Villagers in Rutland, so fed up of their snail-paced broadband speeds, have taken matters into their own hands after service providers such as BT said that it was not economically viable to provide the area with a network upgrade.
After raising £37,000 and recruiting the help of a local ICT firm, the villagers formed Rutland Telecom, which now delivers speeds of up to 40Mbps to as many as 200 homes in the area.
“We found that any company could do, on a smaller scale, what Carphone Warehouse has done and take over BT’s network,” said Dr David Lewis, managing director of Rutland Telecom.
It took two years of work, but Rutland Telecom customers now are supplied their internet connections completely independent of the local BT exchange.
With the government scaling back plans for nationwide super-fast broadband in the run up to the election, it’s possible that more independent broadband providers may pop up in remote areas following this precedent-setting service.
However BT Group Strategy Director Olivia Garfield stressed the importance of opening similar networks up to multiple service providers. “Otherwise there is the risk of a local monopoly developing, which is never good for consumers,” she said.
I’d translate that comment as “DIY broadband has us quaking in our boots”, more like.
By Gerald Lynch | April 14th, 2010