用户名: 密码: 验证码:    注册 | 忘记密码?
您的位置:主页 > 英语考试 > 考研英语 >


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

Rural broadband

Going underground

Frustrated country-dwellers build their own internetconnections

Hold on—I'll try you on 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.

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.”

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

1.expect to 期望
例句:You cannot expect to like all the people you willwork with.

2.pick up 捡起;拾起
例句:The economy remains deep in recession withfew signs of a pick-up.

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.

4.decide to 决定
例句:A dentist may decide to extract the tooth to prevent recurrent trouble.

手机上普特 m.putclub.com 手机上普特
发表评论 查看所有评论
用户名: 密码: 验证码:
  • 推荐文章
  • 资料下载
  • 讲座录音