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News archive: Uploads + Data Caps = Rural Business Restrictions.

May 15th, 2012
Author: Chris Conder
Posted In: Archive News

Here is a guest blog kindly submitted by local film producer John Hamlett of Lunar Multimedia Ltd. As you will read here it’s not only John’s business that is affected by poor broadband. John is an extremely talented film producer as can be seen in his short film noir thriller “The POW”.

Over to John…..


Most people around me in the village of Gressingham near Lancaster seem to get about 2mbps broadband when it’s working properly – not bad for a rural area! However I make a living from filmmaking and video production so needless to say I’m happy to pay a bit extra to get as much as I can out of the old creaking copper cables that hang precariously around the village.

I signed up with a high quality ISP and pay a bit extra to get 5mbps – that’s good enough to watch on iPlayer without buffering and ‘glitch free’ as long as I don’t try and play it in High Definition (HD)! But a lot of the bandwidth I need is for uploading the videos I make. All the films I produce are in full HD so they’re really big files, so before uploading I need to compress them to a smaller format (which can take hours) and then upload over another several hours. And that’s where standard ‘ADSL’ broadband really fails. Although downloading I get over 5mbps, uploading I only get 0.4mbps – and that’s the fastest any ADSL provider can give me.

But speed’s not the only problem. I’m paying about £18 a month to get that stable 5mbps, but still every month I get an additional bill for the extra bandwidth I use. Anything over 12gb/month is charged at around £2/gb extra, so my monthly bill is always twenty something pounds – and that’s with me usually uploading overnight when bandwidth is free. Reliability is a worry too; if a movie is crucial and really needs to be with a client asap then driving to the post office and paying over £10 for 9am next day special delivery of a DVD is still the best guarantee of getting it there.

However – with a B4RN connection I’ll be able to upload as much as I like, whenever I like with no extra costs. The upload is as fast as the download at 1000mbps so I no longer have to promise clients ‘next day’ delivery, instead it’ll be ‘with in 5 minutes’. In fact it’ll be so fast it’ll give the client time to review and request changes that I can implement and upload all on the same day… and all this on anything from short youtube videos to full HD feature films. Blazingly fast.

But it’s not just for work. Currently terrestrial TV over freeview is a hit and miss affair with signal interruptions when the weather’s not ‘just right’, but soon I’ll be able to enjoy all the major TV channels for free, on demand, in HD via youview. Films too… I can cancel the Lovefilm DVDs by post service and actually choose a movie I want to watch there and then with movies on demand from Lovefilm Instant or Netflix. There’s no doubting my 11yr old, whose friends are spread up and down the valley, will be able to communicate better – he already loves his iPod and facetime! He’ll be able to learn so much more too as websites become even more interactive and media rich. Distance learning? International pen-friends on videochat? …Oh and I’m really looking forward to backing up 40yrs worth of precious family photos on an professional offsite backup server!

When I moved into Gressingham in 1998 there were only three or four kids in the village. Thirty years ago there were almost ten times as many. Farming’s become more automated and less profitable and there just haven’t been the jobs in the community, instead we rely on pension and commuter incomes. I reckon B4RN will mean more young families working from our community. That means healthier numbers for schools, more customers in post offices and village shops, younger blood on parish councils and village social committees… overall just a more energised community.

If you want a strong community and want to help make B4RN happen; just consider what you can do to help? I’ll keep making videos for B4RN!


Thanks John! An excellent piece. You can see John’s latest B4RN film here. If you would like to contact John he can be contacted at john@lunar.co.uk

Gavin And Belinda Second Nature Smallban

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