The Farmer Who Built Her Own Broadband

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This lady has to be an [H] reader. Seriously, doesn't this sound just like something one of you guys would do when faced with the same situation? I like the fact that she is so casual about the whole thing. :cool:

"I'm just a farmer's wife," says Christine Conder, modestly. But for 2,300 members of the rural communities of Lancashire she is also a revolutionary internet pioneer. Her DIY solution to a neighbour's internet connectivity problems in 2009 has evolved into B4RN, an internet service provider offering fast one gigabit per second broadband speeds to the parishes which nestle in the picturesque Lune Valley.
 

evilsofa

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Meanwhile, here in the US, you can't set up your own broadband without lawsuits, lobbying for state-wide anti-DIY legislation, and the dismemberment of the FCC to prevent net neutrality, even if you're freaking Google with a bottomless corporate checkbook much less a farmer.
 

daglesj

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A lot of the times in the UK villages think that the main incumbent BT holds all the cards. BT will quote £2 million to hook up a village with fibre but if they tried a third party they will often quote less than £50000 to do the job.
 

N4CR

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I have to combine both approaches but it has been a three year plan. 2017 should see it executed. Collaboration is key you can't diy everything.
 

westrock2000

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There is development of HAM Mesh Networks that use individual nodes to spread an Internet network. And then it links in to the main Internet once it finds a node with access to the Internet. But it allows for a de-centralized ISP with no infrastructure.
 
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Dumb question but I'll ask anyway:

What do the wires from your house eventually connect to? Obviously every computer on the planet isn't connected to the same device, so where to the wires end and how do they talk to everyone else?
 

SineDave

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There are usually local nodes (aggregation switches) that have high speed backhaul uplinks to the providers backbone (usually 10GBit or higher), which usually runs at even higher speeds (TB/s) traversing the internet to the destination AS (BGP Autonomous System) - basically the router's internet address, and egressing through access switches just like yours came in and entering a datacenter somewhere else.
 

drakken

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device to symetitrical logic acess unit to telco to backbone to bridge(not a normal computer bridge but a system that controls a public ip address on the internet) to bridge to telco to symetrical logic unit to private system. There is usually about four or five hops in most trace rt logs.
 

Exavior

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to those saying this couldn't happen in the USA. There is nothing stopping it except for the average person. If you get an area that is that rural nobody is going to care. You go anywhere else and the public will bitch. I have laughed at the percent of people telling us to fuck off and stop trying to put fiber in their area because they don't want it.

that aside, it isn't that hard to start offering service to most of the area (not population) in the USA if you really wanted to. It isn't cheap, but it isn't hard. I see WISP come and go all the time.
 

evilsofa

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to those saying this couldn't happen in the USA. There is nothing stopping it except for the average person. If you get an area that is that rural nobody is going to care. You go anywhere else and the public will bitch. I have laughed at the percent of people telling us to fuck off and stop trying to put fiber in their area because they don't want it.

that aside, it isn't that hard to start offering service to most of the area (not population) in the USA if you really wanted to. It isn't cheap, but it isn't hard. I see WISP come and go all the time.
See: Chanute, Kansas, population 9,000.

Step 1: AT&T Allowed To Weigh In On Town's Effort To Build New Fiber Network (December 2014)
Step 2: ???
Step 3: New City Commissioners kill bond issuance for fiber plan (April 2015)
 

SonicTron

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to those saying this couldn't happen in the USA. There is nothing stopping it except for the average person. If you get an area that is that rural nobody is going to care. You go anywhere else and the public will bitch. I have laughed at the percent of people telling us to fuck off and stop trying to put fiber in their area because they don't want it.

that aside, it isn't that hard to start offering service to most of the area (not population) in the USA if you really wanted to. It isn't cheap, but it isn't hard. I see WISP come and go all the time.
It's literally illegal in many places to develop your own broadband infrastructure. Thanks to lobbying by big telecoms. But hey, you know, we should keep deregulating, the market will correct itself!
 
