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UK Lifeguards Dig Their Own 100Mbps Fiber-Optic Link

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the yes-they-can dept.

Networking 128

MJackson writes "The Royal National Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) in Humber, a large tidal estuary situated on the east coast of Northern England, has just become one of the UK's most remote-rural locations to have a next generation 100Mbps Fibre Optic FTTH broadband link installed. The deployment is being sponsored by FibreStream and amazingly the groundworks were completed by the lifeboat crew literally digging their own fibre. We'd do the same on our road, but the government would probably object."

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Good idea. (5, Insightful)

dov_0 (1438253) | about 5 years ago | (#29081851)

What happened to social responsibility and volunteering? Most people want great service, but just expect someone else to do the work. In the current economic environment, lets hope to see more local projects like this.

This (4, Insightful)

sakdoctor (1087155) | about 5 years ago | (#29081955)

but the government would probably object.

It got hog-tied in red tape.

Re:This (2, Interesting)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 years ago | (#29085051)

Is that surprising if you want to dig up public roads and pavements?

To be honest I wish there was more red tape to prevent every random utility company digging up the road one after another and leaving huge potholes and ramps everywhere.

Household cavalry (2, Interesting)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 5 years ago | (#29085151)

The Life Guards are one of the regiments in the Household Cavalry.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_Guards_(British_Army) [wikipedia.org]
Now why are they digging holes like civilian labourers?

Re:Household cavalry (1)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about 5 years ago | (#29085557)

They were digging holes somewhere? Surely not here, they aren't even mentioned here.

Re:Household cavalry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29085959)

These are not the "Life Guards" as in the British Army regiment, these are just lifeguards as in "oh my god my boat is sinking, won't someone help me?".

Re:Good idea. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29081961)

Too right! People want things but are too lazy to do it themselves then complain, it is terrible.

There was somewhere (an island i think) that was being destroyed by the sea, wasting away its coastline.
The price to make a barrier was some crazily high price that they weren't even going to consider paying.
All the residents of the place got together with their own stuff and built their own barrier at a fraction of the price.

There is actually another place i distinctly remember that was on the news the other week there in Scotland, one of the first settlements in Scotland is being eaten away by the sea. Would be a shame to see it vanish.
Hopefully someone does something. I would if i was anywhere near it.

Re:Good idea. (2, Interesting)

trum4n (982031) | about 5 years ago | (#29083069)

I would do it here, but i would get arrested. My area is Comcast only for broadband, and the town council is so uptight that i got harassed by the cops for pulling an engine out of my soon-to-be electric car. I would love to have a land line internet that is faster than 1.5mbps. i am paying for 12mbps, and will never see it.

Re:Good idea. (4, Insightful)

solevita (967690) | about 5 years ago | (#29082027)

The volunteering the people of the RNLI do goes much, much, further than digging trenches for fibre; they save a lot of lives. Well done to them, and to FibreStream for sponsoring; I've not heard of the latter before, but I'll look into their services next time I'm after fibre.

For once, a well earned Slashvertisment.

Re:Good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082209)

100Mbps?! I live in Tokyo and I got Gig Biyaaches!!!

You also have.... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082841)

...a teeny apartment about as large as most people's bathrooms in the US, and pay more for it then what a two story home sitting on a few acres costs here. And twice a day you stand up smashed against other humans, just to go ride back and forth to some office where you can be smashed up against other humans all the work day long.

Much as I would like better internet service, that sort of trade is not a good one. A lot of people just wouldn't like that human termite existence.

Re:You also have.... (1)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | about 5 years ago | (#29085825)

You're exaggerating a bit, but you have a point about the difficulty of life there. However, not all cities are like that, and certainly not everyone lives in the densest cities. As for cost, you can get 1 gbps symmetrical in Japan for $50/month.

Re:Good idea. (2, Insightful)

Heed00 (1473203) | about 5 years ago | (#29084189)

You seem to have mistaken your internet connection for your penis -- which you have then confused with a marker of your own self worth.

Re:Good idea. (2, Interesting)

troll8901 (1397145) | about 5 years ago | (#29082269)

Occasionally local projects get stopped due to red tape (either government or corporate).

A certain cable Internet provider refusing to run cables across the street [slashdot.org] .

Re:Good idea. (2, Interesting)

darkpixel2k (623900) | about 5 years ago | (#29083669)

Occasionally local projects get stopped due to red tape (either government or corporate).

