News archive: February Newsletter
February 11th, 2012
Author: Chris Conder
Tags: b4rn community february ftth jfdi newsletter sfbb update
Posted In: Archive News
The B4RN community has been busy identifying and negotiating the core route for the network. The farmers and landowners are helping and we anticipate that the digging in of the ducting will soon start, weather permitting, once enough shares have been committed. The launch of shares at the end of last year has been very popular and money to fund the digging is coming in steadily. There are only 18 days left before the earlybird offer closes, so if you are going to buy shares please do it now to take advantage of the extra 3 months free connection as well as the tax refund if you are a taxpayer!
Many people will have read the recent announcement regarding a partnership pilot project between Lancashire County Council and BT. This will use public funds to introduce superfast broadband (SFBB) into rural Lancashire. B4RN welcomes the move by the County Council to address the issues in the area with broadband connectivity and looks forward to working with them. Better connectivity for the county, in particularly the rural areas can only be a positive thing for the community. The public should be prepared to ask the relevant questions to the service providers and the council to ensure that they receive the best service. The council project is intended to provide SFBB to at least 73% of households and a minimum connection speed of 2 megabits (i.e. the Governments Universal Service Commitment) to the remaining households. The EC definition of SFBB is a minimum 30 megabit connection speed. It is unclear whether the County Council project can conform to this standard in our rural parishes. Any household who is contemplating taking their service from this pilot BT project is advised to contact BT and obtain written confirmation of the “guaranteed minimum connection speed” for their particular postcode/property before committing to the service.
To our knowledge B4RN is the only internet service provider in this area that will guarantee upload and download speeds of 1000 megabits (500 times faster than the minimum standard). Furthermore, as a community initiative, the support teams for B4RN will be fully trained local people, and B4RN’s constitution will ensure any income over expenditure is returned to the local community. B4RN will also guarantee a connection to every single property in our 8 parishes, no matter how remote. B4RN’s primary focus is on meeting the needs of the 10% of outlying properties that commercial internet service providers are unlikely to reach because it is simply too expensive and properties too sparse for it to be economically viable.
For comparison, the typical connection cost for “SFBB”, from a major internet service provider, is £35 per month plus £10 line rental (i.e. £45 p/m). B4RN’s pricing structure offers a single inclusive rate of £30 per month for a much faster, more reliable service with brand new infrastructure right to the home, and includes the option of using the service for your phone calls with your ordinary telephones and keeping the same number.
Because B4RN has already proved so popular, it is now also exploring the possibility of additional funding and extending its network to include a number of new parishes in Cumbria and North Yorkshire in phase 1, these include; Tunstall, Burrow, Leck, Ierby, Whittington, Newton, Gressingham and Scotforth. If you live in those areas please contact us if you would like us to come and present our plan to you.