the page goes on forever... We have been doing this for 10 years now...

Online Centre is open MON,WED, FRI 10am-10pm and at other times when the door is open and the room isn't being used for other bookings. Daylight hours only in winter months. Children welcome with parental supervision.


The wifi network is nearly defunct now, and most of the houses now have their own fibre. There are still two wifi hotspots at the tea rooms, and one at the village pub.

The summer has seen some epic digs going on around the village and over the fells to join the network to the live feed. On December 30th 2013 the link came live, and Wray now has a gigabit network! see the facebook page for photos of the journey.

July 2013

The ducting is now being laid in Wray, click here to subscribe to Wray's newsletter or check out the facebook page here

June 2013

Nearly all current projects wih the university finished now, get ready for a new batch once we get the fibre in and we become the fastest network in the country.

May 2013

The scarebot, part of the telling tales project from Lancaster University appears at the fair.http://youtu.be/9FCtJA3_yaQ

April 2013

Interviews about the digital scarecrow published. part two published

March 2013

Planning ongoing for the scarebot who will be a digital scarecrow at the fair this year. Lots of work going on bringing the fibre to the village but the wifi network will continue until June.

February 2013

Worldwide coverage of the B4RN project, with village meetings in Wray planned for March.

Wray TV interviews by Nigel from Lancashire One. Thanks all!

January 2013

Arkholme customers live nowwith more being added. Wray network still supporting the DART project

December 2012

Lots more progress with the B4RN project, with Arkholme digging completed on route 1 and routes 3 and 4 underway

October 2012

The whole wet summer has been spent trying to dig the ducts to get the B4RN fibre to Wray. Great progress was made despite the rain, and the first customers in Quernmore are now live.


Server installed in the institute for the DART project which starts in June, working fine but still in beta. Looking good.

Ducting being installed on the core route for B4RN fibre, lots of videos and photos on http://b4rn.org.uk


Wray network fixed up as good as new bar for one meshbox opposite the Inn which is still struggling. All set now for the next project, and hopefully everyone will enjoy it. There will be plenty of great films for you to watch in the comfort of your own home, and all for free as part of the research.


Start of the B4RN project dig, link here ifyou want to know more about it or watch the little video

Thanks to everyone who has helped with the P2Pnext programme, set top boxes now being collected up to return to the universtity. We have had mixed results but some very good research from it, and hope to build on that during the next project, DART which starts in June. Many people have now registered an interest in helping with this new project, which involves using a server in the institute to share films and watch tv.

Interesting report about why we are all suffering from slow speeds in our rural areas, and further information about why we will never get a good service unless we JFDI ourselves. Peter Cochrane at the House of Lords video or transcript

February 2012

The share issue for B4RN has been a great success, and the dig will start in March! http://b4rn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/diglaunch.pdf

Fixed some more meshboxes up and connectivity has improved. Still struggling at Home farm end.

January 2012

Quite a lot of problems with the wifi network, but we are working on them. Superb coverage down main street but patchy round the edges

December 2011

The launch of the B4RN shares kicks off the project, its getting serious now folks!

November 2011

The our travel project has now finished, and the university is very pleased with the research they got from the people assisting them. The iphones will be sadly missed but they are needed for another project so we have had to let them go. It was great while it lasted.

The Wray network is currently one box down due to water ingress we think, but we can't get up to get at it because the aerial man has a broken foot. Normal service down Wennington road will be resumed as soon as possible.

The B4RN project is progressing well, with the grand opening launch being planned for the middle of December. All the legals are almost in place and the draft routes almost ready for release. These are subject to change when the farmers see them and find superior routes with their local knowledge of the land, but they give a jolly good idea of the network plan. Anyone registered on the network will receive a link by email when they go live. Watch your inbox.

October 2011

The B4RN project has officially started, with a share issue document now being formalised. Shares will be offered to those who have registered an interest primarily, then offered to anyone else if there are any left. First come, first served. This is a not to be missed chance to save some money and to support your community. The issue is expected to go live in December 2011.

The Wray wifi network is now complete, anyone who still wants a connection and hasn't got one can access the network with a cost effective bridge, just ask us for details if you want to know more. We expect the project to continue until at least April 2012. info {at} wraycomcom.org.uk

September 2011

The B4RN project is doing well, had lots of parish meetings this month with great attendance and interest from the community. The bean counter is rising on the website, and as soon as enough people have registered the project will start in earnest. check out the website for more info

b4rn logo

August 2011

Start of the B4RN project, a fantastic community initiative to bring fibre broadband to 8 parishes, including Wray. More details on the B4RN website, click here

July 2011

More meshboxes deployed, and now nearly all the village is covered apart from the top end above the millenium gardens. More Set top boxes deployed and good reports coming back about how handy they are for children's programmes and catch up TV.

June 2011

Set top boxes being deployed now and good reports coming back. More meshboxes out in the wild and more being built.

New project started with Ankur from the research dept about the effect of internet access on village life. Chats and interviews ongoing. Interest mounting over fibre connections and access to higher speed internet being bandied about.

May 2011

Due to the fact it has been windy and rainy since the fair we haven't got much done with the network. We have stabilised the connection at the Inn and down Kiln lane and put in a link between Wray and Wennet networks for the future and to extend the P2Pnext project.

We have experimented and fine tuned some of the set top boxes for P2P next and will start deployment at the end of the month. We also hope to finish the installs down Wennington Road and the coal yard. We can then take stock and find out where areas of limited connectivity still remain and fix them.

April 2011

twicket wordle via www.wordle.net

We livestreamed the first ever rural cricket match from Wray. This was done through contacts made through twitter. The film archive is HERE and short videos are HERE. The BBC came and also showed interviews on the news. Wray has made history.There is also a wiki about it HERE

We got tweeted by @stephenfry!

Really busy in February and March installing new meshboxes built by Lancaster University around the village. We still haven't covered it all but we are getting there. Hampered by the weather, we can't climb on roofs when its windy and frosty. Home Farm is now covered and the Barn is more robust.

January 2011

The fibre is working... next job is to get it plumbed into the new meshboxes...

preliminary testing of the backhaul gave us better speeds than most cities. At one point it went up to 70 megabit download and 50 megabit upload. The fibre is capable of 100 megabit, it just depends how much we buy to feed the users and the project.

Wray is gonna rock.

December 2010

all the snow over the past month has delayed meshbox installs, but we got one put in at the tea rooms. Main St is virtually covered now and the New Inn end, just home farm and wennington road still to do.

Lots of photos of the fibre being installed click here

November 2010

Fibre being installed in the Institute, ducts dug on 5th Nov, job should be completed within the next week. More meshboxes being deployed when the weather permits.

October 2010

Did site surveys to join the Wray network to the Wennet one, and possible others, made a little video too. Many thanks to Nexgenus for the help. Click here to view.

September 2010

The rural broadband conference at Rheged organised by Rory Stewart was great, videos online now, and also the Wray video we filmed last year when we did the first rural fibre dig

The new meshboxes are going in, if you pick up a signal it will say WIFI and the host house name. All you do is type in a website address, and you will be redirected to a login screen. Register with a valid email address and a password, and an email will be sent to you which you reply to. Once you have done that you will go on to the network automatically with a login when your computer picks it up. ring 21588 if you get stuck.