A certain cable Internet provider refusing to run cables across the street [slashdot.org] .

That post is BS.
I've run into the *exact* same situation with Comcast. One of my clients has Comcast less than 50 feet away from their building--it's across a street.

The part about your story that doesn't line up is that Comcast wouldn't let him pay for it. Comcast flat-out told us if we wanted cable pulled under the street, we would have to pay something on the order of $23,000. Alternatively, we could *find* 10 people in our office park that would commit to 2 years of service and they'd pull the cable for free.

Instead, we made a deal with a house on the opposite side of the street to host our Comcast modem and one side of a wireless bridge. We still pay the same per month, but we're 'sharing' a small fraction of our internet connection with a nice old lady.

Re:Good idea. (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | about 5 years ago | (#29084261)

Thank you for your reply. It's good to hear another side of a similar story.

Re:Good idea. (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | about 5 years ago | (#29084297)

The previous incident may not align with your experience because, *tada* people are different. How office managers decide to handle the same situation depends on their philosophies, training, wither they got laid last night, have a headache, etc...

I'm glad you could reach a workable solution (let's hear it for nice old ladies!), but it sounds like Comcast still sucks balls.

Re:Good idea. (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | about 5 years ago | (#29084411)

but it sounds like Comcast still sucks balls.

The GP posted a link to a post by HeronBlademaster saying that Comcast sucks because they wouldn't provide service to his dad's company even through they had cable across the street, and they couldn't even convince Comcast to run cable if the company HeronBlademaster's dad works for paid for it.

Which is total BS. Comcast would be glad to take HeronBlademaster's dad's companies money to expand their infrastructure free of charge.

I'm not commenting on HeronBlademaster's solution being dumb, I'm commenting that HeronBlademaster's is full of shit that Comcast wouldn't accept money from someone to expand their infrastructure free of charge.

Re:Good idea. (1)

hot soldering iron (800102) | about 5 years ago | (#29084597)

You sound like a young man, not quite cynical enough to be middle-aged like me... It's understandable that you think it's bullshit because it's not logical. It's not logical. It's Monopolistic Business as usual, compounded with a shit load of legal and back office agreements as to territories and policies, and hourly slaves following the rules to hang on to a shitty job.

I have the deepest sympathy for you, darkpixel2k, your bright outlook on life is probably the last vestige of childhood left to you, and we're taking it away.

Re:Good idea. (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | about 5 years ago | (#29084707)

You sound like a young man, not quite cynical enough to be middle-aged like me...

Not quite middle-aged yet, but I'll hit 30 in less than a year.

It's understandable that you think it's bullshit because it's not logical. It's not logical. It's Monopolistic Business as usual

I understand you don't like Comcast and think they are an evil monopoly and that the word 'monopoly' is justification enough for you any time Comcast does anything you don't like.

compounded with a shit load of legal and back office agreements as to territories and policies, and hourly slaves following the rules to hang on to a shitty job.

You're totally right. There must be some sort of territory, policy, or mysterious voodoo that prevents Comcast from accepting money and dragging service a few hundred feet away. That definitely follows with your modus operandi that logic is out the window...

I have the deepest sympathy for you, darkpixel2k, your bright outlook on life is probably the last vestige of childhood left to you, and we're taking it away.

The old bastion of the idiot. You should try and sound condescending towards me to win your point rather then actually breaking my argument.

Re:Good idea. (1)

Jared555 (874152) | about 5 years ago | (#29084619)

The only time where they might not extend service is if the person is right at the end of the line and the extra distance is 'just' enough to require an extra amplifier/whatever. Odds of this happening are very little, of course.

Re:Good idea. (1)

rtfa-troll (1340807) | about 5 years ago | (#29082913)

In the case of social responsibility and volunteering for internet access there were many good projects to build local access between people long ago. "Freenet" had a completely different meaning [wikipedia.org] before it became a crypto project [freenetproject.org] . What killed these projects was that the big corporations wanted to gain market share and so were willing to sell internet access well below cost at the same time as making huge investments. For almost nothing people were getting better access than the Freenets could provide and the volunteers stopped seeing the point. We're still, to some extent, under the influence of that. However, things are changing, as we see with broadband rationing. Wireless community networks [wikipedia.org] are already a start of a return but I think the time of community networks is coming back big time and it's time for people to start thinking about how to build them again.

