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First 1Gbps Lancashire B4RN Broadband Connections to Go Live Within Weeks

Monday, July 23rd, 2012 (8:45 am) - Score 984
b4rn lancashire uk fibre optic dig

The B4RN (Broadband 4 Rural North) project, which is working to link thousands of rural homes in north Lancashire UK via a new non-profit and community built fibre optic (FTTH) broadband network, has now started to install its infrastructure into local premises and could go live “in the next few weeks“.

Construction of the new network officially began at the end of March 2012 (here) when around 100 people turned up to help lay the first optic cable in a field near Jubilee Tower at Quernmore (network core).

Since then the aim for Phase 1, which was originally estimated to “take approximately 3 months” before two months of bad weather slowed development, has been to connect 983 premises along 26 routes that involves the digging of 182,086 metres of trench (video of the b4rn project).

Despite delays the digging of the Phase 1 ducting has now reached the outskirts of Quernmore and is heading over to Abbeystead. The good news, according to B4RN’s latest update, is that houses en route are now being connected to the new network ready “for the fibre optic [cable] to be blown to carry 1000Mbps [1 Gigabit per second] connectivity“.

B4RNs Latest Status Update

The hub of this activity lies in Quernmore where one of the two nerve centres is sited. This links all B4RN users to the internet via the Geo fibre which runs through this picturesque valley. The green coloured cabinet, which houses all the necessary electronics for this wizardry, sits unobtrusively in the village and has recently been powered and populated ready to revolutionise internet connectivity for the residents of the core route between the parishes.

The Narr Lodge group of four barn conversions (houses), which resides just east of The Hub at Quernmore, are some of the first to see this near-final stage of work being carried out before the service starts to go live. A lovely post detailing the effort to connect these homes can be found here, although it’s a process that will need to be completed many more times in order to connect everybody on the list. Other telecoms operators have found that connecting individual homes is often the most costly and time consuming aspect of delivering a full fibre service.

It’s understood that this part of Quernmore, which is presently right on the limit of ADSL broadband technology, typically receives internet connection speeds of around 0.4Mbps to 1Mbps (Megabits per second). So the new service should deliver quite a boost once it goes live, which is an event that may or may not be witnessed by the Secretary of State, Jeremy Hunt MP (here). The total cost of the Phase 1 core is said to be around £364,000.

Leave a Comment
10 Responses
  1. Avatar Deduction

    Congrats to them on building their own PROPER next gen service.

  2. Avatar FibreFred

    So if its taken a month to get 4 houses connected are they going to revise their forecast of 983 in 3 months?

  3. Avatar Deduction

    No worse than BTs delays of over a year to FTTC my road (and im not even a rural dweller).

    Talking of 3 month spells thats also the period BT put enablement dates back at a time…. How ironic! Wonder who is copying who with that time frame?

  4. Avatar FibreFred

    I didn’t mention BT, I asked if they were going to revise their plan based on what they have learnt so far

  5. Thanks for the post! We are not too far behind schedule and stuff is happening all the time, its just a case of joining up all the dots. or ducts…
    Its great to see a community in action, but many fields still haven’t been siloed, so its going to be manic once they are. It doesn’t matter how long it takes really, but if every farmer dug his land on the same day the whole core could actually be built in 24hours. Life isn’t like that though, so we just do the best we can, and we will get there. We’ve waited for 10 years to get 1st generation broadband and so we are used to delays. Another month won’t hurt to deliver NGA. There are more houses connected besides Narr Lodge, but you are right Fibre Fred, we have a long way to go, and other routes not even started until the core is in. It is quite an undertaking, but not rocket science and quite within the capabilities of people with grit.
    Its all good stuff, and thanks to you all for your support on this forum.
    chris

  6. Thanks Fred, we’ll be having a party that’s for sure! A local TV company is lending us some internet ready TVs and we’re hoping to join our sister community in Kansas for some serious gaming, they are going live this week I think, we were having a race but it looks like they will beat us to the post. We’ll do some testing before we announce it to the world though, and let all the locals see it first, its their network after all…

  7. Avatar zemadeiran

    Kudos to the bumpkins 🙂

    I would also like to make a suggestion…

    Due to the excellent work in gene splicing and GM, I would recommend that you contact a national lab and combine the Belgian Blue double muscle Gene with that of a mole.

    Train said Arnie mole to pull microduct and bob is your uncle!

    Acceleration of B4RN 🙂

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