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:


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.”


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.”


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!

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!