English aristocrat blocks broadband plan, villagers fight back

English aristocrat blocks broadband plan, villagers fight back

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Devon at its best.
Devon at its best.
Image: nick macneill

Nothing exudes the countryside flair of good ol’ England like this tale of a village rising up against its master. More or less. 

Once upon a time there was a wealthy nobleman, the 5th Earl of Iddesleigh, who owned (and still owns) about 2,500 acres at Upton Pyne, in Devon. 

The villagers really wanted to (finally) get superfast carrier pigeons broadband but the aristocrat landowner, who terribly cares about his “unspoilt” valley, refused to allow fibre cables. 

BT, which breeds the pigeons provides the internet connection, said it was “disappointed that it currently not viable to provide superfast fibre broadband for the village.” 

Upton Pyne, home to about 300 souls, has had broadband speeds of just about 2MB, which is nothing compared to the national average of 29MB. 

The lord’s valet spokesman said he wasn’t against broadband in principle but would prefer the cables to be buried underground instead of having ugly telegraph poles ruining the valley. 

Meanwhile, the lord’s “subjects” are up in arms. 

“We’ve got the cabinet here and we’ve got the fibre optic cable on the poles,” one told the BBC. “There’s one gap of four poles, that’s all we need to sew it up.”

To be continued…

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