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Awards Tour: Storth

September 14th, 2022
Author: Mark Gray
Posted In: Latest news

(L-R) Andrew Skinner, Greg Tagney, Adrien Walker

Storth was the destination for stop 27 of the B4RN Awards Tour!

The INCA and ISPA trophies – won last year – are doing the rounds of the volunteers and communities who’ve grafted so hard over the past decade to dig in the B4RN gigabit full fibre broadband network.

We caught up with a small number of local volunteers who attended the “official switch on” of B4RN at the village primary school. It’s one of four community hubs on B4RN – the others are Heron Hall, the church and the old Village Hall.

Two of the group – chair Greg Tagney and volunteer Andrew Skinner – stopped to talk about their achievements…

Greg Tagney – “[At the start] There was a lot of enthusiasm initially. We used to get a ‘massive’ 12Mbps!”

Andrew Skinner – “Yes, when it started, 4,6,7,8,10 – 12Mbps, if you were lucky.”

But now locals have 1,000Mbps, which the pair say, in some cases, has changed lives…

GT – “There’s a lot of people run business from home, those find the connection really useful. Particularly the upload speeds.”

AS – “A lot of people comment on that, the uploads. Even just social media – half a dozen photos goes in an instance. I did one connection for a man whose job was making videos. His normal method was to shoot, do a rough cut, start uploading to the client, then have his tea while he waited. I bumped into his wife, I said ‘Is it working?’ and she said ‘Fantastic!’ He’d do what he’d normally do, except now he was interrupted by the successful upload before the kettle had even boiled.”

GT – “Most people, once they’ve got it in, first day it’s ‘wow!’ But then by the time they’ve had it for a week it’s just normal. Normality has changed – to me it’s amazing that people take it completely for granted.”

AS – “One of the blokes on Langdale Crest… we dug past the end of his garden. I said ‘Do you want this?’ and he wasn’t keen. After a bit we got a message saying ‘We may as well, yeah’. Then I saw him in the Autumn, nearly a year ago, and he said to me ‘The grandchildren came. It’s fantastic!’.

Did the pair have any particular memories?

GT – “Going down the back of where you just said, Langdale Crest. It was a beautiful sunny day. And as well as the regulars there were quite a few neighbours out doing their bit as well.”

AS – “I remember somebody who wanted a connection sitting on a balcony drinking some cool lemonade, thinking ‘You’ve all done very well!'”

GT – “Going across a field with Rob [Harvey, fellow volunteer], who hadn’t used a digger before. It was really wet, the digger was sinking. That was ‘a day’!”

AS – “All sorts of people have either brought skills or learnt new skills. Between us we’ve learnt to blow fibre and fuse. Rob taught himself to drive a digger and is quite adept at it.”

Why did the duo do their volunteering?

GT – “I had a dream it was going to unify the village, which it has to a degree. Also, I wanted a hyperfast connection, I was fed up with the incumbent.”

AS – “It’s a worthwhile project. That’s what it boils down to. It’s worthwhile for different reasons for different people. It’s just worth doing.”

The pair finished by saying they were proud of what they’ve done for Storth:

AS – “We’ve now got the four community centres connected. The school, the church, the sports hall (Heron Hall), and the old village hall. People will get used to making mobile phone calls on Wi-Fi. Fast internet will make a huge difference to the Youth Club at Heron Hall.”

GT – “It’s world class [connectivity]. And we did it. We dug an awful lot of trenches in all sorts of conditions against the odds. I have a stubborn streak, the more people who said it would never happen, the more I said ‘it bl**dy well will!'”


Storth’s ‘B4RN Village’ “hard dig” is due to begin October 2022. To sign up for B4RN, click here. If you’re stuck in a contract with another provider, Connect+ might be an option.


Volunteers Greg and Andrew at the Heron Hall playing field gate.


Heron Hall now has B4RN. Greg somewhat more enthused about this than Andrew!


Gavin And Belinda Second Nature Smallban

Stories from out in the field from our very happy customers

One residential customer in Over Kellet used to know whether it was worth firing up her computer by looking out of her front window to see what the weather was doing with her telephone line.

Customer Testimonial

We juggle two jobs from home, and it’s just been a game-changer. Just sign up! It’s the best internet service I’ve ever received, and I’ve moved a thousand times!
Georgiana, Dentdale
It has allowed us to improve our farm business through the implementation of Wi-Fi heat detection ankle bands on our herd, and thus improving our business productivity.
Heather Whalley, Farmer
OMG it is amazing! I don’t want to go back to London, which was faster than here, but not now! Just to say a BIG THANK YOU to all you guys, what a great thing you are doing. I’m shocked not everyone is signing up!
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We’re award winners!

Connected Britain Bpoty All Caps Edit Best Rural Isp Winner 2022 Inca Winner 2022 Medium Connected Britain Community Improvement Award Winner 2022 Inca Ispa 1663059912