Friday, 17 September 2010
There are days when I wonder why we do this sh*t (sorry Dad). Why do we fight people on £70k (min) salaries to explain why we need to connect a farm in the middle of nowhere when that guy with PAYE and pension sorted can't even begin to understand our problems here at ground level?
This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
Today is one of those days when I remember why. See that image there? We hit front page BBC News and we knew it had gone global as soon as we hit #5 most read stories. I say 'we' with the utmost confidence in the fact I was involved in this to some extent. All I wanted to do was shift a few mole ploughs around the country and redo the Google car park dig in Cumbria this weekend, in a field to show how rural fibre digs work (ta, Google, for t'idea) - nothing major, and it will still happen but....
Luckily, there are others around me who can think out of the box more than me and @cyberdoyle is entirely responsible for making an event happen for Rory Stewart's event that puts every sponsor, speaker, quango, minister, knowledge network, etc etc into the shade.
Yep, the pigeons won. IP over avian carrier, get on!!
So, you, oh incumbent with your big pots of shareholder cash and investment....you, oh regulator, who can't see what is coming nor regulate 3 or 4 years behind the real world....you, the gobby consultants creaming money off the half empty pot we have to invest in this country in a recession............where were ANY OF YOU TODAY???
Today, a small ISP with a big conscience and huge imagination (Timico Tref), a farmer's wife (@cyberdoyle Chris), and a company with a CIC conscience who has already(I think?) dug in more fibre to homes than BT (Spurn Point, Great Ashby, and more 'in the digging' right now - Fibrestream Guy) did something that our Government, ministers, quangos, incumbent etc can't - they broke the mould and proved what can be done and, most importantly, highlighted in PLAIN ENGLISH what is wrong in this country with broadband so every single person, worldwide, could GET IT.
As you brush your suit off for the autumn round of conferences, or for your next high powered meeting with investors, please think very hard about what YOU ARE DOING to bring the issue to Joe Public and connect the people who really matter.
I am bloody proud to know these people. I was especially proud to be sitting in a small rural hotel in Penrith, Cumbria, with Dave Isenberg as this story went mainstream. (Actually, having seen who he emailed, p'raps DaveI is partially responsible!)
And if you don't know these folks...then think very carefully before ringing them up tomorrow or the next day. What are you doing to progress this country if you take up all their time with demands for help for your overpaid consultancy proof of concept etc?
The reality is that we need fibre. It is nigh on 10 years since I first threatened to sing "Come on baby light my fibre" at the BSG conference in Birmingham and it is now time to actually JFDI to the people who keep this country going - the small ISPs, the social enterprises, the farmers, and the SMEs in rural areas.
Stop talking and get on with it guys and gals. If you need help, then the toolkit aka CAN in a Box (Community Access Network) is already here, online. On Twitter, on Youtube, in the forums, comments on blogs, and on community websites and in the #big society that has existed in this country for generations.
Stop quangos, regulators, incumbents, RDAs, councils wasting money on broadband. This "stunt" today would have cost several million if it was for the Olympics when the reality is it took some imagination, fuel, goodwill and a couple of journos who know a good story when they see one. We can connect this country in a similar way. We do not need over-paid folks ticking boxes, we need to Just F***ing Do It.
Well done to the pigeons, Tref, Guy and Chris.