Re:Good idea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29084173)

If everybody was to do everything for themselves we'd have a drastic reduction in efficiency. It's much more efficient to grow from a single farm a thousand acres of a crop than have a thousand people grow one acre of a crop.

Same applies here, it's much more efficient to hire a few (certified) people with a trenching machine to go through and install it. You get tons of people and you need lots of trenching machines (if you think shovels will work I'll invite you to try digging for yourself once in gravel or clay), which costs a lot more. Then you also need to worry about people screwing up, running over areas they were not supposed to and cutting other lines, or just plain breaking the cables.

Even if you *could* get it done by shovels and lots of hard work, how many people could actually finish the installation? Here's a hint, zero to none because you need to have special equipment and training to properly install/splice fiber optic.

Hull = Bad ISP area. (3, Insightful)

growse (928427) | about 5 years ago | (#29081859)

They probably felt the need to do this given that all of Hull ISPs are crap.

Re:Hull = Bad ISP area. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29083161)

Except that KCOM/Karoo or whatever they are called only have a monopoly in the city of Kingston-Upon-Hull.

Outside Hull the rest of the Humber area is pretty well served by other ISPs over BT and cable lines, as far as I am aware.

Not lifeguards (5, Informative)

miketheanimal (914328) | about 5 years ago | (#29081913)

Lifeguards are hunky guys (and gals) in swimming costumes who save swimmers (or, rather, non-swimmers!) at beaches and swimming pools. The RNLI is the Royal National Lifeboat Institution: note "lifeboat".

Re:Not lifeguards (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29081959)

What exactly do you think they do with those lifeboats?

Re:Not lifeguards (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29081967)

They take them out to sea at night, in force 10 gales and save trawlermen and merchant sailors from their sinking ships.

Its not exactly "Baywatch" you know......

Re:Not lifeguards (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29081969)

Lay down fibres?

Re:Not lifeguards (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29083457)

Secretly cut fibre cables running across the Atlantic in the interests of ' National Security' of Course.

Re:Not lifeguards (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29081999)

usually, rescue boats and perform Island ambulance rescue service to get people to mainland hospitals actually

Re:Not lifeguards (5, Informative)

RichardJenkins (1362463) | about 5 years ago | (#29082261)

All sorts of maritime search and rescue work. If your boat breaks down or capsizes, or your stuck in a downed plane, the RNLI will be the ones you want to see. Lifeguards on the other hand work from the beach and are concerned with bathers who get into trouble, usually swimming out and dragging back to shore.

Both involve lifesaving off the coast, but they're very different and shouldn't be confused. If you called a lifeboat crewman a lifeguard he'd smack you in the face.

Re:Not lifeguards (1)

Annwvyn (1611587) | about 5 years ago | (#29082345)

Same thing as calling a paramedic an ambulance driver, or a ceramic artist a potter.

Re:Not lifeguards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29083555)

Not necessarily. I knew at least one paramedic who did drive the ambulance on occasion.

Re:Not lifeguards (1)

bluesatin (1350681) | about 5 years ago | (#29082761)

If you called a lifeboat crewman a lifeguard he'd smack you in the face.

But would he then save you from drowning in the 2 feet of water you were standing in beforehand?

Re:Not lifeguards (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29085937)

Rescue Marooned Whalers on the moon?

Re:Not lifeguards (4, Informative)

somersault (912633) | about 5 years ago | (#29082009)

From the index page of the RNLI website:

Saving lives at sea

The RNLI is the charity that provides a 24-hour lifesaving service around the UK and Republic of Ireland.

We'd love to hear from you if you've been helped by RNLI lifeboat crews or lifeguards.

What would you rather call them - "lifeboat people" perhaps?

Re:Not lifeguards (3, Insightful)

miketheanimal (914328) | about 5 years ago | (#29082015)

Lifeboat crews?

Re:Not lifeguards (1)

somersault (912633) | about 5 years ago | (#29086153)

Fine for those on the boats, but there are lifeguards in the RNLI despite lifeboat being in the name.

