dslreports logo
site
spacer

spacer
 
   
spc
story category
UK Residents Dig Their Own 51 Mile Fiber Trench
Tired of Waiting on BT's Fiber to the Press Release
by Karl Bode 08:23AM Tuesday Apr 10 2012
Like so many places, locals in the UK are growing tired of waiting on British Telecom's "fiber to the press release," which continually promises next-generation speeds but consistently keeps them either unconnected or struggling with slower DSL technology. Techdirt directs our attention to one community in Northern England where locals are so tired of waiting, they're digging a 51 mile fiber trench with shovels. As one Techdirt commenter notes, if U.S. locals tried that many would run afoul of dozens of state-level bans prohibiting community broadband, paid for by ISPs who like things just how they are in many markets: slow and uncompetitive.

view:
topics flat nest 

milnoc

join:2001-03-05
H3B
kudos:2

Municipal initiatives

These municipal initiatives are what the Internet is all about: forming a community. Best of all, the presence of a high speed fibre network in one's town will greatly encourage the local economy by making available high speed Internet connectivity to both large and small businesses before they even start to build their new plants and offices.

Of course, we can't have that in the US of A. That would be communism!
--
Watch my future television channel's public test broadcast!
»thecanadianpublic.com/live

Daarken
Rara Avises
Premium
join:2005-01-12
Southwest LA
kudos:3

Re: Municipal initiatives

Wow, digging it by hand is commendable, that might give you an idea of why they only have slow DSL. (joke).
Really that is a monumental task. I have dog trenches by hand before for cable runs on my property.
Not a task I envy..
--
Getting it Done.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
said by milnoc:

These municipal initiatives are what the Internet is all about: forming a community. Best of all, the presence of a high speed fibre network in one's town will greatly encourage the local economy by making available high speed Internet connectivity to both large and small businesses before they even start to build their new plants and offices.

Of course, we can't have that in the US of A. That would be communism!

Wrong. There is no law that so restricts your right to "form a community" and build a network, so long as you're willing to pay for it yourself.

You only run into trouble when you expect City Hall to use public monies, in "competition" with the incumbents, whom the government previously sold exclusive franchise rights.

As for your theory of fiber boosting the local economy, that's unfortunately just a myth.
PDXPLT

join:2003-12-04
Banks, OR

1 recommendation

Re: Municipal initiatives

said by elray:

You only run into trouble when you expect City Hall to use public monies, in "competition" with the incumbents, whom the government previously sold exclusive franchise rights.

Wrong. ISP's have bribed many state legislatures into banning community broadband, especially in areas where no incumbent broadband exists, and the incumbents have no intention of providing it.

If a community already has service from incumbents, in almost all cases they have no interest in installing it themselves.

firephoto
We the people
Premium
join:2003-03-18
Brewster, WA
Myths everywhere. My whale oil lantern gets the job done just fine and my horse gets me to town reliably. Those hipsters and their electricity are just putting a burden on everyone else. What's next? water in pipes underground running inside every home?
--
Say no to JAMS!

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK
False. There's actually laws that ban community broadband by placing various anti-compete restrictions on any such venture effectively hamstringing it.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the merger of state and corporate power." -- Benito Mussolini
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA

Re: Municipal initiatives

Wrong. They only ban municipal broadband.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Municipal initiatives

The names are interchangeable.
Chubbysumo

join:2009-12-01
Superior, WI
Reviews:
·Charter

1 recommendation

Re: Municipal initiatives

said by KrK:

The names are interchangeable.

