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...
Hide this

Thank you for reading this Techdirt post. With so many things competing for everyone’s attention these days, we really appreciate you giving us your time. We work hard every day to put quality content out there for our community.

Techdirt is one of the few remaining truly independent media outlets. We do not have a giant corporation behind us, and we rely heavily on our community to support us, in an age when advertisers are increasingly uninterested in sponsoring small, independent sites — especially a site like ours that is unwilling to pull punches in its reporting and analysis.

While other websites have resorted to paywalls, registration requirements, and increasingly annoying/intrusive advertising, we have always kept Techdirt open and available to anyone. But in order to continue doing so, we need your support. We offer a variety of ways for our readers to support us, from direct donations to special subscriptions and cool merchandise — and every little bit helps. Thank you.

–The Techdirt Team

Filed Under: broadband, community, diy, fiber

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Thread

  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Apr 2012 @ 9:53pm


    This has already happened in the USA. Last decade, several cities in Utah attempted to setup a common municipal fiber net called UTOPIA. Then Qworst and Comcast Cabal came in, hoodwinked many of the city councils, and then passed a flaming rotten pork at the state circus, I mean, state legislature.

    The purpose of the network was to provide the infrastructure as a utility so that people could choose from a free market of ISPs, but the existing, government subsidized qwest-comcast cartel didn't approve. Instead, they spewed FUD about the sufficiency of twisted pair and coax while simultaneously proclaiming that fiber was antiquated technology. It was unbelievable how far and wide this paradoxical FUD went when I started hearing these talking points being blabbered about unchallenged by technically illiterate people.

    It wasn't too hard to get the masses incensed against socialist "utopia" since most people here believe already that roads, prisons, police, and government itself should be privatized, so that the free market can optimize our state for us. As Mike likes to point out, however, none of these changes could even work without considerable, dedicated, anti-free market privileges both natural and contrived.

    Instead of UTOPIA, we're stuck with (except for the cities courageous enough to not acquiesce to quest and comcast) an overpriced, underliberated, antiquated, pair of networks now enshrined by political edict.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Subscribe to the Techdirt Daily newsletter

Comment Options:

  • Use markdown. Use plain text.
  • Remember name/email/url (set a cookie)

Follow Techdirt
Special Affiliate Offer

Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Recent Stories

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.