From Mark O'Leary, Manchester Computing, UK
Tuesday, April 23, 2002

Good to see a community effort to get broadband to this area: I'd love to keep my car of the road some days and work from home.

I've read that BT committed to upgrading the local exchange anywhere where 250 potential customers were ready to adopt the service. Is such a number achievable?

However, there is an alternative: a number of communities (mostly USA, who are about a year or so ahead on this) have collaborated to create broadband wireless networks covering their local area with a single leased line uplink. The RCA is likely to relax the laws preventing charging for wireless networking here in the UK within the next couple of months (if not, BTs announced plans for wireless hotspots by next year would be illegal!), so the possibility exists of a not-for-profit company to provide access for subscribers. The Bath-based community LAN estimates it can offer full services at 7% of the equivalent commercial costs to the user. Of course, the benefits of a ubiquitous local network are more than purely financial...

See WirelessCommunities for examples.

If anyone seriously considers taking such a proposal forward, I'd be happy to contribute.ute.