I can tell you this: most states(something like 34) have had anti-consumer laws put into effect in the last 3 years. Basically, they make it impossible for either an independent ISP or a municipality to get rights to the pole attachments or get the rights to put it in the ground in the legal right of way(like the incumbents get), regardless of who is paying for it, or they bury it in so much red tape, that unless you can afford to hire a great lawyer outright, you cannot get into the market. Someone tried it in MN, and it go so much consumer outrage that the bill was shelved indefinitely(it was VERY blatant as to what its intent was, and very obvious that it was written to get rid of competition on all fronts). Sadly, state after state falls to these lazy incumbents, who choose to spend more money on lawyers than they do on actual network investments.
Just think: If Centurylink spent as much as it did on network upgrades as it did on lawyers, we would all have FTTH from them by now. Honestly, Centurylink has a lawyer locally that I know, and he gets paid $3300 per hour from them. Thats about 1 mile of fiber laid/hung, plus a few installs. Just think, if they stopped paying for lawyers and invested in their network, america wouldnt have such shit broadband speeds.
elray

join:2000-12-16
Santa Monica, CA
Reviews:
·Time Warner Cable
·EarthLink
said by KrK:

The names are interchangeable.

No, they are not. Municipal has a distinct definition.

"Community" is a broad term.

KrK
Heavy Artillery For The Little Guy
Premium
join:2000-01-17
Tulsa, OK

Re: Municipal initiatives

It's whatever the incumbents define it as based on whatever competition and choice they are trying to block.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

brainwashed

that's because the US consumer is so brainwashed by the big telecoms that the corruption is allowed to go on unchecked... they think the breakup of Ma Bell was enough to put a small amount of fear in telecoms but it's been fading ever since..

you don't have far to go with AT&T trying to gobble Tmobile up and the alliance with Comcast and Verizon to see they have a short memory indeed.

the hundreds of miles of muni fiber broadband that HAS sprung root in the USA (despite massive opposition by INCUMBENT telecom & cableco alike) is about enough to wire half of England..

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Re: brainwashed

US consumers, in general, don't think much about the big telecoms at all, they're too busy playing Angry Birds and watching reality TV shows. They pay their $40-50 a month for internet and don't care that it could be faster or a bit cheaper.
Telco

join:2008-12-19
Reviews:
·Callcentric

We the People

Looks like the UK is suffering from the same BS that is holding us back too.

'We the People' is at the core (foundation) of our constitution, however, this has been replaced by corporate interests and profiteering; two terms that are ironically nowhere to be found in the Constitution.

It is always laughable to see Republicans and Libertarians refer to it, albeit on an a la carte basis, yet ignore this crucial aspect of the constitution.

Time we make America for the people again and end the status quo of corporate interests being placed ahead of the overall prosperity (interests) of the nation.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: We the People

said by Telco:

It is always laughable to see Republicans and Libertarians refer to it, albeit on an a la carte basis, yet ignore this crucial aspect of the constitution.

Don't forget the other primary political party. No one is innocent in politics.
Telco

join:2008-12-19
Reviews:
·Callcentric

Re: We the People

said by openbox9:

Don't forget the other primary political party. No one is innocent in politics.

They're not, however, it's time to call a spade a spade. Each party's actual voting record speaks for itself. In the states that are pandering to the bells and legislating against municipal FTTH, it is typically politicians with (R) next to their name voting against such community roll outs.

Keeping in mind, that government sucking and the private sector magically and always doing everything better, regardless of reality or data, is at the core of the GOP creed.
Ripperjack

join:2012-01-12
Fredericksburg, TX

Looks like I will have to resort to this.

Despite being a TWC shareholder, they are demanding $150K to run a cable to my home. Might as will break out the shovel and dig my own trench... probably much cheaper than their option.

jester121
Premium
join:2003-08-09
Lake Zurich, IL

Re: Looks like I will have to resort to this.

You clearly don't own enough shares.

Dman

@parallax.ws
How far of a run do they have to do? I was quoted 15K for 4.3 miles.....

AnonMe

@comcastbusiness.net

Re: Looks like I will have to resort to this.

I wanted to buy a piece of land to build a house on. Comcast in Hooksett NH wanted $12,000 to extend service about 1,800 feet down the road (Edgewater Dr) passing about 6 other unserved houses. I always thought part of having a monopoly in the community meant they had to serve the whole community.

Bunch of thieves! Needless to say, that property is still for sale...
bn1221

join:2009-04-29
Cortland, NY

Re: Looks like I will have to resort to this.