August 2010

The second installs for Wray 2.0 have been organised, and the order for the feed put in to openreach. We await completion. The LCC RDPE project is collecting names of businesses and homeworkers in the area. We have collected over 250 from the local villages. All would like to get a digital village pump, and from the experience we have had delivering broadband through the wifi we know a pump would have made a big difference to our networks. The two meg feed we started with in 2004 has not been upgraded due to distance from a feed, and this has severely limited what we can do. We hope the project is successful and if anyone knows of any new businesses in the area please contact rdpe[at]wraycomcom.org.uk

July 2010

The digitalnoticeboard with its new events and adverts continues to be well used both online and in the Post office and Tea rooms. The PHD student whose work made it possible has now finished the upgrades but the noticeboards will remain in place for the foreseeable future.

June 2010

Great news, Lancaster City Council is in with a chance of RDPE funding to roll out some high speed connections in the area. This is known as NGA. Next Generation Access. If you want to know more about fibre broadband there are lots of links on a website set up to help rural areas such as ours  called the Final third, the places where the incumbent telcos will never deploy superfast speeds. www.finalthirdfirst.org - also on this site are links to other blogs with lots more info about what it is, and why we need it in our community.

May 2010

The backhaul situation has continued to be a pain, but it is looking like something is starting to happen. Openreach workmen been spotted in the village at last. We deployed three new meshboxes around the institute, New Inn and Lane Head. If you pick up the signal you will be invited to register. Just give us a ring if you get stuck, the user interface is still a bit unfriendly but we are working on it.

January 2010

Testing of the meshboxes showed a fault in the software, this is being sorted. Still waiting for the backhaul, should be here soon.Current network holding up, but only just. It is showing its age, but has served us well for 6 years and everyone in the village (apart from those round the spout) have had access to the internet. It is a great achievement and we are very grateful to the University for choosing Wray to be their Living Lab.

December 2009

Due to the floods in Workington the Openreach guys haven't been to install the new backhaul. More delays, but it can't be helped

Novemeber 2009

New meshboxes assembled, antenna being tested, hope to start installs before the end of the year, with backhaul upgrade planned for Jan/Feb depending on contractors.

Summer 2009 Planning a new network for the village has continued, and deployment expected in the back end.

May 2009

The noticeboard went down a treat at the fair and many people joined in and sent Epostcards from the field. Also this month the first fibre deployment took place with two rural properties out of sight of the wireless network due to tree growth getting the first feeds. This happened on a spur of the moment and was completed in 2 days, laying a kilometre of armoured cable to their premises and lighting it up from a meshbox feed. It is a UK first for rural community and we are well chuffed. Links are on the blogspot where you can leave comments if you like.

April 2009

Plans afoot for digital noticeboard display in the craft tent at this years Scarecrow fesitval. Updated noticeboard in post office now accepting photos of this year's scarecrows as they appear. The university doing site surveys in the village and planing network upgrade.

March 2009

Plans progressing to bring IPTV to the area, may need an upgrade of the current network, so that will bring added benefits to our users. Currently the network has around 160 subscribers, which means that in a small village such as ours virtually everyone is online either with wifi or adsl connections. Quite an achievement!

January 2009

The online centre continues to be well used, many thanks to the Institute for their continued support. May we remind parents that children should be supervised whilst using these facilities.

February 2009

Digital noticeboard in the post office upgraded to accept small videos, and an Epostcard facility put on it too, great stuff, thanks Nick.

December 2008

Village website sorted out, all fine again, apologies if some links are dead, a few pages were lost in the trojan attack on the hosting server, please notify us if you notice a dead link, many thanks. email webmaster [at] wrayvillage.co.uk

November 2008

Village website hacked into with a trojan, and this caused google to flash up a warning when people tried to access it. This is an ongoing problem for websites and action has been taken to rectify the damage. This website seems unaffected despite being on the same server, so fingers crossed it was found in time and wiped out.

Thank you all for your time and valuable input to the Big Red Button project. Unfortunately, the period for submission has now come to a
close and we'll no longer be able to guarantee feedback on anything you submit.

We'd like to understand what you thought about the Big Red Button.If you downloaded it, we'd like to know what you liked or disliked about
it and how you think it could be improved. We'd also be interested to know if you didn't download it and why; were you concerned in some way
about it, or did you simply not have the time.

We've put together a short survey asking these sorts of questions and we'd be grateful if you could spare a few minutes to complete it:


Many thanks again to all those who participated in the project and this survey. The winner of the prize draw for the iPod will be chosen and
contacted shortly.

The BigRedButton Team

March 2008

Meeting at Bridge House Tea rooms 10.00am for security focus group, Friday 14th March.

Lancaster University researchers are working in collaboration with partners across Europe (including the BBC and Pioneer) to develop and trial a peer-to-peer system that can deliver a wide range of television programmes over the Internet to a TV using a Set Top Box. University researchers initially have a keen interest in understanding how networks such as ADSL and the Wray Wireless Network are able to support future TV based services and crucially how people currently watch TV across the currently available platforms. We would kindly like a few moments of your time to complete a short questionnaire relating to TV viewing habits. This is also a unique opportunity for you to join the short-list for early access to a trial (scheduled for 2009) which will offer a wide range of Internet based TV services.

We would appreciate your time to complete the short questionnaire which can be found at:

If you wish to learn more about the project, read the recent BBC News Article - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7259339.stm

or visit the project web site www.p2p-next.org

Dr Keith Mitchell
Research Fellow
Computing Department, InfoLab21, Lancaster University, UK

February 2008

Few problems with the online centre, faulty kit replaced and normal service is back. Thanks to everyone who took the trouble to report the faults and helped with testing.

New call for people who wish to help the university in the second phase of the wray network story. Two focus groups needed for 'Security Issues' and P2P digital TV, anyone interested please email us for info, nrsp @ wrayvillage.co.uk (take out the spaces if you cut and paste)

January 2008

Online centre still providing valuable service for the village. More customers connected to the network. Many people bought new laptops for Christmas and PSPs with wifi access. Computer club on Fridays, 2pm-3pm

December 2007

Lots of alterations going on at the institute, but online centre still open

November 2007

The online centre continues to be in great demand and is proving to be a very valuable resource for the village. The computer club is proving difficult to organise at times to suit people, so if you need to know anything just email us and we will try to put it on at a time to suit you too...

club@ wraycomcom.org.uk

October 2007

The computer club awakes after the summer holidays with the first meeting on Friday 12th October at 11am - 12 noon at the online centre. Everybody welcome.

August 2007

Online centre is used most of the time during the school holidays, high levels of data transfer...  must be the kids...

25th August, thank you to everyone who took the survey, it will help the university with their research.

16th August, new survey by the university online, tell them what you think of the new digital noticeboard in the post office

Online centre - pc 3 coming back tonight (8th Aug) after upgrade, temp pc in bay 4, pc4 back on Friday.

Statistics showing the centre getting a lot of use during the summer holidays, with someone using most of the day. A valuable resource for the village and many thanks to Simon for all his hard work bringing the computers up to date.


Free powertoy to resize your photos with a few clicks, just visit microsoft site, download from the link on the right hand side of the page and install it.

