The Broadband For the Rural North (B4RN) project, which aims to reach thousands of rural homes in Lancashire’s (England) Lower Lune Valley area with a 1Gbps (Gigabits per second) capable community funded and built Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network, has now connected the first 14 premises to its service.
The core network build (set to initially pass over 400 premises), which officially began construction at the end of March 2012, has suffered some delays due to bad weather and other issues but is now finally enabling its first live customers in Quernmore (nine more are scheduled to go live shortly).
B4RNs November 2012 Status Update
“The first 14 connections are live in Quernmore with 9 more scheduled. Arkholme fibre to light the hub was blown last Wednesday, fusion is happening now, with many houses getting installed ready for connection. Arkholme village hall will be lit soon, and we hope to hold an event where people can try it all out with their own laptops/phones/tablets etc. but we haven’t had time to arrange it because digging has been going on in many areas.”
Digging is said to be progressing well “in several places” and the project is also busy exploring the possibility of bringing its fibre optic cable over the Lune from Arkholme to Melling via the local railway bridge, which would cut costs (assuming they can reach an agreement).
B4RNs Progress Highlights
•Telecity-Manchester node is now operational along with the 128 Kilometre link to Quernmore.
•Direct links with major content providers such as BBC and Google are in and operational
•First batch of properties have been connected and we are fine tuning the network to achieve optimal service
•Digging going well with progress on a number of routes
•Arkholme dig, 3.5Km to link into our fibre backbone is done and fibre in.
•Digging underway across to Wray with sections completed in Roeburndale and Littledale
•Dig down to Caton about to start
•Digging underway to Abbeystead
The recent digging in Arkholme has also been immortalised in another one of the projects popular YouTube videos, which are always worth a watch (below). In related news ISPreview.co.uk recently conducted an extensive interview with one of the projects founders (here), which reveals more about their current and future plans.