Unlike other providers we do not use BT’s copper lines to reach customer’s properties. Our gigabit network is entirely fibre optic and entirely B4RN community owned. None of this would be possible without the support of the investors, volunteers and landowners who make B4RN what it is. Read more about this on our community pages.
The Nuts & Bolts
The backbone of our network spans the length and breadth of the UK, we connect our ‘Supernode’ cabinets into this network to branch out and connect our communities, and demand has had us expand rapidly in all directions. When a new community on the edge of our coverage area wishes to be connected, we ask them to raise investment and gain support to cover the expansion alongside grant support from the Rural Gigabit Connectivity Scheme. With the help of local volunteers and landowners we establish viable routes and wayleaves, then lay small 16mm ducts in that new area either by trench or mole-ploughing. Fibre optic cable is then fed down these ducts in a process called ‘blowing’.
Often we will need to site a ‘node’ cabinet in the new community; these are custom built secure outdoor enclosures and usually sited on the grounds of a Village Hall or local school, the cabinet hosts will get free service in return, and we of course pay for the power the cabinet uses. These local nodes are always connected by two feeds into the wider network, offering resilience and continued service even if one of the feeds is interrupted.
Further 16mm ducts are installed around the community to a number of inconspicuously buried chambers in which we place junction boxes called ‘bullets’. From these bullets a very small 7mm duct is laid to each and every property requesting service. Once fibre is blown into this duct and its connections ‘spliced’, a property can go live at 1000Mbps!
Most of our ducts are laid deep under agricultural land, but we regularly license roadworks where necessary, cross railways, motorways, canals and have even crossed under the Lune with Environment Agency approved directional drilling.
We can continue expanding the B4RN network to many times its current size with no compromise to the quality or speed of users’ connections. This is due to the amazing bandwidth capacity of fibre, and the professional, world class design of our network.