Superfast broadband for Madingley Exchange in Cambridgeshire

About Madingley Exchange

Madingley Exchange Location

Madingley Exchange


Madingley Exchange is located on Cambridge Road, Hardwick, CB23 7QG.

It serves the following communities:

    • Caldecote
    • Childerley
    • Coton
    • Dry Drayton (parts of)
    • Hardwick
    • Madingley

The exchange provides services to an estimated 2132 premises in these communities, and according to SamKnows, comprises:

    • 2042 residential premises
    • 90 non-residential premises

It is assumed that the 90 non residential are the businesses, schools, etc.


Brief History of Broadband Provision

Madingley Exchange has always been one of the Cinderella sisters when it comes to telephony and broadband provision.

A decade ago, whilst other exchanges in the area where being upgraded for broadband services using the ADSL technology, Madingley was left out of the equation, and BT categorically stated it had no intention of upgrading the exchange.

This left the communities with no hope of anything better than dial-up service. It seemed to be symptomatic of  BT’s treatment of rural communities, and this seemed even more incomprehensible, considering our close proximity to Cambridge – the hub of innovation.

However, some entrepreneurs in the Telecommunications industry got together to create Invisible Networks (IN), a company that sought to bring broadband services to the rural communities of East Anglia, hitherto neglected by BT. IN commenced service in 2002, and by 2003 had been able to cover a number of villages in our area.

IN’s success in bringing broadband to this area came to the attention of BT, who then wanted a slice of the pie, and decided it was worth upgrading Madingley Exchange afterall. The word went out, and BT upgraded Madingley to ADSL in October 2003. IN subsequently folded as it could not compete with BT on cost basis, due to its large infrastructure costs, and EEDA failed to live up to its promise of funding.


Future of Broadband Provision

Once again, whilst BT is rolling out superfast broadband via its fibre network, as part of its 5-year rollout plan, Madingley exchange is once again left out. History is again repeating itself.

This means that there is currently no hope of superfast broadband being available to residents of these communities until after 2012, when BT might start to consider a new rollout plan.

In the meantime, a number of local people, in particular the Chair of Caldecote Parish Council, have been investigating various ways of getting faster broadband services.  The main sticking point has always been the cost.

However, in the meantime, BT has launched the Race to Infinity program, in a bid to add 5 more exchanges to its current rollout plan. Read more about the Race to Infinity here.

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