While Lancashire resident Christine Conder claims herself to be “just a farmer’s wife”, she is the pioneer of a revolutionary internet service that is catering to the needs of 2,300 members of the rural community.
Upset with the poor internet speed in the connection provided by Lancaster University, Conder wanted to do something to change the situation. Starting from scratch in 2009, she laid an internet connection that offered speeds of up to 1Gbps, 35 times faster than the average speed of 28.9 Mbps in the UK.
Conder succeeded in her effort of starting her service B4RN after three long days of laying the fibre optic cables and digging trenches on her farm with a tractor.
Her connection has now drawn the attention of almost every member of the local parishes, and they have subscribed to this by paying 30 British Pounds every month. The B4RN fibre-optic connection today runs for 3,218 km and has work lined up for the next ten years.
Thousands of rural farmers are supporting this project and even volunteering to take this on a larger scale, after ditching their slow dial-up connections for this cheap, high-speed connection. The network works by ploughing through agricultural land and houses the fibre-optic cable.
At many places, permission of authorities is taken to lay the connection under roads, bridges and other public infrastructure of Britain.
The immensely popular service in northern Britain has earned Conder a recognition by the Queen, and she was awarded an MBE (Excellent Order of the British Empire) in 2015.
Conder says that it is finding solutions to every problem is what motivates her to do things on her own. It is not always necessary to have the help of government to build up such community initiatives.