We’ve all probably heard a few stories about people building their own internet networks in response to the failings of Internet Service Providers (ISPs), such as the example of farmers in Lancaster who built a 1 gigabit internet network after BT told them it would cost £10K to hook each home up individually. Now a new story has emerged from Löwenstedt in Germany where residents of a fairly small village have built their own fibre optic broadband network after the major ISPs simply couldn’t provide any reasonable internet service. The residents created the BBNG group, or Citizens Broadband Networking Company, to collect the funds necessary to build the fibre optic network. The five person company managed to raise more than €2.5 million by requiring a minimum €1000 contribution from each of the shareholders to the project, currently they have 925. 94% of households in Löwenstedt pledged to sign up for the project before it was even built, an impressive community spirit. The network was a built at a cost of €800,000 in March 2014 and the residents now receive interest by leasing it to German internet supplier TNG.
This case is apparently not uncommon in Germany where only 18% of the population have access to internet with speeds greater than 10 megabits per second according to consultancy firm Akamai. The lack of reliable and fast internet across many parts of rural and semi-rural Germany is all the more surprising considering the pledge by the German government to deliver at least 50 megabits per second internet networks to the majority of the population by 2018. Other villages in the same region have been trying to follow the success of Löwenstedt but have apparently found it difficult to achieve.
Source: The Local (de)
Image courtesy of Shz.de