UK farmer builds his own signal mast to overcome 1 Mbps rural internet speeds

By midian182 · 22 replies
Aug 18, 2015
Post New Reply
  1. A UK farmer who spent years having to endure an “unbearably” slow internet connection has decided to take action by building his very own 4G signal mast.

    Richard Guy from Salisbury, Wiltshire, discovered that his smartphone’s 4G signal was producing a significantly faster internet connection speed than his 1 Mbps home broadband. So the 60-year-old farmer, who has worked in I.T. since the eighties, began looking at ways to direct the wireless signal straight into his remote farmhouse.

    Guy decided that the best course of action was to construct his own signal mast and connect it to his home through a fibre optic cable. He fitted a 4G adaptor, powered by a 12-volt battery, to the wooden mast and sealed both devices inside waterproof toolboxes for protection. In order to keep the battery topped up, Guy attached two small solar panels to wooden mounting boards.

    After finding the strongest local 4G signal on some farmland just over half a mile away from his house, Guy planted his home-made mast and connected it to his residence using the relatively cheap fibre optic cable. The result was a “perfect” internet connection speed of 69 Mbps.

    Speaking about his previous slow broadband speeds, Guy said: “It's a big problem for people in rural areas. The Government told us that the Olympics would bring fast broadband to everyone in Britain. Well, the Olympics were some time ago now. The world assumes that everyone is online, but the 5 per cent who can't connect are just dismissed. So I decided to take matters into my own hands. We only had a 1 Mbps speed, which means everything is far too slow. Now I run at 69 Mbps, it runs everything perfectly.”

    69 Mbps is an impressive speed in a country where the national average is around 25 Mbps. The project has been so successful, Guy and his wife, Gilly, have now set up their own company called Agri-broadband, which looks at ways of applying his solution to some of Britain’s most rural homes.

    “I just love seeing the expression on someone's face when you show them it's possible that they, having been left out in the middle of nowhere, can get serious broadband. But I turn up in a dirty Range Rover and this old geezer gets out and people think 'he's not going to solve this'. I think they're expecting some young techie, but then it works and they're amazed.”

    Guy said Agri-broadband’s next customer will have a specialist trench dug on his farm in order to improve his 0.4 Mbps connection, adding: “He's trying to run a business on that, so he's delighted.”

    For more details on Guy's do-it-yourself high speed internet, check out the video below.

    Image credit: Kevin Eaves / Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,959   +217

  3. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,266   +436

    Lol another great story out of the UK. Well done old man!!
    ETF Soldier likes this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    "Old man?" What knowledge some youngsters are struggling to absorb regarding networking that "old man" has forgotten. Through age, wisdom. Remember he was an IT chap so today's tech is not lost on him, it's just an evolution of what went before.
    cliffordcooley and ETF Soldier like this.
  5. misor

    misor TS Evangelist Posts: 1,285   +242

    A farmer who worked for in I.t. in the 1980s... did the actual james bond retire in the british countryside? ;)
  6. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 356   +203

    In US Comcast or other local monopoly would accuse Him of terrorism, witchcraft or other bullsh*t. Like this guy the other news that had fiber quarter mile from home but they wanted to charge him $385K.
  7. VitalyT

    VitalyT Russ-Puss Posts: 3,664   +1,949

  8. No no...he's right, a mast is a really really large/high pole. What's pictured is more of a long stick. :p
    Per Hansson likes this.
  9. Lionvibez

    Lionvibez TS Evangelist Posts: 1,266   +436

    lol relax I didn't say he was old and useless just stating the facts he is 60+ and considered a senior.

    And yes he used his knowledge and experience to achieve this goal and he should be commended for it.
    Skidmarksdeluxe likes this.
  10. Per Hansson

    Per Hansson TS Server Guru Posts: 1,959   +217

    You try sailing the seven seas with that stick and then come back to me with how well it worked :D
    Lionvibez likes this.
  11. Cycloid Torus

    Cycloid Torus Stone age computing. Posts: 3,019   +661

    Totally righteous!

    Wonderful application of cottage tools and high technology. Can be applied over a huge amount of underserved geography.