Re:Not lifeguards (3, Funny)

FudRucker (866063) | about 5 years ago | (#29082363)

not true

Lifeguards_in_the_USA [geekculture.com]

British_Lifeguard [strangecelebrities.com]

Re:Not lifeguards (2, Informative)

sbt (1619137) | about 5 years ago | (#29085269)

Ok, this is the REAL face of UK Lifeguards:

A recent rescue:

http://www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you/news/news_detail?articleid=465627 [rnli.org.uk]

The website:

http://www.rnli.org.uk/what_we_do/sea_and_beach_safety/rnli_lifeguards [rnli.org.uk]

One reason for the RNLI being involved:

http://www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you/news/news_detail?articleid=466426 [rnli.org.uk] ... the Lifeboats regularly found themselves working with Lifeguards on rescues.

Unlike the Lifeboats many of the Lifeguards are funded on a contract basis. Local Government pays the RNLI to provide them, or at least contributes. In many cases the Lifeguards themselves used to be employed by Local Government. By having the RNLI run the Lifeguards on their beaches the Local Council taps into economies of scale on things like equipment purchasing and backup plus the RNLI's training and expertise.

Rick

What an insult (1)

jasongates (800911) | about 5 years ago | (#29082377)

Who ever was the original poster deserves a good thrashing! Not saying that Lifeguards are not capable, but this was not a group of lifeguards!

Re:Not lifeguards (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about 5 years ago | (#29083425)

IIRC the rnli do beach lifegaurd services as well....

100mbs is "next generation"? (1)

ThePromenader (878501) | about 5 years ago | (#29081915)

Only 100mbs? And how is this "next generation"? Our company has a 1go fibre-optic connection straight into the web backbone. If you're going to do all that digging yourself, you might as well lay some decent cable and connections.

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (2, Insightful)

theeddie55 (982783) | about 5 years ago | (#29082091)

Note: your company, and how many computers is that connection shared between, this is FTTH connections, (Fibre To The Home) for a home connection it's very much next generation.

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (2, Interesting)

marcansoft (727665) | about 5 years ago | (#29082359)

Not in Sweden. A friend of mine has 1gbps fiber municipal Internet at his house (previously 100mbps twisted pair).

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (2, Informative)

theeddie55 (982783) | about 5 years ago | (#29082391)

Rural Britain tends to be a little slower though, I'm lucky if I can get 2mbs where I live.

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (1)

Jeremy Visser (1205626) | about 5 years ago | (#29082129)

Fibre is just that -- fibre. What defines the speed is what you put on either end of the fibre cable -- i.e. the modems. If they choose to upgrade to a 1Gbps connection in the future, it won't involve digging up the cables.

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29082539)

Not so. Wider fibre is easier to lay because it is harder to damage, but requires photons to be spaced further apart because total internal reflection means that the path lengths (and, hence, transit time) of two consecutive photons (or, more likely, bursts of photons) can differ by a significant amount and cause errors if the second arrives before the first. Additionally, different fibres - and even fibres laid with different amounts of bending - can leak photons (fire a laser through a drum of fibre and see it light up) limiting the maximum throughput because you need to fire larger bursts of photons to ensure that a detectable number arrive. I doubt they're running the cable at the full speed, but fibre is no more equivalent to any other fibre than copper is equivalent to any other copper.

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (1)

sznupi (719324) | about 5 years ago | (#29082159)

Though I still can't figured out why would they need even that 100mbps?

Lifeguards...their own private baywatch 24/7...why would they need so much pr0n?...

Wrong direction (1)

cheros (223479) | about 5 years ago | (#29082979)

With the bodies they probably have from all that rescue work (it IS very hard and risky) and the scandalous absence of funding it's more logical to assume they're *providing* it.. :-)

Re:Wrong direction (1)

sbt (1619137) | about 5 years ago | (#29084141)

The RNLI doesn't WANT government funding - so its less than 'scandalous'.

It did have some government funding to set up the stations on the River Thames after the Marshoness sinking because those were created at government request but those, I believe, are now run from RNLI funds.

The reason, I believe, is that it was difficult to explain 'entirely funded by donations â" except for these 3 stations' and as a result the government cash was causing a net reduction in RNLI income (I have no evidence from this â" it just seems the most logical reason for the funding going away).

The RNLI does, however, receive some 'help in kind' from government bodies in the form of things like being allowed to build stations on council owned land rent free. For example the pier that Tower Lifeboat in London uses was brought from the Metropolitan Police for a nominal sum (IIRC, UKP 1.00).

Rick

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082485)

The cable is certainly suitable for 1 Gbps, but it's probably not worth their while to pay someone the extra to carry their 1 Gbps to the internet. This is the RNLI we're talking about, not a streaming video hosting service.

