Peter Collins from the Victoria Institute

We went out and about recently to meet dozens of new customers as they went live on B4RN in Caton.

Volunteers and staff have been busy installing routers, the final stage in getting people connected.

The village’s Victoria Institute now has B4RN. Peter Collins, from the Institute, said: “Because of the capacity of B4RN we’ll be able to get people online in all our rooms. Of course, it will improve things for those learning online activities in our I.T. Room too.”

The Institute will get free service for hosting one of our cabinets, which Peter is grateful for: “As a charity, the trustees appreciate any way of controlling spending!”

Just up the road from the Institute is Caton Methodist Church, which also receives free B4RN service as a place of worship.

Mary Platts runs Station Garage but is also involved at the Methodist Church.

Mary Platts is involved there: “There are some people who can’t or are unable to make church or bible studies or something like that. So we’ve been opening them up online via Zoom so people can watch or listen now because we didn’t have any internet at all.”

She added going with another provider wasn’t an option: “We wouldn’t have done a monthly charge of £30-40 pound because it wouldn’t be economical to do it. For me, for the £150 connection fee, it was a no-brainer because most people who come in automatically want the internet now.”

Mary also runs nearby Station Garage and says B4RN will help at the Ford dealership there: “All cars have computers in them now and we need to download the latest modules and satnav for them and we’re only as fast as our internet connection. Hopefully with B4RN those jobs will take minutes rather than an hour.”

We spoke to a number of residential customers too.

One customer said it’d help them be more efficient professionally: “I can work from home more often now. Meanwhile, my husband does photography which involves uploading large files. With our old provider there were times when we couldn’t use more than two devices online at the same time.”

New customers John and Beryl – who are in their 80s – said they got connected so that the next people who live there can have the option of having it.

Rachel and her young family went live too, saying: “We wanted the most up-to-date connection. This isn’t our ‘forever home’ and when we come to sell we wanted to have that attractive connectivity.”

Another customer sang the praises of Connect+, saying it “absolutely made a difference” in his decision to Get B4RN. The same customer dug in their own ducting themselves, meaning they’ll get to keep their £150 dig grant.

Volunteers Phil and Paul patching in customers.