The B4RN proposition
B4RN hyperfast broadband has been live at Forge Mill and Caton Green for some time now. A distribution cabinet is installed near Artlebeck bridge and work has commenced in Brookhouse South with properties now being connected. Work is about to commence in Brookhouse North. A management group has formed in Caton and a public meeting was held in July 2017. There is some preliminary work being undertaken which includes preparation of the route plan for Caton.
What is B4RN?
B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) provides one of the fastest domestic broadband services in the UK running at around 1 Gigabit per second for download and upload! It is delivered via the latest fibre optic technology direct to your home through community effort. It only happens if we, as a community, make it happen. B4RN is a local ‘do it yourself’ solution for local rural communities. B4RN is based locally at Melling and is registered as a non-profit community benefit society.
Why would I want B4RN?
Many people in Brookhouse can only get standard broadband at maybe 2 or 3 Megabits per second – that’s around 500 times slower than B4RN. You may be able to get BT Infinity Fibre provided there is availability at your local street cabinet. This is still around 27 times slower than B4RN depending what service you get and how good it is. The problem is that BT are only delivering fibre optic cable to the street cabinet – the signal then has to use the old copper cable to your home. B4RN bring the fibre optic cable right into your home. With B4RN it no longer matters how far you live from the exchange or street cabinet. You are future proofing your property.
Look how broadband speeds have increased over the years and how new services and content have filled the available bandwidth. There’s a limit to how much can be squeezed out of the old copper cable coming to your house. B4RN is future proofed as it leap frogs current technology by a mile. B4RN can upgrade their service in the future without any further digging or disruption.
“Alcatel-Lucent told the BBC that the demand for higher bandwidth grew by around 35% every year, making the need for more efficient ways to transfer data a massively pressing issue for ISPs, particularly with the growing popularity of data-heavy online services, such as film-streaming website Netflix.” by Dave Lee Technology reporter, BBC News 22 January 2014
More and more TV is being delivered via broadband. Ultra-High Definition streaming video is on the horizon. Freeview Plus has just been launched in addition to the existing catch up TV services. Most computer software is now delivered and updated via the Internet – Windows 10, Microsoft Office. Do you want your Windows 10 upgrade to take 3 hours to download or 5 minutes? Many now use cloud services such as Google Drive, One Drive or Dropbox for file storage or backup. B4RN’s upload speed is 1Gbps – some 2,000 times faster than standard broadband!
B4RN also brings increased bandwidth. This means family members can be watching videos and downloading large files all at the same time, your internet connection no longer being a limiting factor.
The community benefits
B4RN is registered as a non-profit community benefit society and will be using its profits to fund community projects in the parishes in which they operate. Our village schools and churches will get a free service from day one (although a one-off connection fee applies).
Cut to the chase – what are my options?
- Get a connection
The fibre optic cable is brought into your home ready for activation of the service. This gives you the flexibility to start the service whenever you want (maybe at the end of your current broadband contract) or maybe to make your home more saleable in the future. The cost for a connection is only £150 throughout this implementation project period. There is no obligation to take the service.
- Take the service
Once you have your connection you can take the service at £30 a month on a monthly contract. There is no line rental. In fact, you can dispense with your existing phone line and save money by taking an internet phone service such as Vonage that uses your existing phone hardware and phone number. Many people taking B4RN actually dispense with a landline number and simply use their mobile phone to save even more money.
- Invest in B4RN
Whether you want to take the service or not you may be looking for a return on your money. Investigate the B4RN share scheme which has tax benefits (EIS). If you invest £1,500 or more in shares you get a free connection! Friends and family can invest and we need to raise funds to complete the connection to all areas in Brookhouse. The share application form is below – ensure you specify Brookhouse North or Brookhouse South (depending on where you live) on the form.
- Let us cross your garden
If you’re taking a connection then we will already be crossing your land. Even if you don’t want a connection (we would urge you to so you can take the service later) we’d hope you’d let us cross your garden to get to your neighbours further down the road. Read more about granting wayleave permission.
- Do nothing
That’s your choice, however please be aware that it could cost far more than £150 if you want a connection in the future.