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082741)

GO? Silly Frenchmen!

Re:100mbs is "next generation"? (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | about 5 years ago | (#29085105)

The fibre will carry 1000mb no problem, you just need different equipment at either end. Also, it isn't entirely clear but chances at the individual residences are not getting 100/100 but rather are being served by copper cable or wifi.

It's "next gen" by UK standards, which isn't saying much.

Off the edge of civilization (5, Insightful)

CaptainOfSpray (1229754) | about 5 years ago | (#29081923)

This lifeboat station is a bit remote ( 53 34'34.34"N 0 6'39.69"E - take a look in Google Earth - it's quite a place). According to the station website [spurnpoint.com] it is 16 miles to the nearest shop, God knows how how far to a telephone exchange, so ADSL was never an option. Next, the RNLI is a charity supported entirely by money received from the public. They get nothing from the government, which is a Good Thing for the efficiency of the service; but does mean that there was no way to afford the horrendous install fee for 16 miles of cable.

All the crews and their families live at the station - imagine that as a way of life.

Re:Off the edge of civilization (2, Funny)

Dan541 (1032000) | about 5 years ago | (#29081987)

Wait till some dumbass drops an anchor on it.

Re:Off the edge of civilization (2, Funny)

TeamMCS (1398305) | about 5 years ago | (#29082079)

RNLI Givuth Life.... ....RNLI Takeuth away :)

Re:Off the edge of civilization (1)

value_added (719364) | about 5 years ago | (#29082083)

All the crews and their families live at the station - imagine that as a way of life.

So it's like Survivor, but with David Hasselhoff and the cast from Baywatch?

Re:Off the edge of civilization (1)

multisync (218450) | about 5 years ago | (#29084731)

So it's like Survivor, but with David Hasselhoff and the cast from Baywatch?

I thought this was in the UK, not Germany

Re:Off the edge of civilization (1)

ciaohound (118419) | about 5 years ago | (#29082265)

imagine that as a way of life.

Are they hiring?

Re:Off the edge of civilization (4, Informative)

xaxa (988988) | about 5 years ago | (#29082313)

Link to Google Maps, for those without Google Earth installed: 53 34'34.34"N 0 6'39.69"E [google.co.uk] .

Also, an article about location [wikipedia.org] on Wikipedia -- the area is a nature reserve!

Re:Off the edge of civilization (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082745)

Link to Google Maps, for those without Google Earth installed: 53 34'34.34"N 0 6'39.69"E.

So it's just around the corner from Scunthorpe, then.

Not a good thing they get no govt money (3, Interesting)

fantomas (94850) | about 5 years ago | (#29082379)

"the RNLI is a charity supported entirely by money received from the public. They get nothing from the government, which is a Good Thing for the efficiency of the service;"

I wouldn't say "efficiency of service" is measured as to whether or not you get government money. I have worked for commercial companies that are incredibly inefficient and they don't get a penny of government money. I'd not say "efficiency" is a direct correlation to how much you have to do with a government. Maybe distance from funding source, not giving a damn where the money's coming from and not being accountable?

I personally also find it amazing and shocking that as a small island nation the people responsible for pulling drowning people out of the water, going miles out to sea in huge storms to save drowning sailors and rescue fishermen are voluntary and unfunded.

Re:Not a good thing they get no govt money (2, Interesting)

sbt (1619137) | about 5 years ago | (#29083879)

The key thing is, it works (as it does in France, Germany and Holland). If it ain't broke, don't try and fix it.

Having local volunteers means that local knowledge is retained, people are following their own career in there 'day job' so leaving a station 'on promotion' isn't an issue.

It also means that stations can exist that any government expenditure review would delete due to the low number of rescues they undertake. The point is that there are locations where a Lifeboat is rarely needed, but when it is its REALLY needed, and FAST.

Whilst a charity the RNLI is very professional, crew are trained to a high standard, in part at a large specialist training centre in Poole, Dorset. The boats are second to none â" most go to the Lifeboat Services of other countries when the RNLI finishes with them. Others end their lives as Pilot Boats.

Rick

Re:Off the edge of civilization (1)

trust_jmh (651322) | about 5 years ago | (#29082441)

Correction: 8 miles, which still seems far for the UK. (16 miles is the round trip.)

I think there are good roads so not a massive amount of time needed to make the trip. Being on life critical duty is the reason it is hard.