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rat

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to those saying this couldn't happen in the USA. There is nothing stopping it except for the average person.
Riiiiiiight. That's why Google stopped expanding Fiber. When a company as big as Google has problems rolling out with the capital they have, maaaaybe you might want to rethink what you're trying to claim.
 

c3k

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So, the local individual was better able to meet his/her/their needs than the lumbering, remote, government-run bureaucracy? How...odd.

Competition wins. Government should NEVER perform a function which could be done by a private entity. (The "Telephone book" rule. If you can find a company in the yellow pages which does it, government should NOT do it.)

Kudos to this woman. I love the JFDI motto. Even more kudos since is was done in such an oppressively Orwellian atmosphere as that which is prevalent in the UK.
 

ltron

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So, the local individual was better able to meet his/her/their needs than the lumbering, remote, government-run bureaucracy? How...odd.

Competition wins. Government should NEVER perform a function which could be done by a private entity. (The "Telephone book" rule. If you can find a company in the yellow pages which does it, government should NOT do it.)

Kudos to this woman. I love the JFDI motto. Even more kudos since is was done in such an oppressively Orwellian atmosphere as that which is prevalent in the UK.
The broadband infrastructure in the UK is provided by two public companies not the Government: BT (not an arm of the state for decades) and Virgin Media. Although there are many smaller companies, they use BT's infrastructure so we effectively don't have proper competition and hence slow speeds, bad service and non-existent coverage in rural areas. To be fair to them, Virgin Media is pretty good in the cities and things are improving.

South Korea has state-run broadband, treated as a utility, which is among the best in the world, just to let you know. You're absolutely right that the UK is an Orwellian dystopia unfortunately.
 

Krab

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Try it in the US and they surgically remove your balls and hang them in the Comcast board room.
 

jardows

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The difference between the "problems" of doing this in the USA and what this woman did and is doing, is that she was laying the lines on private property with the permission of the property owners. People in the USA think they can't lay their own lines because they are trying to do it in the public right-of-way, which is controlled by the local governments, who often have an unhealthy relationship with the big telecoms. If you could get enough private landowners to agree to let you lay the lines across their properties, you could do the same thing. But don't think this is just some average Jane laying fiber lines, this stuff is expensive and would have taken a massive financial investment just in the fiber cables alone, even with donated labor!
 

flashoverride

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It's literally illegal in many places to develop your own broadband infrastructure. Thanks to lobbying by big telecoms. But hey, you know, we should keep deregulating, the market will correct itself!
There's a difference between a private concern doing this and a public government or government-sponsored entity doing this. Out here in WA we have an entire ISP that is run on MW hops in the San Juan Islands: http://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2015/11/how-a-group-of-neighbors-created-their-own-internet-service/

Same type of deal - they just went out and did it, because CenturyLink wasn't cutting it.
 

Exavior

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Riiiiiiight. That's why Google stopped expanding Fiber. When a company as big as Google has problems rolling out with the capital they have, maaaaybe you might want to rethink what you're trying to claim.
You skipped over the rest of my post didn't you?

The problem with your statement is that Google wasn't trying to do their builds in the middle of the county. If they were in towns of 300 - 1000 people they would have not had any trouble. How many 300 people towns did they try to build in? The problem with you and everyone else is that you look at Chicago, LA, NY... and think that is how everyone else is. When in fact, rural areas with a few thousand people and some small local company giving them service, probably have faster speeds that you will have in the large cities.

Google backed out not because it was hard, but because it was costing them too much. If they wanted to be a provider they could have avoided the larger cities, picked off a few hundred or thousand small college towns of 45,000 and nobody would have cared. They could have took over rural America and slowly choked out the big guys. Because honestly they don't care about those areas. Nobody does as there is little money to be had with them.

What this woman did is start what is known as a co-op. There are many rural areas in the USA that have a co-op as their local telephone company. So this is nothing new for very rural America. There are 260 co-ops in the USA right now. They cover 40% of the land mass but 5% of the subscribers.
 
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