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British Farmers Growing Their Own Internet Service

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the bring-tucows-over-to-spread-e-fertilizer dept.

The Internet 178

pigrabbitbear writes "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."

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178 comments

NOTHING IS EVER THEIR FAULT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029191)

HOW TO BE A WORTHLESS, VILE, AMERICAN YARD-APE!!!!
  • Slink around, shuffling your feet and bobbing your neck like the lazy retard you are.
  • Walk down the middle of the street because you don't know what a sidewalk is for.
  • Hang out at carwashes and mini-marts because everybody knows these are the best places to be a dope, I mean dope.
  • If you're a nigger bitch, shit three nigger babies into the world before 17 years of age. This assures that welfare money will support you, so your nigger men have more time to commit crimes.
  • And give REAL honest black people a bad name.
  • Oh yes, make sure each nigger baby has a different father.
  • Bastardize the English language in the name of nigger culture.
  • Make sure that several terms have multiple meanings and others have ambiguous meanings and that only 50% of nigger words are even complete words. Real niggers will know what you're trying to say.
  • As a culture, make sure there are always more blacks in prison than in college at any given time.
  • Hang out in packs of 10 to 15 and make sure everyone acts as annoying as possible. This helps to promote nigger individuality.
  • Always talk loud enough so everyone in the 'hood can fucking hear you, and if they are niggers, they will know what your saying, bro.
  • Wear clothes that are 10 sizes too big, making sure the pants hang off your ass.
  • Park at least 5 junk cars in your yard while being careful not to use the driveway. It's OK to abandon them in the street as long as it's in front of someone else's crib.
  • Exaggerate every motion, every tonal inflection and grab your dick a lot.
  • Do drugs, sell drugs, make drugs. Okay, don't REALLY do this, but it IS what niggers do.
  • Turn your backyard into a junk yard. If you don't have a backyard, turn your mother's into a junk yard.
  • Travel around leaching off relatives, friends, salvation armies.
  • Drink cheap wine and malt liquor every day, forgetting that "malt liquor" is just fortified cheap beer.
  • If you're a nigger buck: fuck anything that moves, no matter how ugly she is. After two 40oz, even the ugliest, fattest nigger bitch will look good.
  • Be charitable and covet fat, ugly white chicks. After all, they're niggers too. They can't help being so undesirable to white men that they have to fraternize with black dudes on a 20/20 trip. And white ho's are a special trophy too, especially the not so ugly ones.
  • Spray paint everything in sight with scribbles that mean nothing to white people but mean things to fellow niggers (except niggers from another hood who will probably go after you for tresspassing on their turf).
  • Use the term "motherfucker" in every sentence. It's one of the most versatile words in the nigger language, being a noun, verb, adjective and complete mini-sentence in event you run out of thoughts.
  • Stop in the middle of the street, blocking all traffic to converse with fellow niggers and have complete disregard for everyone else.
  • Overcharge customers at Taco Bell and pocket the difference.
  • Drive your car while slouched so low that you can barely see over the wheel (gangsta drivin').
  • Get a job under affirmative action. Then sit around all day pretending that you earned the position and that the other co-workers respect you. Whenever you fuck up, scream "racism!" & hope you get enough Generation X liberals in the jury.
  • Never, I mean NEVER, take any responsibility for your actions. Always blame others including Asians, Latinos, Mexicans, and especially Whites for your sorry ass stupid lives.
  • Be sure to get a dog, tie it up in the cold and mud and neglect it until it dies. Then start all over again. Cash must be used because you long ago fucked up your credit and checking account.
  • Cram 5 generations into a two room government apartment and still be able to neglect your kids.

Then you too can be a true nigger, and anyone who finds any fault with anything you do is automatically a racist. They don't dislike what you do and wish you would do something better with your life, nor do they wish you would realize that other people exist and should be treated with respect. No, they're just racists who hate you because of the color of your skin, and everything bad in your life is their fault. You nigger.

Re:NOTHING IS EVER THEIR FAULT! (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029309)

For Extra Credit Ways To Be a DOUCHEBAG:

Get a job as a Slashdot editor.
Never, ever, ever, ever, EVER use a spell-checker. No matter what. This is CRITICAL.
Whatever the fuck you do, don't ever proofread either. Yeah that's what an editor would do, but you're special.
Post stories that are themselves flamebait, to drive up page views.
Never link to an informative site that gets to the point. Instead, drive traffic to your buddy's shitty blog and let posters provide good links.
Or, link to a paywall site when free articles are available.
Laugh at nigger jokes and other troll posts. Then use your infinite mod-points to mod them down to -1.
Never review a book you don't like.
Never disclose whether or not you financially benefit from book reviews.
Play different camps against each other to drive up page views. E.g. Microsoft vs. Linux vs. Apple.
Repost^H^H^H^H^^H Recycle old stories. You could mod down people who point it out.
Obsess over patents because there is NOTHING ELSE going on in the world of technology.
Mod this post down too because it's true and that makes you uncomfortable.
Mod +5 Funny idiotic regurgitations of tired old memes that weren't very funny to begin with (sharks with lasers on their heads, etc) because you have no social life and feel so desperate to be part of a group, any kind of group.