O.T. The furthest point from the coast in the UK;
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/derbyshire/3090539.stm [bbc.co.uk]

To put the stroy in context.... (5, Informative)

mrphoton (1349555) | about 5 years ago | (#29081937)

You must remember that our national life boar service (RNLI) is a CHARITY and receives NO government sponsorship whatsoever. They get all there cash by collecting in the streets, collecting tins in shops and charity events... They are a truly amazing charity and save hundreds of lives . All there members are highly motivated volunteers who have ordinary jobs but when called upon drop everything and go and save lives what ever the weather. So my point is that it is not so amazing that they dug there own fiber link, they do after all maintain all there own kit and are out to save as much cash as possible because they don't have that much of it in the first place. http://www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you [rnli.org.uk]

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (0, Offtopic)

Ruud Althuizen (835426) | about 5 years ago | (#29081989)

FFS, it is their (owner) and not there (location).

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (4, Funny)

tpgp (48001) | about 5 years ago | (#29082239)

FFS, it is their (owner) and not there (location).

You picked up that? But missed: You must remember that our national life boar service (RNLI) ?

Or did you think the RNLI was a pigs-in-trouble type of organisation?

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (1)

NotBornYesterday (1093817) | about 5 years ago | (#29082599)

It's a more obscure organization, but they do lots of good work saving porcine victims of shipwrecks.

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (1)

jeremyp (130771) | about 5 years ago | (#29083671)

And "fiber". In Britain we have fibre.

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (1)

Ruud Althuizen (835426) | about 5 years ago | (#29082775)

Since when is stating a fact called trolling?

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29083317)

Way to miss the entire point of a very informative post you pathetic little child. I hope your keen grammar skills so masterfully demonstrated have served to further fuel your superiority complex. No really, one could only aspire to your levels of grammatical wizardry. I may just offer myself at your feet as a sacrifice to your magnificence. I am humbly yours, oh master of the art of language. Grow up, dickhead.

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082205)

Their belongings. Their coat. Their lifeboat.

They were born there. Put the plate right there. I was born there.

They're my shoes. They're not yours. They're leaving now...

I dunno. the yung peeple uv tday. cant speak. cant writ

Re:To put the stroy in context.... (1)

WaroDaBeast (1211048) | about 5 years ago | (#29083097)

(...) highly motivated volunteers who have ordinary jobs but when called upon drop everything and go and save lives what ever the weather.

Sounds a lot like M.A.S.K. [wikipedia.org] to me.

Nice work (2, Interesting)

RedCuber (1487889) | about 5 years ago | (#29082033)

Thats great - i'm currently in South Africa (working) and it's like going back in time. Still paying $$$ for 64k circuits etc.. i'll get my shovel.

Welcome to Slashdot (0, Redundant)

dword (735428) | about 5 years ago | (#29082067)

We'd do the same on our road, but the government would probably object.

That's just an assumption and has no relation with the rest of the summary.

Re:Welcome to Slashdot (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082179)

Agreed. Enough local initiatives do the last part digging by themselves.

The Issue (3, Informative)

sonicmerlin (1505111) | about 5 years ago | (#29082187)

There are similar projects in Sweden, where companies give the option to customers to bury their own fiber (with periodic oversight of course). This eliminates the initial expense of FTTH installation for the cash-strapped small ISP, and as a by-product apparently significantly reduces churn, as people become emotionally attached to the fiber they dug into the ground. It's a win-win for everyone. Of course in America the incumbents don't actually want everyone to have fiber, as they prefer to charge hugely inflated prices for substandard internet connections that require little to no provisioning of bandwidth.

What the RNLI are.... (2, Informative)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | about 5 years ago | (#29082195)

For the americans on here who are quite rightly confused about who and what the RNLI are, they're like the US Coastguard. They go out in boats in insane conditions and save people from sinking. They don't have any helicopters (our navy do that), but aside from that they're pretty much the same. With one minor exception: They receive no funding from the Government whatsoever. Insane though it sounds, they get all their funds from charity donations. Give generously.

Re:What the RNLI are.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082317)

They don't have any helicopters (our navy do that)

Actually, I think you'll find that most of those are operated by the Royal Air Force [wikipedia.org] .

Re:What the RNLI are.... (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 5 years ago | (#29082587)

I think you might be surprised [wikipedia.org] . Actually, the helicopters are often operated by the HM Coastguard; the base where I learned to fly also hosted a Coastguard search and rescue group, which ran a couple of helicopters.

