Following on from an outstanding 2013 where the B4RN community pulled together to connect several remote areas to the hyperfast B4RN fibre network, which brought some customers from dial up to gigabit speeds. To get 2014 off to a super start, it is confirmed that the first customers in the village of Wray are now live on the B4RN network.
This is a particularly significant milestone for the project as Wray, (although still in a very rural area), has a dense population in comparison with the other areas so far connected. This is the largest village in the B4RN area, 229 homes – a virtual rural city. This means that now the network has reached Wray, roll-out and subsequent take up should be accelerated. Given that Wray is a well connected village, thanks to the wifi mesh network that has been in place since 2004, the residents are already aware of the benefits of a good broadband connection and it is hoped that take up should be in the same region of other B4RN areas. Take up so far has been between 60-90% depending on location, much higher than the UK average.
Many will remember that the village was host to the now world famous Twicket match.
Well done and thanks to all involved in making this a reality. There are several villagers who have thrown their all into this project and have dug all the main duct in and helped all their neighbours get theirs dug in too. Several champions are now helping home owners install their boxes on the walls, ready for the B4RN team to come and blow in their fibre and fuse all the connections.
Here are a few videos made of the connection to Wray. This first one being particularly interesting as it features the Wray Methodist Church connection. The connection opens up some great options to the congregation, one of them being the ability to broadcast the services over the web to members of the congregation that may not be able to make it in person to the services. Several elderly people in the parish will find this a great comfort, as the church is a big part of their social life as well as their faith.
The video shows the initial speed test, restricted to 100Mbs (which is fast by any standard), due to the test laptop being on battery power save mode. In practice, speeds will be in the 900Mbs range that has commonly been seen by B4RN customers. A collection of photos can also be seen here.