After several leading telecom players failed to bring high-speed broadband to UK villages due to profitability issues, residents of Lyddington, Rutland, have decided to take matters into their own hands by raising almost £37,000 in order to form Rutland Telecom, which will offer villagers fibre optic broadband with speeds up to 40 Mbps.
The villagers decided to jump the digital divide after repetitive requests to telecoms like BT and Virgin failed to ignite their interest in offering fast internet access to the villagers.
The money required to float the broadband plans was raised by 11 local businessmen who dished out £3000 each in order to form Rutland Telecom which plans to charge £30 per month for the purpose of recovering the investment and maintaining the connections.
Commenting on the issue at hand, Dr David Lewis, managing director, Rutland Telecom, told the Telegraph that “We have now received approaches from many areas around the UK following our success in Lyddington and we are progressing the deployment of more street cabinets in Wales, Yorkshire and Leicestershire using private finance models.”
According to a recent survey, one in four Britons did not have an adequate internet connection, which was clearly an impediment to small businesses, schools and other institutions.
If Rutland's example is copied across the UK, it will spread high speed broadband much faster than if the government tries to strong arm the telecommunications industry to do so. It will be interesting to find out whether this will force the ISPs to do the right thing.