In todays show Ken talks to Chris Conder of the Broadband for Rural North (http://b4rn.org.uk/).
Located in the very pretty but the rural Forest of Bowland in Lancashire in the UK, and tired of putting up with slow 'broadband' they decided to put together their own network. They tried shared wifi, 3 and 4G mobile networks, MMDS and Satellite yet all proved to be unreliable.
So over tea and cake they came up with a plan.
- A 240 Kilometer (150 mile) plan.
- A 1 gigabit (1000mb/sec) fiber optic connection plan.
- A let's give a connection to every one of the 1700 homes, farms, schools, churches and businesses, in the area plan
And while they were at it they designed it to be:
- redundant with a dual homed backbone direct to the UK's Internet exchange
- upgradeable with ducts large enough to take multiple fibers
- laid through some of the most rugged, mountainous area of Lancashire to get to the people that need it most. (And let's be clear here, nothing to do with the fact that they will need to use dynamite to blast their way through the rocks.)
Chris herself has lived in the Lune Valley for many years and is married to a farmer in Wray. She has been involved with the community in many roles over the years; for instance school governor and chair of Wray Endowed school during the eighties and early nineties and more recently supporter of a number of rural broadband projects. In 2002 she began campaigning for rural broadband and over the next few years helped establish a wireless network around Wray and a satellite network for rural farms. A founder member of Wray Com Com in 2003 (http://www.wraycomcom.org.uk/) and Wennet CIC in 2005 (http://www.wennetcic.co.uk). She is a pioneer of self installation fibre and a regular speaker at broadband events on the topic of rural broadband and DIY fibre build.
She is also a 'online animator' for high speed broadband for Europe. She posts on the blog (http://daa.ec.europa.eu/group/2/content") and your feedback would be MORE than welcome. Europe assures her that they are listening. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org and be sure to tweet the hash tag #da12bb
View B4RN core route phase 1 in a larger map