Who is B4RN?
B4RN is a local, community-focused, Not-For-Profit company based in Melling, who happen to provide a World Class gigabit FTTP service.
The home page of B4RNs website states:
B4RN is a professionally designed fibre optic broadband network. We’re registered as a non-profit community benefit society and run by a dedicated local team with the support of landowners and volunteers. We offer 1,000Mbps FTTP broadband to every property in our coverage area, costing households just £30 per month.
Who is B4RN 4 Halton?
B4RN 4 Halton is a group of people from the village, people who are possibly your friends & neighbours. People who care about Halton. We can see that B4RN is going to be good for the future of the village, and the people who live here. We have been working for the past five years on finding a way to bring B4RN into our village.
What have you been doing for the past five years?!
Well… quite a bit, but progress, as you may have noticed, has been slow. There have been times when we didn’t think that it would happen, but we have persevered.
There are several reasons for this! “B4RN Rural” has excelled for years in providing gigabit FTTP connections to farms, hamlets, and small rural villages in Lancashire, Cumbria, and beyond.
A relatively straightforward process of installing connections via fields and soft dig areas. Working this way has the benefit of being fast and cheap. Mole-ploughing fibre ducting across vast areas of land in a very short space of time.
Halton, however, has been a very different challenge. With a dense population and little soft-digging ground, progress has been slower than we would have liked, or anticipated, at the beginning.
What’s happening now?
The Government GBVS (Gigabit Voucher Scheme) that we have been asking you all to register your interest in here is allowing B4RN to firing up its village build programme, called “B4RN Village”, to run alongside its traditional rural projects. Halton is the first village to benefit.
B4RN’s CEO, Barry Forde, said: “We have quite a number of largish villages interested, typically ~1000 properties, which we have skirted round in the past as our ‘across the fields and up the garden’ model doesn’t work there. Too many road locked properties.”
In Halton, B4RN will be using a 100mm narrow trenching dig model along the pavements and roads – dropping a Toby Box outside the boundary of each property.
Barry added contractors will be used: “We are starting with a 5 man team delivering 60m of dig per day, climbing to an 8 man team delivering 120m per day and then adding additional 8 man teams as we settle in. The target is a 1000 property village per 6 months per 8 man team.”
All works will be carried out within approved planning and street works applications. Pedestrian & property access will always be considered, and diversions of the existing pathway around the construction works will be applied where necessary.
B4RN Village – The Community element
We still need you to help in your area.
Although B4RN Village takes away the responsibility of installing the core network, the village is still responsible for connecting the Toby Box to your property.
More information on how your help is need can be found here
Future-proofing Halton – The B4RN Difference
Most internet is currently provided along twisted copper wires to individual houses – a technology that was developed for telegraph lines over 100 years ago! Over the years, better and better methods have been developed to get data down these antiquated wires but they are fast becoming obsolete.
Fibre optics have long formed the backbone of major communications networks because they can handle huge amounts of data. They are highly reliable and can carry data very long distances without interference.
Over the last few years, dial-up became broadband (ADSL), ADSL+, then Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) where the fibre is brought to a cabinet much nearer your house. Each of these produced increased speeds, but nothing like what B4RN is capable of.
As well as high speeds, fibres are not affected by distance like copper or by water so your connection will be more reliable and consistent than copper.
B4RN will initially provide 1000Mbps upload and download, but the fibre is capable of much higher speeds with improved equipment at the ends. It’s just that most people can’t use more than 1000Mbps!
And the crazy thing is this. B4RN’s service of FTTP will be cheaper on a like-for-like package than any other commercial provider. Why? Because they are a not-for-profit organisation.
As a community group, B4RN 4 Halton and B4RN are looking to the future.