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B4SW Start Roll-out of 1Gbps FTTP Broadband to South Westmorland

Monday, August 22nd, 2016 (8:11 am) - Score 1,354

The Broadband for South Westmorland project, which aims to roll-out a 1Gbps capable Fibre-to-the-Premise (FTTP/H) broadband network to the rural communities of Old Hutton & Holmescales, New Hutton and Preston Patrick in Cumbria (England), yesterday began construction with local volunteers.

More than 500 local homes and businesses in the area look set to benefit from the deployment and around 300 of those have already expressed an interest in taking the service, which typically costs customers £30 .inc VAT per month and £150 (one-off) to install.

The project is a spin-off of the successful B4RN network, which has already confirmed that their fibre optic cable would reach a cabinet at J36 Auction Mart and that was close enough for the local communities to consider mucking in with their own 40 miles worth of cable duct / network extension.

As usual B4RN will use a mix of contractors and local volunteers to help build the network and this is being supported by an accumulated investment of around £280,000+. However the precise build cost won’t be confirmed until the final surveys have been completed in a few months’ time, although they already have enough money to complete the bulk of the new network.


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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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85 Responses
  1. Optimist says:

    No mention of BDUK cash, or are these admirable DIY initiatives just left to fend for themselves?

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      It’s not a BDUK project, this is very much a community driven initiative. I believe £218,050 in loans and investments from residents, with a further £50,000 from a charity and South Lakeland District Council (SLDC). On top of that they’re hoping to get confirmation of another £10,000 grant.

  2. thats-the-spirit says:

    A great example of what can be archived if people got up off their rears and stopped expecting everything to be handed to them on a plate…. thats almost as bad as the collective delusions of the Local Authorities who thought that handing all your BDUK money to BT was going to deliver something other than an opportunity to subsidise their overspend on sports coverage 😐

    1. FibreFred says:


    2. Regis says:

      And yet spirit if you couldn’t watch sport in comfort at home instead of lets say the pub or going to the match yourself you would be amongst the first to complain.

      Bottom line is they would not spend money on something with no demand…. people demand sport from there tv provider so they have to supply it or people will not watch on their platform.

      Oh and just so you know bt only paid £960 million where sky paid £1.476 billion for the 2016 football so just who is overspending???????.


    3. Optimist says:

      Why not allow these local groups to access the BDUK funding? Rather than a contract to a large player like BT, just pay providers a fixed amount for each unconnected customer they manage to successfully connect. Some providers might prefer to lay cable, others to link by wireless.

    4. Ignition says:

      I really don’t think it’s wise to allow projects like this access to BDUK funds.

      There’s just not enough behind the groups if things go wrong.

      I’m more than happy to get off my rear if you could help me out with just how our community can dig our own fibre given we don’t have tons of privately owned soft verges and fields we can route fibre through, so nearly all public property streetworks, and how we handle that most of the fibre would be through pavements and, more painfully, standard and block paved carriageways.

      A Virgin Media team manages 4-10m of block paving a day due to having to lift it, by hand, excavate underneath, install ducting, including cut blocks to make room for swept ts, reinstate, and replace the paving as was. Given there would be hundreds of metres of this to handle I’m not convinced it’d be viable for us.

      One size does not fit all. This work can only realistically be done in areas with plenty of amenable private landowners happy to not take wayleaves and plenty of soft verges and fields to cross, and even then it’s costing a grand per premises passed.

      In an area like ours, a modern build suburban housing estate, even professionals like Virgin Media, with mass employed contractors, volume discounts on hardware and ready-made termination points for networks are having to spend £800+ per premises to pass us, and however much on top to connect us due to the layout of the properties and the high quantity of block paving. Over £1 million to connect 1,100 properties, along with another 200-ish MDUs to be dealt with separately.

