Lancaster University

Village life transformed with online network

Wray in Lancashire was the first village in the UK to benefit from wifi broadband in 2003 and was the first village to get hispeed broadband in 2010 – thanks to the work at Lancaster University.

The village had been campaigning for broadband to be made available to their community for some time, but without success.

The village’s remote location meant that the only option for internet access was a dial-up service.

In 2003, a new research project was established that involved the university and the community building  a new wireless mesh testbed within  the village.

As a result of the project, around 100 rural businesses are now online and 230 families enjoy free internet access after years of not being connected.

The scheme tackled loneliness, enabled businesses to thrive and has led to an increase in community cohesion as the project resulted in the creation of a locally owned charity which went on to establish further research projects in the area.