Who Will Build the Broadband

Without the state who will build the broadband? Apparently the people who want to use it:

Look outside of your window: if you see miles of farmland, chances are you have terrible internet service. That’s because major telecommunications companies don’t think it’s worth the investment to bring high-speed broadband to sparsely populated areas. But like most businesses, farms increasingly depend on the internet to pay bills, monitor the market and communicate with partners. In the face of a sluggish connection, what’s a group of farmers to do?

Grow their own, naturally.

That’s what the people of Lancashire, England, are doing. Last year, a coalition of local farmers and others from the northwestern British county began asking local landowners if they could use their land to begin laying a brand-new community-owned high-speed network, sparing them the expense of tearing up roads. Then, armed with shovels and backhoes, the group, called Broadband for the Rural North, or B4RN (it’s pronounced “barn”), began digging the first of what will be approximately 180,000 meters of trenches and filling them with fiber-optic cable, all on its own.

The next step, after raising half a million pounds from shareholders, is to convince Lancastrians to pony up about fifty dollars a month for internet service. (Those who invest £1500 or more can get a year’s free service, a tax credit of 30%, and the option to sell the entire investment back in 2016 at full value.) This isn’t AOL dial-up: customers will have access to a blazing fast 1 gigabit connection, something that many city-dwellers, myself included, would covet.

Regardless of what statists tell us people can accomplish great things without the assistance of fear mongering war hawks.