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Small UK Town Lays Its Own Fibre Broadband

By - Source: BBC | B 33 comments

The ultimate in DIY.

A small town in the United Kingdom has taken matters into its own hands and decided to deploy its own super fast broadband. Instead of waiting for major providers to bring them fiber internet, something they figured might never happen, the people of Arkholme in Lancashire decided to set up their own fiber internet.

The BBC reports that Arkholme residents have been digging trenches across the fields and laying fiber optic cables by themselves as part of the B4RN project. Local landowners have given B4RN free access to their fields, something big-name providers can only dream of. As a result, the BBC writes that they can deploy the network for a fraction of the cost.

B4RN describes itself as a community fiber network and aims to provide gigabit internet to homes for £30 per month. While those signing up for the service aren't required to buy B4RN shares to get connected, B4RN is in need of funding and the more people investing, the faster the network can be deployed. According to the BBC, another £1.5m is needed to complete the full 265KM network. You can also donate to the B4RN project via the B4RN website.

Arkholme on Thursday held an open day at its village hall and invited residents of the village to come and try the speeds out for themselves.

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Top Comments
  • 25 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 16, 2013 7:08 AM
    thats nothing. In India, people lay their own roads and their own railway platforms.
  • 22 Hide
    Pherule , February 16, 2013 7:16 AM
    mayankleoboy1thats nothing. In India, people lay their own roads and their own railway platforms.

    I would be happy with fibre broadband and no roads. Kinda.
  • 20 Hide
    Wisecracker , February 16, 2013 9:19 AM

    After living with craptastic broadband services, 6 or 7 local communities in North Carolina (generally, 20-30k in population) laid fiber and set up their own systems, managed by independent boards.

    It pee'd off the cable and telcoms, so they went to the state assembly and had laws passed that set the bar so high it is now near-impossible for communities to do so in the future.

Other Comments
  • 25 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , February 16, 2013 7:08 AM
    thats nothing. In India, people lay their own roads and their own railway platforms.
  • 4 Hide
    merikafyeah , February 16, 2013 7:13 AM
    Laying the physical cables is one thing. Connecting to the rest of the world is another.
    You'd need access to a local internet exhange point to become your own ISP and connect to the rest of the world.

    Unless of course you want to rely on another ISP's fiber services to connect to the broader internet.
  • 22 Hide
    Pherule , February 16, 2013 7:16 AM
    mayankleoboy1thats nothing. In India, people lay their own roads and their own railway platforms.

    I would be happy with fibre broadband and no roads. Kinda.
  • 11 Hide
    palladin9479 , February 16, 2013 7:41 AM
    merikafyeahLaying the physical cables is one thing. Connecting to the rest of the world is another.You'd need access to a local internet exhange point to become your own ISP and connect to the rest of the world.Unless of course you want to rely on another ISP's fiber services to connect to the broader internet.


    Laying the layer 1 is by far the most expensive part. It requires a large amount of up front capital costs and it will take awhile before it's revenue earning. That is why ISPs are so hesitant to do it, it's expensive and will take time before they can earn their money back, so they don't do it and instead just charge people more money.

    Tier 1 bandwidth is dirt cheap, ISP's tend to overbook by 100x or more to resell it.
  • 6 Hide
    ojas , February 16, 2013 7:42 AM
    mayankleoboy1thats nothing. In India, people lay their own roads and their own railway platforms.

    I'm not sure many here would get that joke...

    PheruleI would be happy with fibre broadband and no roads. Kinda.

    Hehe. Easy to say when you have roads! :p 
  • 20 Hide
    Wisecracker , February 16, 2013 9:19 AM

    After living with craptastic broadband services, 6 or 7 local communities in North Carolina (generally, 20-30k in population) laid fiber and set up their own systems, managed by independent boards.

    It pee'd off the cable and telcoms, so they went to the state assembly and had laws passed that set the bar so high it is now near-impossible for communities to do so in the future.

  • 8 Hide
    downhill911 , February 16, 2013 11:56 AM
    WisecrackerAfter living with craptastic broadband services, 6 or 7 local communities in North Carolina (generally, 20-30k in population) laid fiber and set up their own systems, managed by independent boards.It pee'd off the cable and telcoms, so they went to the state assembly and had laws passed that set the bar so high it is now near-impossible for communities to do so in the future.

    Cuz in US it is about few selected individuals and not about community or group of people.
    US has been doing everything the ''i'' way, but now it is coming to the point where pro-capitalist people being frightened by word such as community and called everything socialism started to wake up.

    No Individual, or few Individuals should ever take power of the nation. Nation is power, nation is law, nation is everybody, there is no space for individualist wanting to control the rest.
  • 18 Hide
    daglesj , February 16, 2013 12:05 PM
    Yep because the last thing those in control want are groups of people banding together to get stuff done. It takes power away from the elite if Joe Average gets up with a few pals to fix something.

    The power of the individual is largely a myth these days. It's just there to keep you down.

