DIY Broadband Comes To The English Countryside | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

DIY Broadband Comes To The English Countryside

In a fast-moving world, people from all over have demanded faster Internet speeds. But when you live out in the middle of nowhere, you can feel like you're in the Internet slow lane because broadband just isn't available.

Residents of England's rural Lancashire decided that enough was enough with their slow, limited connections. They came to the conclusion that no major supplier would be out their way anytime soon, the BBC reports. Broadband companies said it would be too expensive to wire up the sparsely populated area.

So Lancashire residents took matters into their own hands and created B4RN (pronounced "barn") — Broadband for the Rural North.

Funded and operated by volunteers in the community, B4RN digs trenches to lay the fiber optic wires necessary to connect the residents to super-high-speed Internet for less than $50 per month.

A few locals have already been hooked up to the local network and their once ancient and tired computers are catching up with the times. Resident Harry Ball tells the BBC he's thrilled to be getting download speeds of 500 Mbps. "That's fabulous, isn't it?" he says.

By comparison, the average U.S. Internet connection speed is a pokey 7.2 Mbps and the U.K. average is 6.3 Mbps, according to Akamai. But both lag behind South Korea, which averages 14.7 Mbps (with average peaks of 48.8 Mbps).

Watch the BBC's report.

Lizzy Duffy is an intern on NPR's Social Media Desk.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

WAMU 88.5

Art Beat With Lauren Landau, July 31

Today you can rock out to some familiar tunes or check out a local band’s debut album.

NPR

How To Order Pizza From A Nuclear Command Bunker

A trip to an underground Air Force nuclear bunker becomes a unexpectedly delicious culinary experience. Just don't order the gravy bowl.
WAMU 88.5

Jonnie Williams On Stand Again Today In McDonnell Corruption Trial

Former Star Scientific CEO Jonnie Williams will take the stand again today in the trial of former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, and his testimony could be key in the case.

NPR

Can Pinterest Compete With Google's Search?

Pinterest has created a database of things that matter to humans. And with a programming team that's largely been hired away from Google, the company has begun offering what it calls "guided search."

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.