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How Wray Village worked with the University of Lancaster to get broadband access


The internet and the world wide web have transformed how our society acts. We use it as a source of communication, business transactions, and information gathering. If you are reading this case study, you are likely to be using a high speed internet connection. The percentage of households in the UK with an internet connection grew from 25% at the turn of the century to 55% in 2005 and 77% in 2011. These figures emphasize how important this technology has become – former Prime Minister Gordon Brown described the internet as being ‘as vital as water and gas’.  The exponential growth of this technology means that by 2013 the internet is likely to be four times larger than it was in 2009.

However, not all parts of the country have good digital connections. In 2003 Wray, a village of 500 inhabitants in the north of Lancashire, had only dial-up access, no broadband. This meant that children weren’t able to do their schoolwork properly at home, small businesses in the area couldn’t compete online, and people were unable to work from home.

This case study will show you how a community came together and joined up with a partner to create a community internet network. This can be used as a model for how other rural communities could organise themselves and gain access to the latest technology.

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Chris Conder


Frankie Hine-Hughes wrote this case study for Governance International on 16 April 2012.

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