Doubtful that you'd have 12000 in services over a liftetime from them. I wonder though it you could split the cost with the other 6 houses.

jaa
Premium
join:2000-06-13
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Optimum Online
said by AnonMe :

I wanted to buy a piece of land to build a house on. Comcast in Hooksett NH wanted $12,000 to extend service

How much is the land and house going to cost you? You are making a decision based on pennies. Between negotiating the prices with the seller, and getting the other homes to share in the cost, it is not a big deal. The cost could be capitalized in the cost of the house - how much would that add to your mortgage payment?
--
NOTHING justifies terrorism. We don't negotiate with terrorists. Those that support terrorists are terrorists.

Cable1234

@comcast.net
U may want to go all the way to the top with comcast to get cable.The system I work on,we try everything get u cable.Most of the time it's free.May a big stink with Corprate.
biochemistry
Premium
join:2003-05-09
92361
I was told about $300,000 for 1.5 miles. No way your quote is correct.

Simba7
I Void Warranties

join:2003-03-24
Billings, MT

Re: Looks like I will have to resort to this.

Wireless link (pair of 11g or 11n and yagi's) or buy a spool of fiber and do it yourself.

It's not that expensive for a spool of fiber.

asdfdfdfdfdf

@myvzw.com

This should get a lot more attention on this site and update

I am not in any way associated with this project.

This type of arrangement is one of the few viable ways forward, given the US political climate and dominance of the political process by the big providers. It is very exciting and I hope people show a lot more interest in it than just a passing comment on a forum post.

I think we need to be trying and testing projects like this in america to see if it is feasible to do this under our legal/political system.
It would be fascinating to see what problems are encountered trying to do this in the US. The project is primarily focused on getting free wayleave arrangements from farmers in return for service. In a more densely populated area it would be more problematic.

The project is B4RN (broadband for the rural north).

»b4rn.org.uk/faqs

Here is additional information about landowner arrangements and business plan docs:

»b4rn.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2···1.01.pdf
»www.b4rn.org.uk/wp-content/uploa···v4.1.pdf

I haven't yet been able to find information about how this project was started or much about the legal arrangements that make it possible, nor do I understand how UK legalities differ from the US. This would be a rich source of future articles and discussion.

jaa
Premium
join:2000-06-13
kudos:2
Reviews:
·Vonage
·Optimum Online

REgulations

quote:
U.S. locals tried that many would run afoul of dozens of state-level bans prohibiting community broadband
That would be the least burdensome regulation. There are probably 1000 permits needed to dig a trench 51 miles long in the US - even before you think of putting conduit and fiber in it, and god-forbid you actually want to light it....
--
NOTHING justifies terrorism. We don't negotiate with terrorists. Those that support terrorists are terrorists.
tmc8080

join:2004-04-24
Brooklyn, NY
Reviews:
·ooma
·Optimum Online
·Verizon FiOS

Re: REgulations

said by jaa:

quote:
U.S. locals tried that many would run afoul of dozens of state-level bans prohibiting community broadband
That would be the least burdensome regulation. There are probably 1000 permits needed to dig a trench 51 miles long in the US - even before you think of putting conduit and fiber in it, and god-forbid you actually want to light it....

The last mile has always been the most expensive to wire on a per mile basis in part due to the incumbent mon/duopoly status of large cablecom & telecom corporations. If you could negotiate with a tier-1 ISP corporation who had a node in your town it would be much better than paying $100k - $300k to a greedy incumbent monopoly. Just like it would be nicer to get electricity for free with the sun and wind than paying upwards of 32 cents per kwh after taxes & fees from a utility company.

One day municipalities will wake up to the fact that just having "voice" communications is not enough. Broadband as defined by the federal government means around 3 megabits available to EVERY address (minimum) regardless of the technology used to get it there. At the end of the day, if you have to bang your head against a wall and nothing gets done.. you have the nuclear option, which is to MOVE.