UK village builds own fibre to the home

A small village in the UK has defied the lack of support from big broadband companies for rural areas by building its own fibre to the home (FTTH) network.

Residents of the nearly 60 homes and three businesses in Ashby de la Launde in Lincolnshire have begun building the FTTH network which will deliver speeds of up to 100Mb/s in the region.

The project is privately funded and will be community owned, with support from a number of companies, including community interest firm NextGenUs UK CIC and AFL Telecommunications, a subsidiary of Japanese firm Fujikura.

“NextGenUs UK CIC is a founder member and supporter of a campaign to encourage government to improve the delivery of broadband services to rural areas,” said Guy Jarvis, CEO of NextGenUs UK CIC. 

The campaign, called Final Third First, hopes to bring high-speed broadband to the the more than 30 percent of the UK that will not receive coverage as part of the UK’s roll-out of fibre-optic broadband, mostly in rural areas.

“We see the benefits of high-speed internet in every aspect of our modern lives and it has arguably become the fourth utility,” said Jarvis. “Unlike urban areas, which represent a commercially viable investment to large telecommunications companies, the rural communities in ‘NotSpot’ and ‘SlowSpot’ areas with fewer subscribers won’t receive the same level of investment.”

This will not be so for Ashby de la Launde, however, which joins a growing list of small villages going it alone in the face of a lack of support from the big telecommunication companies. In April the people of Lyddington raised £37,000 to install lines that would deliver 40Mb/s broadband to the area after BT and other companies shunned the region, saying it was not financially viable.

The project in Ashby de la Launde is fully underway and should be completed by the end of September.