131 B4YS Properties Connected

It’s with great pleasure that we can bring a B4YS update, which includes the amazing news that 131 properties in the B4YS area are now enjoying 1,000 Mbps B4RN fibre!

In the Yealands, committed volunteers have been making short work of connecting the final properties across the villages, whilst in Silverdale & Storth progress is being made ready for digging to begin soon.Here’s a detailed update for each area:

Yealands

From Mike Macklin:

The band of hardy volunteers have managed to keep the project rolling along throughout the winter, despite the bad weather.

We have now connected 131 properties to the network, in the Yealands.

Most of the core ducting is now installed, with just a short section in the ‘Creep a Crawl’ woods to be completed. We are planning to do this work in the next two to three weeks. We will then ‘blow’ the fibre optic cables from the Village Hall through to Yealand Storrs and onwards to Brackenthwaite. This will enable us to connect the properties in these areas to the network.

There are still a small number of individual property connections to made in both Redmayne and Storrs. These are ‘on-going’ and will be completed as soon as possible. Sorry for the delay.

We are also waiting for three road crossings to be completed by our contractor. These are at the ‘triangle’ in Redmayne – the main road in Storrs and at Brackenthwaite. We are hoping that these will be completed by the end of February. These crossings will allow us to connect properties, which are isolated from the core ducting, to the network.

There is also a section from Hazel Grove towards Hale to complete but we are waiting for ground conditions to improve.

The project in ‘The Yealands’ is almost complete. It has been a fantastic effort by our group of volunteers, who have been amazing. They have been out in all weathers and we are grateful for all their efforts. We are also grateful to the various contractors who have helped with ‘mole ploughing’, digging and road crossings and to all the landowners who have allowed wayleaves across their land.

It has been a fantastic example of a community project.

We are now preparing to ‘hand over’ to the volunteers from Silverdale and Storth who will continue the project in their own villages. We wish them luck.
Thanks to all.”

It’s estimated that around 80% of properties in The Yealands have opted to bring ducting to the property, with 80% of those currently enjoying a live B4RN connection. Those that are not yet connected are generally either waiting for an existing broadband contract to expire, were not really internet users anyway, or were holiday cottages that only saw light internet use. This take-up rate is higher than expected, which is great news for the project.

 

Silverdale

From Andy Wells:
“In Silverdale we are poised to begin building the network. We will start with the hub equipment which will be installed in the boiler house at St. John’s and with work in the churchyard to dig the first parts of the trenches that will carry the cables for the six routes that have been planned to give complete coverage of the village. Permission has been granted by the National Trust for the start of Route 2 that will serve much of the northern part of the village. Silverdale Golf Club are also ready to install ducts across the golf course. That will enable us to reach properties on the Row and on Moss Lane. There will be two connections to the outside world. Having two routes in and out will contribute to the robustness of the system. Barry Forde, the CEO of B4RN, has guaranteed that these connections will be available by the time we have finished our work in Silverdale, so we need to get cracking now. We will be in touch with our volunteers, who have been waiting patiently, once we have worked out detailed plans, so please stand by.”

 

Storth

From Steve Spencer:

“Excellent progress to report after several unforeseen delays, nearly all down to the weather!

The B4YS fibre ducting has now left the Yealands and is making its way towards Storth, which is very exciting! Before Christmas the Yealands team brought the duct to Brackenthwaite farm and this week, weather permitting, work will begin this week on a dig to our first Cumbrian property. This first dig will be a trial, where we’ll learn some lessons to apply to the next section. From there we’ll make progress as quickly as weather & tricky ground conditions allow.

We’re fortunate to have landowners who are very supportive of the B4RN project all along our route, some are even getting involved in the ‘hands on’ tasks to build the network. This helps the Storth project immensely and the B4YS team can’t thank them enough.”

The Yealands: progress photos

Click here for more photos >>>

The Yealands: progress pics, Winter 15/16

B4YS August Update

Whilst for some it might seem that it’s all gone a bit quiet in B4YS-land these last few months, for our volunteers it’s been anything but!

The B4YS project has moved into a different phase; whilst fundraising was very ‘public’ and involved the whole community, route planning & building is proving to be a much quieter affair with conversations involving small groups of just a few. Either out in the fields or around a kitchen table, important progress is being made and challenges are quietly being overcome.

For those in the Yealands – who are first in our initially ‘Y’ shaped route – route planning has already turned into digging and even connections. In Silverdale, in some ways the most challenging parish, lots of planning work has been done in a story of “3 steps forward and 2 steps back”. For Storth, route planning has been constant and relentless; we feel this part of the network will appear to all fall into place at once.

Here’s a detailed update for each Parish:

Silverdale

An update from Andy, area organiser in Silverdale:

“Silverdale turned out to be a very challenging parish. Three routes into Silverdale have been ‘pencilled in’ and none have been perfect, each having pros & cons. Walking, researching and assessing three routes has taken an awful lot of time & effort from the committed volunteers. However, most of the necessary way leave agreements have been signed and we are now awaiting the final core route planning for the Silverdale part of the network being done by B4RN within the next two weeks. That will enable us to start work on installing the first cable ducts. Following helpful discussions with the vicar and the church council, we are pleased to report that the Silverdale hub will be located in the boiler house at St. Johns and fibres will be routed from there to individual subscribers. As soon as we have the first draft of the detailed roll out plan for the entire village we will invite shareholders and volunteers to a meeting to organise the work in detail.
The Silverdale terrain is challenging but the technical problems can be solved. Where necessary, the ducts can be run on the surface or buried at a shallow depth using armoured ducting. B4YS have already acquired a stock of this high performance ducting.”

Storth

An update from Steve, area organiser in Storth:

“Planning of the run up to Storth is well on the way, with all the major landowners being very helpful and supportive. They all have various obstacles and hurdles to overcome (Gas lines, electricity cables, sewers, field drains, etc.) and as we are also new to this, it gets delayed whilst we ask B4RN for help and advice. We have several wayleaves agreed, with others still being sorted, and at present everything is progressing as we would wish.
It can be a bit of a difficult one to call when sending out info, as I do not wish to “tempt fate” by being too presumptuous and risk offending either volunteers or landowners by assuming things too early.  We have found it essential to ensure that all parties fully embrace the project before moving forward. This sometimes results in the project leaping forward in fits and starts, exactly as predicted by other B4RN areas. Please be assured, progress really is good, Chris and I are really encouraged by all the positive news.”

Yealands

1st May. First businesses live on fibre at Tarnwater business park (Rogersons) on the A6. Businesses now have a gigabit connection thanks to all the hard work of the volunteers (link 1, link 2)

1st June. Lots more customers being added! The route heading for the Silverdale handover point, 2.5km of it blown today and more houses added on.

