This story is about farmers digging their own holes for their own cables, and agreeing between each other that they can run cables over each others’ land. And that everyone who signs up for the isp has to pay money but also volunteer time.
I found it. The term for it is “local-loop unbundling.”
The UK has a law making it mandatory for BT to let local services hook up at a fair rate, the same rate everyone else is paying. That gives consumers a lot of choice for whoever provides their local service, and also creates competition to drive prices down.
In the US there was an attempt to do something similar, but it was so hamstrung by courts and the FCC such that making an ISP that way is effectively impossible. This is why Jared from my TotD needs to form all kinds of relationships with backbone providers and other ISPs to get bandwidth. If the US had properly regulated this, Jared would probably have had several ISPs to choose from, or at least been able to just hook up to the national telco in a standard way, saving a great deal of the work.
Okay I get it. It makes sense, as the UK has regulation like this in all kinds of areas. For example, Network Rail owns and operates all the train tracks in the country, and have to allow any train operator access to those tracks at the same rate. Like the rural ISP projects in that article, Network Rail is itself a “public sector body” meaning it’s a for-profit company that doesn’t pay out to shareholders. It only makes money to invest in itself.
Took me a while to find out how it differs from magic wormhole.
magic-wormhole has most everything (currently its missing capabilities for multiple file transfers and file resuming), but it requires installing lots of the Python ecosystem which is tricky for non-developers (and Windows users).
And I’d never heard of toss before. Going by the readme, it’s not as slick as these two.