Re:NOTHING IS EVER THEIR FAULT! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030441)

Post stories that are themselves flamebait, to drive up page views.

Oh... so that's how you spell "controversial" on the Internet... Now I know how to read "controversial" when written in the "real" press. Makes a lot more sense now.

Re:NOTHING IS EVER THEIR FAULT! (4, Insightful)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | about a year ago | (#43031315)

Or, publish a completely off-topic rant that annoys everyone who came here for intelligent commentary. Oh, and post it A/C.

some places have it ready already (1)

the_B0fh (208483) | about a year ago | (#43029249)

Memphis Light Gas and Water have been laying cables with fiber optic cores since the 1970s. If only the law allows them to offer Internet service - fiber to the houses, at prices unseen before in the United States.

They could have it as good as the Google Fiber Hood. But... too much entrenched interests.

Re:some places have it ready already (4, Interesting)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43029389)

The city of Tacoma has their own fiber network. Put in by their power company [click-network.com] for the purpose of controlling their substations, it turned out to have some extra capacity. Some Eastern Washington State power PUDs, awash in cash from their hydro power sales have strung fiber around their largely rural, agricultural service territories as well.

Since then, the telcoms have sought legislative injunctions against public utilities implementing new systems. And the private utility I used to work for was scared sh*tless about their wrath to the point of never putting in fiber even restricted to their own internal requirements.

Re:some places have it ready already (4, Interesting)

Charliemopps (1157495) | about a year ago | (#43031085)

Telecoms lose money in rural areas. Even with phone service. This has been a problem since the invention of the telephone. The solution? Give the telephone company monopoly over a large area, but require them by law to provide service to rural residents. Just how far rural they go will be negotiated between the local municipality and the telco. Putting in rural service is not profitable, but the telco can raise rates in the metropolitan areas to make up the difference.

Now, some jackass comes along claiming free market and starts selling his own service. He offers it to whomever he likes, is under no obligation to provide service to anyone, and can undercut the telco in the easiest to serve markets. If you want free and open competition in these markets, that's fine. But you need to lift the regulations the telcos are under before you can do that. There are some areas of the country were the local phone company is required by law to maintain dialtone and 911 service even if the house is vacant or condemned. Just in case some homeless person needs to use the phone. How can a company that has to do maintain service like that compete with random competitors that have no such obligations? A free and open market for internet service means NO rural internet service at all. Simple as that. It's not profitable, and an open market means it can't exist.

Re:some places have it ready already (1)

PPH (736903) | about a year ago | (#43031821)

That's what we call universal service for telephones. But the phone companies are under no such obligation to provide uniform broadband service. They cherry-pick the markets just like everyone else for this product.

Now, if they want a monopoly to keep the "jackasses" out with broadband, they are going to have to provide uniform service to rural as well as profitable urban markets on an equal price basis. With regulated terms of service, utilities commission oversight, common carrier status and a bunch of other stuff that they have been fighting against. Otherwise, its first come, first serve for these markets. If someone else thinks they can make a go out of serving an area, they are free to do so.

Re:some places have it ready already (1)

Khyber (864651) | about a year ago | (#43030541)

"Memphis Light Gas and Water have been laying cables with fiber optic cores since the 1970s"

And you'll never get a piece of that considering MLGW vbuilt that for their own measurements/price control.

Hi, I used to work for MLGW for a tiny period of time as a subcontractor.

Or... (5, Funny)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029253)

You could just lobby your legislators to pass a law requiring ISPs to provide sparse areas with cheap broadband access, effectively subsidizing the internet costs of a few by raising rate on everyone else. I mean that's how government works right? Everyone lobbies their legislature for special favors until everyone has special favors and everyone is paying for everyone else's stuff in addition to providing much needed jobs for lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, regulators, etc.

Forming a private cooperative to build their own internet infrastructure seems like a perversion of the crony capitalist system that is the foundation of western society.

Re:Or... (4, Insightful)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43029303)

Forming a private cooperative to build their own internet infrastructure seems like a perversion of the crony capitalist system that is the foundation of western society.

Oh please. You know what's "crony capitalist?" Bullshit like states banning municipal broadband at the demand of local telco monopolies so that they don't have to compete with better service.

We've already tried forcing them to spread into more rural areas, all they did was raise rates and mark up impressive profits.

Re:Or... (2)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029359)

Must I add /s to everything?

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029385)

Apparently... the mods missed it too.

Re:Or... (2)

Microlith (54737) | about a year ago | (#43029415)

Perhaps you should, because there are people who genuinely believe what you wrote.