18th July. All three churches in Conyers got fibre today. Catholic, Protestant and Quakers. And Hyning monastery too! (link 1, link 2)

2nd August: Nice email just in, describing a livestream from the church at Yealand.

“Here is a brief resume of what was achieved at St John’s church using B4RN:- St John’s Church , Yealand made use of its newly installed B4RN to stream a funeral service live to Australia. Family members living in Sydney were unable to come to the UK to attend the funeral. Instead, courtesy of an iPhone 6 and Face Time, they were able to view the entire service live from their living room. They commented that “it went incredibly well and it was really lovely to see – very special”. The church would like to be able to offer the ability to stream services such as weddings and funerals routinely and intends to investigate methods of broadcasting simultaneously to multiple viewers.
Hope this is useful for your website!
Ron”

17th August: In Yealand Conyers, basically the whole of village is finished and live apart from one or two houses that are not quite ready. There are many very happy customers getting speeds of over 900Mbytes per sec! (Thanks to John Calnan for the update)

21st August. The Redmayne routes follow each side of Silverdale Road and both have been waiting for grass to be cut. Details of the south west side have been agreed and a quote sought for the mid section from a digger operator. On the north east side, details have been agreed for much of the route. The first section of each route awaits availability of the agreed digger operator. Some of the rest can be mole ploughed, due to start on Monday, but some will have to be over ground. (Thanks to Jean Tunnicliffe Wilson for the update)

Yealand progress pictures on Facebook below:

B4RN the movie

James Uren and Suzette Heald made a great film about B4RN, first shown at Cannes Film Festival. Members of the B4YS Silverdale and Yealand teams make an appearance. Definitely worth watching with a brew: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCCS4nLr1B0

B4RN on Radio 2 this week

Vanessa Feltz meets her match, Chris Conder telling it like it is on Radio 2. Go Christine!

Listen below:

Until next time

The B4YS team would like to thank everyone for their continued support and most of all patience. For those not yet connected, hyperfast is coming and it will be worth the wait!

Yealand Village Hall is LIVE!

Yealand Village Hall is live – it has been connected to the B4RN network – and now has 1,000Mbps internet speeds!Mike Macklin from the Yealand B4YS team shared the great news yesterday:
The Hyperfast Broadband service is now live in Yealand Village Hall.We completed the fibre blowing three weeks ago but we needed the B4RN technicians to connect us to the network. This work was completed yesterday. The hall is now connected, together with a few properties and business’s on the route from Tewitfield.The installation of the duct continues in Conyers, and is now well advanced. We are now waiting for permission for the road crossings from Lancashire County Council, which should be received shortly.

We are making progress on the wayleaves through Redmayne and hopefully, work will start on the laying of the duct shortly.

We will keep you updated on progress,
Mike

Fantastic news, we did it! Silverdale & Storth – you’re next!

Here are some pictures from the work at Yealand, kindly shared by Chris Conder & Vince Smith:

 

No doubt this means there will be a “demo day” in the Yealands soon, so more people can get hands-on with Hyperfast Broadband – watch this space for updates.

For Silverdale & Storth, things are progressing in a positive direction, albeit quietly in the background at this time. Having Hyperfast just down the road in Yealands is a great step for us, it’s so close! Planning ~10 miles of route which accommodates all manner of obstacles is taking some time & effort, but we’re making good progress and going in the right direction! We’ll keep you updated.

An update from the Yealands

The Yealands team are progressing well, and have shared this update with the B4YS mailing list:

————

We have now completed the installation of the orange duct from Borwick through to Yealand Village Hall.

We will be blowing the fibre cables through the duct on Tuesday April 7th starting at 10am. We will connect the few properties on the route to the system, as we pass.

The hub cabinet is now installed in the hall, with its own electricity feed.

The electronics and computing equipment will be fitted in the hub by the B4RN Technician, as soon as the fibres arrive.

We will arrange a Demonstration Day for all residents as soon as the system is live. This will give us a chance to try our various devices on the new Hyperfast broadband service.

1. Yealand Conyers

The installation of the duct through Conyers (which will go onwards to Silverdale) is progressing well. The west side of the village is completed all the way from the village hall through to Peter  Lane. The properties on this part of the route have dug their trenches and laid out the duct.

We are now starting the trenches on the onward section from Peter Lane towards Yealand House.

The route for the east side of the village is finalised and wayleaves signed. We are mole ploughing the section from Snape Lane to the properties at the A6 junction, this weekend. Work on the remainder of the east section will commence in April.

 2. Yealand Redmayne and Yealand Storrs

We are now close to finalising the route through Redmayne to Storrs (which will go onward to Storth). This has proved to be quite difficult and tricky. It is anticipated that we will start laying out the duct on the West side of the village in the next few days.

3. Road Crossings in the Yealands

There are a number of places in the villages where we need to cross roads with the duct.  B4RN has applied to Lancashire County Council for permission to undertake this work, on our behalf. This should be granted in mid-April, after which we will commence the crossings. A contractor has been nominated.

4. Mole Ploughing in the Yealands

We are very grateful for the contribution of Tony Swidenbank and his team from TS Trenching in Kendal, for the laying of the duct in the Yealands. Tony uses a very sophisticated mole plough which does minimal damage to the land. It is difficult to see the track of the machine, after a few days. It is interesting to see the quality of his work in the field opposite Yealand School, which was completed on Monday.  For this reason, in Yealand we will continue to use the mole plough as much as possible through the process, as funds allow.

We are also grateful to various residents for the use of their mechanical diggers and staff, during the work. It is most appreciated.

———

For those in Silverdale & Storth, the B4YS teams there are busy planning their routes, which is an important job that does take time. Updates from Silverdale & Storth will follow as soon as there is news.

A Royal Visit

You may be aware that HRH Prince of Wales will be visiting the Westmorland Showfield at Crooklands, on Wednesday. His programme for the day will include a presentation of the B4RN Project. He will be introduced to the Project Management Team and will see demonstrations of the installation process. He will acknowledge the milestone of 1000 customers and the sale of one million shares! A fantastic achievement in a very short time!

Until next time!

B4YS progress pics: Jan/Feb 2015

The Yealands B4YS team have set the bar really high for Sivlerdale and Storth. Since Christmas they have taken duct under the M6, over the canal, under the West Coast Main Line and up to Yealand Village Hall. The village ‘hub’ has been installed too, where the networking equipment for the parish will live. That means that on our map, the red leg is almost complete (albeit on a slightly different route):


View Larger Map

The next job is to cross the A6 – a job for a specialist contractor who will drill under the road – to complete the run of ducting. After that the fibre can be blown all the way from Borwick to Yealand, and the final connections at the village hall can be made. Amazing progress!