      So if you can come up with a way that our lazy community can work around these obstacles and build our own FTTP viably that’d be great. Thank you! 🙂

    5. Ignition says:

      Just FYI before the advent of FTTC and BDUK I had actually planned out a wireless hybrid transmitter / mesh network. It was made redundant by the arrival of FTTC, then the completion of the BDUK build however, but had been planned from location of repeaters through to bill of materials, quotes for backhaul and IP ranges, and routers to terminate the backhaul.

  3. NGA for all says:

    Great to see, not too far from Fibre Garden. Let’s hope that ambition can be resurrected.

  4. chris conder says:

    Great news, another community with grit, going where BT can’t go. ie the hard bits. What a shame that all the funding got wasted on obsolete old cabinets. But these folk will end up owning their own network and not paying through the nose for substandard copper connections and Gavin’s pension fund.

    1. TheFacts says:

      or feed the greedy shareholders of Cityfibre, Gigaclear and Virgin Media.

      Are Huaewi products obsolete?

    2. AndyH says:

      How/why B4RN let you speak is beyond me. The constant BT bashing gets very boring…perhaps you can change the record?

    3. TheFacts says:

      Another statement by the B4RN Press Officer published elsewhere:

      ‘In a few years openreach will be handed over to whichever government is in power to do the job properly, with real investment in the infrastructure.’

    4. Gadget says:

      Somehow I don’t see Openreach being “handed over” to either government or self-rule without a lot of money changing hands

    5. GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: Your posts are quite amusing, coming from someone who had this crazy notion that a government-funded nationwide FTTP should be done. Wake up, and come back to the real world here!

      We have yet to see any reasonable proposals coming from you, instead you have nothing better to do than posting your (at times strange) statements or questions in an attempt to ridicule other posters.

    6. TheFacts says:

      To be clear I said that was an option, not that it should be done.

      Here we have B4RN proposing that the Openreach network would be taken into public ownership and the government funding 100% FTTP. Is that correct?

    7. GNewton says:

      @TheFacts: I think we let Chris answer your question for further clarification. If I understand her correctly BT won’t be worth much anyway in the long term because of its severe lack of proper fibre investment, and perhaps its pension burden, and therefore the government will be forced to splash out more cash for needed fibre investment.

      IMHO a better scenario would be to bypass BT altogether, and let communities do their own investments. B4SW is just one example on how things can be done.

    8. TheFacts says:

      @GN – is that the view of professional analysts? If ‘proper fibre investment’ ie. FTTP is the reason for the statement then maybe near 95% coverage of >30M and its takeup shows a success story.

      We await a rely from B4RN.

    9. karl says:

      “How/why B4RN let you speak is beyond me.”

      Chris i believe has an MBE so more important people than yourself decided she had something of worth to a community or communities in this country. We just now need to work out who important thinks you have any worth?

    10. AndyH says:

      @ karl – I see you’re back with the personal attacks again.

    11. karl says:

      There was a question and a statement not a personal attack.

      Have you been recognised by royalty for anything? Perhaps that is why B4RN “let” her “speak”.

      How or why you think you and your opinion is more important only you would know, i sure don’t.

    12. AndyH says:

      No, it’s a personal attack – sticking a question mark in there is irrelevant. Who I am and my credentials are none of your business.

      On virtually every news article involving BT or B4RN, Chris goes on the attack against BT. It adds no value to the articles in question, other than starting off a bit of a fracas.

    13. karl says:

      “Who I am and my credentials are none of your business.”
      The same way of course who B4RN choose (if they do which i doubt) who speaks for them is none of your business.

      “On virtually every news article involving BT or B4RN, Chris goes on the attack against BT. It adds no value to the articles in question, other than starting off a bit of a fracas.”
      And you defend BT on every item which adds about the same value. Welcome to a world where you do not always get your own way.

  5. fastman says:

    more mis /dos information again

    Great news, another community with grit, going where BT can’t go –. ie the hard bits. – Was openreach ever Asked ? What a shame that all the funding got wasted on obsolete old cabinets -really – so community raised hundreds of thousands of pounds of their own money without checking what their options were !!! because someone told them that was their only option !!!!!

