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

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

NPR

For Greece's Farmers, Growing Pressure To Be More Competitive

Greece grows plenty of good agricultural products, but has trouble competing internationally. Many in Greece say it's time for the farm sector to modernize.
WAMU 88.5

Obama's Trip to Africa & Foreign Aid

By visiting Africa this month, President Obama is drawing attention to one of the diplomatic tools that most directly shapes America's relationships with other countries: foreign aid and assistance. But now all policy makers at home feel the United States is pursuing the soundest strategy when it comes to providing aid abroad. We explore the issue with the official in charge of the Africa portfolio for the United States Agency for International Development.

WAMU 88.5

Taking Great Photos On Vacation Or "Staycation"

Professional photographers give us the latest on cameras, smart phones and shooting tips for great vacation photos this summer -- and every day.

Leave a Comment

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