It gives you a menu when you right click an image and the choice of sizes to save the new file. Your original photo stays the same. Click here (opens in new window)

August 2nd

Digital noticeboard in the post office upgraded, much easier to use and easy to add comments now. If you know anyone in the photos please be sure to leave a comment on the board.  Touch screen keyboard makes this simple and painless, and the information is precious so please take the time to do it, we appreciate your support.

August 1st

Still waiting for some componets for online centre pcs, so a temporary solution is in place. Two pcs are complete and back in the centre, plus one subsitute pc which has internet access. The other pc will be back as soon as possible.

July 2007

New motherboards and processors being added to online centre pcs on Mon 22nd July, PCs will be up and running again on Wednesday 25th July or soon after.

More memory added to online centre pcs because the software upgrade had slowed them down and booting them up took ages. They are much happier now. Thanks Simon!

The digital noticeboard is working fine again, and lots more photos have been uploaded, specially from the over 60s.

June 2007

The computer club will end shortly for the summer, and resume again after the holidays. The last session will be on Friday, 29th June. If anyone needs help before it starts again just contact us, 21588, 21978, or email club @ wrayvillage.co.uk

A month of technical issues, bugs and upgrades. The digital noticeboard continues to work well in the post office but the web interface is experiencing problems, we hope to have it online again very soon.

The online centre computers have had their operating system updated and are now very slow to boot up. Extra RAM is on order and when Simon installs it they will be a lot better.

Due to the high number of users on the network we seem to slow down at peak times, thank you all for limiting your usage and for scheduling large downloads to off peak times.  This enables everyone to have a connection for surfing and emails with no loss of service.

May 2007

Meeting to be held on Thursday 24th May, Wray Institute online centre at 11am.

The University team would like to meet villagers and contributors to the noticeboard to find out how they are using the board and what improvements/tweaks or changes they would like to see. Anyone who has chance to pop in for 10 minutes is very welcome. Ask any questions or make any suggestions or just come and meet everyone and see what is happening.

all welcome!

Next computer club meeting will be Friday 18th May - by request we are holding digital photo workshop, copying photos from cameras to pc then to cds, all welcome.

The BBC bus has used the network all this week to broadcast for Radio Lancashire. It has been a great success and has caused no problems for the users.

Locoblog (google earth with wray scarecrow photos on) now online, click here

April 2007

April 23rd, computer club cancelled until after the scarecrow festival... normal service resumed once things are back to 'normal'

Major Upgrade to the computers at the online centre in the Institute, many thanks to Simon, this is a list of all the software now installed on them, and we hope everyone is happy:

Windows XP

Office XP (Access, Excel, FrontPage, PowerPoint, Word)

Publisher 2000

Photoshop Elements 4.0

Adobe Reader 8

AVG Anti-Virus

Firefox web browser


Google Talk



Autoroute 2001

Network running splendidly, most users are now aware of its limitations and are sharing the resources. Many thanks to everyone.


April 5th

Outage caused by failiure in backhaul supply, was rectified very quickly, thanks to the university for their prompt attention.

March 2007

The online centre at the institute is available Monday, Wednesday and Friday, anyone who would like to use it is more than welcome. Please leave the room tidy and switch off the computers when you have finished.

The outage the other night was caused by one of the relay stations which brings the signal to Melling mast. The problem was resolved and normal service resumed before morning.

February 2007

Thanks to everyone who has limited their daytime usage to under 50meg per hour, the network is now very stable and connections available for all. We have up to a hundred different users a day according to University statistics.

Requests from parents for guidance about safe surfing have been received, so this is a good link for any who would like more information:


and one for those who like Bebo:


and one for youtube:


if these aren't enough and you are still concerned please contact us and we will try to help.


January 2007

Simon's drop in sessions start next Wednesday 24th January, 7-8 pm come along and discuss your ICT needs and have some fun.


December 2006

The online centre in the Institute is now online at last. Simon has updated and serviced the PCs and Deb has put the connection in. The facility will be open as much as possible, and Simon will notify people when he is available for classes and workshops. The Friday club was held on the 15th, but will stop over the Christmas period and commence again in the New Year.

November 2006
Digital imaging workshops in the Institute Fridays at 2pm, all welcome. Recent work by the villagers now on the digital noticeboard in the post office. Click here to upload your images.

The electricity supply is now in the room the institute have set up as the online centre. The ethernet to put the computers online is nearly done. By next week we hope the facility will be in use. Simon has upgraded the computers and serviced them.

Many thanks to all who have helped and a special thanks to the Institute and Parish council for their support.

October 2006
Extensive work has been done on the network this month to manage the flow of data and stop heavy downloads causing interference. We would like to remind everyone not to attempt downloads (ie anything over 50Meg) during the daytime. Also file share is not allowed, as most of the programmes used for fileshare are notorious for adaware, trojans and worms and could seriously damage your equipment (and our network)

More categories have been added to the digital photo board, (thanks Anne, Janice and Felix) and lots more photos uploaded. call in to the post office and have a look, or upload your own from the link below.

The digital noticeboard has moved to the Post office and is being tried out by a lot more people. If you would like to upload photos to the board just click on this link and send them in!

The computer club met on the 3rd and Simon has offered to do workshops/lessons every other Friday at the institute. He is currently servicing the computers and we hope the new online centre will be functioning soon


September 2006

Computer Club starts for winter on Tuesday October 3rd, 7-9pm at the Institute, all welcome to call in and stay or go...

The digital noticeboard is now accepting your photos, register to become a user and upload them to the categories, just click on this link noticeboard Have you any really old photos of your family or the village? We can scan them if you would like to share them.

The Institute have made arrangements to install a new electricity supply to the room where the online centre will be, hopefully it will be open soon.


August 2006

The Online centre which has served the village well for many years has closed. It used to be in the New Inn, but new owners are re-furbishing it and sadly all the equipment had to be removed. Howard and Janine who ran the centre kindly donated the kit to the village, and it is currently stored at the institute. We hope to have it operational very soon.

New Category 'Produce show 2006' added.

31st August, new category 'old photos of wray' added to the board. If you would like a category of your own please contact us.

The first prototype digital notice board was installed in the Institute on 10th August. This has a slide show of photos of the scarecrows. You can touch the screen and download any of them to your mobile phone. More photo galleries will be uploaded on to it when we are sure it is working properly and we find out what people want to see. You can help us by having a look and trying it out, and putting your comments in the guest book next to the screen.

the display and guest book

The guest book

The channel changes are settling in and more people have got a good connection. Work will continue until we are happy the mesh is running to its full potential.

A malfunction in the backhaul feed was discovered and fixed, and upload speeds have increased.

July 2006

Work continued during July to figure out why mesh boxes at the school kept going to sleep, we were initially blaming the hot weather.  Finally it was decided by the university to change the channel we use in the hope there would be less interference from other network traffic in the village.

This strategy seems to be working, although some areas report low speeds.

June 2006

12th June

Slight problems with the network over the weekend resulting in outages for some users. www.wrayvillage.blogspot.com has a post where you can put comments if you were affected or get updates. One of the meshboxes went to sleep and Deb had to redirect the traffic, we think it is fixed temporarily but expect slight outages until it is back online.

8th June

The Institute committee approved of plans to install a digital notice board in the doctor's waiting room. It is proposed to use it to run a slide show of scarecrow and old wray photos.

