In recognition of this achievement, the partnership have funded a short film, not just about the delivery of the HALO project, but also capturing the real heart of B4RN, how we build, the incredible volunteers and the wider B4RN community. Watch below now!
B4RN's Resilient 400G Network in Northern England
We are entering an exciting new phase of our development by creating a resilient 400Gbps ring network across the north of England to support all our existing and future communities.
This will see B4RN’s backhaul speeds increase tenfold to 400Gbps around the entire ring allowing them to increase network bandwidth and decrease network latency deeper into rural communities. With this upgrade we are securing the long-term operation of the core network, allowing new communities to connect, and additional services such as transit and ethernet services to local businesses and the wider telecoms industry.
B4RN has a completely 100% subsurface network, it's all underground with no pole infrastructure, which gives the next level of resilience. There is a lot of bad weather in the rural areas and B4RN’s network is unaffected unlike other providers. The final design choice is that you get a full-fibre into every home from the cabinet, belt and braces for future growth and adoption of new technologies.
We worked with Kubus, an IT Solutions provider, who have longstanding relationships with world-leading tech providers. They supported B4RN by providing access to cutting-edge technology at cost-effective prices, advising and identifying the technology we needed.
“We worked closely with B4RN to help evaluate the leading routing vendors on the market, and Juniper offered the most scalable solution at the best cost with the best technology,” says Alex Hammond, client director at Kubus, the IT solution provider who advised B4RN on its technology decisions and assisted with the core network upgrade.
The Juniper MX304 Universal Router future-proofs B4RN’s core network, delivering high performance, efficiency and resilience to allow B4RN to serve more rural communities. The MX304 router offers massive scale and efficiency in a two-rack-unit form factor that’s ideal for space and power-constrained environments. B4RN has delpyed a 400Gbps core network today, with an investment-protected path to rolling out 800G in the future.
“The Juniper router is powerful but fits into a regional utility cabinet, so we can bring really fast internet to our rural communities,” says Tom Rigg.
B4RN had previously worked with Juniper Networks - it is Juniper hardware that has been running B4RN’s core network since we put the first spades in the ground over a decade ago.
Tom Rigg continues “By connecting the backbone in a ring formation, so that every core device has a North/South (or East/West) path back to the main datacentres, including the datacentres themselves, we will gain a greater level of resilience and redundancy. This will allow hard down circuit events to happen, to get repaired and resolved, with next to zero customer impact. It will also allow for maintenance, repair and upgrades to happen on any network segment without loss of service to our customers. We can also then onboard B2B customers who wish to take advantage of the high capacity, highly available and low latency core with confidence that their service has a level of physical resilience for service loss protection.”
Partnerships such as these with Juniper and Kubus, who are both industry-leading vendors and suppliers, world-renowned for high quality, high availability, low latency equipment and networks.
In seven years’ time the traffic growth trends on networks and the additional customers that B4RN will add, we will need that capacity. So we’ve invested in it now.
Working Shoulder to Shoulder with, and for, Rural Communities
B4RN’s network spans 2,300-square kilometres, an area bigger than Greater London. With a scalable network that extends from Manchester to Carlisle and across to Newcastle, B4RN provides an exceptional customer experience as it provides a growing number of rural communities with equal access to digital services.
B4RN connects more than 13,000 customers in rural homes, small villages, farms, and dispersed communities. Village halls, places of worship, primary schools, and other community hubs have free broadband.
“It’s very expensive to build fibre networks out to rural communities, so we had to approach it differently,” says Tom Rigg, COO of B4RN.
B4RN works with local communities to design, plan, and install full-fibre networks that deliver gigabit-speed broadband services. Community contributions are integral, with community investment and local volunteers helping B4RN as it plans the fibre routes across agricultural lands, digs trenches and fit house kits in customer homes.
Every customer receives the same connection, a full-fibre, gigabit symmetrical connection, which means people can easily stream their favourite entertainment, play games, work from home, complete school work and stay connected with friends and family.