Re:Or... (1)

quenda (644621) | about a year ago | (#43030135)

The tone was obviously sarcastic, but it is normal all over the world for utilities to provide gas/water/electricity/telephone to rural areas at the same price as city customers pay, or at least heavily subsidised. This works best with natural monopolies, but runs into trouble when there are competing providers.
You may have to deal with competitors who want to cherry-pick the most profitable customers, and ignore others.

Can I be the first to say? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029369)

Whoosh!

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030289)

Oh please. You know what's "crony capitalist?" Bullshit like states banning municipal broadband at the demand of local telco monopolies so that they don't have to compete with better service.

Crony capitalism is also mandating the provision of broadband access in rural communities, forcing companies to collect extra fees to subsidize rural broadband, building roads in rural communities, and all that. Not only are people's nice rural lifestyles subsidized that way, companies make a bundle from such attempts at redistribution.

We've already tried forcing them to spread into more rural areas, all they did was raise rates and mark up impressive profits.

Politicians passed laws that, predictably, would not improve rural broadband access very much, but would result in large increases in profits. And well-meaning idiots like you interpret that as "us" forcing "them" to do something.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031917)

Here in the "socialist" Europe the municipal broadband would be subjected to public tendering process and a telco and other utility companies would be selected to implement the project. The idea that a local telco would oppose such a project based on increased competition seems absurd from this perspective since they would effectively only refuse new financially sound customers, or compete with themselves.

Re:Or... (5, Insightful)

mk1004 (2488060) | about a year ago | (#43029357)

Power and telephone service to rural areas were subsidized in the US, back before everyone got the "no one else can play with my stuff" attitude that permeates this country today. Internet access could be done the same way, and probably would have been if it had been developed in the '50s. For that matter, nationalized healthcare probably could have been done too. Yes, I'm sure some people didn't like the power/telephone subsidizes back then, but there were enough people who thought it was the right thing to do.

Re:Or... (1, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#43029803)

Power and telephone service to rural areas were subsidized in the US, back before everyone got the "no one else can play with my stuff" attitude that permeates this country today.

Ever wonder how the "no one else can play with my stuff" attitude came about? If the politicians had stopped long ago with stuff like the above, it wouldn't even be an issue. There wouldn't be enough people to care to obstruct your sort of proposal. But since a significant fraction of the US's economy is just being shuffled around as a result, it has become an issue.

Re:Or... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031145)

Ever wonder how the "no one else can play with my stuff" attitude came about?

It comes from the freeloaders that benefited from these improvements all their life but don't want to do anything for their kids.

Did I get that right?

It certainly wasn't the boomers that were building anything in the 50s or 60s. But they are certainly the ones with a giant sense of entitlement and the "not paying for that!" attitude.

Re:Or... (1)

redneckmother (1664119) | about a year ago | (#43030111)

Well, I have electric service, but WTF happened to telephone out here in "the sticks"? The ILEC says I can have a line for ~250K USD - I can't afford that!

Re:Or... (0, Flamebait)

stenvar (2789879) | about a year ago | (#43030317)

Power and telephone service to rural areas were subsidized in the US

Yes, and it was a lousy idea back then too. The result was to encourage city dwellers to move out of the cities, resulting in much less efficient energy use, long commute times, and a destruction of inner cities.

The reason people live in cities is because it is more efficient than in the country. If you destroy that efficiency advantage by forcing city dwellers to subsidize country folks, the predictable outcome is overall low efficiency and a destruction of cities.

And progressives still don't get this through their heads, since they still throw around subsidies for everything and then whine and complain when people react rationally in response.

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030427)

Yes, because as long as there are enough people to think it's OK to take one person's money to give to another, it's OK. I love democracy. :(

Re:Or... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031089)

I guess you live in a place with competing privated fire departments which will let your house burn down if you haven't signed up with them beforehand and are unwilling/unable to pay the "full rescue price" for your house.

And the premium is higher since for the same area there might be more fire trucks than necessary.

Re:Or... (-1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | about a year ago | (#43029383)

Everyone lobbies their legislature for special favors until everyone has special favors and everyone is paying for eve

Oh nonsense. The only "special favors" going around that are worth anything are the ones that the big telecoms get to protect their profits.

Everybody wants to believe that there is someone out there getting some goodie that should really be theirs, but in the meantime, a small group of thieves is walking away with the store.

Forming a private cooperative to build their own internet infrastructure seems like a perversion of the crony capitalist system that is the foundation of western society.

Did you read that sentence before you hit clicked "Submit"? Have we gotten to the point where a group of people with a common interest doing something for themselves is "crony capitalism"? Meanwhile, the real "crony capitalists" are carving you up like a christmas ham.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029477)

1. I was being sarcastic 2. I said the private cooperative was a *perversion* of the crony capitalist system (i.e. it's not crony capitalism, like it should be /s)

Re:Or... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030009)

Relax, he's a just a karma whore looking to score a few +1's by responding with obvious outrage.

Interestingly enough, on of the best ways to karma whore is to make a dumb, troll comment on a sleeper account or as AC, then make a reasonable, sane reply to it under your real account.