    1. Bernerlap says:

      So what were the other options? In February I had 0.5 Mbps and no hope of improvement. I now have 1 Gbps upload and download. It’s transformative for local people and businesses. SFNY told us the best they could offer was 10 Mbps somewhere down the line. For properties & communities like ours B4RN was the only option.

    2. Andrew T. says:

      Yes Fastman. I asked as I have 12000m of copper between me and the exchange 16 bits (or bites, bytes etc) anyway it did not work..
      The reply from BT – “you have no chance”. I put up some of my own money sharpened the spade and got on with it. I am now connected to B4RN, it works!

    3. Bernerlap says:

      Oh and BTW way it’s money we’ll get back, it’s not a donation it’s an investment. B4RN pays interest of 5% on loans, and a dividend on shares. Moreover WHEN it moves into profit community grants will come on stream. It’s a win win project for communities involved. Top quality broadband leads to more investment by local businesses. I was talking to an estate agent the other day and people buying houses in our areas are demanding that properties can be connected to B4RN. And it’s done a great deal to bring rural communities together,

  6. fastman says:

    there are a number of self dig communtities working directly with openreach so again I ask who do you ask !!!!

    1. GNewton says:

      Who are these self-digging communities working with Openreach?

    2. fastman says:

      G newton there are a number more recent than that one mentioned and continue to be more coming to have that discussion about what there options are

    3. Bernerlap says:

      Can’t find anything on these Community Fibre Partnerships before 2015. We started planning 2014.
      They seem a step forward, but at the same
      time they don’t invalidate the value of B4RN
      and similar schemes. I don’t see why you should be
      so hostile to us. We’re providing a service
      people need and decent investment opportunities
      for people. Plus community benefit long term.

    4. GNewton says:

      Interesting. So in the case of these self-dig communities working with Openreach, once the project is finished, who then owns the local fibre networks? With what kind of wholesale agreements?

    5. MikeW says:

      You’ll probably find it is Chris that turns up with an ongoing antagonistic, name-calling, approach. That has a tendency to generate hostility in return.

      B4RN are doing fine in their segment, with their approach, though its not for everyone. That doesn’t automatically invalidate BT’s approach to their core segment, though its not for everyone either.

      Unfortunately, Chris has been hammering BT’s approach since at least 2009, when she was yammering about how FTTC would leave lots of people on speeds of 5Mbps or less. Since we’ve seen how that turned out, we see that claim a little less.

      Yet the bashing continues unabated. The name-calling continues unabated. The lack of a proportionate response is telling: It is Chris’ way or the highway.

    6. fastman says:

      the were call private fundind before that and the first one was done in 2012 I– I want communtues to be objectively informed and then make the right decision once they know what their options are

      problem is objectivity in this debate is becoming harder to find and comments such as the one below re not helpful / or objective

      comment such as

      Great news, another community with grit, going where BT can’t go. ie the hard bits. What a shame that all the funding got wasted on obsolete old cabinets. But these folk will end up owning their own network and not paying through the nose for substandard copper connections and Gavin’s pension fund. !!!!

    7. karl says:

      “So in the case of these self-dig communities working with Openreach, once the project is finished, who then owns the local fibre networks?”

      A great question once again side stepped by BT employees

    8. TheFacts says:

      Looks like it’s part of the Openreach network:

      Residents are now looking forward to having a superfast service on the network, which will offer access to all communications providers on an equal wholesale basis, enabling them to choose from a number of suppliers so they can choose the best deal for their own needs.

      If it was not how would a eg. 40 premises project provide ongoing management and support.

    9. Bernerlap says:

      Fair point Fastman, but I’m curious to know what happens to community funding once it’s raised for the community fibre programme. Our community raised best part of £250k to build the network, we have to raise another £40k (approximately) to complete all the Spurs and roughly half of that is pledged already. Anyone who puts money into B4RN gets either interest on the loan they make (5%) or a dividend & 30% tax relief from the government’s EIS scheme on any shares they purchase. Financially it’s a good deal. It’s even better when you consider that any profits B4RN make is ploughed back into the community. I’m a parish councillor, we could do loads of good things for our parish with grants from B4RN, improve our children’s play park or have an old people’s minibus for example. It’s a dimension you don’t get with Open Reach.
      The next Parish along from us is largely in the YDNP. B4RN wouldn’t take a grant from the YDNPA, They would take a loan. The interest and capital from that loan can be put back into other projects Local Authority Grants to Open Reach can’t be.

