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    This is a story about a rural community of farmers in northern England.


    • all government grants for rural broadband in the UK somehow got awarded to BT, which still plans to use copper, moreover, actual expansion plans are still secret, due 2017
    • all funding for this B4RN project comes directly from the community – people can buy shares (http://b4rn.org.uk/shares); farmers allow the fibre to pass through their farms for the benefit of the community
    • currently has six cabinets with a 160Gbps leased line to one data centre in Manchester
    • “could give someone a 10 gigabit connection to their home tomorrow”
    • “operating costs amount to around £100,000 a year”
    • “users pay an initial connection fee of £150, then £30 a month for an “all you can eat” service with no caps on use”
    • “400 connected and counting” (30£×12×400 = 144'000£)

    I think the idea that people will voluntarily invest in something like this is kinda cool, especially being executed on the official and down-to-earth levels. I wonder why it’s not more prevalent with FTTH buildouts elsewhere. I recall Paxio.net in SF Bay Area has a similar initiative, but they appear to require more than 100 pounds from investors, and the whole deal appears to be done more behind the closed doors, compared to B4RN, where the whole deal is clearly written out on their web-site at http://b4rn.org.uk/shares.

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      That was just awesome to read.. makes me want to go dig a ditch to the backbone :) nice.