B4RN has changed its service charges – the new service charges can be found here.
Summary of the Key Changes:
• The standard residential service charge is being increased from £30 to £33 a month.
• We are introducing a Social Tariff of £15 a month.
• Businesses run from home, and holiday lets, will be charged at the standard residential service charge of £33 a month.
• The connection fee is being reduced from £150 to £60, which will now be payable as monthly instalments of £5 over the first year of service.
• We are phasing out the £150 dig grant for customers who dig to their own property.
• Not immediately, but in the next few months we will be introducing a VoIP service (a conventional telephone service that runs over your B4RN connection) which will be available at an additional £9 a month.
Below we answer some questions you may have:
When will the changes take effect?
The reduced £60 connection fee comes into effect immediately (from Friday 29th April). The other changes will come into effect from your June 2022 billing date.
Why is B4RN increasing its prices?
It is costing us more each year to deliver service to our customers. The basic costs are high, and increasing. We are setting our rates at a level which will enable us to continue to deliver our market leading service to our existing customers.
Is the increase to fund B4RN’s network expansion?
No. Each new B4RN project is entirely self-funding – the build costs, including connection costs, are paid for using money raised from community shares investment, grants, the Government gigabit voucher scheme and connection fees. The extra costs of delivering our service to additional customers are relatively low. Therefore, if we increase our customer numbers, we can deliver our service more efficiently to everyone, and future cost increases can be minimised.
Why stay with B4RN?
Nobody is happy about rising bills. However, by choosing to stick with B4RN you’re helping support a not-for-profit Community Benefit Society whose staff, contractors and volunteers are dedicated to bringing world leading broadband speeds and award-winning service to hard-to-reach rural communities.
How do I cancel my B4RN service?
If you wish to cancel your service before these new service charges come into effect, you can do so without penalty by contacting email@example.com within 30 days of 29th April 2022.
Can I still cancel my contract within the first 12 months?
Yes, we currently do not charge an exit fee for customers, including those who cancel their contract within the first year of service. However, if new customers choose to cancel their service within the first year, any unpaid portion of the £60 connection fee will become payable on cancellation.
Is Connect+ still available?
Yes. Connect+ is a way for people to get connected to B4RN without having to wait for their existing provider’s deal to end. If you’re stuck in a contract that has 12 months or less to run, you can get B4RN service for only a £5 monthly service charge (plus the connection fee) until your other deal runs out. Once your existing provider’s contract ends, you’ll move on to your applicable B4RN service charge.
How will the Social Tariff work?
Customers can apply for the Social Tariff before they are connected, or when they are already taking service. Social Tariff customers must provide B4RN with a copy of a Council Tax bill which shows that they are receiving Council Tax Support (formerly “Council Tax Benefit”).
Once a customer is on the Social Tariff, it is their responsibility to inform B4RN if their circumstances change, and they no longer qualify. B4RN will check eligibility with customers annually, although we reserve the right to check more frequently if we see fit.
All enquiries and applications should be made to firstname.lastname@example.org
Why do I need to let you know that I run a small business from my home, when the service charge is the same as a residential connection?
If you run a business of any size from your home, please let us know. You won’t pay any more than a residential customer for your service, and if your property is eligible for a government voucher, we will waive the £60 connection fee. Very importantly, if you do run a business from your home then if affects the level of support that B4RN receive from the Government – this is a significant part of how we grow our network, support our customers, and deliver benefit to communities.
How is the Dig Grant going to be phased out?
The dig grant was a £150 grant available to customers who dug in their own connection from the curtilage of their property. This is no longer available, and this part of the connection process will be managed through B4RN, contractors and volunteer groups. Customers who are in the middle of the connections process, and who have booked their own contractors to complete this part of the dig, will have until 30th June 2022 to complete the work and claim the dig grant.
What is VoIP and when will it be available?
VoIP stands for Voice Over Internet Protocol, and it is a system that allows you to connect a conventional telephone handset to your B4RN router and make phone calls as you would over a traditional telephone service. We are currently testing a VoIP service for B4RN customers and we hope to be able to provide this within the next few months. Testing a new technology is however never a smooth process, and so we are not going to publish a firm timeline at this stage, but we will keep you updated as we progress
Where can I direct any other queries?
If this page doesn’t answer your questions, B4RN has set up a dedicated email address for queries specifically relating to the service charge changes, it is: email@example.com