    10. karl says:

      If you are a Parish Councillor and the same goes for any i suggest you/they look into things carefully. Other small communities have raised money only then to give tens of thousands to BT to get some cabinet enabled/built, with no return on their investment. The worst thing being those which are a distance from the cabinet still get horrid speeds.

      If you have the ability to form a group and do it yourself, then do. It will bring the community even closer, those that invest get a return on their investment and most importantly you can choose the best tech and not the cheapest third party option to provide the community with what it really wants.

    11. fastman says:

      Karl – positive comments as ever

      But to answer you questions any thing that get self dug / part self dug with a community as part of a community fibre partnership then forms part of the BT estate and is therefore the responsibility of openreach to maintain., repair / upgrade (in line with national programmes) at no cost to the community ever

    12. fastman says:

      Karl — so which community them gets horrid speeds that have funded — because I cant think of any !!!!!

      So I think I know where you are 1!!!

    13. Bernerlap says:

      Karl, I have, I’m a B4RN local champion. I think it’s a project that works if only because community money stays with the investors and community that raises it.

    14. karl says:

      Well done Bernerlap 🙂
      Good to hear another positive story rather than the dismissive BT employee drool.

    15. MikeW says:

      I think there’s a confluence of things that come together to make it work – but community helps, certainly. On the financial side, volunteering makes a tremendous difference, but I think the biggest thing will become the zero-cost wayleaves given by the landowners.

      If your Clapham subproject has 60km of duct, that makes a saving over the (old) standard NFU/BT rates of between £20,000pa and £30,000pa (or one off payments of £300-400k). That would add £6-8 (+vat, likely) to the monthly cost for each of your 300 homes, which is not to be sniffed at.

      It also, over the life of the company, becomes a significant non-income to the landowners/farmers. Over time, I think the farmers will end up having made the biggest sacrifice.

      It might become thought that the grants going into the community are actually due to the largesse of the farmers.

  7. fastman says:

    sorry who did you ask !!!

    1. wirelesspacman says:

      If you want to ask a question, try using a question mark and not “!!!” 🙂

    2. Andrew T. says:

      Sorry to be vague. To be more precise I asked an open question in the Lancaster City Councils Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting Wednesday 9th October 6.00pm 2013.
      The answer was from Steve Edwards representing BT at the meeting.

    3. Bernerlap says:

      Superfast North Yorkshire

  8. fastman says:

    Bernalep my understanding is no residential community community has had to raise any like that amount so you are sertously incorrect so no view where you have that figure from

    so I assume you are you assuming perhaps a large indsutrual estates where significant amount of stcructures needs to be enabled then that could explain why the number is used –

    1. Bernerlap says:

      I’m not talking about Community Fibre, I’m talking about our B4RN Project.And I can guarantee that figure is correct. We’re talking about a rural community project that has laid over 60 kilometres of duct. Check out a screenshot of an article in the i on our Facebook page.
      https://www.facebook.com/claphamhyperfast/ We’ve already connected almost 100 properties and before we’re finished we’ll connect another couple of hundred. I know the figures, I’ve helped raise the money, dug in the duct and connect properties. We don’t pass any properties even if it involves taking duct over a mile over a moor. So please, do not patronise me.

    2. Chris P says:

      @ Bernerlap
      Hard expensive work when you do it yourself, ~ £1k to £2k per property plus ongoing charges. Like many, i’d like faster BB but don’t have £2k to pay for fttp ondemand.

      i’d prefer the choice of a number of isp’s than just 1 though.

    3. GNewton says:

      @Chris P: “Like many, i’d like faster BB but don’t have £2k to pay for fttp ondemand.”