Re:Or... (1)

Tailhook (98486) | about a year ago | (#43029411)

until everyone has special favors and everyone is paying for everyone else's stuff in addition to providing much needed jobs for lawyers, lobbyists, politicians, regulators, etc.

"We used to make shit in this country, build shit. Now we just put our hand in the next guy's pocket."

      — Frank Sobotka, The Wire.

Re:Or... (1)

ewieling (90662) | about a year ago | (#43029481)

First of all, the government ALREADY forces phone companies to provide rural service, effectively subsidizing the telephone costs of a few by raising rate on everyone else. I don't have a problem with that, but it is easy to corrupt the idea if there is not enough oversight. For example, when AT&T bought Bellsouth there was all sorts of talk about AT&T rolling out a major rural broadband upgrade -- as far as I know this never happened.

I would rather the local government grant a temporary monopoly (10 years?) on high speed internet access to the first company who wants to provide the service in a specific rural area. Much like telephone service (at least the wiring) or cable television service. This would create an incentive for companies to invest in rural broadband because if they don't, they will be locked out of the market for a while. This would especially protect smaller broadband organizations from having a large company come in and sell broadband at a loss.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029519)

1. I was being sarcastic 2. This was a story about British farmers and you are talking about the US government and American companies.

Re:Or... (1)

petermgreen (876956) | about a year ago | (#43029631)

2. This was a story about British farmers and you are talking about the US government and American companies.

Did you actually RTFA? it started off about british farmers but it quickly shifted to the USA.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029759)

When you refer to "the government" in a context where multiple countries are involved, it doesn't make any sense.

Re:Or... (1)

TheGratefulNet (143330) | about a year ago | (#43031251)

actually, it does make sense.

people are people and countries are imaginary lines.

controlling classes are controlling classes.

this is human-wide. not country-specific.

Re:Or... (3, Insightful)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029603)

In all seriousness why do we want access in rural areas to be subsidized? If it is expensive to bring access to these places, why shouldn't it be the ones who want it to pay for it?

Economies of scale is one of the benefits of living in an urban area. You get cheap internet, cheap water, cheap electricity, cheap garbage collection, cheap sewer, etc. When you live out in the boonies the land is cheap, but you don;t get the benefits of living in a metropolis.

If you want to live in the forest, that's awesome. If you want high speed internet in the forest, then I support allowing you to have the fewest restrictions possible to allow you to pay for that getting that infrastructure yourself. I don't think it's fair to subsidize rural internet costs anymore than it would be fair to subsidize rent in urban because it's "too expensive". The free market decides what things cost, and we should be trying to achieve a free market (externalities accounted for) so that everyone pays the true cost of what they consume (people, corporations, everybody).

Re:Or... (3, Interesting)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43029757)

Are you serious? Rural America votes, and their votes affect you. Do you really want them not to have at least potential access to the wealth of knowledge and "dissent" that Internet offers? Consider the alternatives: they'll only listen to the local ClearChannel station and watch Fox News OTA. I'm not saying an average Joe Redneck is reading random wikipedia article each day to edify himself, but your way of thinking makes it not merely improbable: it becomes impossible.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029881)

There aren't that many people in rural america. By definition it's the part with less people. The last census indicated that only 16% of Americans live in rural areas. Also, they already have internet, they just don't have internet that is as fast for the price as in the city on average. You don't need fast internet to read a newspaper or Wikipedia article.

In order for rural people to get Fox News, it means they have basic cable or satellite TV. Fox News is only 1 television station. I know people who only watch Fox News. They *could* watch other news stations, they choose not to. Also most people in rural areas are willing to pay high prices for fast internet (and do). They *should* pay these high prices because it costs a lot of money to create good internet infrastructure, and they are choosing to live in areas without it.

Ideally fast internet in big cities should be an incentive to move to the city. Urbanization is one of the few positive forces in a world with an exponentially increasing population and CO2 emissions.

Re:Or... (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#43030127)

In order for rural people to get Fox News, it means they have basic cable or satellite TV.

Wrong. Before calbe and satalite, people had these things called television ``stations'' that broadcast over radio waves. Many are still in operation. Fox affiliate stations broadcast pretty much everywhere. With a 30 year old TV and a bent-up metal clothes hanger you can usually get pretty good reception on at least a couple Fox stations. CBS and NBC are pretty flaky, and PBS is there, but it sucks.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43030207)

And before cable there were fox affiliate stations that had news programs. This is different than "Fox News Channel", a cable channel, that was created in 1996 and I am pretty sure is what tibit was referring to.

Re:Or... (1)

Pseudonym Authority (1591027) | about a year ago | (#43030047)

Mostly so stuff like, you know, food, keeps flowing, ... mostly. It's hard to compete with Kraft when it takes 3 months to download the satellite data to plan out exactly where every grain of wheat falls.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43030233)

So internet to rural areas need to be subsidized to help them make more money? Why don't we just cut out the middle man and send them a check.

