Crook B4RN Project Goes Well Beyond 100 Connections
March 20th, 2023
The B4RN gigabit full fibre broadband network now has more than 100 customers in Crook!
People across the village and beyond are now enjoying B4RN’s service thanks to months of hard graft by local volunteers (B4RN 4 Crook), working alongside B4RN contractors and staff.
This is the culmination of some determined work by volunteers. They have given their time and skills to make sure everyone who wants a B4RN connection in Crook, gets one.
Pippa Mowat (included in the picture) is a volunteer digger and a new B4RN customer: “My experience of volunteering has been nothing but rewarding - getting to know neighbours, fun, fresh air and exercise! You also feel part of a worthwhile community project - brilliant!”
Pippa continued: “The new internet service has many benefits, amongst them: cheaper than my previous provider; much faster (which in one go future-proofs your house); and, with the installation of a phone on the internet (VOIP), this has taken care of the problem which will arise when the copper telephone lines are cut off in 2025.”
Low input farmer & agricultural advisor, Ruth Dalton, also just got B4RN: “I'm self-employed and a lot of my work can involve meeting clients online, or holding larger meetings with additional bandwidth demand for shared documents, online whiteboards etc. B4RN has literally transformed my working life, huge thanks to the whole team of volunteers, contractors and B4RN staff.”
The first resident went ‘live’ in November and – with the project progressing rapidly – 125 connections have been made as the project progresses to completion. B4RN contractors – with the help of locals – have installed much of the core network. However, the volunteer ‘Dig & Fit’ team themselves has so far laid more than 1km of ducting for 40+ properties. In return for the Community Dig Team’s efforts, B4RN pays into a pot which the local volunteer group later uses for the good of the community.
B4RN 4 Crook’s Key Volunteer, Nick Truch, said: "For so long our rural area in Cumbria has been left in the slow lane by the commercial telecoms operators, resulting in a negative impact on those who need modern internet connectivity for working from home, educational purposes and accessing online services such as medical, banking, entertainment and so on.
“Thanks to the B4RN initiative and the efforts of local volunteers and landowners we have just succeeded in leap frogging ahead and future proofing our whole community with world-class internet access. 125 homes and businesses now have much faster access which provides connection speeds that are several hundred times greater than before. More properties will come online in the near future."
B4RN’s Project Build Coordinator, Hannah Robinson, praised the volunteers: “The Crook volunteers have done a brilliant job sorting everything out and bringing the Community together. They keep homeowners up-to-date, give tips on making the most of their connection and a dedicated Community Dig Team has carried out garden digs and house kit installs. Also, a huge thank you to all the Landowners, whose generosity and support has meant build stage could progress as quickly as it has.”
There is still time for people to sign up for B4RN broadband at b4rn.org.uk/getb4rn.
If you are stuck in a deal with another provider, you can take advantage of Connect+ (full details at b4rn.org.uk/connectplus).