      Who offers FTTP-on-demand?

    4. karl says:

      No ISP AFAIK, and Bernerlap project as he has mentioned sees a return on his community work so dunno why the BT troll of many names keeps going on about BT partnerships.

  9. fastman says:


    I though that £250 was directed at an openreach community funded rather that your scheme –

  10. Bernerlap says:

    We’re on budget and it’s coming in at less than £1.50 a metre. That isn’t expensive. And if I lend B4RN £20 k over 5 years. I get over £25 k back and our community has access to grants for projects which are increasingly hard to fund in other ways. So in financial terms, I make a profit, our community has more money invested in it and we get the broadband speeds equal to the fastest in the world. All it takes is hard work. For most of us it’s a no brainer.

  11. Andrew T. says:

    @Mike W.
    “largesse of the farmers”. That is the whole point of B4RN, it is a community project a difficult concept to grasp for some. It not viable if BT rate wayleaves have to be paid so no chance of proper fibre actually into the router broadband through BT for the farmers or anyone else more than a few hundred metres from the cabinets.

  12. Andrew T. says:

    @ Chris P
    Not everyone working on the B4RN community project has £2k to spare but has a spade or skills needed not least being able to keep the tea and cake flowing.
    If only one ISP is a problem you always have the choice of going back to what you have now.

  13. Bernerlap says:

    @Mikew it’s true we couldn’t do it without farmers and in our case the Ingleborough estate who have been incredibly supportive. But farmers benefit in 2 ways, firstly from shares for digging if they wish and second from having their own 1Gbps broadband. As for the grants coming to be seen as the largesse of farmers I fail to see what’s wrong with that if it makes the community appreciate them more. But I’m not sure how that will happen, no one else is competing with us to offer them NFU/BT rates. With very few exceptions the farming community could not have been more helpful.

  14. MikeW says:

    @AndrewT, @Bernerlap
    Absolutely – a community effort. The gains that bring is not lost on me. And a shared /effort/ by all – some bringing money, some bringing sweat, some knowledge, some trust, some time. Some tea 😉 and some bringing km after km of space.

    In almost every case, that shared effort is primarily required in the build, and the demands lessen over time – especially as loans and shares are paid back.

    But that isn’t true of the farmers/landowners. They (most likely) play one large/volunteer part in the build phase, being rewarded with shares and a decent connection – all very similar to everyone else. But they also play an ongoing, annual, perpetual part by not being paid for the wayleave. While everyone else’s “involvement” (I can’t think of a better word; sacrifice? commitment? contribution?) lessens over time, the “involvement” of these guys doesn’t.

    I recall a point made by Barry Forde that farmers were on board so long as there was zero whiff of a profit being made anywhere. So long as it never appeared to be a commercial approach.

    Right now, B4RN looks far from commercial. It looks, and feels, to everyone involved as a great community effort with everyone having made some part of the sacrifice. But in 10-15 years’ time, as the loans and share repayments come to an end, and the sacrifice becomes a distant memory, I wonder if it will still feel that way.

    Will the company, loan-free, shares repaid, and handing out grants start to feel commercial? Will the farmers start to wonder?

    @Andrew says: “It not viable if BT rate wayleaves have to be paid”

    In truth, it isn’t viable unless everyone contributes something, one way or another (and it is great that people are doing so).

    But everyone’s other inputs are seen to get some sort of return (it wouldn’t be viable if not…). There’s that gigabit connection for a starter, but people putting time in get shares. People putting money in get shares. People getting shares get a 5% return from it, and eventual repayment. People putting loans in get a return on it and eventual repayment. But people putting in wayleaves for their land don’t get a return for that part.

    That one part just seems a little out of balance to me – so I wonder if it ends up storing a future grudge.