2nd June

The university researchers were very pleased with the data collected by the volunteers, and are proposing to install a digital notice board in the waiting room at the institute around August time if the Committee are in approval. The next meeting of the institute is Thursday 8th June so we will see if they want one. They propose to show photos of the scarecrow festival and pictures of old Wray. It should be very interesting and could lead to further boards being deployed and interactive notice boards too. Watch this space.

May 2006

The final probe packs/cameras will be collected by the university at the last club meeting on 18th May (7pm at Institute). The club will then finish for the summer and start again in September. A meeting is planned for 30th May in the pub to analyse and chat about the data collected by club members. We have found a 'mac' man to repair and maintain your equipment, reasonable rates, details on blogspot

The maddest month in the Wray calendar with the scarecrows taking over the village. All the photos are now online on the blogspots. We also have a series of 360 panoramas thanks to Tony Quinn, which you can see online if you have a broadband connection. http://www.vrwray.com

The University camera project will finish at the next computer club meeting on 18th May, so please bring in your scrapbooks. The tiny video cameras were great fun, and the polaroids fit into the scrapbooks to give a pictorial archive of the fair.

The computer club is not meeting during June/July/August but meetings will commence again in September, when we hope to have some lessons sorted for ECDL and digital photography.

April 2006

The University want to run a project in the village making scrapbooks of events leading up to the Scarecrow festival, full details on the blogspot wrayvillage.blogspot.com use the contact button if you want to take part, it should be a lot of fun and provide some historic data for the future generations.

Next Computer Club meeting Thurs 6th April at the Institute Subs £2.00 - every 1st and 3rd Thursday of every month.

March 2006

Next club night is March16th.
New meshboxes installed at the Institute and the Post Office have resulted in more people being able to connect. All the equipment bought with the funding from Lancaster City Council has now been deployed for end user kit. Anyone wishing to connect from now on is welcome to contact us and 'try before they buy', we can help and advise you so you don't buy the wrong equipment.

Computer club meeting March 2nd consisted of discussions on music downloads from Amazon to collect mp3s (legally) and to copy them on to CDs. More blogging. Configuring wireless access points, and utilising the benefits of free storage on gmail.

February 2006

The George and Dragon got wifi'd. Now we have two hotspot public houses in our village.

Computer Club meeting Thurs 16th Feb at the Institute was mainly about digital photographs and updating webpages with contribute. Also a bit of voip.

Computer Club meeting Thurs 2nd Feb at the Institute consisted of more voip, weblog creation and dealing with security issues and virus protection.

Please fill in the Notspot survey if you are in a region with little or no access to a broadband connection, it will only take a minute and can be found here http://www.notspot.info and visit the cbn forum if you need help to get a connection in areas that BT cannot reach. http://broadband-uk.coop

January 2006

Digital Dales Broadband colloquium was held in Wray Saturday January 28th and was well attended by community groups from the region. It was followed by maggot racing in the dragon, which was a great success. £632 was raised for North West Air ambulance service, photos on Maggot page.

19th Jan Computer club, reporters updated web pages for scarecrows, new members used googletalk, discussed home networks, played with some wifi kit, more mail merge help from Simon. Discussion on Ram Cds and how to copy films. Downloaded photos from cameras and tried different card readers.

The Computer club was a great success and well attended by many members of the network as well as people on the adsl broadband, and people with no access at all. Lots of help was available for people who have only just started using computers, and a 'techie' corner for people who wanted to know more about mesh networks. Several people already using voip (free phone calls over broadband) installed the system for other people on their laptops and showed them how to use it. Google Earth was demo'd and everyone wanted to download that too, so luckily they could do it from the wifi institute and learn how to use it. Simon taught a bunch how to do a mail merge and print labels, and the 'techies' got into a corner and talked pda's and other Interesting Stuff. The next meeting was decided upon, 19th Jan at the Institute 7pm.

Computer club. Thursday 5th January, to be held in the Institute where wifi facilities are available so bring your laptops! Watch out for posters in the village. The new meshboxes installed in December have resulted in more users of the network. Please continue to report any problems using the contact button on this page, or to apply for a connection and we will contact you asap. Most areas of the village apart from round the spout now have a signal.


December 2005

Two new mesh boxes installed in the village at Gars End and Home Farm which we are hoping will provide coverage for all the blank spots, new users installed and existing connections improved. Photos on blogspot click here

Use the 'Contact' button if you want a connection to the network. A workaround for sending mail has been resolved for people wishing to carry on using their old email addresses with the Wray network, see Outlook Mail Fix for details. There is still some free kit available to enable your computer to connect so don't waste any time, contact us now to get on the list.

Wray won the Calor Village of the Year award for being the best ITC village in the North of England. Representatives from the Parish Council attended the ceremony in London and will shortly receive a cheque for £500.

(We didn't win the DPM award, but it was an honour to be shortlisted).

November 2005
Wray/Wennington projects have been short listed in the Deputy Prime Minister's office award for Sustainable Communities, and has also been chosen by the Lancashire Association of Town and Parish Councils to represent the county in the Calor Village of the Year IT section. Results expected soon.

October 2005
The new network near the village has continued to grow and is now a Ltd company. Connection costs £25 a month for a 2meg symmetrical feed and the businesses connected are delighted with the service. Both projects have featured in a film to promote the benefits of broadband in rural areas, it was made by the NWDA and is online at this link on YouTube

On the Wray network October has seen speed tests start with the university research department, and the mesh in the village has performed very well. We are still trying to connect people to the service, but volunteer fatigue means we are struggling to find enough time to do all the work. Several team members have huge workloads but more volunteers are starting to come forward to offer their help. If we haven't got round to you and you still wish to be connected please use the contact button and leave your details, email address, phone number and name! If you would like to join us and help others then please let us know, the more the merrier!

The Rural Matrix project has finished and we would like to thank Dave Farr and Harry Rawlciffe for all their help since September 2003 when this whole network was first conceived. Their help and support, lessons and advice have kept us all going. Without them we would never have known what real broadband was, and would have been unable to help other communities. Thanks to them we have been able to have lessons on DTP, Web pages and Databases. We wish them well in whatever new projects they undertake. With a bit of luck they will get further funding and help other villages the way they have helped ours.

September 2005
The whole new network we built in July went 'live' officially on 1st September after completion of beta tests through August. A 2meg symmetrical feed is being used through the mesh and the people involved are trying out voip phones and webcams. They are reporting back on the uses they can be put to. They are enjoying being able to download and upload files which they couldn't do before on the old dial up connections they had. Several have started weblogs, details of which will be published on the Wray blogspot as they go live.

August 2005
The second phase of the new network was finished with an outdoor mesh installation to bring broadband to an area out of sight of the Wray network. Final configuration of the mesh is almost complete and a workaround for sending mail has been resolved for people wishing to carry on using their old email addresses, see Outlook Mail Fix for details.

Google Earth has gripped a lot of people and wasted many hours searching for interesting places. Try it out at your peril.(Free download) Zoom in from space and see your house, then zoom out to where you went on holiday. Find local sites of interest (even plumbers) and overlay roads to find directions. Great fun.