You’ll see that Yealand team have begun the route using a contractor with a mole plough. Our plans have developed somewhat over the recent months, not least because our funding target from B4RN allowed us some budget for contractors in key places. That means our project can involve three types of digging:

  1. Volunteer digging: Network building the B4RN way. We’ve a considerable list of wonderful volunteers who have signed up to help build the network, both by hand and machine. These volunteers will not only help their community, but also earn shares in the broadband company (see below*)
  2. Landowner digging: Some landowners prefer to lay the fibre across their land themselves, and earn shares too (see below*).
  3. Contractor digging: used selectively where conditions and funds allow. Contractors will help us cross (or bore under) roads like the A6.

*Shares can be earned at a rate of £1.50 per meter (£1,500 shares per KM). Work equivalent to £1,500 entitles the recipient to free connection and free B4RN broadband for 1 year. More info here: http://goo.gl/6kVa2A

 

B4RN Demo Day: Pics, Audio & Video

On Sunday 18th January we held our B4RN demonstration day at the neighbouring Priest Hutton & Borwick Village Hall.

Priest Hutton & Borwick are already connected to B4RN – our B4YS connection joins onto theirs – so it was a great chance to get ‘hands on’ with a 1,000Mpbs internet connection. A first for many people!

On the day we used one single B4RN connection, the same as you’ll get at home, and we connected over 120 devices over the 2-hour demo. During the day we had 4k HD video streaming from YouTube to Ubertech’s Macs and iPlayer streaming BBC HD to a TV, whilst everyone else was using the internet too, with NO BUFFERING!

A fantastic turnout really showed us how much support there is in the B4YS area. We couldn’t have fitted more people (or cars!) at the hall!

There was a surprising number of people from nearby areas wanting to bring B4RN their way. We even had visitors from from Surrey, Derbyshire and Yorkshire. How far will B4RN go? There are already 800 people connected…B4RN is aiming for 2000 by the end of the year!

Photos:

There are more pictures on the B4RN Facebook page.

Listen again:

Tom kindly recorded the very interesting talks given by Keith & John so you can listen again or download it here:

 

Watch again:

And Chris Conder of B4RN kindly video’d the event too:

 

Barry Forde on BBC Radio 4’s PM

BBC Radio 4 interviewed Barry Forde – CEO of B4RN – on the popular ‘PM’ show recently.

Here’s the clip below. If you want to give your friends & neighbours a quick overview of B4RN, this is a great clip to share:

500km of fibre laid already, go B4RN!

This weekend: B4RN Demo Day, Sunday 18th

Join B4YS THIS SUNDAY (18th January) 2pm – 4pm, at Borwick & Priest Hutton Memorial Hall:

With our neighbours enjoying 1,000Mbps broadband just down the road, we thought it was time to experience it first-hand.
We’ll have a range of devices for you to see & try. You should bring your own laptop, tablet or smartphone and connect it to the B4RN network too!

What to expect

We’ll start the afternoon with a short talk by the local B4RN supporters about life with hyperfast broadband, and how it will reach your home. We’ll then get ‘hands on’ with B4RN hyperfast:

  • Smart TV demonstrations
  • Connectivity demonstrations
  • VOIP telephones to try
  • Homeplug networking explained
  • Superfast Apple computers kindly displayed by Ubertechs
  • B4RN & B4YS representatives to answer your questions
  • PLUS the important ‘Bring your own device’ hands-on demonstrations

A word on connection speed

Only the most modern and fastest devices can make the most of B4RN’s speed – Ubertechs shiny new iMac’s will be the speediest – whilst other devices may find their limits on the day.

Generally speaking laptops can reach up to 600Mbs depending on specification; iPads will see 40-80Mbps whilst most smart phones are only capable of 20-40Mbps. Remember wired connections are usually much faster than Wi-Fi too. We will have some faster devices there to try.

What to bring

If it’s portable, bring it along! Smartphones, tablets, laptops, VOIP phones….anything, we’ll have both wireless and wired connections available.
Don’t forget to bring your charger and internet cables! Re-familiarise yourself with connecting to a wireless network before you set off too, so you know where the settings can be found.
If you have some big files to upload – photos or video to send – bring them along on a memory stick and do it on the day.
Sunday will also be a ‘bring your own refreshments’ day, so do bring something to drink.

Before you come

Run a Speedtest at home ideally using the devices you will bring on the day:

  1. Log on to speedtest.net (or install the app for iOS, Amazon, Android or Windows Phone).
  2. Run tests at home or in the office, making note of both the UPLOAD and DOWNLOAD speeds.
  3. Maybe try BBC iPlayer, YouTube and uploading photos & files too. See how your internet speed affects the experience. Can you watch in HD without buffering?
  4. Run these tests again at Borwick to see the B4RN difference!

B4RN is one of the fastest connections in the UK, so when using Speedtest.net the server you select does make a difference. Some of them can’t cope with 1,000Mbps! There’ll be a bit of experimentation on the day, but we’re told servers in Manchester and Amsterdam can demonstrate the fastest speeds.

And what’s this?

We’ve begun! This week B4RN fibre ducts began going into the ground, heading towards the Yealands. The B4YS network is being built!

See you there on Sunday!

A Quick Festive B4YS Update

Merry Christmas! Here’s a quick final update of 2014. For many in our 3 parishes it’ll be the last year of slow broadband, as we begin connecting properties through 2015:

B4YS breaks first soil – January 2015!

The Yealands team have stormed ahead these last couple of months, and B4YS will begin digging early in January 2015.

The tricky first route deals with the M6, the canal, the West Coast main rail line and the A6…all within a 4km stretch! Congratulations to the Yealands team who’ve worked so hard to plan the route and obtain permission from the landowners.

Thank you to the landowners who have kindly supported us with free-of-charge access to their land, and thank you to our initial investors too; your cheques have gone towards buying the orange ducting and materials, which are now on standby.

B4YS Demo Day – Sunday 18th January, 2pm

With our neighbours enjoying 1,000Mbps broadband just down the road, we thought it would be good to go and experience it first-hand.

Join B4YS on Sunday 18th January at 2pm, at Borwick & Priest Hutton Memorial Hall:

We’ll have a range of devices there for you to see & try. You can even bring your own laptop, tablet or smartphone and connect it to the B4RN network!

Pop the date in your diary now, more details will follow in January.

Further FAQ’s

Last month we sent a big list of FAQ’s. We’ve combined these with the FAQ’s kindly shared by the B4RN project in Hornby and have added these to our website: http://www.b4ys.org.uk/what-is-b4ys/faqs/

Newsletter archive

For those new to our mailing list, if you wish to catch up on previous newsletters you can find them all here: http://tinyletter.com/b4ys/archive

In other news

  • Tom Hartley & B4RN: Winner of Prince’s Countryside Trust Land Rover Bursary
    If you missed it first time around, this is a great video about the Bursary to help further develop the social enterprise that is B4RN.
    http://youtu.be/Bz6R5Vwr2_Q

  • Lancaster has made it to the fastest city in the country
    The B4RN network in the rural areas north east of Lancaster has made it the fastest city in the country and B4RN hasn’t even got there yet! This is due to the amazing speeds we are getting on the B4RN fibre, it really pushes up the city average.
    http://explorer.netindex.com/maps
    https://www.facebook.com/B4RNorth/photos/p.704689146304913/704689146304913/

  • Hand-blown fibre
    One of the B4RN team, “Bruce the Blow” shows off his new toy. A fibre blowing gun. 100 metres per minute:
    http://youtu.be/k3R3sdqRQG0

Merry Christmas & see you in the New Year!