    @bernerlap says “no one else is competing with us to offer them NFU/BT rates”

    I think the clincher in the short to medium term is that the other gains make it easy to forget these payments. And while there isn’t competition as such there is a reminder:

    Every year, when a farmer puts together the accounts, and sees the varied annual contributions to his income from wayleave payments for the other utilities, it will be an annual reminder that there isn’t one from B4RN. The “competition” comes from this aspect: an annual reminder that perhaps they signed away a few £thousand of income.

    When Brexit, for example, causes a reduction in subsidies, and the farmers are trying to make ends meet, will it still look balanced?

    Only time (quite a lot of it) will tell.

    1. Bernerlap says:

      Except no one is competing with B4RN
      and he may see a loss of income once a
      year, but he sees an improvement in his
      Internet connection EVERY DAY. He also
      sees improved local facilities every day.
      As for farm incomes, 2 of the 3 scenarios
      outlined by the report the NFU commissioned
      on Brexit from the University of Leyden
      showed an increase in farm incomes after
      Brexit. Basically I think you’re a BT employee
      worried about a competitor.

    2. AndyH says:

      @ Bernerlap – Just because you don’t like or disagree with what someone says here, doesn’t make them automatically a BT employee. It’s a common theme on this site that anyone defending or supporting BT in anyway is automatically labelled a BT employee.

      You mean this report http://www.nfuonline.com/news/eu-referendum/eu-referendum-news/uk-farmings-relationship-with-the-eu-nfu-report/ ? It doesn’t say anything like this…

      “Under the first scenario, the study found that farmers’ incomes would fall by an average of €24,000 if farmers were to lose all subsidies. The other scenarios would cost €17,000 and €34,000 respectively..” https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2016/apr/05/brexit-will-leave-uk-farmers-up-to-34000-worse-off-study-finds

      Farmer income falls, it doesn’t increase.

    3. MikeW says:

      You’re allowed your prejudices too.

      I’m perfectly OK with B4RN doing what they have done. I have no association with BT apart from buying part of a service from the (indirectly), which I do in preference to buying that service from VM. Accusing people of being BT employees is a lame excuse for actually having to defend the point being made.

      But, just because I’m OK with what B4RN are achieving doesn’t mean I think they have approached every aspect perfectly.

      One aspect is the one I have mentioned – where the zero-cost wayleaves do make for a lasting legacy to the individual farmers. It stands out as a lack of balance in the design of the scheme. And while you think a loss of income is only seen once a year, it is felt every day when belts have to be tightened, and choices have to be made over food on the table.

      My issue isn’t about competition between BT and B4RN. My issue is about the design of the scheme putting an undue imbalance on one part of the community in favour of other parts of the community. I’d have thought, as a councillor, your remit would include such considerations, and require a lack of blinkers.

      I’d have designed a scheme that gave /some/ income to the farmer. It would not have been full NFU/CLA/BT rates, and it might not have kicked in until the share/loan payments were finishing, but I’d have tried to make something equivalent to the “5% interest” on shares. Perhaps it would have been best done by an allocation of shares per km.

      The other aspect I found distinctly distasteful is the willful confusion that @Chris continued to push in the startup of B4RN – that “long lines would get less than 5Mbps” on FTTC, without any attempt to differentiate between long exchange lines and long cabinet lines. Without any attempt to figure out the scales involved. I’ve listened to Barry Forde extend the confusion in public meetings; no attempts to clarify. The community they brought along with them – currently achieving great things – is built on that confusion. I’d argue that the foundations are built on something akin to a lie. But I equally know that telling the full truth would have been confusing.

      That’s long before Clayton, or indeed anyone in Yorkshire, will have been involved.

      The problem is that the original B4RN scheme required high takeup from the bigger places – Wray, Hornby etc – to ever get off the ground, so willfully confusing people there was perhaps a necessary, deniable evil – though I’m sure it didn’t take much to persuade people that BT were evil and would stay evil. Of course the inhabitants of Wray were only ever going to get 5Mbps, weren’t they @chris? … though the checkers seem to estimate 80/20 at the moment (no, that isn’t an invitation to divert the discussion off to overbuild)

      But I’m not worried. The community have chosen to believe the confusion, and have gone out and built their own network. Bully for them – there is indeed no looking back now. And others are, unsurprisingly joining in too. But I have enough honour to wish that the original foundations were built on truth instead (and to have still prevailed). I’d have hoped for similar honour from a local councillor.