Re:Or... (1)

alen (225700) | about a year ago | (#43029605)

in the USA all the tiny hick towns make the carriers build them yarn museums and other crap in town as a sign of gratitude of being allowed to sell their services in the town

Re:Or... (2)

Bengie (1121981) | about a year ago | (#43029615)

Hooking up a farm is only 2-3x more expensive than hooking up an apartment in the middle of the city. Based on the case-studies and research for Minnesota, hooking up farms actually increases the net-income of the state more than the cost of connecting the farms.

In other words, the oppertunity cost of not trenching fiber to a farm 35mi out of the city is more than the cost of trenching it.

Funny how that works.

Re:Or... (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43029769)

Especially that in the rural areas you can really trench very quickly as there's almost no other infrastructure to deal with -- just soil and an occasional road, usually unpaved.

Re:Or... (1)

jjjhs (2009156) | about a year ago | (#43031623)

Trench? They have these newfangled things called utility poles, which I am sure are plentiful in sparsely populated areas in the U.S.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43029793)

So if the state would be making a lot of money by bringing internet to rural areas, that means the people living in these rural areas would save a lot of money by doing it themselves. The question is whether this money does more good in the hands of the residents of these towns or in the general fund of whichever level of government.

Re:Or... (1)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#43030655)

"that means the people living in these rural areas would save a lot of money by doing it themselves"

You are forgetting that the individual usually cannot make such a large upfront capital investment. So it is a good way for governments to invest in the PUBLIC interest and provide services the individual may not be able to provide for themselves.

Re:Or... (1)

TsuruchiBrian (2731979) | about a year ago | (#43031057)

I never said it was done by individuals. A group of individuals can form a cooperative and take on big projects like the ones described in the article.

The government itself is a cooperative formed by it's citizens. Ideally this cooperative would be working for the best interest of it's members, but as Bengie pointed out, this government cooperative would actually be profiting from it's members.

If this profit is significant enough, then it makes financial sense to form a cooperative and perform the work instead of having the government do it. Lets say the government was going to use this surplus of money to build a nice park in the town. If you want this money to be spent on the park, then everything is good. If you don't then your money is being spent on things you don't want.

It all boils down to whether you think you can spend your own money or whether a cooperative thinks they can spend their collective money better than a different cooperative consisting of a different set of people (the government).

Close but no cigar (0)

srussia (884021) | about a year ago | (#43031945)

Forming a private cooperative to build their own internet infrastructure seems like a perversion of the crony capitalist system that is the foundation of western society.

Ever hear of the Common Agricultural Policy? These "farmers" (0.5% of the UK population owns over 60% of the land) receive around â5 billion a year---just for owning "farmland"!

So should we all... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029259)

I suspect there are a lot of laws in the way in most cities/towns etc, but imo this is something that should be done even in urban areas. local intranets; the difficulty comes when one residence can supply an internet connection they paid $50/mo for to hundreds of people; which odds are the ISP forbids this in their contract... Still community forums, files, games could be used over community/street intranets and be quite enjoyable; ie: BBS days.

They better be careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029271)

I hear Monsanto has a patent on that

Re:They better be careful (0)

masternerdguy (2468142) | about a year ago | (#43029291)

Monsanto only goes after farmers who knowingly grew their seeds, and they determine that because the pesticide monanto's "roundup ready" seeds are engineered to be resistant to kills regular plants. You'd never apply it to your crop unless you either wanted to kill it or you knew it was the resistant strain. Do the research.

Re:They better be careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030063)

Monsanto only goes after farmers who knowingly grew their seeds, and they determine that because the pesticide monanto's "roundup ready" seeds are engineered to be resistant to kills regular plants. You'd never apply it to your crop unless you either wanted to kill it or you knew it was the resistant strain. Do the research.

How about YOU do the research? In my opinion, Monsanto is one of the very most evil companies around. Oh and perhaps you want to look into why GMO crops are banned in Russia and various other parts of the world. You see, they cause lots of health problems. No big surprise there, since handling poison (pesticide) is the major reason why crops are genetically engineered.

Re:They better be careful (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030679)

Nice try Monsanto's shill but we're not all stupid farmers around here: Monsanto vs Schmeiser [percyschmeiser.com].

Monsanto, headquartered in St.Louis, makes the popular herbicide Roundup. Farmers all over the Prairies ---Schmeiser among them --- spray it on their fields, whereupon it kills every-thing growing there. Then they plant.

Explain this: a farmer uses this traditional method and traditional seeds, at some point Monsanto's GMO seeds blow into his fields and get mixed in with his original seeds. He continues to farm the traditional way, and since he never sprays his crop after planting, how would he know he's using GMO seeds?!

Ask yourself this: Monsanto's business model is to charge farmers annually for the use of their seeds. But since seeds can travel easily to adjacent farms who never signed a contract with Monsanto, how can Monsanto ensure that they're not losing potential new customers because the seeds have naturally landed on their farms already? Answer: legal bullying.