July 2005
WrayComCom applied for funding early in June to build a new mesh network in a village near Wray. The NWDA and LDDA saw the potential for case studies and we were awarded a grant. The new mesh network was built in three days using mesh boxes from Locust World. Training was also provided for the Wray Comcom team. At some point during the next year the two networks may be meshed together to provide greater resilience and lower running costs. This may help to prove the point that a small amount of kick start funding for the infrastructure can enable small rural communities to bridge the digital divide that is growing ever wider. The NWDA are to be applauded for their forward thinking, and hopefully this shining example of communities working together can be replicated in other areas.

June 2005
A successful mentor weekend (thanks to CBN) highlighted the need for further training for our technical team. This was provided by SWBB and ORB who taught us the basics of mesh management and explained differences between 2.4 and 5.8 frequencies. (We are learning all about it in readiness for when the university research is over and the network will belong to the community).

On June 23rd Dr Nicholas Race was awarded the Community Prize by the University for his work in Wray. We nominated him and the University have judged him worthy of this honour.

Click to read the press release from the project that Nick and his team are working on with Wray

The start of June has enabled the aerial fitter to get on to the roofs and install the special kit to enable people with very thick stone walls on main street to get a signal. On the 6th June four families and one business got a superb connection via this method. A further number are now awaiting the arrival of more of these antenna. We didn't want to buy too many in case they didn't do what we thought they would, but they have, so the rest of the people waiting will probably have one of the same. They are very small and un-obtrusive, and we are very pleased with their performance. While the aerial man was in the village he also tweaked other antenna and increased the signal to the craft barn, which was starting to slow down due to leaves on the trees. The University are now ready to start testing the speed of the mesh, and at some point in June we will begin downloading the files for them.

May 2005
The beginning of May Marked the opening of the Village Craft Barn/Tea Room which is one of our village hotspots. The scarecrow fair took up the early part of the month but new equipment has arrived and is being installed in houses throughout the month. Anyone living in the village who has registered an interest will be contacted this month.

The Mayoress of Lancaster cut the ribbon and declared the BT Community Communications Computer open for all to use.

Left to right: Paul Maycock (chair of WCC) Deb Perrins (treasurer WCC) the Mayor and Lady Mayoress, Pat Staveley who owns the Tea Rooms and Craft Barn.

More photos of this event in photo album on Wray village website, just click here to visit it

the mayor opening the wifi barn and BT computer

April 2005
April was a busy month, more end users were connected and more connectivity brought into the main street via the institute. Two Webcams were installed for the Scarecrow festival and broadcast for 24 hours a day while the scarecrows were here. One camera filmed the street and one filmed the field where the fair is held. Each camera took a photo every thirty seconds. They were provided by the university and kindly hosted by the Lowis family. There were some spectacular sun rises over mealbank and it was great to watch a whole day in a couple of minutes and see thousands of people having fun. These films have been archived and the cameras taken down until they are required again.

March 2005
The main street now has a signal, and the barn at the end of the village, Bridgehouse Farm Tea rooms now is a hotspot. We have installed the community computer, generously donated by BT COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS in the barn for a trial period. You can use this computer to access the network and try out broadband.

The Institute in main street is also a wireless hotspot, but there is no equipment there. You can access the service there with your own wireless laptop, just email us for a password and username.
Feb 2005
The university have started a forum for all people joining the network, this can be reached from this link: network forum You can use this forum to register to join the network, find stuff out, complain, learn, and inform others. You can use it for general chat or anything you like.

Feb 20th
Lots of responses from the flyers, and everyone who replied is now on the list waiting to be connected. A couple of clusters of people at Holme farm and in the main street are still in areas with no signal, so work is underway to raise the aerials. We have found that the signal is being deflected off the chimney pots in wet weather. The university team have decided that if we put the antenna just above the roofs the signal will then reach most parts of the village. We are currently waiting for a scaffolding firm in order to do this work safely. Classes on DTP are now running at the school on Monday nights, and Web page classes are due to start in April, use the contact form at the top of the page if you haven't already registered.

February 5th
Flyers have been distributed throughout the village to invite people to join the network and help us to make it into a real mesh. The university team are coming out next week to analyse the signal and in order to make it stronger. Working together we hope to be fully functioning before the scarecrows start to appear. The University are planning to use the mesh for research, so the more people using it the better the research will be.

January 2005
The whole month has been taken up with trying to configure the mesh boxes to talk to each other. We have all learnt a lot in this time and feel it has been a steep learning curve.

We won four awards at the CanDo colloquium held in Grantham, which makes us proud of what we have achieved so far. The online centre was off for a period whilst we tried to get an access point working. We are pleased to say it was back on in time for the internet and email classes.


December 29th We will have a stronger signal in the village and will start installing new users in January. We have funding from Lancaster City Council for the first 25 or so customers, and funding from UnLtd to choose and test kit and build a library of equipment for triallists. We have funding for Aerials and fixing from Rural Matrix. Let us hope that we learn a lot in the next few months and get our network solid. We have got WiFi in the Online Centre so if your laptop is wireless then nip round and give it a try. Lessons for beginners start in the New Inn in January, call in for details. Desk Top Publishing Classes are scheduled at the school and at Broadwood for Jan/Feb/March.

All through December we have been sourcing kit and trying things out, and it is all looking good. Three new mesh boxes have arrived from the University, and three antenna provided by Rural Matrix are installed as an interim measure until the kit arrives from America. We haven't been able to update this webpage on a regular basis because things have changed on a daily basis and it has been a real busy time. We hope to do better in 2005!

November 19th 2004 Even better news, the mapping exercise done over the past few weeks has highlighted exactly the right kit we need to purchase to get the signal into our homes, and it is all ordered and paid for so we should soon all have access to real broadband. We are grateful to the University NRSP unit, Rural Matrix, The Lancaster City Council and Wray School, who are all working together on this enterprise with us. We are also grateful to Myerscough College who lend us Laptops and Cameras to run taster courses to get people going on computers and see how useful they can be for work and play.
Sad news, the follow up BBC interviews were to begin at the end of the month (November) but we have had to cancel them until the New Year because the network is not fully functional. The equipment we need is on it's way from America and the mesh boxes are waiting but are all ready here. We were all looking forward to taking part in the interviews again but it will be something to brighten 2005 and will be a useful exercise for both us and the researchers from the Beeb.

November 10th 2004 Great News ! Many thanks to Lancaster City Council. The E-Government Committee have awarded Wray Com Com a grant to assist with the cost of installing the first users on to the system. We have yet to clarify if this can be used for aerial fitting or just the hardware. Watch this space. The funds should cover in the region of the first twenty five installs. If you are interested and have not yet signed up please email deb.The plan is to review the list of those who registered an interest initially and work out the numbers. Anyone else wishing to join the list please contact us. Following our meeting last week we anticipate the monthly fee for the service will be about fifteen pounds a month which is exceptional value for a 2mb connection. We plan to give priority to those from the list who will have the strongest signal whilst we gain some experience of the installation process. Anyone planning to buy a new computer wishing to join the scheme should make sure it has a wireless networking capability. This really is brilliant news as it gives us the chance to offer a low cost introduction to wireless broadband. Thank you Lancaster City Council !

