In the wake of a rural broadband conference in the UK last week, this video of a fibre dig by a bunch of farmers is very interesting. If memory serves correctly, it's not the first time that the video circulates, but now it has a talking track (and some hillbilly banjo for effect) which makes it a lot more instructional.
The great virtue of this video is to demonstrate the relative ease of a rural dig. It does raise a number of questions that I would have liked to see answered like:
- How much did it cost to do it in terms of renting the machines, manpower and materials (fiber, FTU, CPE, etc.)
- Where does the fiber go to on the other end and what service is available there ?
- In order for this to be replicable, you need serious backhaul into rural locations. Does that exist and if not how is it replicable ?
I really like the idea of communities, or even individuals taking matters into their own hands when larger private (or even public) players won't deliver the services they need, but I tend to believe that there's a critical mass below which these things might become impossible to replicate. I'd love to be proven wrong on that one!
I suspect that author of the video reads me, so I'd really like to engage in that debate here in the comments and have other readers chip in. @cyberdoyle, the floor is yours!