Last week I attended a tweetup in London bringing together people interested in fiber-to-the-home as a community enterprise. There's lots of background reading to catch up on as I've been out of the community-networking loop for a while - back in the early days of broadband roll-out I was one of those disenfranchised rural dwellers who built their own village wireless access network to escape dial-up pain.
Anyway, it seems that times have moved on and the argument for fast Internet access has been widely accepted. What hasn't changed it seems is that rural areas aren't on the priority list for either of Britain's telecoms companies to offer their services, instead they seem to be playing their usual tit-for-tat battles in the well-trodden urban areas.
Technology has stepped up a gear and the wireless alternative network technologies of old just don't seem to cut it anymore - fiber-to-the-home has also been accepted as the ultimate goal for real future-proof net access.
As someone who has worked for many years in the telecoms and networking industry I have some experience in this area and I hope to use this blog to share this with anyone embarking on a community network project. I also hope to get some feedback on these matters - rarely is there a simple right or wrong way to design or build a network and I'm keen to learn about practical experience that has been gained by those projects that are now underway.