November 1st 2004
Tests are going well and by Friday we should know what sort of kit we are going to buy to put end users online. Email us if we haven't got your name on our list, we aim to start installs this month. Just click the 'contact us' link at the top of this page.
October 28th 2004
Tests started this afternoon at 4pm and will continue every day for a week to build up a map of the village. If you see strange people walking around with a laptop scratching their heads it is only us. We start at one side of the village and take readings all the way round to build up the information we need. It is all good fun and we are learning as we go, as Dave (our guru from rural matrix) explains what the problems are in each location. If you see us this week and want to become a trialist do stop us and make your feelings known. As soon as we get some kit organised we can start installing end users.

October 25th
Tests are starting this week to enable us to deploy more mesh boxes. The mesh box technology will strengthen the signal through the village and we should get it into our homes before Christmas. The first trialists are reporting very good results, even with a poor signal, so once the new kit is installed the results should be even better and we can start to put others online. We have a meshbox called Miss Piggy to find a new home for, and she has to go where she will serve the most people. Kermit, Ernie and Bert are already transmitting, but it looks like it will take a feminine touch to make the signal work well. We have great hopes that she will be able to get the signal into Tim's house, as currently he has to download his emails by sitting with the laptop in the dog kennel outside

Update October 6th
The Avanti trial currently running in Tatham, Botton and Millhouses has been upgraded from 2.4 kit to 5.8 this week. This is because of the limited range of the lower frequency not being able to get through the leaves on the trees in the area. It was a similar solution to the one the university used in the village trial. The 5.8 kit works on a higher frequency and so now both systems are working well, with download speeds of at least a meg and uploads of up to half a meg on the Avanti trial, and 2meg on the village one, which is very good and all the trialists are very happy. Now we are concentrating on the village network which is about to be enhanced with more mesh boxes to increase the range of the signal. Currently the online centre and a couple of other houses are the only ones utilising the service, but we hope more can be connected soon.

http://www.intothemesh.com/ - this is a site which tells you all about mesh networking, and they have put a link on to us, we are getting famous at last!

September 30th 2004

- an email from the NRSP today confirms that the extra mesh boxes are expected to arrive any day now, so the network in the village will get a boosted signal and more people will be able to access it. The online centre is having great fun with the new broadband service, at 2mgb it is four times faster than the normal ADSL connection that a lot of people subscribe to and everyone is wanting to join us. At the moment anyone living in the village who can access our network can have free broadband until we get the system tested and working well. Use the contact us form (on the left) for details of usernames and passwords you will need.

VOIP, click here to read about it, it is free phone calls using broadband!

September 20th 2004
The Online Centre is back with Broadband!!!!!!!!!!!!
Dave and Harry (The Minister) spent all afternoon rigging up some kit to put the computers onto the wireless network. The signal at the end of the village is very weak, 28% received, so they needed a little access point upstairs to feed the signal to the computers downstairs. Janine clocked up amazing speeds when she tested it last night. It is 7 times faster than the old ISDN line they had before. This is real good news and it means people can go into the Inn and try it all out to see if they want it in their homes. Theoretically the same sort of kit will work for anyone who can't actually 'see the yagi'. Further tests will continue and results will be posted here. The online centre is shortly to have it's own webpage, watch this space.

September 13th 2004
The NRSP unit has ordered some more mesh boxes to boost the signal around the village. They are quite happy for the dogs in the kennel to have their broadband but appreciate the fact that most of the villagers have their computers inside the houses...

September 10th 2004
Bad news today, our online centre has had to close. The funding from the LCC has finished but we have been lucky enough to have it for nearly three years. The centre held the record for the most used ISDN line in the North West. We are trying to get the broadband signal into the building as quickly as possible and then it can be used again by the community. The Lancaster City Council have agreed that Howard and Janine can keep the computers at the New Inn, so by the end of the week they should be working again but without internet access. Classes can therefore continue in most subjects. Our online centre will return, but this time it will be our VERY own. Power to the People.

Sitting still and wishing Makes no person great.
The Good Lord sends the fishes.
But you must dig the bait. Anonymous

September 9th
News just in is that Tim's dogs have broadband. The signal in his house needs an antenna to bring it in, so he took the laptop out into the dog kennel and managed to download a 15meg file in five minutes off a very weak signal from the middle yagi. This is taking broadband to the extremes when we start providing it for dogs too!

September 7th
A wardrive round the village picked up a signal from nearly everywhere. There are some black holes and the NRSP will deploy more meshboxes to cover them. If anyone can pick up the signal contact us for passwords to login. This will be a free service during the test period so make the most of it, have a go and let us know!

September 4th
Tests today with a modern wireless laptop have picked up a weak signal on Wennington road, but that weak signal downloaded an 18meg file in 2.5 minutes. The same file took hours on a modem. Amazing. If you have wireless kit let us know if you can get a signal and you can do the same! Janine is sat in the beer garden at the inn surfing away...

September 1st 2004
Nick and the team re-configured the meshboxes at the school and now we are live. The signal is not strong enough to pick up at the corners, so we need to get another aerial fitted onto the Online centre. Further tests are running to see where the signal can reach. If you have wireless enabled kit at home could you see if you can pick up the signal, and if you can email us for details of how to access the network trial - use the contact form at the side of this page.

Thursday 26th August: The first end users will be connected on Tuesday 31st August. The NRSP unit are coming out with the gear and probably the online centre will be the first to go live. As events unfold news will be posted here. Watch this space

The network went live today, 17th August 2004!

Yesterday (Monday 16th August) the Cleo unit installed new kit on the NTL mast at Melling and a new set of kit at school. Today, Tuesday 17th August the NRSP technicians configured the signal to the mesh boxes. A strong wireless connection was picked up outside the school. Over the next few weeks we will be contacting those who have already registered to be trialists, and once the system is tested and working we will open it up to everybody. We will be posting our charges on this site so you can compare them to others and know what a bargain you are getting! We will also post a form for you to use to register for this service. Watch this space. Wray is coming into the broadband age at last. Email us if you want to know more or would like to join our committee, new members always welcome! comcom@wrayvillage.co.uk

The new kit has been installed in the hub at school this week, and the new equipment goes on the NTL mast at Melling on Monday 16th August. Nearly there...
"The future is here. It's just not widely distributed yet." - William Gibson

Quote of the day 12/8/04
"If the doors of perception were cleansed every thing would appear to man as it is: Infinite. For man has closed himself up, till he sees all things thro' narrow chinks of his cavern." ~ William Blake

30th July 2004 The Problem:

The University have reported that the signal strength is not good enough to support the network. This is due to the frequency they are using being corrupted with lots of people using it in the area before it gets to Wray

The Solution: The NRSP unit are to install new kit using a different frequency. This has delayed the date we were hoping to go 'live' but will cause fewer problems in the long term and we agree it is the best course of action to take.

Sorry for the delay!

20th July 2004 The scaffold came down today, thanks to Rhino Scaffolding for removing it once the yagi were installed, it would have caused interference with the signal and also stopped the builders erecting the new kiln house where the scaffold stood

15th July 2004

"The way I see it, if you want the rainbow you gotta be willing to put up with the rain." ~ Dolly Parton

A meeting of the steering committee was held to see how we could get the signal out to the rural community and over the hill to the bobbin mill area round the spout.

"If we knew what we were doing, it wouldn't be called research, would it?" ~ Albert Einstein

We might have to apply for funding and enlist the help of more members, anyone interested?

"Tell me and I'll forget. Show me, and I may not remember. Involve me, and I'll understand."

