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

Monday, Jul 23rd, 2012 (8:45 am) - Score 987

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).

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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.

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Mark-Jackson
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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