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By: MarkJ - 27 September, 2010 (6:46 AM)
uk farmers dig fibre optic ftth broadbandA new video that surfaced after the recent Rural Broadband Conference (18th September 2010) in Penrith (Cumbria), which depicts a group of local farmers digging their own super-fast 100Mb Fibre-to-the-Home ( FTTH ) fibre optic broadband ISP connection(s), has even caught the eye of the European Commission's (EC) Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes.

The video itself shows farmers working closely with Fibrestream (NextGenUs), a community network specialist in UK Next Generation Access (NGA) internet services that has assisted in many such projects before. It shows how the cable and services were deployed, although very little else is revealed.

EC Vice-President for the Digital Agenda, Neelie Kroes, commented:

"This is a case of broadband by the people, for the people you might say. I really recommend you watch it. As the women explaining the process says: “If we can you do it, anyone can do it.” That is exactly the spirit we all need in the coming years – our digital future belongs to people willing to get invovled in building it!"

Last week the European Commission (EC) began setting out how it intends to implement its Digital Agenda (here), which among other things will seek to bring basic broadband internet access to all Europeans by 2013 and superfast 30-100Mbps services by 2020.

By contrast the UK doesn't really have any solid goals for Next Generation Access (NGA) anymore, except for a somewhat weak commitment to deliver broadband speeds of at least 2Mb to everybody by 2015 (Universal Service Commitment). The government has spoken a lot about fostering "super-fast" deployments too, although its plans continue to lack clarity and in some cases (e.g. Fibre Tax) is even contradictory (i.e. unfairly punishing smaller ISPs with higher taxes).

It's unclear where the video itself was filmed, although it's believed to have been one of the first that FibreStream engaged with back in May 2009. Either way it makes for good viewing and shows what can be accomplished when a community works together to fix a normally expensive problem. JFDI.
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