UK Community Gives Up Waiting For High Speed Broadband: Digs Its Own Fiber Trenches

from the nicely-done dept

Providers of high speed broadband love to talk about how they're providing private networks that shouldn't be regulated at all, but they tend to ignore the fact that they usually rely on government subsidies in the form of rights of way -- the legal ability to dig the trenches (or string cables on poles) to run the key infrastructure. Now, of course, we've heard of various muni-broadband projects, but one community in the UK apparently got so fed up with waiting for a big broadband provider to bring service to their village that they not only started setting up their own system, but they literally got dozens of residents to help them start digging the 51 mile-long trench where the fiber optic cable that connects them to the wider internet will lie. Talk about taking matters into your own hands...
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Filed Under: broadband, community, diy, fiber

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  1. icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), 10 Apr 2012 @ 5:59pm

    Re: Re:

    You went too far back for a ranty exaggeration and not far enough back for hyperbole.

    I was going for the truth, but guess maybe 70s was a little bit of a ranty exaggeration. The phone companies want to deal with landline phones and the cable companies want the heyday of running cables for television. No legacy company wants to deal with modems, cellphones, data, smartphones, internet, etc. If they did, they wouldn't be trying everything they can to restrict our capabilities and wind us back to the dark ages (remember, AT&T just not long ago tried to push the several governments to adopt 200kbps as broadband.) I suspect they would be happy with us renting the headsets again if they think they could get away with it.

    Sure the internet didn't exist until the 90s, but as a bulletin board operator in the 80s and early 90s, I can assure you that the phone companies hated us just as much as they now hate the internet. They tried on numerous times to get me to buy a business data line (at huge markups,) in order to run my BBS, because they couldn't understand how someone who was doing this for free would expect their modem to work on a regular phone line when the government said that the phone lines must be able to support modems.

    They went so far as to move my phone line to the bottom of the stack, so that every time it rained and the switching station flooded out, my lines would die, I would complain, and end up bringing in regulators to check the lines and confirm that the lines were unfit for voice communication. Then they'd "fix" it, and the next time it rained I was back to calling them because I couldn't even get a dialtone. I knew this because every time a technician was sent out, they would explain to me that they could not guarantee my modem would work and I should upgrade to the digital business line and eventually one of them told me that they fixed it by moving me from the bottom of the stack up to the top, and then came by the next week to tell me that they had an order from the company to move me back down.

    They've been playing this game since before the world wide web, and before the internet was publicly available.

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