    Getting together to make your lives better is not socialism.
  • 2 Hide
    ozvip3r , February 16, 2013 12:14 PM
    How can you spell Fibre in English in the title and then spell it in American throughout the article? Make up your mind. All Toms' articles are turning to shit with grammatical and factual errors riddled throughout every single article.
  • 3 Hide
    merikafyeah , February 16, 2013 1:16 PM
    ozvip3rHow can you spell Fibre in English in the title and then spell it in American throughout the article? Make up your mind. All Toms' articles are turning to shit with grammatical and factual errors riddled throughout every single article.

    There is nothing wrong with spelling a word two different ways. Both ways are equally accepted.
    Those who understand human language at a fundamental level know that all naturally occurring languages have no "proper" form, for the simple fact that there is no universal authority which defines "proper" usage. Notice how many terms which were once considered "proper" are no longer true today? How a word is used or spelled is defined by the users, the speakers of the language. No dictionary, or academy, or government can dictate what is proper. If people continually use a word or phrase a certain way, it becomes proper to them, and this is how languages evolve bit by bit, and it has been this way since the dawn of human tongues.

    The only cases in which languages have a proper form is in the case of artificial languages. Intentionally constructed languages have a universal authority in the form of their creators. Examples would include the many computer programming languages that exist today. These languages have a proper form because errors in usage make the incorrect portion useless, or in some cases destructive.
  • 0 Hide
    d_kuhn , February 16, 2013 1:47 PM
    I live in a small town in NY (a few hundred) in the middle of nowhere and have had fiber to the home for nearly 10 years... so it can be done even in the US.
  • 1 Hide
    kyuuketsuki , February 16, 2013 2:56 PM
    merikafyeahThere is nothing wrong with spelling a word two different ways. Both ways are equally accepted.
    Yeah that's swell, except that it's still bad writing to switch between two different spellings of a word, regardless of if both spellings are considered acceptable. As for everything else you said... you're not wrong, but there have to be standards otherwise people can't understand each other. Next time are you going to defend someone who posts comments written by their cat walking across the keyboard? After all, language is fluid and there's no such thing as "proper" language so who's to say that "qwsjhtypomnc," as written by Whiskers isn't legitimate communication, right?

    Anyway, on-topic: that's great. Wish more of that could happen here in the States... but of course we can't have "socialism" undermining our great capitalist tradition, now can we? *sigh*
  • 0 Hide
    womble , February 16, 2013 4:18 PM
    'another 1.5 million needed to finish' makes me wonder how much it has cost so far. With these smaller village type projects I'm always puzzled as to why some of the wi Max type of products never get offered, surely they can be installed quickly and very cheaply.
  • 2 Hide
    silverblue , February 16, 2013 4:19 PM
    kyuuketsukiYeah that's swell, except that it's still bad writing to switch between two different spellings of a word, regardless of if both spellings are considered acceptable. As for everything else you said... you're not wrong, but there have to be standards otherwise people can't understand each other. Next time are you going to defend someone who posts comments written by their cat walking across the keyboard? After all, language is fluid and there's no such thing as "proper" language so who's to say that "qwsjhtypomnc," as written by Whiskers isn't legitimate communication, right?


    Jane is Irish and has only been living in the US for a relatively short time.
  • -6 Hide
    womble , February 16, 2013 4:19 PM
    'another 1.5 million needed to finish' makes me wonder how much it has cost so far. With these smaller village type projects I'm always puzzled as to why some of the wi Max type of products never get offered, surely they can be installed quickly and very cheaply.
  • -6 Hide
    womble , February 16, 2013 4:19 PM
    'another 1.5 million needed to finish' makes me wonder how much it has cost so far. With these smaller village type projects I'm always puzzled as to why some of the wi Max type of products never get offered, surely they can be installed quickly and very cheaply.
  • -5 Hide
    womble , February 16, 2013 4:19 PM
    'another 1.5 million needed to finish' makes me wonder how much it has cost so far. With these smaller village type projects I'm always puzzled as to why some of the wi Max type of products never get offered, surely they can be installed quickly and very cheaply.
  • -5 Hide
    womble , February 16, 2013 4:19 PM
    'another 1.5 million needed to finish' makes me wonder how much it has cost so far. With these smaller village type projects I'm always puzzled as to why some of the wi Max type of products never get offered, surely they can be installed quickly and very cheaply.
  • 3 Hide
    daglesj , February 16, 2013 4:41 PM
    Why the hell do we still have a dozen different comment listings on this damn site?!!

    Everytime I get here is always defaults me to the UK version which has empty comments so I have to manually choose the US version to see anyone.

    FGS Tom's just pull it all into one comment list!
  • -1 Hide
    timw03878 , February 16, 2013 5:47 PM
    downhill911Cuz in US it is about few selected individuals and not about community or group of people.US has been doing everything the ''i'' way, but now it is coming to the point where pro-capitalist people being frightened by word such as community and called everything socialism started to wake up.No Individual, or few Individuals should ever take power of the nation. Nation is power, nation is law, nation is everybody, there is no space for individualist wanting to control the rest.


    What this story proves is that capitalism and the free market work.

    People got tired of waiting for the government in concert with corporations to do it, so free people came together and did it themselves.

    Your rant makes no sense.
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