Grab a cuppa, it’s the B4YS update

It’s been a couple of months since the last B4YS update – we’ve been very busy – but it’s good news all round, so grab a cuppa, here’s an extra-large B4YS update newsletter:

A reminder

In the last newsletter we let everyone know that our Stage One fundraising target had been met. That means that Hyperfast Broadband will be coming to our parishes, without a doubt. 19 other parishes are actively taking part in connecting themselves to B4RN, many are connected already. All before us have been able to overcome any difficulty put in their way – community power is amazing – and we’re no different, nothing should stop us now we have funding.

Borwick & Priest Hutton are live

Our B4RN neighbours over at Borwick and Priest Hutton are now live. Last Sunday Keith posted an update on the parish website:

“Yesterday afternoon the first properties in Borwick to be connected to B4RN hyper fast broadband went live. There are now a dozen or so households enjoying gigabit speeds and contemplating the world of opportunities this gives them in computing, media and telecoms. They are now part of the best network in the world, financed and built by you and me, for the benefit of our community.”

We’ll be taking the B4RN batton soon, when we hook up to their link somewhere around the Longland’s Hotel area.

It’s important to register

It’s important that you register for a B4RN connection. If you haven’t done so yet, you can use this form:

Don’t assume you’ve automatically been registered – even if you’re on our mailing list, even if you’ve invested your hard-earned – we will need some extra information so we can identify your property for a connection, so please take the time to register (our registration form was first published 1st Sept 2014).

An apology

We’re having a busy time here at B4YS – and there’s always great news to share – but I (Chris) have to admit I’ve been terrible at telling everyone about it these last couple of months.

Taking feedback on board, I’m currently making arrangements for a new “head of communications” on the team, so that updates can be more frequent. Watch this space.

So where’s the project up to?

Since we met the fundraising targets in September, the B4YS team have been:

  • Walking & planning the routes between parishes
  • Arranging permission with landowners
  • Mapping every property in the three parishes, so a detailed local route can be drafted
  • Speaking with contractors who can help us with the heavy stuff

We’re hoping to have the Borwick to Yealand link committed to paper over the next month or so, and digging can begin soon after.

B4RN demo day in January

With our neighbours enjoying 1,000Mbps broadband just down the road, we thought it would be good to go and experience it first-hand. “Try before you buy” if you would.

We’re currently arranging a B4RN demo day for the middle/end of January and will publish details as soon as it’s confirmed.

All kinds of digging

Our plans have developed somewhat over the recent months, not least because our funding target from B4RN allowed us some budget for contractor digging. That means our project can involve three types of digging:

  1. Volunteer digging: Network building the B4RN way. We’ve a considerable list of wonderful volunteers who have signed up to help build the network, both by hand and machine. These volunteers will not only help their community, but also earn shares in the broadband company (see below*)
  2. Landowner digging: Some landowners prefer to lay the fibre across their land themselves, and earn shares too (see below*).
  3. Contractor digging: these boys are the experts. Top of our roster is a man who knows the area well – he contracts for BT laying cables and laid our gas pipes in Silverdale – he’s also a regular contractor for other B4RN parishes. Contractors will help us cross (or bore under) roads like the A6.

*Shares can be earned at a rate of £1.50 per meter (£1,500 shares per KM). Work equivalent to £1,500 entitles the recipient to free connection and free B4RN broadband for 1 year. More info here: http://goo.gl/6kVa2A

In other news

 

FAQ’s

A handful of questions come up quite often, so we’ll try to answer some here:

Q: How will we cross the A6, M6, canal and West Coast Railway Line?
Multiple routes have been carefully planned, making use of bridges, farm underpasses and culverts to cleverly cross these obstacles without needing to involve the likes of Network Rail. This stage of planning is almost complete.

Q: How will the fibre cross the fields?
We plan to use a variety of methods – by hand and machine – the fastest way is to use a mole plough: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b36kBRs5XnE

Q: How will the fibre cross roads?
We’ll use specialist contractors, who will either make a narrow cut in the tarmac to run the fibre through, or ideally use a Directional Drill (very clever!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03hP3ZZaWxU#t=35
Crossing roads like this is expensive whilst fibre ducting is cheap, so if possible we plan slightly longer routes that avoid crossing roads and make use of culverts etc.

Q: What about the limestone under the ground?
The limestone sits at varying depths under the soft ground. There are many ways to tackle the challenge:

  1. We have a geologist on the B4YS team. We can use LIDAR maps – http://goo.gl/wBKlfj – to help us navigate the clints and grikes so the ducting can be burried in the soft stuff.
  2. We have a pipe-laying contractor who laid the gas mains in Silverdale. He knows the land (and the limestone) well.
  3. The fibre ducting doesn’t have to go in the ground, it just needs to be protected. Rather than a standard 18” depth, we have options to:
    1. Run the ducting at a shallower depth, and top it with paving stones for protection from spades etc.
    2. Run the ducting over land in steel or plastic pipe clipped to a wall or fence.
    3. Run the ducting overhead, using telegraph poles.
  4. As a last resort if we have to (and where we can do), there’s the rock trencher. These come in all sizes, big and small. We might not need the big one!

Q: Will there be a definite start date for digging?
There probably won’t be a definite date for anything. Amongst other unknowns this is a project run by volunteers, dependent on things like convenience to landowners, the weather, contractor availability etc., so it’s going to be quite fluid. We probably won’t know when digging can start until the week before when everything slots into place.

Q: When will you be coming to my house?
Good question. With so many variables and a volunteer workforce it’s difficult to say. We aim to begin digging in Yealand this year, then to Silverdale & Storth in spring. We will be connecting properties throughout 2015. Watch this space for updates!

Q: Can my property/farm/business be connected?
Yes. Every property that wishes to be connected, will be connected.

Q: What is the cost for a B4RN connection?
It’s £30/month. There’s a one-off connection fee of £150 to cover the cost of the engineer visit and modem. The connection is 1,000Mbps upload & download, and is unlimited in terms of data transfer.

Q: Will you dig up my garden?
As a community project it will be the community that lay the fibre ducting. This may be you, your neighbour, or a contractor if you choose to employ one. No digging will be done without consultation and remember, the fibre doesn’t necessarily need to go into the ground. It can be clipped to a wall or fence inside a pipe, slipped between paving flags. There are many options; the orange fibre duct to your property will be thinner than your little finger.