Re: They better be careful (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029341)

Pay up or we will strike you till you get cut off

How many homes connected? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029277)

... please come back when (if?) they have the first 100 homes connected to Internet.

Being a provider is not an easy task in terms of investment and operations.

Re:How many homes connected? (1)

Dunbal (464142) | about a year ago | (#43029333)

Yeah wherever will a bunch of farmers get their hands on earth digging and moving equipment...

Re:How many homes connected? (1)

tibit (1762298) | about a year ago | (#43029789)

Umm what? To start with they can have an old beige box as the router, and secondhand media converters are cheap as well. They don't necessarily need gigabit haul, probably 100mbit stuff that's dirt cheap will do the trick. And nobody lays down a single-strand fiber cable!

It's a race (5, Insightful)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#43029293)

Who will be faster - the ditch diggers or the telecom lobbyists demanding the end to such community ditch digging?

Re:It's a race (1)

idontgno (624372) | about a year ago | (#43029321)

I would be curious what (probably bullshit) legal theory the telecom lobby would use?

Unless it's brown envelopes stuffed with banknotes. That I could easily imagine. But that just transfers the problem to the legislators being lobbied. what legal theory would those fine citizens use to advocate for this kind of restriction to community action?

Watching evil in action can be fascinating.

Re:It's a race (1)

crioca (1394491) | about a year ago | (#43029423)

I would be curious what (probably bullshit) legal theory the telecom lobby would use?

Probably on anti-competitiveness grounds -_-

Re:It's a race (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030499)

Their land, their wires, their business. They just take a tiny bit out and plug it into the closest Internet Provider and become a reseller. I don't see why Large Internet Provider (R) would complain if they don't have to lift a finger yet get some money out of it. Those "fuck you" prices they quote when asked about expanding into rural areas are just a way of saying "we really don't want to lift a finger", but they don't mind if other people do.

Re:It's a race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031065)

There is already a precedent in US: a town hall decided to install internet in their town since they got tired of waiting for commercial installation. They got all sorts of pressure from the industry and the project was killed. I think it was on Slashdot A few years back.

Re:It's a race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031309)

Do they qualify under safe harbor?

Re:It's a race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029329)

The telcos want to allow the project to be completed, or very nearly completed, before they move in and claim ownership of it for free.

Re:It's a race (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029545)

Who will be faster - the ditch diggers or the telecom lobbyists demanding the end to such community ditch digging?

You do realise this is a story about Britain, don't you? Maybe it's different where you're from but here BT really couldn't give a monkey's what farmers get up to in the places where they themselves can't be bothered to lay down decent lines. Nor do they "lobby" together with their competitors... on account of them not really having any when it comes to telephone infrastructure.

I might as well just give up hope of ever getting a story about the UK where the comments section isn't nearly-instantly filled with Americans who have very little idea of how things are different here and instead of asking questions - never mind insightful or thought-provoking ones - just post comments about how it would work in places that the story isn't referring to. Anything that is worth reading just ends up buried in a sea of irrelevances.

Re:It's a race (2)

LingNoi (1066278) | about a year ago | (#43031071)

Exactly! Queue the posts about how "slashdot is a US website and if you don't like it then leave".

Re:It's a race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031567)

>> Queue the posts

The word you are looking for is "cue".

Re:It's a race (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43032231)

Exactly! Queue the posts about how "this is a UK story and if you don't like it then leave".

FTFY

Re:It's a race (1)

paiute (550198) | about a year ago | (#43031299)

Who will be faster - the ditch diggers or the telecom lobbyists demanding the end to such community ditch digging?

You do realise this is a story about Britain, don't you?

Yes, we realize that in England BT is a 15 billion quid company with a heart of gold which would never hire a lobbyist but shows its displeasure with harrumphs and a brandished brolly and that there is always more gruel.

Lucky they're not in the USA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029311)

If they were in the USA, I'm sure the telecom companies would find a way to sue the everloving piss out of them. You simply don't infringe on their business, no matter how much sense it makes. It's them vs. you, and they have multiple orders of magnitude more money and lawyers to throw at the courts to make your life a living hell.

I wish them the best of luck (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029323)

Hopefully it won't turn out like it seems to in the US.
The rural areas aren't worth the big ISPs money to invest in the infrastructure. That said, the few times I have heard about small towns setting up their own local ISPs the big ISPs seemed to have no trouble finding all the money they needed to try to litigate the upstarts into the ground.

home groan (1)

Sir or Madman (2818071) | about a year ago | (#43029417)

Came here expecting net-enabled wheat stalks but at least I learned how to pronounce B4RN because that sure wasn't obvious.

Re:home groan (3, Funny)

rarumberger (2708801) | about a year ago | (#43029509)

Well, maybe they thought someone might pronounce it "be foreign", which would cause an instant negative response from American readers?

Re:home groan (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029657)

Naturally one would pronounce it "bforn", which presumably means something in Swedish.

