Dear B4RN supporter,
This is a brief note to keep you up to date with some developments. We are continuing to expand the network at a tremendous rate – some of this is obvious, as testified by our phenomenal increase in connections. At the start of the financial year on 1st April 2016 we had 1654 properties connected, we added 1192 during the year to reach 2846 at the end of last month. This comfortably exceeded our original plan for the year of 960 connections. Everyone has been very busy! We are aiming to add another 2000 properties to the network this year too so that will take us to around 5000 properties connected by next April.
Our original plan for building 23 parishes has mushroomed and we have now either completed or are in the process of building in over 60 parishes. These stretch from the Ribble in the south to nearly Tebay in the north and from Dent and Garsdale in the East to Silverdale in the west. Our footprint is approaching the area within the M25 motorway, albeit with slightly less properties!
Other changes are less obvious. Part of our world-class network design is due to its resilience – whereby if one lead to a core route is severed, other routes take the load, so that there is no obvious break in service. As new routes are built they do not initially have such resilience, but we are slowly and steadily ensuring the stability and longevity of the network by strengthening routes as they become established.
We have also been busy bringing the new fibre route to Edinburgh into service. This has been a major engineering effort but means that we are no longer reliant on a single route out of B4RN at Manchester but now have a second one at Edinburgh. Should we get a fibre fail north or south of us Internet traffic will trip over to the working section and there shouldn’t be any noticeable break in service. The Manchester to Edinburgh trunk is 480Km long and has involved us in some very technically complex design work. The last leg from Crawford to Edinburgh will be completed next week and we’re pleased to say despite all the work involved there has been no disruption to service. We have also established a link into London to optimise our peering with London centric networks. Irritatingly there are still a number of content providers, Netflix for instance, who don’t have a presence at Manchester so we have to go to London to peer with them.
We have been reviewing the company structure over the last few months. It is worth remembering that we employed our very first member of staff in October 2014, and now, two and a bit years later, we have 15 staff and a strong need for more! Anyone who has tried to contact our CEO, Barry Forde, knows how desperately busy he is, and our revision of the structure has been to generate roles that take some of the burden from him, whilst also ensuring longer-term stability of management structures, community liaison and succession planning. You will spot that we post job openings on the web site (https://b4rn.org.uk/about-us/opportunities/), and most recently, we are looking for a Finance and Administration Manager, and also a Media Manager.
These changes mean that you will get a much faster and more detailed response if you contact the correct people for specific issues. Further details will be available on the web site in due course, but until these people are appointed please make use of the contacts below.
We thank you for your continued support,
Office: 01524 555887 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Network development and Buildout.
Community Liaison and support of new groups: Dave Ryall email@example.com
Network design: Tom Rigg firstname.lastname@example.org
Civil Engineering: Nick Hall email@example.com