Q: Will I have to change my email address when I move to B4RN?
If you use an email address from your ISP you may lose this when you stop paying them (do check before you cancel it) but that’s true when you switch to any new provider.  We suggest you register with one of the free web based services such as Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook Live (see http://free-email-services-review.toptenreviews.com). These can be configured to run with the email client on your computer (e.g. Outlook, Thunderbird) or can accessed through the web.

Please make sure you notify B4RN & B4YS if you change email address, or notifications will be sent to your old one.

Q: Will I need my BT line?
A B4RN connection means you won’t need a BT telephone line. You can save money on both your line rental and your call charges by using a service such as Vonage. Vonage are a VOIP provider; they route your calls over the internet. You can keep your existing telephone number, your current handset, and make calls in exactly the same way – they’re just cheaper!

Have a look at this video for more details: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ppcO03WBjM

Q: How can I help the project?
We need volunteers for all sorts – organising, canvassing, route planning, digging, technical etc. – so please let us know how you can help. We are building up our contacts list for future use, and will be contacting people from it as & when we need.

Fill out the form below to tell us how you can help. If you have a digger or can pull a mole plough, you have just become our new best friend!: http://www.b4ys.org.uk/how-do-i-get-it/offer-help/

Q: Can I still invest?
Yes absolutely, download a share form and return it with your cheque to your local coordinator: http://www.b4ys.org.uk/how-do-i-get-it/invest-shares/

Until next time

The B4YS team are likely to be very busy over the coming months, preparing for the digging to begin. Don’t worry if news is a little quiet – that’s a good sign – but there will be at least one update before Christmas.
In the meantime please continue to spread the word. This project where many were sceptical is now happening in a field near you – well done everyone for supporting us. Thank you!

Can you help….?

Now we have reached the First Stage Investment threshold, the more detailed work is starting.

We are planning routes now, so if you know of any rivers, culverts or dykes that go under roads near you (please have a look if you are walking the dog…) could you kindly let us know?

Any local knowledge, contacts, advice & help will be gratefully received. Again, please let us know.

Please also tell your neighbours to register their interest if they want to be included. It’s much easier to register & plan now, rather than later!

Please ask them to get in touch with their local contact:

  • Storth –  Steve Spencer  –  steveinstorth@outlook.com
  • Yealand  –  Vince Smith   –  vinceasmith@gmail.com
  • Silverdale  –  Andy Wells  –  andywells52@gmail.com

Stage 1 target reached!


This email is to bring you the great news that all three B4YS villages have reached their Stage One targets!

  • Yealands – target: £25,000 – current level: 100% raised!
  • Silverdale – target: £38,000 – current level: 100% raised!
  • Storth – target: £38,000 – current level: 100% raised!

That’s an amazing £101,000 raised from local residents and businesses – it means that our community-owned Gigabit fibre broadband network will go-ahead.

We will have one of the world’s fastest broadband connections in our parishes…homes, farms, businesses…everywhere. Every property can be connected.

What happens now?

Now all parishes have reached Stage One, the following happens:

  • Stage Two fundraising continues (we’re already making a good dent).
  • We notify all investors of the date that cheques will be cashed.
  • We present our funds to B4RN, which allows our project to begin.
  • B4RN issue receipt documents including Form EIS3, allowing UK taxpayers to reclaim 30% Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief.
  • We finalise our route between the village halls and check we have permission from landowners.
  • B4RN prepare a detailed plan for our parishes, encompassing all farms, houses and businesses who wish to be connected.
  • The plan includes a final cost for our project; including Stage Two (this is roughly similar to Stage One).
  • The Stage One funds are used to buy materials & equipment for our network.
  • DIGGING BEGINS!

It’s important to note that the figure we’ve reached this week is our Stage One target (which builds the links between the village halls), and there is a second stage to come (the internal parish routes).

Other B4RN projects have found that Stage Two roughly equates to Stage One, but each parish is different, governed by the number of properties to be connected and how long their Stage One route was. We’ll find out our exact Stage Two targets from B4RN soon and keep you updated.

Please continue to invest

Stage Two fundraising starts today so please continue to invest, don’t delay, we’ve still got a way to go!

Now that the project will definitely go ahead, we will forward share forms & cheques to B4RN on a fortnightly or monthly basis, rather than holding them back until we reach the next target. This means your shares can start earning a return straight away. Each step towards the Stage Two target means the network can spread further.

http://www.b4ys.org.uk/how-do-i-get-it/invest-shares/

 

A call for volunteers

The B4YS network will be built by the community. Why? Because the national providers won’t do it for our rural communities – we have to do this ourselves! This is just what our neighbours have done to get their fibre, we can do it too.

We need volunteers for all sorts – organising, canvassing, route planning, digging, technical etc. – so please let us know how you can help. We are building up our contacts list for future use, and will be contacting people from it as & when we need.

Fill out the form below to tell us how you can help. If you have a digger or can pull a mole plough, you have just become our new best friend!

http://www.b4ys.org.uk/how-do-i-get-it/offer-help/

 

Register for a connection

A 1,000Mbps internet connection really is coming to Yealand, Storth & Silverdale, but we need to know where demand is to help us plan & prioritise the network.

We are asking everyone to register their interest for a connection:

http://www.b4ys.org.uk/register/

Filling out this form is not binding and does not commit you to an order, but please only register if you are sure.

A B4RN connection costs £30/month inc. VAT. There is a connection fee of £150 to cover the cost of the new router, unless you are a shareholder investing over £1,500 (then the fee is waived).

A connection means you won’t need a BT landline. You can use a VOIP service like Vonage to route your calls over the internet to get cheaper calls. Hyperfast broadband can work out cheaper per month than your current slow connection!

Until next time

The B4YS team are likely to be very busy over the coming months, preparing for the digging to begin. Don’t worry if news is a little quiet – that’s a good sign.

In the meantime please continue to spread the word. This project where many were sceptical is now happening in a field near you – well done everyone for supporting us. Thank you!

Storth has reached Stage One, Silverdale and Yealands not far behind

Since our public meetings on 2nd August in Yealands & Storth, the B4YS team have been very busy. The community support for the project has been amazing, and is increasing all the time!

Here’s a quick update on Stage One fundraising:

  • Yealands – target: £25,000 – current level: 55% raised!
  • Silverdale – target: £38,000 – current level: 68% raised!
  • Storth – target: £38,000 – current level: 100% raised!

The B4YS project works as a whole, and collectively we are 77% there!

77

Some quick fundraising stats for you:

  • Range of investment: £100 – £6,000
  • Busiest week: last week!

It’s clear to see the project is gaining momentum. Investment cheques are arriving daily as people see that this really can happen.

The B4YS project will go ahead – thank you everyone for your continued support!