B4RN; (1, Funny)

Vaxwerth (2847473) | about a year ago | (#43029461)

TH4T'5 'BARN' 4 TEH 1337 1LL1T3R4T3

Re:B4RN; (1)

epyT-R (613989) | about a year ago | (#43029683)

jØ0® 1 k®ÅÐ l3£+ hÅ×Ø® ÐØ0d.

Re:B4RN; (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030221)

Ø¢ ϻ℮αÏz ÏÊ‹á´Êz Ø¢ Ê...Ï­Ë...â„® ɠαÏzɠϛʈα ʈɧʋɠ á´Ê‹Ê...ʈʋг℮ αÏz∂ ϛآÏzÉ Ê...â„® ϻϭϻϛ ʬآʈɧ ϛآж ÑSαϛʈαг∂ Êzآ∂ϛ Ïгϭϻ ÏØ¢Ë...â„® ∂آÏÏ℮г℮Ïzʈ Ïαʈɧ℮гϛ ‹ϭÏzÊ...ѱ á´Ê‹á¶Z Ï­Ïzâ„® ÑSآгʈɧ ʬαϛ ʈʬآÏzϛ« αÏz∂ ɧآɠɧ á´Ð³Ø¢Ï»â„® гαʈ℮ϛ Ø¢Ïz αÏzѱ Ø¢ÏzÏz℮г á´Ø¢ÊˆÑ± αÏz∂ ʬ℮Ê...Ïαг℮ αÏz∂ Ïآ∂ɠآÏz âˆ'ÏzÉ Ê...آϛɧ αÏz∂ Ê...ϭʬ á¿(TM)ϱ Ï›á´Ï­Ð³â„®Ï› αÏz∂ ʬαʈ℮гϻ℮Ê...Ï­Ïz αÏz∂ Ïгآ℮∂ á´É§Ø¢á´Êzâ„®Ïz αÏz∂ ÏÊ‹Ïzá´ÊˆØ¢Ï­ÏzαÊ... Ø¢Ê...Ê...آʈ℮гαá´Ñ± αÏz∂ ʈɧ℮ ÑSгαÏz∂آÏzÉ  Ï­Ï Î±Ïzѱ ÑSÊ...αá´Êz Ï℮гϛϭÏz ʬɧϭ ʈгآ℮ϛ ʈϭ ɠ℮ʈ αɧ℮α∂ αϛ "αá´ÊˆØ¢ÏzÉ  ʬɧآʈ℮" ϭг "Ê‹Ïzá´Ê...â„® ʈϭϻ" αϛ ϻʋá´É§ αϛ αÏzѱÑSϭ∂ѱ••• ÑSʋʈ ʬ℮ ∂ϭÏz°ʈ Ïz℮℮∂ α ʬɧϭÊ...â„® Ï›Ïâ„®á´Ø¢Î±Ê... ϻϭÏzʈɧ ʈϭ Ï℮℮Ê... ɠϭϭ∂ αÑSϭʋʈ ʈɧαʈ• ʈɧ℮ѱ αг℮ ɠآÏʈϛ ʈɧαʈ Êzâ„®â„®Ï Ï­Ïz ɠآË...Ø¢ÏzÉ  ʈɧгϭʋɠɧϭʋʈ ʈɧ℮ ѱ℮αг•

Re:B4RN; (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029897)

You know 1337 5P34|< is passe when farmers in rural England start using it.

They're more American than Americans (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43029691)

There was a time when the same sort of thing would happen in the USA, but who in the USA today would dare run afoul of one of the literally thousands of Federal regulations that MIGHT apply to them?

The Federal government is so powerful that it's created a generation of Americans that sit frozen unable to solve problems for themselves out of fear that some distance authority will swoop in and punish them. There is nothing anymore that can be done without their permission.
Land of the free and home of the brave? Hardly.

I have a pretty radical socialist Czech friend living in the US that said that the problem with American politics is that it requires everyone agree. Every problem has to solved at the federal level and it prevents things from getting done.

When even a European socialist complains that the US central government is too powerful, you know there is a problem.

Re:They're more American than Americans (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031643)

There's still a few of us out there that embrace the American spirit that made our country. The problem is that we have to keep a low profile and stick to trusted circle of friends/family/associates to avoid being prosecuted for being innovative.

It was really screwed up when I had to redo a section of my roof and a city inspector came onto my property saying I needed either to pay for a permit or hire a contractor. The only thing that saved my ass is that I have a fenced in yard and driveway and a habit of leaving the gates closed. As it turns out opening the gate into someone's yard and walking onto their property without permission against the law. So the only "evidence" he had that I redid that section of roof without a permit or contractor was no longer valid in court.

Re:They're more American than Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031705)

Have you actually read the article?

The Comcasts of the world might not like it, but the idea of community-owned networks is gaining steam again: the non-profit Institute for Local Self-Reliance has tracked more than a hundred communities in the U.S. that are running publicly-owned broadband networks--35 of which, in ten states, offer 1-gigabit speeds.

The cable companies love to spread the illusion that nobody in the US would do this.
Don't believe their bullshit!