13th July 2004 Broadband signal from Melling Mast reaches the school, it comes via Quarry house to Melling to us. The technicians from the university have installed it in the equipment at school, we are nearly there.The University reports problems with interference from other sources holding the job up. They are trying to get it all fixed then the trial can start.

"For I dipt into the future, far as human eye could see, saw the vision of the world, and all the wonder that would be." - Alfred Lord Tennyson
1st July - a signal is received all round the village. We have just been right round and picked it up on a PDA so we know the network works! Anyone in Wray Village can join the wireless network and get a good reception. Now the trial can start. The backhaul (signal) from the University will be enabled around the 13th July, so if you want to be a trialist then contact us now and let us know. Your first three months connection will be free while we get the bugs out of the system and you will have to help us a bit and it will be necessary for you to be computer literate. You will be asked to pay a deposit for your equipment but this is re-fundable if you choose not to stay with the wireless network so you have nothing to lose. After the three month period if all is working properly you can choose to subscribe to the service and at that point anyone can join in and they should have a brilliant connection by then. Contact us now if you want to register, or want to know more, email us here: register or read all the pages on this site for more info.

June 30th, and finally we get the Yagi antennae installed on the school roof. (Photos below) It has taken many months of planning to get to the stage where the installation can finally happen. Currently we have had no funding, and it has all happened as a result of the hard work and enterprise of the Broadband for Wray Group, Lancaster University, Rural Matrix and Wray Endowed School.

The University team have worked hard sourcing and testing all the kit, and designing a network that will be safe for people to use. The school equipment is now all on site thanks to Rhino Scaffolding providing a safe access to the roof for the electrician Graham Spavin. Graham has installed the mesh boxes in the school in the eaves of the building because they need to be very close to the antenna. The University team will then check to make sure the signal reaches all round the village. Once that is done we can start to install the end users. This page will grow as work progresses.

The photographs below of the three corners of the village were taken from the spot where the yagi antennae are fixed to the school. We weren't sure we could see these places and so it was a relief to see that we could! From the ground we couldn't see the school, but we knew it was one of the highest points of the village. "As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it." Albert Einstein

We are very grateful to the vision and foresight of the teachers, governors and staff at Wray Endowed School for being the host to the network. They realise how much it means to the children and their education to have a broadband connection at home as well as in the classroom. In rural areas it is even more important than in urban ones, as villages like Wray do not have the facilities of the towns such as libraries and meeting places, and some village children leave home at 7am to travel to secondary schools and only get home late. Broadband connections mean that they won't have to wait for long periods to download their homework and coursework. Modem connections have made it very difficult for them to keep up with their contemporaries in the urban areas. Now that ADSL broadband has become cheaper and more parents install it at home for their children it is important that the rural children who can't get a connection due to distance and faulty wires can have their own wireless connection in the not to distant future. We are trying to secure funding to take the signal out into the community and connect all the farmers and small businesses in the area. This network will encompass all the farm children. The children of Wray Endowed School will not be disadvantaged in the future when they go to secondary school in the towns if we can make this network happen. It is the children who will bring the older people in to the network, and show them the benefits of broadband. The network is the people, not the computers. Power to the People.

first corner

This is the corner of the village approaching from Millhouses.

The signal will reach the new complex being built there by John and Pat Stavely. It will be a plant and craft centre with tea rooms, with lots of attractions for visitors to the village.

second corner

The second yagi is pointed at the far corner of the village approached from Wennington.

third corner

The third yagi is directed at the Online Centre at the New Inn. .

This facility is used by many of the villagers, and currently holds the record for the most used online centre in the whole North West area. Once it has broadband it can move on to even greater achievements. Howard and Janine have managed to secure funding to keep the computers for a further period, and lessons are available free for groups of up to six people. Contact them at the centre or use the contact form on the left of this page if you have a group wanting to learn AnyThing
Currently we are taking bookings for Databases and Web page design classes. The Desktop publishing ones were a great success thanks to the tutor, Harry of lime green wetsuit fame....

"A year from now you will wish you had started today." -- Karen Lamb

If you want to build a ship, don't herd people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work,
but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.

--Antoine de Saint-Exupery
Cetad course for farmer's wives and small/med businesses
this is a course to utilise the benefits broadband and ITC will bring to us, by training us in the management skills to improve our rural businesses. No formal qualifications needed to join, but you will end up with an NVQ4. Oh - and it's free! It starts w/c July the 19th, so book a place quickly or you will miss it.

Update 30th June 2004, the yagi have been installed today by Graham. He commented on what a brilliant scaffold he had to work on and how safe it was. He has fixed up three yagi aerials to send the signal to three corners of the village. We need more kit to get round to the fourth corner (the bobbin mill) but we have to find more funding before we can get the signal over the trees to them.
Update 28th June, the scaffold has been put up this morning on the gable end of the school, and now the antenna can be safely fixed to the roof. Check out this link for photos of the Rhino team. Rhino
360 click here to go to the photo album with views of 360 degrees round the school hub Photo albums started!
Update 24th June 2004 Our Aerials! This is Graham who will fix them up. I think we had better start a photo album of this project.  
22nd June, rhino scaffolding will be at the school on Monday 28th to assemble a tower to put the aerials up safely. We are very grateful to them for their help and advice. (If you need a scaffold they are the people to contact). The technicians from the University will then join the mesh to the aerials. 21st June - The first part of the village network will be installed at the school on Thursday and Friday this week. The electrician Graham Spavin will run the wires to the equipment and put the mesh boxes in. We will soon be live...
...watch this space.

http://www.nrsp.lancs.ac.uk This is the site of the research department at the University who are doing a project on the Wray network.

Rural Matrix who help us learn about broadband... - they will do classes in the village for all who want to learn. Any number between 2 and 6 pupils catered for. Classes so far have included: Wireless networking, Databases and Desk Top Publishing. Venues have included the school and the online centre in the New Inn.

June 16th, The Adsl guide says we are enabled. That means that if you want broadband through your phone line and live close enough to the exchange you can get it from today onwards. If you do subscribe to this service please post your opinions of it on the forum, if your ISP is a good one let us know.
Forum online for broadband chat just click here

June 15th, just heard that the equipment is being installed at school on 24th June 2004, we are nearly there.

The open meeting for the village was held on 6th June 2004.
The steering committee for broadband delivered their report for the end of Phase 1. It was well received by those present.
Aftab opened the meeting with an introduction, followed by Paul's presentation of the report.
Chris gave a short description of the two trials which are presently under way, one for the village and one for the rural areas. Aftab then described the advantages/disadvantages and costs of ASDL broadband. Paul then gave the community the choices available to them with full details of what each would entail.
Refreshments were served while a short film was played about other villages which have already built their own broadband networks. A short Q&A session followed where all queries were answered and people were asked to fill in a form with their details and what they wanted and how they could help if a co-operative was to be formed.

The meeting closed with everyone going home with plenty to think about for the future but better informed than they had been before it.

Many thanks to the Institute for the loan of the facilities, Paul and Aftab for the presentation equipment, Howard for the refreshments and to the people who attended. Email if you would like a PDF copy of the full report

Lessons learned from the meeting:
1. If you want a brew with sugar and not salt then don't let Chris make the tea
2. If you want to use the institute remember to book it first
3. If you want to run a video through a laptop remember to bring some speakers

It was a good meeting nevertheless, and hopefully the next one will go like clockwork!