  12. Puiu

    Puiu TS Evangelist Posts: 2,665   +1,097

    Forget about the countryside, when are they going to provide good internet in the capital city? You know.. that little old city called London.
    Bubbajim likes this.
  13. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,727   +3,700

    Have the people of London call him. He might be happy to get out of the mud for awhile.
  14. Arris

    Arris TS Evangelist Posts: 4,730   +379

    A farmer who has worked in IT since the 80s? Not really a "real" farmer. But "farmer" makes it sound more amazing achievement. More likely he's someone who has retired to an old 'croft' to play with animals in retirement.
  15. Peter Farkas

    Peter Farkas TS Addict Posts: 272   +88

  16. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    James Bond never existed, he was just a figment of Ian Fleming's imagination just like Sherlock Holmes was a figment of Arthur Conan Doyle's imagination.
    It's strange how a lot of people believe they were actual, non fictional characters when in actual fact they were very fictitious.
    Some people still believe the Loch Ness Monster (Nessie) exists as well and that the earth is flat and the sun revolves around it.
    They do make for great stories though.
  17. Mark Needham

    Mark Needham TS Rookie

    Glad you didn't go on to mention Santa!
  18. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,274

    I couldn't, he's real. :D
  19. domyz

    domyz TS Booster Posts: 28   +31

    But he still need to suscribe to a 4g provider right? With like 3 or 4GB per month of maximum bandwidth right?
  20. noel24

    noel24 TS Evangelist Posts: 356   +203

    Yeah, but if He resist installing Win 10 and use it just for web browsing, like He said, He may get away with few dozen quid bill.
  21. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,872   +1,291

    Wow, 1mbs in the country? Send me some of that "unbearably" slow internet. Here in the mid-south US, if you're more than 3 miles outside a municipality your chances of ANY kind of broadband are slim to none. Wireless and satellite are no answer because their absurdly expensive, high-speed coverage is spotty and the data caps are a joke. Seriously, AT&T thinks that 15 gb/month is all that a *family* would ever need..and if you're stuck with 3G like I am they'll cut your speed by 90% once you've used 3gb of that 15gb you paid $100/mth for (plus $25 per device on your plan). Also, fiber is kept artificially expensive and constrained..if you don't live in a city of 100,000 or more its typically not even available. Fiber, which as well all know is just a high-grade plastic, costs as much as copper cabling to install despite the material cost being 1/8th that of copper. Cable theft is an epidemic in rural America because copper is easily recycled and the price is high right now. The telecoms could just replace all that copper with fiber and, ta-da, thievery problem solved! But that would require adding a good number of repeaters and since there is NO investment whatsoever in the rural telecom infrastructure it will never happen. Outside the cities most of the phone system hasn't been upgraded in almost 30 years. Our biggest phone company, Verizon, actually sold their landline businesses in many states six to eight years ago before the copper theft was a major problem. *That's* how greedy these people are. Steady money wasn't good enough - they only want the *obscene* profits from gouging wireless customers. And the industry spends tens (and possibly hundreds) of millions every year buying influence to make sure they can keep right on doing it.
  22. Saint613

    Saint613 TS Rookie

    Sir William Samuel Stephenson, Kt, CC, MC, DFC (23 January 1897 – 31 January 1989) was a Canadian soldier, airman, businessman, inventor, spymaster, and the senior representative of British intelligence for the entire western hemisphere during World War II. He is best known by his wartime intelligence codename Intrepid. Many people consider him to be one of the real-life inspirations for James Bond.[2] Ian Fleming himself once wrote, "James Bond is a highly romanticized version of a true spy. The real thing is ... William Stephenson
  23. psycros

    psycros TS Evangelist Posts: 1,872   +1,291

    Also, the number of households in the US that have no access to legitimate broadband service is between 17 and 21%. That means no cable TV, either. As a consequence satellite is quite common despite the often high cost of installation and being forced to sign a two year contract.

Similar Topics

Add your comment to this article

You need to be a member to leave a comment. Join thousands of tech enthusiasts and participate.
TechSpot Account You may also...