    4. Colin Wightman says:

      I am ex farmer on the b4sw site. I had a main gas main, a fibre optic cable and a Etherlean pipeline and the M6 Moterway put through my land, I have also had various Water main and BT cables put through my land which I have not had a pennie of way leave, the M6 Moterway was a one-off sale of £250 per acre, gas main was one off payment for a way leave so was the etherleen and fibre optic cable.
      I had also the thirlmere aqaduct which l never recived a penny for way leave for but UnitEd Utilies get millions from water through my land from and line their share holders

    5. gah789 says:

      Could we at least try to get the figures correct? The most recent NFU/CLA wayleave rate is £0.25/m/yr WHEN wayleaves are required. They are not required when the land used is owned by someone being served nor for duct in public land (roads, etc) installed under Code Operator powers. Additional wayleave payments are not required for installation in existing duct. In cases that I am familiar with the wayleave payments for new fibre (for leased lines) would apply to less than 25% of length of the line. On this basis, the annual payment would be less than £4,000 per year for 60 km of duct. Everyone – BT, B4RN, etc – seeks to minimise the overall cost of installation plus wayleaves by designing their network to make maximum use of existing assets and by laying duct along the cheapest routes.

      In any case, this sum is not and never was a payment that the farmers were being asked to give up. Neither BT nor any other fibre operator was offering to install fibre duct under those terms so the sacrifice was and remains zero. In fact, by participating the farmers are receiving a Gigabit connection at £30 per month. That is a saving of hundreds of pounds a year on the cost of getting a much worse connection via satellite or leased line – the only real alternatives.

      In our case – a community wireless system – we offer landowners a free connection to allow us to locate a relay and the associated power cable on their land, because wireless relays are more obtrusive than fibre duct. It is a very good deal for them and for us. The idea that farmers are making some large sacrifice to underpin community broadband networks is ludicrous.

    6. Chris P says:

      B4rn charge a lot more than £30 for their 1 Gb connection.

    7. karl says:

      B4rn charge a lot more than £30 for their 1 Gb connection.”

      No they do not…

      Lets not let get facts get in the way of a attack the competition orgy though.

  15. Andrew T. says:

    Why on earth would BT have an employee bothering about competition from a very small unviable community project.

    1. Bernerlap says:

      Now we have it. You say B4RN is unviable,
      when actually it is a model that works. Why would
      anyone but a competitor say that!

    2. MikeW says:

      More importantly, why would a BT employee be concerned about the income of a farmer in 10 years time? Why would he be bothered about future community harmony?

      Who said the model was unviable? It is obviously working in northern Lancashire, with tentacles into God’s own country.

      My only point was that the model wasn’t quite balanced right. A matter that is purely internal within B4RN.

    3. Bernerlap says:

      @mikew @andrewt “@Bernerlap
      Why on earth would BT have an employee bothering about competition from a very small unviable community project.”

    4. Bernerlap says:

      @MikeW no local farmers are forced to participate. They CHOOSE to do so. I’ve been responsible for seeing many of them and I’m completely up front with them. I always say they’re entitled to refuse (not that they need to be told) and B4RN do not pay for way leaves. Ironically so far the only refusal we’ve had is not from a working farmer but from someone who bought some land with a big house and let’s it out. I imagine farmers know NFU/BT terms but still accept our offer. That is their choice and I fail to see how that is anyway dishonourable. Equally we’re now moving into Clapham. We’re laying our first duct in the village on Friday as a matter of fact, we already have considerable interest because BT service in the village is unreliable. Over 20 houses had no phone or Internet for 10 day after the storms in December last year. I don’t know what you have against B4RN but impugning someone else’s honour for no good reason is pretty contemptible. I wasn’t at the original meetings in Hornby or Wray but there was obviously a need or why would the Wray Wireless network have been started.
      If you had an ounce of integrity you’d apologise to me, but you’re obviously a bitter twisted weak pathetic individual who can’t bare to see a project you opposed succeed,

    5. karl says:

      Why on earth would BT have an employee bothering about competition from a very small unviable community project.”

