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B4RN Refresh Site and Add 1Gbps Rural FTTH Broadband Rollout Plan

Monday, October 26th, 2015 (10:09 am) - Score 911

The community driven B4RN project, which is building a 1000Mbps capable fibre optic broadband (FTTH/P) network to thousands of premises around rural Lancashire in England (inc. parts of Yorkshire and Cumbria), has launched a new website and revealed their future roll-out plan.

Back in May 2015 we reported that B4RN, which engages local volunteers in order to help build its network, had been so successful that they’d managed to put the service within reach of well over 1,500 premises (it may actually be closer to 3,000 but it’s difficult to gauge “premises passed” with a project like this) and had more than 1,000 subscribed (here).

Since then the network has continued to grow and at the last update we were told that they were adding new homes at a rate of 80-90 each month, with the average uptake sitting at around 67% on the built routes (peaking at 100% in some areas).

However one aspect of B4RN that has always been in need of a little polish is their website and we’re pleased to see that this has just been given a new coat of paint.

A B4RN Spokesperson said:

Well, after a lot of hard work our old website has been transformed. It is securely hosted by a trusted local company, BFI at Milnthorpe. John Hamlett (a local film maker, B4RN team member and volunteer) has ruthlessly pruned and streamlined the content to make things easier to find on the site, and he is to be congratulated on doing such a good job.

The team at Big fish have been very supportive at every stage, and after its launch on Monday have been available for all the tweeks to finish the job to John’s high standard of requirements. Anyone who knows John (the manic digger of Gressingham) knows what a perfectionist he is.

We hope you like the new site. It is full of resource documents that will be available to all the customers and volunteers. No more searching for share forms and instruction sheets, they are all in ONE place at last.

On top of that B4RN has also published a rough roll-out plan, which gives a clearer idea of where the network will be deploying next and which of its spin-off teams are involved. It would have also been nice to see some indication of time-scale(s), although admittedly it’s hard to do that with this type of project and in some cases funding must be secured before progress can be made.

Communities Live on B4RN

  • Arkholme, Newton, Whittington
  • Gressingham, Eskrigg, Aughton, Halton
  • Docker, Capernwray, Borwick, Priest Hutton, Yealand Conyers
  • Quernmore, Abbeystead, Dolphinholme
  • Roeburndale, Littledale, Wray, Wennington, Lowgill, Tatham Fells
  • Wrayton, Cantsfield, Low Bentham, Tunstall, Caton, Melling

Communities Installing B4RN

  • Yealand Redmayne, Silverdale, Storth (website)
  • Clapham, Keasden, Newby (website)
  • Burrow, Cowan Bridge, Leck, Ireby, Masongill
  • Hornby, Farleton, Claughton, Caton
  • Caton Green

Communities Route-planning B4RN

  • Austwick, Lawkland, Eldroth
  • Preston Patrick, Old Hutton & Homescales, New Hutton (website)
  • Hutton Roof, High Biggins
  • Ingleton, Westhouse (website)
  • Brookhouse

It’s worth noting that some of the listed locations, such as Ingleton, are on the borders with neighbouring counties (e.g. North Yorkshire).

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. sentup.custard says:

    Definitely an improvement – B4RN isn’t actually relevant to me down in London, but I take a slight interest in what they’re doing nonetheless, and the site’s certainly easier to navigate than it was when I last looked a month or so ago.
    🙂

  2. Ignition says:

    Commendable

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