Re:What the RNLI are.... (2, Informative)

EricTheRed (5613) | about 5 years ago | (#29082727)

I think you might be surprised [wikipedia.org] . Actually, the helicopters are often operated by the HM Coastguard; the base where I learned to fly also hosted a Coastguard search and rescue group, which ran a couple of helicopters.

Actually its a combination of all three.

Although HM Coastguard monitors the coastline, both the RAF and RN have air-sea rescue units for operational reasons (dating back to WWII) but handle the civilian rescues as part of their duties.

Re:What the RNLI are.... (1)

RDW (41497) | about 5 years ago | (#29082739)

The UK has a Coastguard as well, of course - these are the people you'll talk to when making a 999 emergency call. They have helicopters of their own, though their major role is the co-ordination of other rescue services, calling on RNLI, independent lifeboat, RAF, and Royal Navy resources as required.

Re:What the RNLI are.... (1)

sbt (1619137) | about 5 years ago | (#29083733)

Yes. The functions carried out by the USCG in the US are covered by a number of agencies in the UK.

Maritime regulations and law: The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (of which the Coastguard is part).

Rescue coordination and Traffic Control outside harbour areas: HM Coastguard

Counter Smuggling: HM Customs and Excise

Surface Rescue: The RNLI & Independent Lifeboats

Air Sea Rescue: Coastguard Helicopters, RAF and RN SAR assets.

Cliff Rescue: The Coastguard Auxiliary, volunteers who work for a government agency.

Lighthouses and Bouyage (outside harbours): Trinity House and the Northern Lighthouse board.

This is, BTW, IIRC

Re:What the RNLI are.... (1)

sbt (1619137) | about 5 years ago | (#29083803)

Oh, and:

The Coastguard have Emergancy Towing Vessels to pull large ships like Supertankers away from harm.

The Oil Companies have a number of rescue vessels (required by law) to cover the North Sea Oil Rigs.

Re:What the RNLI are.... (1)

Wizard Drongo (712526) | about 5 years ago | (#29085303)

Yeah, it really would be a lot better if our Government followed the American model and militarised the coastguard and brought all the independent agencies under the one umbrella. Perhaps when Scotland finally achieve independence we can do this, since Scottish waters are so large, and contain all those oil wells, we'd need a good Coastguard and fisheries protection model anyway, might as well bring all the helicopters and boats into it. Save on overheads, administration etc.

Re:What the RNLI are.... (2, Informative)

sbt (1619137) | about 5 years ago | (#29085535)

On the other hand what we have works.

And it does have its advantages â" for example:

Fisheries Protection comes under the people who manage the fisheries, and set the rules that they enforce, rather than being a poor relations within a Law Enforcement agency.

Protection of Oil Rigs is provided by the same assets who provide similar protection to all UK assets rather than there being a separate small CG 'military lite' unit to train and equip.

HM Customs and Excise don't have to call in a separate agency when dealing with maritime smuggling that 'crosses the beach' â" its all one team.

Maritime safety, rule setting, enforcement and accident response are under one organisation.

Rescue is provided by assets that have no Law Enforcement role â" so people don't delay calling for help when the accident they have had is due to breaking the rules. Bear in mind that calling early not only saves live aboard casualties, it means less risky rescues and hence less risk to the rescuer.

Once again - why break something that works? Why, for example, 'Nationalise' the RNLI, loosing all that goodwill and expertise, to provide something that costs the taxpayer more?

BTW â" even if Scotland became independent (Troll?) its likely that the RNLI would continue to provide the Lifeboats, as they do in the Republic of Ireland.

Rick

Allow me to say (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29082225)

I, for one, welcome our new fiber-digging lives-saving overlords.

PS: captcha = parade

Government objecting? (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | about 5 years ago | (#29082373)

We'd do the same on our road, but the government would probably object.

Somehow this struck me as being seriously fucked up aka government gone wrong.

I mean of all the people in the world, the ones that own this street, are the ones that live in it, payed the taxes to build it, and own the government that "officially" owns it.
It's very literally your street. And everyone in the local community should be happy that you show so much responsibility and involvement in it.

And about laws: They are there to define what would hurt the community, and is therefore not allowed in it.
But I can't see how you laying your own wires in a proper way could possibly hurt anyone on this planet. It could only do good.
So I'd quite simply expect to be able to do it, after informing the local mayor that it is properly planned. Even he will definitely benefit from this, and so will be very stupid to deny it.