      The same reason they bothered to tell all their employees to vote to remain in Europe…. Their pockets and the nagging, tiny little worry despite all their pondering, no substance provado the underdog can win.

    6. Gadget says:

      I agree Bernerlap about impugning someone’s honour with rhetoric like “Snake Oil Salesman” has no place in the forum discussions

    7. fastman says:

      The same reason they bothered to tell all their employees to vote to remain in Europe…. Their pockets and the nagging, tiny little worry despite all their pondering, no substance provado the underdog can win.

      actually no they did not the business wrote to its employses indicating what the business position was and why the business was taking that position — hardsly surpising when the business operates in excess of 170 Countries worldwide

      More rubbish

    8. karl says:

      Agree writing to its employees was more rubbish and as it turns out a waste of time and money eh LOL

  16. Bernerlap says:

    @andyH if they were to lose all subsidies.
    Which won’t happen. If we had remained in the
    EU subsidies were far more likely to fall as in
    the new settlement in 2020 the E European
    Countries would have wanted more of the cake.
    And that’s before countries like Serbia, Macedonia
    and Montenegro are added into the picture

    1. Bernerlap says:

      And that incidentally was precisely what the report
      said, not the NFU & Guardian cherry picking of it.

  17. Colin Wightman says:

    £0.25/per month per year that’s a load of bull .we go t nothing

  18. Andrew T. says:

    @The Facts
    As I see it Openreach is a subsidiary company owned by BT with one employer BT.
    If BT could hive Openreach off to the Government then BT would get its infrastructure built and repaired for nowt.
    If there are BT personnel on here then maybe they could tell me I am wrong.

    1. karl says:

      The sharehorders wont like that.

    2. TheFacts says:

      Completely wrong. BT do not employ Openreach, your use of that term shows your lack of knowledge.

  19. Andrew T. says:

    @ The Facts
    Thank you, good to know what the term should be?

  20. fastman says:

    karl –good grief you managed not to use the word Troll — !!!! — is that a standard work in Devon then !!!!

    1. karl says:

      Nope not in Devon either further north.

  21. chris conder says:

    Just for the record, and the avoidance of doubt. The B4RN network was designed for the final third. The rural part of our area where no broadband (and in some areas not even reliable dial up) would work. We’ve had satellites for years, and in some places even they wouldn’t work. No mobile at all not even 2G. The network build relied on free wayleaves to reach those places. If they hadn’t been forthcoming, the network would never have reached them. That is the reward the farmers get. A truly fantastic internet service for their business and future generations. As has been pointed out previously here, the farmer is not paid wayleaves by openreach for the land used leading up to his farm, just wayleaves for connections further on. Many of our farms are the end of the lines anyway, so they would not have got anything from Openreach. And openreach wouldn’t have brought them fibre anyway. A lot of our phone lines are way more than 5km from cabinets or exchanges which means ‘superfast’ or even superslow doesn’t reach them. New fibber cabinets make no difference to us farmers. The fibber cabinets now appearing in our villages (together with new pcp cabinets) are only in the villages where b4rn has built, proving that competition does work, as they wouldn’t have come had not the community built their own network. MikeW can argue till he’s blue in the face but we have the proof. Other villages outside our footprint are still EO areas. But we’ll help them one day. At the moment we concentrate on helping the farmers and hamlets. And they help us back. It is a community thing, and one that won’t work when BT try to do it, because they don’t have the right plan. Shoving a fibbre cab in a village and taking the money is not community in action, it is a con, because it leaves an awful lot of people on long lines destined to remain analogue or pay through the nose for satellite data. FTTC is obsolete tech. A quick fix to help some go faster, but at the cost of a nation remaining leaders in the global world. Short term gain. Long term pain.

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