The founder and Chief Executive of Broadband for the Rural North, Barry Forde, is retiring at the end of the year.

Barry leaves B4RN in a successful and robust position. He has been the driving force behind the growth of B4RN from day one, leading with passion and determination and always keeping his finger on the pulse.

The Directors of the company have praised Barry’s contribution: “Barry has lived B4RN night and day for more than ten years, in the course of which he has enjoyed its triumphs and shouldered the burdens associated with leading a maturing and unique enterprise.

“Barry will continue to enjoy the future growth and development of B4RN free from the responsibilities that come with the management of any company seeking to flourish.”

The Board is overseeing the ongoing process of appointing a successor.

Whoever it will be, the Board has emphasised they are looking for someone who understands B4RN’s community ethos and the role the company plays in the parishes it serves.

B4RN’s Chief Operating Officer, Tom Rigg, said he would be working closely with the Board for a smooth and efficient transition: “During this time – and despite new lockdown measures – we will continue to deploy network; we will continue to repair it; we will continue to innovate. We will move forward to do what it is that we do best: provide next-generation-access, fibre-to-the-home connectivity to our communities.”

Barry was awarded an MBE in the 2015 Queen’s Birthday Honours.