Re:Government objecting? (3, Insightful)

Annwvyn (1611587) | about 5 years ago | (#29082399)

Unless, of course, the company (which already most likely has a monopoly over the area) has paid off the town leaders in order to force the people to hire the company so they can squeeze as much out of the taxpayer as possible. In the USA... I wouldn't be surprised.

Re:Government objecting? (1)

jabithew (1340853) | about 5 years ago | (#29082925)

Yeah, but this is the UK. Telecoms companies don't have psuedo-monopolies here like they do in the States. It is one of the permanent mysteries of this country that our roads seem to be dug up every other week (and have the damaged surface to prove it!) without having any appreciable difference in the services we receive.

Re:Government objecting? (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | about 5 years ago | (#29084687)

Yeah, but this is the UK. Telecoms companies don't have psuedo-monopolies here like they do in the States. It is one of the permanent mysteries of this country that our roads seem to be dug up every other week (and have the damaged surface to prove it!) without having any appreciable difference in the services we receive.

Apart from the fact that Hull DOES have a telecoms monopoly... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KCOM_Group [wikipedia.org] Kingston Communications have 100% market share for broadband in Hull, for various historical, legal and technical reasons.

Re:Government objecting? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29084939)

Hull is a city and is not all of Humberside; much of Humberside is served by BT and Cable companies. KCOM are unlikely to be the problem here. Geography is.

Re:Government objecting? (2, Insightful)

jabithew (1340853) | about 5 years ago | (#29082943)

I can think of many reasons the government might object to the roads being dug up; firstly the surface of the roads is never adequately repaired, leaving permanent damage to the roads. Often to lay fiber to your community (e.g. the village where my parents live) would involve digging up large tranches of busy road that are vital traffic routes.

Out of curiosity, why can't we tunnel under roads using robots to lay fiber?

Re:Government objecting? (1)

PPH (736903) | about 5 years ago | (#29084829)

I've put my own utilities in a public right of way. No big deal. There are permits to be obtained and standards to be met when digging on public ROWs.

What the various government entities might object to is your installing such utilities for the purpose of reselling them. They have requirements which entities who engage in such businesses must adhere to. Such as providing your service to all citizens with some sort of standard (and equitable) rate structure.

Humber Lifeboat Station Details and Links (2, Informative)

sbt (1619137) | about 5 years ago | (#29083655)

Further details about the Humber station:

Its the only station with a fully professional crew. Other stations are either all volunteer (those with only Inshore boat), have one (Mechanic) or two (Coxswain & Mechanic) professionals with the rest of the crew being volunteers (the big All Weather boats) or a largely professional crew supplemented by volunteers (the E Class boats on the River Thames in London).

There are several advantages to using volunteers, one very important one being that its possible to justify having stations that do very few rescues but are there for the rare occasions where someone needs them.

YouTube of the installation

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ozoA4x5k2Dg [youtube.com]

Humber Lifeboat Station at the RNLI website:

http://www.rnli.org.uk/rnli_near_you/north/stations/humbereastyorkshire/?page=2 [rnli.org.uk]

Humber Lifeboat "Pride of the Humber" - around UKP 2 Million (USD 3 Million) of Fly By Wire All Weather Goodness

http://www.rnli.org.uk/who_we_are/press_centre/photos/photo_detail?articleid=344763 [rnli.org.uk]

The crews website

http://www.spurnpoint.com/lifeboat.htm [spurnpoint.com]

Humber Lifeboat at work

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2WtSPcGpKw [youtube.com]

No connection with the RNLI btw, other than they once rescued me and I donate by subscription.

Looks like the way forward in Britain (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29084183)

The UK government's scheme for the future is so completely lacking in ambition, that their future plans are obsolete - even by today's standards.
It looks like people will need to take their economic needs in to their own hands, and do what should have been mandated by regulation many years ago. If this means digging up our own streets to get 1Gbit fibre links to every home in the next 1-5 years, this is what we must do, or the UK will be left behind in a technological dark age.

most remote place? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#29084355)

what rubbish. there are far more remote places that have fibre connectivity to their ISP or nearest net-feed (internet router handling their traffic). most of them cant be publically listed of course (just think about remote military bases)

'remote' in the UK translates to 'small journey' in US distance terms ;-)

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