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UPD B4RN Rural Broadband Project Hit by Serious Criminal Theft in Lancashire

Tuesday, Dec 10th, 2013 (8:20 am) - Score 963

The B4RN (Broadband 4 Rural North) project in Lancashire (England) could face delays to the roll-out of their 1Gbps capable community-built and funded Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) based broadband network after thieves broke into one of their trailers and made off with critical equipment. Luckily locals have pulled together to help keep the work on track.

It’s understood that the criminals, whom struck during the night of 4th December 2013, cut the padlock on a trailer parked at Fleets Farm (Gressingham, Lancaster) as work was being carried out in that area.

Several items, including a compressor, a generator, a transformer and a fibre optic cable blowing machine were stolen. The police were called in at 9am the following morning.

B4RNs Statement

B4RN is fully insured for all operatives and equipment, however the theft of this equipment was likely to cause delays to work whilst replacements were sourced. B4RN volunteers are making a real push to get as many people as possible connected before Christmas so this was a particularly disheartening blow. Fortunately these delays have been eliminated as the community have pulled together in response and loaned money to B4RN so the equipment can be replaced quickly.

In addition, one of B4RN’s main suppliers, Emtelle, have supplied replacement equipment on a loan basis. This will allow work to continue as planned which will ensure the community, which desperately needs the connectivity, receives it with the minimum of delay.

Clearly this is a disappointment to the B4RN community however in the spirit they have already demonstrated in providing one of the most rural parts of the UK with one of the fastest connections in the world, they have shown great resilience and once again pulled together robustly in support of their project because they are determined that this will not be a setback.

The project has called for anyone with information on the theft to please come forward and contact Ben Hanley (PC3962) at Lancaster Police Station on 01524 596608 quoting Crime Reference BA1303993.

UPDATE 11:13am

You can find pictures of the related kit HERE.

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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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