Please read on…

 

What happens as we reach our Stage One targets?

It’s important to note that the figures above are our Stage One targets (which builds the links between the village halls), and there is a second stage to come (the internal parish routes).

Once we have all reached stage one, the following happens:

  • We notify all investors of the date that cheques will be cashed.
  • We present our funds to B4RN, which allows our project to begin.
  • B4RN issue receipt documents including Form EIS3, allowing UK taxpayers to reclaim 30%  Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief.
  • We finalise our route between the village halls and check we have permission from landowners.
  • B4RN prepare a detailed plan for our parishes, encompassing all farms, houses and businesses who wish to be connected.
  • The plan includes a final cost for our project, including Stage Two (this is roughly similar to Stage One).
  • The stage one funds are used to buy materials & equipment for our network.
  • Digging begins!
  • Stage Two fundraising continues.

 

Storth is at 100%. Does this mean I can’t invest?

Not at all, no one will miss the boat. Stage Two fundraising starts as soon as Stage One is complete and for Storth, that means today.

In Storth your support will be allocated to Stage Two so please continue to invest, don’t delay, we’ve still got a way to go!

Other B4RN projects have found that Stage Two ROUGHLY equates to stage one, but each parish is different, governed by the number of properties to be connected and how long their Stage One route was. The stage two plan including every property requires a LOT of work (and is done by volunteers) so B4RN understandably don’t begin this process until we have shown we are able to raise enough support. We’ll find out our exact Stage Two targets from B4RN once stage one has been met.

Photos: Great turnout for Yealands & Storth

A big thanks to everyone who came and showed support at our public meetings on Sat 2nd August. The turnout and support was excellent, which is very promising for the project!

If you couldn’t make the meetings or wish to listen again, there are slides and an audio recording here.

 

Listen again: Saturday’s Public Meeting

If you missed our public meetings in Storth & Yealands on Saturday 2nd August, don’t worry, we recorded it for you!

Barry Forde (CEO of B4RN) gave a fascinating talk, and answers all the questions you’re likely to have about how a community builds its own fibre optic broadband network.

You can listen online by clicking play below, or download the MP3 file by clicking here.

Barry also kindly gave us his slides from the day so you can enjoy these as you listen, just as if you were there:

Thanks to everyone who came along. Click here for photos of the day.

Public meetings 2nd August – Storth & Yealand – Broadband for our parishes

2ndAug_banner-a

Hyperfast Broadband will provide all our news, television, film, music and communications in the future. It will be an essential service in education, healthcare, farming, tourism and business and will connect families and communities. It will also increase the value of your property.

The B4YS project will lay a network of fibre optic cable through the villages, which can be directly connected to every property. It will deliver a broadband service equal to the very best anywhere in the country, and will be adequate for all foreseeable uses – truly a once in a generation opportunity.

In order to progress this development we now need to talk face-to-face with members of our community, to tell you how the project will develop and seek your support.

This meeting will be held on SATURDAY 2ND AUGUST 2014:

  • 10am – 12pm, Yealand Village Hall (map)
  • 2pm – 4pm, Storth Village Hall (map)

The meeting is organised by the B4YS Group. It will be similar to the Silverdale meeting in March, starting with a presentation by Barry Forde (Chief Executive of B4RN) followed by the opportunity to ask questions. We look forward to seeing you there.

b4rnpointingfinger-300x300

But we’ve got BT coming…

B4RN Hyperfast is coming to our parishes, but so is BT’s Superfast connection. If BT’s faster broadband is nearly already here, should we bother with B4RN? There are some convincing reasons why B4RN is a better bet for the future.

BT’s advantage:

  • BT Infinity is coming soon: BT was due (in Storth) for May 2014, then it was June, then September, so it should be here soon. (But with enough community support, maybe B4RN could be here first?)
  • BT Infinity is convenient: We barely have to lift a finger or invest a penny; a fibre connection will be on our doorstep soon (but will that fibre be any good?).
  • BT Infinity is cheaper: Well, not really, as you’ll see below. (All of BT’s packages cost more than B4RNs.)
  • BT Infinity is ‘fast enough for me’: BT’s new broadband speeds are only really fast enough for now. Whatever BT does to their network, the length of copper cable between the BT cabinet and your property will always be a bottleneck. The further away from the cabinet you are, the worse it will be. What BT brings this year might be fast enough for now, but it won’t be for long. The BBC are already migrating channels to online-only (BBC3 was announced as online-only in March 2014, BBC News could follow), the ‘video shop’ is a thing of the past with films now streamed via Netflix & Amazon Instant, and wouldn’t you love to speak with family members across the world via a clear, smooth, HD video call…for free?

ofcom

If you’re some way from the cabinet, BT Infinity could be slower than what you have now!

 

B4RN’s advantage:

Broadband For the Rural North

  • B4RN is cheaper: BT’s Infinity packages are all more expensive, yet offer a MUCH slower connection.
  • B4RN will stay competitive: operating as a Community Benefit and “not for profit” social enterprise means costs can be kept low.
  • B4RN is faster: the 100% fibre optic network offers one of the fastest residential connections in the world.
  • B4RN is for our children: Allowing them access to the developing resources of online educational material. Children with special needs, behavioural difficulties, exceptional abilities and severe illness are now receiving tailored education purely via the internet.
  • B4RN is for grown-ups too: Allowing you high-speed access to the internet whilst other family members are already using it!
  • B4RN helps local employment: providing training to volunteers, giving them valuable skills for better employment opportunities. B4RN will employ 5-6 full time staff by the time the first 1000 customers are connected.
  • B4RN can increase the value of your home: The Telegraph has reported that slow broadband wipes 20% off house prices, whilst The Daily Mail estimates faster broadband can add 5-10 per cent. The already B4RN-connected villagers in Wray would certainly agree!
  • B4RN is by the community: the network is ‘ours’, in that it was dug, laid and connected by ordinary people from our parishes. The community benefit company is owned by local shareholders.
  • B4RN for the community: the network is independent and not linked to any one provider for its data (IP) transit. This means our community will not be held ransom to price increases. BT Plc could do whatever it likes if it remains the only provider in the village, whereas B4RN gives us freedom & choice.
  • B4RN gives you a good feeling inside: one that comes from working together as a community and getting things done, for the benefit of everyone in your Parish. BT Plc and its shareholders cannot offer this!