Re:They're more American than Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031757)

Also, BULLSHIT on the "teh gubbernment is too powerful" propaganda. You fuckin' neocunt (yeah, I'm not from the US, we don't censor ourselves, since we're not Catholibans) morons don't even realize, that you have no fuckin' idea what a government is, since you've never in your life been under one. EVER .

You have been under an industrial feudalism. And it is those very industrialists, that brainwashed you into wanting to destroy the last rest of actual (already powerless) government left. A institution, whose whole point it is, to defend the rights of the lower class (that is you!) against the upper class (that is the industrialists)!!
Because apparently, pesky things like laws "harm" OMGTEHFREEMARKET!. Especially things like not being able to keep the population in slavery, and outright murdering people on the streets for profit.

And that's what you defended right now. Your own damn fuckin' worst enemies!!

Which means, you are such a certifiable gigantic moron, that the world has never seen somebody, as fuckin' retarded as you!
Go ahead! Cheer for your own enslavement, you Neocunt Ameritard piece of shit!

Optic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030055)

wouldn't it be cheaper to setup multiple 802.11 b/g/n channels running 20-30km hops between nodes using dishes?

Like these guys [wafreenet.org]

Optic has some great benefits of wide bandwidth and less prone to environmental factors such as storms but it is very expensive and time consuming to dig and setup. Wifi nodes can literally take a few minutes to setup and test and are configured for multiple points of failure redundancy. And solar is very lucrative seeing as these areas are the farmlands where sun is abundant. Running this equipment away from the grid would be trivial at best.

Re:Optic? (4, Informative)

AHuxley (892839) | about a year ago | (#43030247)

Optical works in the snow, ice, storms and other UK conditions.
Placing a good antenna on a roof and then getting the aim to the next site is not cheap.
Placing a good antenna on a perfectly positioned roof may not be allowed due to historic building listing.
Placing a good antenna on a tower might need gov approval and the costs can then go up with expert advice and paperwork.
The new expensive tower might not even allow good 24/7 connections.
A wireless box in a field or wood might attract 'easy' theft, property damage or free data use.
Optical is the neat generational fix. You can always blow in new cable if needed.

Re:Optic? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030419)

Optical works in the snow, ice, storms and other UK conditions.

So does wifi.

Placing a good antenna on a roof and then getting the aim to the next site is not cheap.

Where did you hear this? Try netstumbler, laptop, pigtail, lmr400 and a baked beans can. 24dBi antennas are also dirt cheap anyways and are ideal for testing.

Placing a good antenna on a perfectly positioned roof may not be allowed due to historic building listing.

Are we still talking about B4RN here?

Placing a good antenna on a tower might need gov approval and the costs can then go up with expert advice and paperwork.

Chances are highly likely that there is a TV antenna tower at a majority of the farm sites anyways with all that extra goodness space to utilize.

The new expensive tower might not even allow good 24/7 connections.

This is true, but nothing is 24/7 and these towers are a fraction of the cost the optic run. All it takes is good planning and people who know what they are doing/talking about.

A wireless box in a field or wood might attract 'easy' theft, property damage or free data use.

Goodluck scaling an antenna tower where all of the cpe can be stored including the solar required to operate it. There is more chance of destruction/vandalism to the tower than someone wasting time to scale and quite possibly get caught doing so.

Optical is the neat generational fix. You can always blow in new cable if needed.

Yeah you could, for a massive cost. Wifi is ridiculously cheaper on every level. The ability to 'blow' in new AP's for wifi can be done on the roof of a car or in many cases, from the window driving by.

Re:Optic? (1)

aXis100 (690904) | about a year ago | (#43031675)

I used to be a member of the WAFreenet, and whilst we did a great job at low cost, the network had major issues.

Wifi is just not up to the job. The protocol cannot handle the timings and collition avoidance at outdoor scales, not to mention the fact that it was just plain unreliable. Oh and the channel space was completely saturated, plus you could only have 3 x 2.4GHz antennas co-located before you self-interfered. It's pretty hard to build a robust mesh this way.

Carrier grade wireless is far better and addresses many of these issues, but they are not cheap.

How did the fiber cross the road ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43030671)

Referring to:

sparing them the expense of tearing up roads

I'm just curious how they did this...

Re:How did the fiber cross the road ? (2)

Qzukk (229616) | about a year ago | (#43030987)

They just put one of those little rubber cable covers across it it to keep the cars from tripping as they drove over the fiber.

Old news (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43031537)

This was reported on in online media over a week ago. What the fuck.

This essentially happened before. (1)

anon208 (2410460) | about a year ago | (#43031847)

Farmers in the US ran a telegraph network over barbwire in the late 1800s or early 1900s (can't quite remember which). From The Information James Gleick

No SIX Strikes here... (1)

wolverine2k (2620741) | about a year ago | (#43032165)

Good. That definitely means there would be no SIX strikes in the home grown service. Now what if these were to spread across the world?
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