Broadband Coop 3-C awarded £9k

Monday, 4 December 2006

Calder Connect Co-operative (3-C), the Calder Valley's member run Internet Service Provider(ISP), has been awarded a National Lottery 'Awards for All' grant of £9,176 to train volunteers in basic Computer and Broadband Technical skills.

Broadband arrived in Hebden Bridge just over three years ago, in October 2003 and from the start 3-C has been an influential supplier of broadband in the upper valley.

3-C differs from other Internet Service Providers in that a technician sets up each member's broadband in person. We are run entirely by volunteers and our success means that we need more volunteer technicians to give help and advice to both existing and new customers.

3-C Awards for All funded training courses are being planned for the New Year, and will include practical group sessions, observation of technicians at work and supervised practice. Training will be tailored to the needs of students and will be accessible to new volunteers who have either limited technical knowledge or none at all. There will also be training available in the use of Information Technology in administration. The courses will be free of charge to participants.

Brian Marsden, a 3-C support volunteer, said "3-C's Support Team is very busy. With new customers and old, there are often 3 or 4 visits to members per day. That’s a lot for the few technical volunteers we currently have available. Volunteers will gain good quality training on our courses which will come in useful both within 3-C and beyond."

The Chair of 3-C is Richard Hull and he told the Hebden Bridge Web, "3-C has a lot of technical expertise to offer and we are grateful to Awards for All for funding this exciting new project. Our training will provide a valuable foundation in computer and broadband technical skills. We want to attract potential volunteers who feel they lack confidence with technology and we will particularly encourage women and under-represented groups to take part in the more technical side of IT. We are also eager for people from ethnic minority groups and people with disabilities to become involved."

The Hebden Bridge Web helped lead a strong campaign for broadband in the upper valley. 3-C was originally formed from people involved in this campaign. There was widespread disillusion with the big companies and common agreement that a local ISP would be able to give a personal approach. There was also a determination that our area should stay at the forefront of using the new technologies, and not be left behind again.

See also:

3-C website

More info about wireless internet availability in ten local cafes and bars, thanks to 3-C

Yorkshire Post report of awards

Origins of 3-C

Hebweb Campaign for Broadband

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