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B4RN Begins First Dig of New 1Gbps FTTH Broadband Network in Lancashire UK

Saturday, Mar 31st, 2012 (7:58 am) - Score 1,499

Just after midday today the B4RN (Broadband 4 Rural North) project, which hopes to connect thousands of rural homes in north Lancashire UK via a unique “hyper-fast1Gbps (Gigabits per second) capable fibre optic (FTTH) broadband ISP network, will officially begin construction with a ceremonial “breaking of the sod” event (Jubilee Tower – 1pm).

The project is designed to be non-profit, operating through shared community involvement and funding. For example, some locals will help to dig the network in return for shares and others are supplying more direct financial support. So far B4RN has already “surpassed” its first funding target, which means that the actual physical work can now begin.

The first phase (one) in this development, which will begin midway along the route between Quernmore (network core) and Abbeystead today, is for a core route of fibre optic cable / ducts (i.e. a 51km long primary duct and 32Km of spurs) to be dug. This should reach about 500 local homes and businesses (premises).

B4RNs Christine Conder said:

After that the different stages will begin and be joined together prior to being lit, in approximately three months time. There are about 500 businesses and homes on the core who will be connected at this time, and the rest of the routes will start to dig and join up, like a web over the parishes, bringing in the rest of the customers who will make this network sustainable.”

B4RN’s business plan suggests that Phase 1 will ultimately need to lay fibre cables along 12+ routes that provide interconnections between the five hubs, the B4RN core in Quernmore and the resilient link back from Arkholme (covering 1452 properties). The total cost of the Phase 1 core is said to be around £364,000.

b4rn uk phase 1 core route map 21 miles

The Mayor of Lancaster, Woody, is expected to officially open the dig at 2pm today and locals have been asked to bring a spade. Assuming all goes well then the first customers can expect to pay £30 a month for the service, plus a £150 one-off connection fee.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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