Update May 24th 2004

We have all been very busy since the last update, the scarecrow festival took a chunk out of the month but we are still making lots of progress. The village is about to get it's wireless connection and the trial is going to start very soon. We now have to know who wants to subscribe to the wireless service on the trial, and who would like it after the trial when we have perfected it. Some of you have already registered an interest, so you may be contacted in the next week if you suit the geography of the initial installation.

The Broadband for Wray Group would like to invite you all to an open meeting on

Sunday 6th June 2004 at 3pm in Wray Institute

After many months of research we are now able to deliver the final report on our progress. An open meeting will be held and anyone interested is welcome to attend. With the exchange in Hornby being enabled this month we want to inform everybody of the options that are available. We can then make a more informed choice of the way we want to use broadband. We value your opinions of our report and wish to hear them.

Although we don't have all the answers, we have far more than we had at the last open meeting, and if anyone manages to come up with any questions we haven't already thought of, we will endeavour to find out and let them know asap.

We also need to contact people to help us with two surveys,

1) a BBC survey on broadband use, so if you are free on 10th or 11th of June and are fully intending to get a broadband connection soon please email me bb@wrayvillage.co.uk and let me know if you are available for a short interview. We need all sorts of people for this, families with children needing the internet for homework research, isolated users who use it for email and contact with others, people interested in the security angle, skeptics, young and old alike all your comments will be valuable. Of particular interest is anyone who thinks that having a broadband connection will make a difference to the economy of the area or that it will change any social aspects of our community. (You only have to think something - it's not a case of knowing it!)

2) The University also want to do a pre broadband interview:
‘The Impact of Broadband on Rural Enterprises’ so any volunteers for that would be also most appreciated. They want to interview businesses, home workers and the self-employed. They also want to interview businesses who have decided not to use the technology at all. (This survey will be totally confidential and will ensure your anonymity) email me bb@wrayvillage.co.uk and let me know if you are available, it will take an hour and will be repeated in 12 month’s time to see if your opinions have changed in any way.bb@wrayvillage.co.uk

Update 20th April

We have broadband in the valley!

A satellite dish was installed in the Botton area and connected houses in Millhouses and Tatham. 5 trialists are now online and have surveys and tests to complete. It is great, the phone line is free to use for calls while the computer is connected to the internet and it is a lot faster than with a modem. Once it has all settled down a bit we will publish some results here.

Update 23rd March
Initial surveys done for the wireless links in Wray and the satellite links for Millhouses and Botton. We are hoping to be able to test and trial the service sometime this month. If you haven't registered an interest in having the wireless connection (as opposed to a landline one) then make sure you email us on this link: email the group

Forum online for broadband chat just click here Community Broadband Network-Real Support for People without Broadband. To register interest visit the project's website at www.broadband-uk.coop or call 0845 456 2466 and get involved

Update 6th March 2004
Three of the committee went to an open day at Cybermoor, one of the government pilot schemes for rural wireless broadband. We learned a lot of things there and came to the conclusion that rather than re-invent the wheel we would apply for funding to use them as consultants for our project. They are one of the  pioneers of this type of enterprise and are aware of many pitfalls. Their vast knowledge and expertise should save us time and money in the long run. We are waiting for funding to help this happen. We have also formed our group into a co-operative, in order to access funds for the consultations, lessons, surveys and initial installation of the wireless network/the extension of it.
We have distributed 300 flyers throughout the community, if you would like one and haven't got one there are some at Wray Post Office. Alternatively you can contact us by email. Email the group  Please register your interest soon if you would like to be involved. We have had a tremendous response and are working as fast as we can to deliver! It is going to take longer than we imagined, but we will do it. There are many groups like us throughout the country, and we are pooling our information and learning from each other.

Update 18th Feb
After the successful Landline Broadband Campaign I have just been informed that the exchange will be enabled on the 16th June 2004. There is a message board on www.getonandgetit.co.uk/HornbyBroadbandNow/ if you want to post your news and views on service providers or any other topic. - Steve Openshaw.
Forum online for broadband chat just click here (this is an old forum, new one is linked above, this is left for history purposes)
Depending on how close you are to the exchange the full range of connection speeds may be available from 512kbps right up to the 2Mbps.

Update 12th Feb

We are in communication with several organisations who will help us in our quest for 'broadband for all' in our area. If you know of anyone who could help in any way please ask them to contact us by email.  Email the group

Update 9th Feb

We have reached the threshold for enabling the Hornby Exchange, but if you haven't registered you still can do and it might encourage BT to do it a bit sooner.Up to date we have 20 customers for a wireless broadband service.We are holding a course in March for anyone interested in learning about Wireless.

The Cleo Hardware has been installed for the School, we are waiting now for NTL to enable the mast at Melling.

Jan 25th 2004

A Group has been set up to investigate the possibility of bringing Broadband to Wray. We have been offered the chance to join the CLEO project which will bring broadband to Wray via microwave link. There was a Public Meeting on Saturday 24 January at 3.00 pm at the Wray Institute.

Representatives from CLEO and The Leader + Matrix Group were at the meeting to answer questions. The Leader + Group will help us put forward a bid for grant money if we are interested in this project. The more people who join in, the cheaper it will be. We are not sure of the exact cost but it could be substantially cheaper than via BT. If you are interested in joining us or want to make a firm commitment then let us know your name and postcode to include your property in the initial survey. Leaflets will be available at Wray Post Office and coming through your doors in the next few days. (FEB 9th)

Landline Broadband available to all. Another option for obtaining broadband in the area is to get BT to enable the Hornby telephone exchange so that ANYONE with a telephone line in the following villages can get broadband:- Wray, Melling, Hornby, Wennington, Docker, Arkholme, Farleton and finally Gressingham. In order to do this BT has set some threshold values for the number of people expressing an interest before they will enable an exchange.The threshold for the Hornby exchange is 250 and we already have 80 people who have expressed an interest. In order to promote the fact that the population on an exchange can work for themselves Steve Openshaw of Wennington has volunteered to manage a landline campaign. Steve supports broadband of any flavour but he will concentrate on the landline campaign so that the two possible broadband options are pursued. Steve is currently sending out promotional material to all villages. This link (http://www.getonandgetit.co.uk/HornbyBroadbandNow/) will allow anyone to register an interest in the area. Please note that registration is free, requires no commitment and does not mean you have to connect to Broadband with BT as your Service Provider..any Service Provider can be used. All registration does is get BT to enable their exchange. In addition, by passing this information on to those who may not yet have a pc or internet connection we can accelerate the process of getting broadband. Remember this scheme is driven by YOU. Once the trigger level is passed the exchange will be enabled usually within 10 weeks. Steve can be contacted on 22122 if you want to register or you can use the link above. (Steve Openshaw)


Please continue to email with any thoughts or concerns or suggestions you might have. We are not mindreaders and we value your comments.

September 2003
A group has been set up to investigate the growing rural/urban digital divide. The broadband for Wray group will find out more about broadband and how we can get it into our village.


Community Broadband Network- Real Support for People without Broadband
To register interest:  visit the project's website at www.broadband-uk.coop
 or call 0845 456 2466 and get involved

South Witham Broadband a similar project to ours but in the South. They help us with advice because they are working to the same goals.