The expansion of the B4RN project to the areas of Yealand, Silverdale and Storth in Lancashire is a large step closer as on the 2nd September B4YS announced it had raised the £101,000 needed for its stage one funding.
Stage One will concentrate on the construction of the core network, which is using village halls as fibre hubs and funding raising for stage two that will link individual properties to the network has started and while no exact target figure is available a similar amount compared to the first stage is expected.
This extension to the West of the M6 was already on course to clash with the Lancashire County Council project back in March of this year when it was known that two cabinets in the target area were set to get a FTTC service, it also appears another FTTP clash is on the way since cabinet 6 (Carnforth exchange) which covers some of the properties in the south of the B4YS footprint may be getting FTTP via the BDUK project.
The Battle for Dolphinholme that was effectively won by B4RN by getting to the area first has actually hidden the fact that the Lancashire project on the Forton exchange is exclusively planning to deliver FTTP and while not all Exchange Only lines will be addressed a good many will. The dispersed nature of the properties that makes FTTP attractive for B4RN appears to have made that exchange favourable for FTTP to Openreach and the council beyond any attempts at competition using public money.
If what is happening in other areas even with slower FTTC based services, the properties served by B4RN should command higher rents and sale prices, the real question is how much more value does symmetric gigabit fibre command compared to a service delivering something in the 24 to 76 Mbps range.