An anonymous reader writes from a BBC article: “I’m just a farmer’s wife,” says Christine Conder, modestly. But for 2,300 members of the rural communities of Lancashire she is also a revolutionary internet pioneer. Her DIY solution to a neighbour’s internet connectivity problems in 2009 has evolved into B4RN, an internet service provider offering fast one gigabit per second broadband speeds to the parishes which nestle in the picturesque Lune Valley. That is 35 times faster than the 28.9 Mbps average UK speed internet connection according to Ofcom. It all began when the trees which separated Chris’s neighbouring farm from its nearest wireless mast — their only connection to the internet, provided by Lancaster University — grew too tall. Something more robust was required, and no alternatives were available in the area, so Chris decided to take matters into her own hands. She purchased a kilometre of fibre-optic cable and commandeered her farm tractor to dig a trench. After lighting the cable, the two farms were connected, with hers feeding the one behind the trees. “We dug it ourselves and we lit [the cable] ourselves and we proved that ordinary people could do it,” she says. “It wasn’t rocket science. It was three days of hard work.”
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