The cost of broadband:

BT Broadband (BT’s cheapest)

  • Connection speed: 5Mb/s*
  • Monthly usage limit: 10GB
  • Connection cost: Free
  • Monthly cost: £10 + £15.99 line rental per month = £25.99

BT Unlimited Broadband Extra

  • Connection speed: 5Mb/s*
  • Monthly usage limit: Unlimited
  • Connection cost: Free
  • Monthly cost: £21 + £15.99 line rental per month = £36.99

BT Infinity 1

  • Connection speed: 30Mb/s*
  • Monthly usage limit: 20GB
  • Connection cost: £30 activation fee
  • Monthly cost: £15 + £15.99 line rental per month = £30.99

BT Unlimited Infinity 2 (BT’s top package currently)

  • Connection speed: 50Mb/s*
  • Monthly usage limit: Unlimited
  • Connection cost: Free
  • Monthly cost: £26 + £15.99 line rental per month = £41.99

BT Fibre to the Home (not yet available)**

  • Connection speed: Up to 330Mb/s
  • Monthly usage limit: Unlimited
  • Connection cost: up to £2,500
  • Monthly cost: £99

B4RN

Broadband For the Rural North

  • Connection speed: 1,000Mb/s
  • Monthly usage limit: Unlimited
  • Connection cost: £150
  • Monthly cost: £30 (no line rental)***

 

So B4RN is faster, cheaper, better for our children, better for our parish, and good for our homes…what’s not to like?

These are the reasons why our B4YS Group recommends adoption of this Hyperfast scheme so strongly.

 

*BT, like most ISPs, quote an “up to” speed on their packages. We’ve quoted speeds that are more realistic for our villages above, based on our experience and conversations with BT engineers.

**BT’s Infinity service will be available Summer 2014 in Storth, whilst the faster BT Fibre to the Home service is a long way away.

***B4RN’s Hyperfast connection means you no longer need a traditional telephone line. You can now make the most of your inclusive mobile minutes, or calls can be made via a much cheaper service like Vonage, cutting line rental and call costs (and you can keep your landline number): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mw9xqjcEhWs

One of the best articles we’ve ever read about B4RN

The dig at Borwick

Victoria Turk has written one of the best articles we’ve ever read about B4RN, over at Vice.com. If ever you wanted a top-to-toe rundown of how B4RN works, here it is.

…Frustrated by the major internet service providers and failed attempts to get local government funding, they’re going it alone. They’re building their own fibre network—digging the routes, laying the fibre, splicing the wires—and it’s not just superfast but hyperfast, bringing broadband speeds of one gigabit per second to every home…

Read the full article below. It even has a picture of B4YS member Tim, right at the top:

http://motherboard.vice.com/read/this-rural-community-is-building-its-own-gigabit-fibre-network

B4RN in The Economist, over £1m in shares sold

B4RN and the inspiring Christine Conder were featured in The Economist recently, well worth a read.

It’s great to see that the B4RN project has sold shares worth more than £1m to buy ducts and cables for volunteers to install in our local parishes:

FUSION splicing is a technique network engineers use to string together optical fibres. It is not a skill that Christine Conder, a 60-year-old farmer’s wife, ever expected to learn. But with borrowed 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 for telecoms firms to upgrade their sluggish internet connections. In 2011 they decided to do it for themselves. Their organisation, called Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN), has sold shares 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 have done much of the digging, says Mrs Conder: “Some are getting sixpacks for the first time in years.”

Read the rest of the article here:

http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21601265-frustrated-country-dwellers-build-their-own-internet-connections-going-underground

B4RN shares, how do they work?

The material costs of building the B4RN network for our parishes will be met by selling shares in the broadband company, to members of the local community. This funds the ducting, fibre, cabinets etc. Share purchases are the way we will make our community network happen.

As a community benefit society, B4RN must operate for the benefit the rural community rather than its shareholders, so surplus funds are reinvested. B4RN shares are structured in such a way that there is no potential for capital gains, instead B4RN aims to pay a dividend return of 5% per annum from year 4 onward of share ownership.

For taxpayers, share purchases up to £20,000 are eligible for 30% EIS relief. Businesses (and those who don’t pay tax) should consider lending money to the project.

Looking at the returns on the B4RN shares:

  • Years 1, 2 & 3: A combined return of 30% is available to taxpayers via EIS. This amounts to an annual ROI of 16% gross for a higher rate taxpayer.
  • Years 4 and onwards: B4RN proposes to pay interest at a rate of 5% per annum.
  • Years 4 and onwards: Subject to available funds, investors can cash in their shares by selling them back to B4RN for their original value. B4RN aims to have repaid all shareholders in 10 years’ time:

“A very conservative 50% take up gives 1600 connections yielding £480K/pa, which will allow for core costs and staffing and leave £180Ka to pay dividends and cover withdrawals. So far, our take up rate on the first routes built is in excess of 65% with some routes hitting over 90%. We are therefore very confident that a much higher take up rate than the 50% used for budgetary purposes will be achieved and we will have sufficient income to pay down the shareholders in 10 years.”

You could think of the share purchase as if it were a loan to the community company, in return for an interest payment. The returns are many times better than that in a high street bank savings account, and whilst they won’t buy you a yacht, they will buy your community one of the fastest fibre broadband connections in the world!

B4RN has raised over £1m in shares through Lancashire to date. The model works and has provided hyperfast connections in Wray, Quernmore, Abbeystead, Arkholme, Dolphinholme, Docker & Gressingham.

Before investing in shares, you should find out more about B4RN below, and then download the share application form relating to your B4YS parish:

B4YS have reproduced a localised copy of the B4RN share form. If you wish to invest for the benefit of the Yealands, Silverdale or Storth, please use the B4YS form and return it to your local parish representative. This means we can monitor support for each parish and keep you informed. Unless you wish otherwise, B4YS will securely hold onto your forms & cheques until your parish is ready to proceed. This means that in the unlikely event that the project does not go ahead, your cheques can be returned.

You won’t need to buy shares to receive a B4RN connection, but network will be built sooner if more people invest.

Aughton: Help a neighbour, learn about B4RN

Many have expressed an interest in getting up close and personal to the digging & duct laying may be interested in helping out our neighbouring parishes. Aughton, who have already bought their fibre, are presently engaged in the spade and shovel work.

The Aughton working party would be interested in help from anyone with time and energy to spare, and would maybe be willing to return the favour when our time comes. You can contact them here:

It’s a great opportunity to see what will happen once we’ve bought our fibre for B4YS.

aughton_B4RN

MP urges people to back B4RN broadband scheme for Storth

tim-farron

South Lakes MP Tim Farron has called on local residents in Storth to look at a proposal by Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) to move out from their base in Lancashire and bring superfast broadband to the Cumbrian village of Storth.

B4RN is a “not for profit” Community Benefit Society. It has been established by people living in Bowland and the Lune Valley, with the aim of installing a fibre optic superfast broadband network. It will be available to every property in our area; with no exclusions because a property is too far away or too difficult to reach.

B4RN plan to connect the villages of Yealand Conyers, Yealand Redmayne and Silverdale, scheduled for the later phases of the project and will consider coming over the border into Cumbria if there is sufficient demand and the community is prepared to fund the project through share purchase and help to install the fibre cables. Tim is asking local residents if they are interested in the scheme. If enough interest is recorded the service could ‘come online’ within the next 2 years.

