Country Land and Business Association
15 April 2011
CLA applauds world’s first village cricket broadcast
The CLA in the North has praised an initiative at Wray village in rural Lancashire as a clear demonstration of the effectiveness of communities working together as well as and of the potential of superfast broadband.
A cricket match to be held on Easter Monday – Wray vs the Rest of the World – will be streamed live by video over the internet in what organisers believe is a world first. Yet the broadcast is possible only because a team of dedicated local volunteers, working with Lancaster University have achieved the seemingly impossible and installed a 30Mbps community network with download speeds eight times faster than the typical UK household’s broadband and upload speeds about sixty times faster.
Organiser John Popham said: “I’m excited about this. It’s a bit of fun, but it has a serious purpose too. The serious side is to demonstrate that it can be done, it IS possible to stream live broadcast events like this using relatively cheap equipment and a good internet connection. It will also demonstrate the importance of good internet connectivity in rural areas, and the need for fast UPLOAD connections if we are to realise the aspiration to use the internet to enable more people to produce their own content.”
The CLA, which has been campaigning since 2002 to enable fast, affordable broadband in rural areas, says that for all the hype, many rural areas still cannot access fast broadband via conventional technology and is concerned that the race for ever faster speeds simply widens the divide between the broadband haves and have nots.
Douglas Chalmers, Director CLA North, said: “I think that this is a tremendous initiative. While others were talking and waiting for broadband, the villagers of Wray simply rolled up their sleeves and just did it. The network will bring both economic and social benefits to this rural area, and local businesses can now compete on equal terms with their urban competitors.
“Broadcasting a village cricket match to the world is a master stroke. Of course it will interest cricket fans, and I can imagine many ex-pats very keen to be virtual spectators at the type of quintessential English event they remember and miss.
“But of course it highlights the potential of effective broadband in a novel and entertaining way. To some, it may be just a village cricket match, but if an action based event can be beamed from a remote village to around the world, the other applications seem limitless. Of course you will need a good broadband connection to watch it!
“This may encourage other communities to consider following Wray’s example, and I would hope that our politicians take note and recognise broadband as an essential utility worthy of priority investment.”
“This is one match where everyone could win.”
For full details see http://www.twicket.info/