Volunteers on the frontline in Sedbergh trying to get urgent sign-ups

We’ve been calling up our B4RN troops to help ease changes to gigabit vouchers in Cumbria and Northumberland.

Under government plans, projects in those counties were to lose access to that funding after 24th September 2021.

B4RN fought these changes and, with your help, DCMS listened!

Voucher Priority Areas

In late October, DCMS notified B4RN about which projects would fall inside Voucher Priority Areas. B4RN CEO Michael Lee and Chief Operating Officer Tom Rigg wrote to affected projects, which fall into three categories:

  1. Project falls inside a Voucher Priority Area – these B4RN projects have been told they can continue to plan and build their network. The gigabit voucher scheme will remain open, once the details of eligible properties are ironed out.
  2. DCMS yet to release enough information – some B4RN projects are still waiting to find out if they can proceed or not as B4RN awaits more details from DCMS.
  3. Project falls under initial procurement – unfortunately, B4RN can longer work with groups in these parts of Cumbria and Northumberland. However, should the selected Regional Supplier under Project Gigabit choose not to service these areas, B4RN could return to see if there is still a viable project. The procurement for the Regional Supplier is due to end in late summer 2022.

YOU helped us do it!

We asked the B4RN army to mobilise in Cumbria and Northumberland and write to their local MP. You did so in significant numbers! Thank you!

Battle for B4RN Commander in Chief (well, our CEO), Michael Lee, said: “What really helped were the personal stories. What really helped them understand was each individual constituent outlining the implications some of these decisions will mean to them.

“It really helped them shape their arguments and really helped them understand the extent of this problem. Thank you for taking the time to write personally to let them know what this decision will mean to you.”