Box Broadband is now seeking to fund part of the network build from local community investment. A number of people have already expressed an interest in contributing, and we believe that ownership of a share in the fibre network will reinforce the project’s community spirit. A local investment scheme can also provide more favourable terms than commercial sources, which all contributes to encouraging take-up and expansion, and thus long term viability. If the response is good, work can start on construction very soon. The company is working hard to finalise this community funding scheme and hope to launch in the next few days. I will publish further details when available.
Box are still working on other funding sources, but at the moment these appear to be more likely to bear fruit after the first stage is completed, or even later. For example, some sources are only interested in existing infrastructure assets; others are looking for much larger projects. The original plan, for a government loan, would simply have taken too long to get through all the red tape, with no guarantee of success at the end. It also requires members of the parish to set up and run a suitable company, such as a Community Interest Company (CIC); will any volunteers please step forward!