Grants, Additions to the Network, Generator, OTDR, HNS, FTTH Amsterdam 2019

Grant Updates.

Grant money continues to filter through into the MyFi account building the balance towards paying back the investors at the appropriate time.


Potential for Expansion

Following our last newsletter, we were very happy to welcome around 15 people to the meeting who are keen to join our network. We also have the names of several others who like to connect but were unable to make it on Wednesday.


It will now be necessary to do the maths and establish whether it will be financially viable to do this work which would have to be achieved within the boundaries of the collective grants for those properties.


We are more than happy to advise and cover all the technical aspects. The residents concerned will get together a working group and get involved in as much of the voluntary work themselves to help ensure the funding covers all necessary costs.


The areas where we are considering expansion are as follows:


Cwm Hedd

There are 5 grant applications in process for the 5 properties at Cwm Hedd. Materials will be ordered for this shortly which should be delivered around the time the grant applications are assessed by Welsh Government. We can then work towards connecting them as soon as possible.


Cardiff Golf Range

Cardiff Golf Range on Began Road and 2 other businesses are very keen to be connected. This would mean an extension to the current network from Haygrove. Grant applications should be submitted soon with work starting when grant applications are processed.


Plas Machen, Iron Bridge, Draethen, Lower Machen & Ruperra Route

We are looking at connecting properties in these areas, which would be a major extension of our network. In total as many as 30 properties could be connected.

Distance is a factor in trying to connect these residents as it becomes more expensive the further we go. In addition, there are several road and river crossings that will be required.

Technically there is no issue with connecting these people as we have sufficient capacity on the network and the distance involved is not a technical problem.

We need to be sure that any expansion funds itself through the grant process. This could be difficult as some of the properties may already be able to receive Superfast broadband and if so, they will not be eligible for grants. David Schofield will be contacting those people that I have email addresses for soon to find out where they live. When we have collated this information, we will be able to establish what grants are available and design a route that can then be costed.

For the above areas, we have requested that the residents get together and form a working party, to take on the responsibility of contacting farmers and landowners to discuss wayleaves, which for our community have been generously given free of charge.  We will provide support and wayleave documentation etc. to help them with this process.




The Generator is required for times when a power cut occurs that lasts longer than the back-up batteries will support. We are aware that soon there will be a need to change the electricity meter in the village hall and this will require the electricity being switched off for an extended period of time. The purchase of a generator will also ensure seamless continuity of your internet service should we have any power cuts in the future lasting longer than an hour whilst repairs are being carried out. We are expecting delivery of the generator this week.


OTDR Machine

OTDR (Optical Time Domain Reflectometer) is useful for testing the integrity of fibre optic cables, it can also verify splice loss, measure length and find faults. This is a much improved system of tracing any faults taking us straight to where the fault is without having to physically go to every splice bullet / chamber to check each splice.

We have a machine on loan, which I have been ‘playing’ with to get familiar with. The one we have one on order has the added ability to send a red light down the fibre enabling a clear visual indication once we arrive at the faulty fibre. This will make any necessary repairs quicker and more efficient. A very welcome piece of equipment which I look forward to using ~ hopefully not too often, if you see what I mean!





HNS ~  John Volanthen and Thai Cave Rescue.


Recently we read in the news the story of the cave divers who rescued 12 young Thai footballers, one of the cave divers being John Volanthen, who is the CEO of HNS, the company based in NG Data who provides our system monitoring services and our 10GB internet feed and other servcies.

The latest news tells us that he has been awarded the George Medal by HM Queen Elizabeth for showing “great courage”. A magnificent honour for John, well deserved. He has our heartfelt  congratulations, a truly magnificent award. I also understand that in 2012 John received a “Royal Humane Society medal at Buckingham Palace for a similar cave rescue and more recently the “Bronze Cross” which is the Scouting organisations highest honour, for his role in the Thai Cave Rescue.

The George Medal is the second highest civilian honour after the George Cross.



FTTH Conference 2019

Following our success at the EU Commission Broadband Awards 2018, I have been invited to be a guest speaker at the FTTH Conference 2019 in Amsterdam on 12th March ( Fibre To The Home) It is being hosted by Atene KOM and is a Governmental Day Workshop which looks at the Digital Single Market, Broadband Deployment in EU Member States and Bridging the Rural Divide, with presentations from various Ministers, Telecommunications experts and 2 of the winners from the Broadband Awards 2018.

I am looking forward to again presenting our project and incorporating updates since November 2018. I will post some photos in the next newsletter !






The date of the next meeting is Wednesday 27th March 2019 at 7.30 P.M.