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B4RN Clone B4YS Hits 1Gbps Rural FTTH Broadband Funding Target

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014 (1:14 pm) - Score 566

The B4RN 4 Yealand, Silverdale & Storth (B4YS) project, which is a spin-off from B4RN’s scheme in Lancashire (England) that aims to roll-out a 1000Mbps capable Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network to three rural villages (Yealand, Silverdale and Storth), has raised 100% of its first Stage One funding target (£101k) to build the core network.

The community built and funded network has been working feverishly for months in order to secure the necessary investment, without recourse to any state aid, and as a result of today’s news the building work can now begin. That will be good news for locals, many of which are more accustomed to sub-5Mbps speeds.

But construction of the core link is only the first stage and Stage Two, which is also seeking a similar level of investment (approximately £100k), will involve finally bringing that service into individual homes and businesses (total investment of around £200k for stage 1+2).

B4YS’s Next Steps

• Stage Two fundraising continues (we’re already making a good dent).
• We notify all investors of the date that cheques will be cashed.
• We present our funds to B4RN, which allows our project to begin.
• B4RN issue receipt documents including Form EIS3, allowing UK taxpayers to reclaim 30% Enterprise Investment Scheme (EIS) tax relief.
• We finalise our route between the village halls and check we have permission from landowners.
• B4RN prepare a detailed plan for our parishes, encompassing all farms, houses and businesses who wish to be connected.
• The plan includes a final cost for our project; including Stage Two (this is roughly similar to Stage One).
• The Stage One funds are used to buy materials & equipment for our network.

It’s noted that BT and the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme intend to roll-out a slower but still quite capable FTTC service in some of the same area (Storth), possibly by the end of this year (assuming it’s not delayed.. again). But that’s never stopped B4RN before and B4YS are concentrating on a larger area than the BDUK scheme.

At this stage there are no firm timescales and B4YS are already calling for more volunteers to help construct the network, although digging through the wet and cold months ahead can be a very slow process even at the best of times.

As a side note B4RN charges £30 inc. VAT per month for an unlimited 1000Mbps service and there’s a connection fee of £150 to cover the cost of the new router, unless you are a shareholder investing over £1,500 (then the fee is waived).

Leave a Comment
7 Responses
  1. Avatar Gadget

    Well done for all the hard work…… hope there are no viaducts on the routes that need permissions.

    • Avatar MikeW

      Just the M6, Lancaster canal, and the West Coast Main line to cross. Probably harder to negotiate than to actually get the cable across physically, but perhaps not as difficult as dealing with the county council.

      It is impressive though. They just need to persuade more rural areas to follow suit.

    • Avatar FibreFred

      lol, yes.. lessons learn’t ‘n’ all 😉

  2. Avatar DanielM

    I previously lived in Silverdale. a nice place. but crap phone signal and very low dsl. this will improve alot.

  3. Avatar Walter G M Willcox

    The “slower but quite capable FTTC” can only provide its best asymmetric speeds within 300 m of the cabinet and all services suffer with lower reliability from connection faults etc. Given the delays, it may prove difficult to market FTTC especially with increasing costs whereas B4RN might decide to reduce theirs over time as they don’t require to make profits for shareholders.

  4. It’s great. I hope BDUK encourages BT to surrender the premises past Milestone payment and BT’s offers then backhaul from the nearest publicly sibsidised handover point and fibre spine.

    • haha, one can but dream. BDUK haven’t managed to give a halfpenny of funding to any of the B4RN area yet. The postcodes only get descoped once B4RN has serviced them, which of course make them ineligible for any funding. The councils have a lot to answer for! But after saying that, now is their chance to make a fresh start, and support the B4YS project. We shall see if they do? It would make a massive difference if the council and BDUK got behind them.

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