The myth is that we all inhabit a world of high speed broadband connectivity. In reality that is far from true. The reality for many people on the planet who have access to the internet is that they still using dial up; and the connectivity is slow, unreliable and often breaks down. In a special edition of Click, Gareth Mitchell and Bill Thompson travel to the north of England to hear about how life and work is hampered by poor connectivity. Fed up with the reluctance of the big telecom companies to come to their aid, some remote, rural communities are taking matters into their own hands, digging ditches and laying fibre-optic cables. Click reports on the B4RN community-based initiative for high speed connectivity which is spreading throughout rural parts of the UK. The programme also hears from Ushahidi’s Juliana Rotich in Nairobi about the progress of BRCK, a scheme to build a device to bring wireless internet access to people in remote areas that has been described as a backup generator for the internet.
(Photo credit: John Hamlett, one of the volunteers instrumental in mobilising B4RN in the village of Gressingham ©Bill Thompson)