The weather has been very kind to the B4RN community lately. This has allowed for the digging, fibre blowing and customer connections to be carried out with the only interruptions being to apply more sun scream and drink tea.

There have been numerous stories coming from the new B4RN customers that are realising what a world class connection can offer. This one was posted to the Facebook page but was worth putting on the main page. Thank you for taking the time to share your experience.


We were blown by B4RN the other week. What an experience. It was a beautiful sunny day. There are some wonderful sounds associated with a British summer. The friendly babble of Test Match Special in the background, leather on willow, tennis ball on catgut, Aussie stumps rattling regularly. Well now there is a new sound. Sponge hitting bottle. What finer acoustic to add to the list. At last we knew we had a patent duct – all that twisting and writhing had been worth it.

Next came a rapid reshuffling of equipment. A squirt of lubricant a few tweaks and adjustments and hey presto 90 metres of fibre.

Once the required length was achieved it was my neighbour’s turn with equally satisfying results.
Not since the anticipation surrounding George Alexander Louis had there been so much anxiety. Will it be today, will it be tomorrow. Will it work?

Out of the blue I got a text message at work. “Christine Condor is in our house connecting us up”. What? THE Christine Condor? Star of TV, radio and all things broadband. The very same. Five minutes later I got a hasty phone call. “Christine has gone down to the cabinet to turn us on. Quick, while she is not here which lead do I plug into the router? Didn’t want to look daft…?” A quick Ethernet stuffed in the right place and off we went.

By the time I got home it was all done and dusted.

Eventually I will tire of going on speedtest.net. Eventually. No matter how many times I do it I still marvel as the needle hits the red zone. I want to be able to break the magic 100. I was advised to visit an Amsterdam website. I thought those were the ones that David Cameron wants to get the internet companies to ban but it turns out the Dutch have faster speed test sites. That said what is 10meg between friends? Yesterday I was managing with 2!

A huge thank you to all the main players in the team. Volunteers all. Yes that’s right – all volunteers. So next time you see a B4RN volunteer offer them a cuppa, a smile and a thank you. To Barry and Bruce, Chris, Chris, Chris and Chris. David, Eric and Tom to name but a few. Thank you also to the more local players. Stuart and Pat, Zita, Philip, Richard and David, not to mention the terrible trio of John, Kevin and Thomas.

It is worth it.

These words are meant to provide mirth not offence –and to cheer the team on and on.

One Comment

  1. Ah, the sound of the sponge! I think its the most exciting bit of the whole thing. Our high tech pop bottle is an essential part of our kit.

    Glad you are all joining the digital revolution down that end of the valley, soon all the others at this end will be on too, and the speedtest sites will get hammered. Already we find that the speedtest servers in different countries can’t keep up with the demands from all over the world, so don’t worry if they don’t show high speeds all the time. If you really want to get over the 100 barrier you have to be on a computer with a high speed ethernet card and also use a high speed (cat6 or cat5e) ethernet cable, but don’t let it worry you, the speedtest is only a rough guide anyway. Most servers who run speed tests are either too slow or too busy to deliver an accurate result. Also make sure the device you are using is powered up and not on battery, that makes it a bit faster too. Amsterdam Ookla is the fastest site we’ve spotted for upload speeds, and Manchester TNP usually the best downloads, and a fantastic ping.
    The best test is to get all your friends/family round for a pizza with their own laptops, and everyone log on and stream videos at the same time.
    Or upload videos, photos, or livestream, that is the real test of a good connection.

    On behalf of the team, thanks for the lovely blog post, and from the team thank you to all the people of grit in your community who have made this connection possible. A network of people, not just machines and fancy bits of kit, a network for the future and for future generations in a rural area.

    We measured the line length last night when we got to the terrible trio, over 11 kilometres. Well done to everyone and welcome to the fastest network in the country.