Small village puts big broadband companies to shame - BT

A small community village has shamed big broadband companies and shown that high speed internet is possible in their areas.

Residents of Lyddington raised £37,000 to offer 200 homes the super-fast 40Mbps  broadband that BT could not deliver, and other companies shunned claiming it was not financially sound.

Instead the community paired up with Rutland Telecom and a local ICT firm that was reselling BT's broadband. They asked BT's spin of company BT Open Reach to supply thr fibre optic pipes before doing the rest themselves.

A representative for Rutland Telecom told TechEye: "The village didn't have high speed broadband as no-one has to ensure small villages like this must have it. It's up to big companies such as BT, Virgin and AOL to decide if it's commercially viable and because of that villages have been left out.

"Eleven people contributed to this project by investing in technology such as fibre optic cables and we worked with them to implement the service, which everyone in the village now benefits from.

"They will be paid a 10 percent gross return for three years after which their investment will be fully refunded."

Although this story had a happy ending, many others are struggling to get a decent amount of broadband. In fact it is estimated that around 2.5 million homes in the UK cannot get broadband speeds of more than 2Mbps.

Michael Philips, director of Broadband Choices admitted this was a problem. He told TechEye: "This project should be welcomed as a development as it feels like the roll out of LLU has hit the buffers.

"Big companies cover 70 percent of the population and then stop because it's allegedly not commercially viable."

We put this to BT who fobbed us off with a statement reading: "This is a positive development as, to date, BT has been alone in investing in rural areas. This isn't ideal if fibre broadband is to be widely available in as short a time frame as possible.

"We are delighted to help Rutland Telecom reach the homes in the village and we wish them success with their programme. We hope they will offer open access to their network, in the way BT does, as otherwise there is the risk of a local monopoly developing which is never good for consumers."

There's an excellent pub in Lyddington, according to one of TechEye's writers. We think it's the White Hart.