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Do It Yourself

This is not to be confused with the outsourcing method. Similar to outsourcing, the community will own the network they built, but unlike outsourcing, the community literally does almost all of the work themselves. That means designing the network, digging a lot of trenches, buying and laying conduit, filling conduit with fiber and even the technical job of fusion splicing fiber. The community can also be its own Internet Service Provider, running the central office and collecting monthly payments from customers.

This sounds like a lot of vounteer work, and it is, but it is entirely doable with a committed core group of people. The Michaelston-y-Fedw case study shows how a modest rural community of 200 people in Wales, UK banded together to form their own non-profit company staffed with volunteers. It took them 10 months from inception to having their first customer lit and they had to work through regulatory, government subsidy, and company formation issues in addition to all the technical and construction work.

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