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2015-09-09    来源:新东方    【      托福雅思口语高分过

Rural broadband
乡村宽带

Going underground
埋入地下


Frustrated country-dwellers build their own internetconnections
无奈的乡下居民自行建立网络连接

Hold on—I'll try you on Skype
别挂,我再试试Skype

FUSION splicing is a technique network engineers use to string together optical fibres. It isnot a skill that Christine Conder, a 60-year-old farmer's wife, ever expected to learn. But withborrowed tools and a little training most people can pick up the basics. “It's only like knitting,”she says.
熔接是网络工程师用来把光纤接在一起的一门技术。年届60的农家妇克里斯汀娜•康德从没想到自己将会学习这门技术。但只要借来了工具,稍微培训一下,大多数人都能掌握基本要领。康德说:“这就像编织活儿一样。”

For years Mrs Conder and her neighbours in the Lune Valley, in rural Lancashire, waited fortelecoms firms to upgrade their sluggish internet connections. In 2011 they decided to do itfor themselves. Their organisation, called Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN), has soldshares worth more than £1m ($1.7m) to buy ducts and cables for volunteers to install.Because younger residents are commonly busy with jobs and families, local pensioners havedone much of the digging, says Mrs Conder: “Some are getting sixpacks for the first time inyears.”
康德夫人和她同住在兰开夏郡乡村半月谷的邻居们等待电信公司来升级他们龟速的网络连接已经多年了。2011年他们决心自己动手。他们组建的名为北方农村宽带(B4RN)组织已卖出价值超过一百万英镑(一百七十万美元)的股票来购买管道和电缆来供志愿者们安装。康德夫人说,由于年轻的居民通常都忙于工作和家庭,所以当地退休者承担了大部分挖掘的工作。“有些人因此都头一次练出了腹肌。”

Enthusiasts say that locally owned networks such as B4RN—also known as “altnets”—couldeventually connect many thousands of rural communities. Going it alone looks particularlytempting to the unlucky 5-10% of Britons who are probably too far-flung to benefit from themore than £1 billion in subsidies that the government is giving BT, the former state telecomsmonopoly, to extend its high-speed network outside Britain's towns. And whereas BT hasfocused on cranking up the speeds it delivers through existing copper telephone wires, mostaltnets are plugging houses directly into optical cables that can provide some of the fastestconnections in the world.
热衷者说像B4RN这样的地方所有网络(也被称为altnets,自选网络)最终将会连接成千上万的农村社区。自己动手对于不走运的5—10%的英国人来说很有吸引力。政府为前国家电信垄断公司BT在英国城镇外延伸高速网络提供超过1亿英镑的补助,而这部分英国人住得也许太过偏远以至于不能从中受益。鉴于BT工作重心在于在已有的网线上提速,大多数的altnets都直接将宽带牵入房屋,为他们提供世界上最快速的网络连接之一。

To grow beyond a mere curiosity, though, Britain's altnets need more help. B4RN is a case inpoint. In two years its volunteers have laid 200km of cable, and wired up around 400 homes,without any taxpayer money. But to shore up the network they must now dig their cableunder the River Lune. Until they raise more cash to dig a tunnel—perhaps as much as £50,000—that project is stalled.
然而要继续发展证明不是一时兴起,英国altnets需要更多帮助。B4RN就是一个恰当的例子。没花纳税人一分钱,志愿者在两年内铺设了200千米的电缆,约400家已联通。但想要支撑整个网络。他们现在还需要在半月河河床下铺设电缆。在他们筹备到足够的钱——也许多达5万英镑——来挖隧道之前,这个工程将停滞不前。

Politicians are supportive, in principle. Last year the coalition government found £20m to helplocal initiatives solve just such problems. A lot of it went unspent. That is because many of thelocal authorities responsible for overseeing the rural roll-out have yet to confirm for certainwhich farms and villages will be left out of BT's state-subsidised work. Until they do, evenmiserly grants are suspended, for fear that some spots will end up with a double dose ofpublic funds.
政治家们在原则上是支持的。去年联合政府设立了两千万英镑的基金来提高地方积极性以解决类似的问题。大量基金都还没有被使用,因为很多监督农村转出的地方机构还没完全确定哪些农场和乡村不在BT政府补贴工作网内。在这之前,因恐怕一些地区将会得到双份公共资金,即便是小额支出也被暂停了。

MPs are livid. In early April politicians on the public accounts committee urged the governmentto make sure coverage plans are available for every postcode. BT has argued that it is stillsurveying some areas, and that publishing the most comprehensive forecasts would reveal itsmethods to rivals. Critics say its vagueness is designed to frustrate initiatives that threatenits incumbency. Lately it has grown more forthcoming. But local authorities are also hesitant tolet on who will and who will not be included in the roll-out, at least while the details may change.
国会议员很愤怒。四月初,政府账目委员会的政客们呼吁政府确认联网计划能覆盖到每个地区。BT争辩道他们还在调查某些区域,公布最全面的预测会把他们的方法泄露给竞争对手。评论家说BT的含糊其辞是设计好用来打击地方积极性的,因为它们威胁到了BT的工作任务。最近预测变得更到位了,但地方机构也在犹豫要不要透露每个地区是否包含在转出范围内,毕竟有些细节变化会影响整个工作。

Mrs Conder says that B4RN will cross the river “no matter what it takes”. But thieves who madeoff with £14,000 of kit in December pinched a little of its confidence. Local bigwigs have notalways helped—rail bosses have refused B4RN permission to lay fibre over a bridge they own.
康德夫人说B4RN“无论如何”都将过河。但12月份一伙携价值14,000英镑设备潜逃的窃贼使这个保证受到了些许打击。地方权贵也并不一定提供帮助——铁老大们拒绝许可B4RN铺设的电缆跨越他们拥有的一架桥。

Her own connection, at least, will soon be up and running. Broadband firms would charge manythousands of pounds to bring ultra-fast internet to the farm; B4RN customers pay £150 toplug in. It has cost her much more in time and energy.
至少她自己的网络连接很快就要开始正常使用了。宽带公司将收取成千上万英镑将极速网络引入农场来。而B4RN的顾客只需付费150英镑来联网。她花费更多的是时间和精力。

1.expect to 期望
例句:You cannot expect to like all the people you willwork with.
不要指望你会喜欢所有和你共事的人。

2.pick up 捡起;拾起
例句:The economy remains deep in recession withfew signs of a pick-up.
经济仍深陷衰退之中,几乎没有好转的迹象。

3.wait for 等待;等候
例句:Do not wait for good things to happen to you. You need to walk towards happiness.
不要等待好事降临,你要向幸福进发。

4.decide to 决定
例句:A dentist may decide to extract the tooth to prevent recurrent trouble.
牙医可能会决定拔掉那颗牙,以免反复发作。



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