B4RN are hoping to connect around 1,400 commercial and residential properties under Phase 1 of the project in north Lancashire. Work on the network got underway at the end of March.

The network offers fibre to every home providing 1000 megabits (1 gigabits) future proof connection for £30 a month on a not for profit basis. They also offer the opportunity of shares in the organisation. The Shares are of two types, a standard share which anyone can subscribe to and a special share which is reserved for purchase by members of the community who are doing work to build the network. For information on B4RN please visit their website: www.B4RN.org.uk

Tim said: “B4RN are a fantastic community organisation who really are leading the field in super fast broadband. This kind of project is exactly what we need to connect up our county. If local residents want to join the scheme please do declare an interest. The more people that join the more likely it is to happen!

Link to original article [Jul 2012]

Update – MP Tim Farron’s still on board for Storth

Thanks Tim!

B4RN Hyperfast…it’s coming, and it’s close!

If you’ve seen our planned route, you’ll have noticed it starts at Borwick. We’ll be continuing the 1Gbps fibre broadband connection from though Yealand, to Silverdale & Storth.

The team at Borwick started their B4RN project some time before B4YS began, but you see below that they’re well on their way.

The B4RN model works – communities doing it for themselves – and it’s coming to a village near you!

You can see more pictures and follow Borwick’s progress on their Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/bphtb4rn

Slow broadband wipes 20% off house prices

With growing numbers of people going online to perform tasks ranging from work to grocery shopping and streaming entertainment, good broadband has become critical. Homes without can lose 20 % of their value.

Slow broadband speeds can wipe as much as 20 per cent off the value of properties and lack of superfast connectivity in an area can be a dealbreaker in house sales, property experts have said.

With growing numbers of people going online to perform tasks ranging from working to grocery shopping and streaming entertainment, good broadband has become critical.

Property search website Rightmove has now added a broadband speed checker to every one of its listings alongside factors such as quality of local schools and transport links.

Estate agents said broadband speed is so vital that buyers are walking away from a purchase if they discover that superfast speeds are not available in that area.

Rightmove said research it conducted among among 3,000 people found that broadband details were ranked as a more important feature when searching for property than information on transport links and nearby schools.

Read the rest of the article on The Telegraph »

Photos from our parish meeting, an excellent turnout

A great big thank you to all who attended the Gaskell Hall meeting yesterday; particularly to Barry Forde for his excellent, clear and informative presentation, to Simon Wade from Emtelle and to Georgina and Angela for the seriously tasty scones!

Broadband for our parishes: Meeting 22nd March

gaskell-hall_banner2

HYPERFAST BROADBAND for us, our children and their children. Come and find out how we can get it in our parish:

Get Together in the Gaskell Hall, Silverdale

2.00pm—4.00pm Saturday 22nd March 2014

Refreshments provided

Find out how we can join Arkholme and Wray and get the same extraordinary Hyperfast B4RN Broadband in our parishes and what it could mean to us in the AONB:
We can have world-leading broadband speeds in our rural homes, schools, farms, businesses and future.

Listen and talk to Barry Forde, founding father of B4RN. Have your questions answered

Parking is available at the Golf Course (opposite Silverdale Station). Travel to and from the meeting by free taxi service shuttle

“This isn’t a technology story. It isn’t even a business story. It is an extraordinary people story.”
(so say New York publishers – Forbes)

B4RN & Emtelle Show-Tell Day #4 – 9th April 2014

The 3rd Show-Tell day was very well attended and feedback from delegates was very good. The weather was kind to the group as they were taken on a tour of the areas where the B4RN team are deploying. Pictures of the event can be seen on the Facebook page here.

The date has been set for the next Show-Tell day and this will be 9th April 2014. Full details are below. Click on the image to download the PDF.
B4RN Show-Tell #4

The event, as before will be jointly hosted by B4RN and Emtelle in Lancaster and the surrounding B4RN area. The day will focus on sharing experiences and demonstrating installation techniques for rural fibre to the home/broadband initiatives.
Topics to be covered include:-

  • Customer Engagement
  • Product Selection
  • Network Planning
  • Content
  • Active Equipment
  • Hands on demonstrations
  • Field trip

We hope you will be able to join us for a fully interactive day! It is advised that due to the locations visited on the field trip that delegates bring suitable clothing such as a raincoat and walking boots or wellies!

Please register for attendance by emailing info@emtelle.com. You we be sent further details regarding the full agenda and location.

Please use the same address for any other enquiries in connection with the event.

As is now customary, the Twitter hash tag for the event is #FTTHshowTell

Rural Cornwall residents launch superfast broadband petition

A group of rural Cornwall residents are campaigning to be introduced to fibre optic broadband.

Homeowners from a rural area of Cornwall have launched a petition to try to bring superfast broadband access to their properties.

The region is covered by the Superfast Cornwall rollout project, which has been bringing the next-generation service to properties as part of the government’s Broadband Delivery UK scheme, reports the Cornwall Guardian.

However, the civil parish of St Kew and other nearby areas such as Trequite have been excluded from initial installations because they are not deemed to be commercially viable by service provider BT.

A petition has now been set up by local residents Alex and Bella Nicolas, who have become concerned about how much the poor quality of their existing broadband connection is hindering their daily lives.

Mrs Nicholas said: “If our small but beautiful area is left outside the fibre footprint, we will all be at a significant disadvantage to other more urban areas.”

Once the Superfast Cornwall project is completed, it is estimated around 80 per cent of the region will have access to fibre optic broadband.

Lancashire village’s broadband speeds Wray ahead of the rest of the UK

Residents in the village of Wray, in a rural part of Lancashire, have become the first customers live on the B4RN network.

The village has become the latest one to get connected to the B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) fibre network. The project said this marked a significant milestone for the project as the Wray is now the largest village in the B4RN area, 229 homes, a “virtual rural city”, according to the project’s backers.

The installation of a wireless mesh network in Wray has already demonstrated the benefits of fast connectivity to the community and so B4RN expects take up to be high.

A B4RN spokesperson said: “Given that Wray is a well connected village, thanks to a WiFi mesh network that has been in place since 2004, the residents are already aware of the benefits of a good broadband connection and it is hoped that take up should be in the same region of other B4RN areas.”

Work commenced on getting Wray connected back in July 2013, with work temporarily impeded by thetheft of cabling equipment in late December.

Several villagers volunteered to dig the main duct into the village and some helped in digging trenches to have their neighbours gain access to the superfast broadband fibre network. Home owners have been helped in installing connection boxes on their walls ready for B4RN to connect fibre to their premises.

The connection to the village has helped the local Methodist church transmit services to members of the congregation that cannot make it into the church in person.

B4RN said that speeds of up to 900Mbps were now possible in the village following the network connection using FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connections.