Bay Broadband Co-operative

Bay Broadband is a non-profit making co-operative, run by volunteers and supplies a reliable internet service to Robin Hood’s Bay, Ravenscar and a larger rural area, surrounding the Bay. Any profit made is ploughed back into improving the system.

The service started, with a handful of enthusiasts, in the days of dial-up internet and initially received its signal from satellite. This proved incredibly expensive and soon progressed to various ADSL input points, around the area; hence the name, the Bay Broadband Co-operative was born.

Bay Broadband currently has a 500Mb main fibre feed, which can be increased to 1Gb if required, and supplies over 300 premises.

The Bay Broadband Co-operative operates the community lead ‘wireless to the premises’ broadband service in Robin Hood’s Bay and the surrounding area
Typical Wireless Equipment at a local Farm

The system’s popularity grew rapidly, as there was no real fast Broadband supplier in Robin Hoods Bay, at the time. As more and more members connected it, became clear that increased capacity was needed. A deal was struck with Nynet, the council and schools dedicated internet supplier and a new 1Gb fibre connection was established in Whitby, which is shared with North Yorkshire Highways. The signal is then broadcast out (over a 7 mile radius) and reinforced through about 30 strategically placed repeaters in the village and surrounding areas. Today the upgraded network supplies over 300 subscribers, including the Dolphin Pub on King Street, local holiday cottages, bed and breakfasts and 4 hotels (The Flask Inn, The Whitby Premier Lodge, The Grosvenor and The Bay Hotel). We no longer sell tourist’s day passes, as most accommodation now has broadband fitted (Check before booking) All the pubs supply free broadband.

There are a few subscribers remaining on the original, but slower £5pcm system and this will be gradually phased out, in favour of the updated superfast £10 a month connection. Keeping pace with high connection speeds and TV streaming has been a massive undertaking and the dedicated team of volunteers are always making improvement seamlessly in the background. The latest of these is a £5,000 investment in a PF Sense computer installation, which shares the signal out equally and hosts its own dedicated firewall, to protect the members from external attack. There is even a FTTC backup connection, which changes over automatically, should the main fibre link fail.

The main parts of our wireless transmission system is based on commercial equipment developed and produced by Ubiquiti © for which we hold an Ofcom license.

If you or any member of your family would like to become involved, there are lots of different opportunities to learn computer networking skills and microwave radio transmission, even administration, requiring no technical skill. It’s also a great way to get to know locals and the area from as far as Whitby to Ravenscar and beyond. We meet in the Grosvenor Hotel every Thursday from 8.30pm and all new volunteers are welcome to come along and say hello.