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B4RN brings fibre to B4YS country
Friday 09 January 2015 09:52:29 by Andrew Ferguson

B4YS has started to lay fibre ducting into the ground as the project gets underway with a complex run of 4km that needs to cross the M6 and a railway line. B4YS is an off-shoot from B4RN and with some £101,000 of private funding aims to bring gigabit broadband to the communities of Yealand, Silverdale and Storth.

B4RN itself is providing service to Arkholme, Abbeystead, Aughton, Capernwray, Dolphinholme, Gressingham, Newton, Docker, Littledale, Quernmore, Roeburndale, Wray, Wennington, Tatham communities already with we believe some 800 to 1000 premises connected to the network. Our map site shows someone live with B4RN in Borwick which is tantalisingly close to Yealand. The B4RN network covers a vast area with long fibre runs between premises and even when the £3 million business plan to cover some 3,206 premises is complete this will only amount to 0.5% of the households in Lancashire.


Posted by WalterWillcox over 2 years ago
The B4RN area is now over 425 Km(^2) with a 8 /Km(^2) property density. EVERY property is guaranteed a future-proofed symmetric 1,000 Mbps service at all line distances. The Community Interest Company is prohibited from dividend payments. The £30.00 per month could be reduced after loan & share repayment. The network has dual diverse fibre routes to each distribution node. It is more reliable than twisted pair services & not affected by electrical noise. The dreaded "Dynamic Line Management" logic is quite unnecessary nor is a call centre required.
Posted by bradykr over 2 years ago
There are, in fact, about 20 houses connected to the B4RN network in Borwick, with another 20 in neighbouring Priest Hutton also now on the network. We are putting our feet up for a few weeks at the moment but expect to be adding many more households in the very near future.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 2 years ago
The first half a dozen houses in Caton came live today too. The people of grit just keep on digging! Parts of Halton parish are also live, with the main duct installed and the main fibre due to be blown very soon. Also other villages almost ready. Where there is a will, there is a way. JFDI. Power to the people. Of Grit. With no help or support at all from 'big society' BDUK, DEFRA, Ofcom or any council or government. Or the EU. This has all been the work of the people. The majority of whom are pensioners.
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@Cyberdoyle - are you still managing to hold to c£800 per FTTP connected customer, which those passed but yet to be connected at c£350 in areas 8 properties per square kilometre?
This contrasts with public subsidies of c£200 per premise passed for FTTC or £1,000 per premise connected at the 20% take up rate.
I hope you have mild winter.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 2 years ago
I think it is far better ValueforMoney to connect a customer to real fibre for £800 than it is to waste public money on a FTTC connection that isn't worth the payment because it will all have to be done again. At least with B4RN fibre they have a futureproof connection. Also the c£200 FTTC premise passed is a joke, as many of them won't get the promised superfast anyway, so openreach are paid but don't deliver. I just hope someone calls them to account. They will be exposed. eventually. The laws of physics rule.
Posted by mdar5 over 2 years ago
I was rather hoping that we might have a change in 2015 from Walter and Chris endlessly repeating their usual tirade against BT/FTTC and pumping their fibre to the farm project on every blog/forum/news item on SFBB wherever on the web.

Instead some useful ideas and discussion, if it is such a wonderful idea as to why such projects are not being duplicated across the UK might be more valuable.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
At the end of the day, £800 per premise was not the sort of money offered to do the BDUK work.

Also the money raised and spent on B4RN roll-out I thought did not include the 'cost' of volunteer labour. So cost in hard commercial world would be higher.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
Indeed. It's nonsense to compare something done largely by volunteer labour, free wayleaves and the like with something using commercial costs and employing contractors and all the other things required (savings emphasised by B4RN).

The B4RN approach is laudable, but just how would it be replicated across BDUK areas? How many such projects would fail?
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
This is the B4RN business plan

On page 6 it quotes £10k per property for commercial rural rollout. That's a far cry from £800 in a community projects.

Not to say that fibre isn't the only practicable solution in many cases, but that's a long way from saying it's essential. (Nb. The B4RN document claims 10% of properties will only get 2Mb or satellite/mobile under BDUK).
Posted by Gadget over 2 years ago
I think there is a later plan (V5 if memory serves on the B4RN site).... As had been said by so many a great achievement, but given the funding/free element v commercial, I'm not sure how easy or valid it is to compare like-for-like rollout costs.
Posted by TheEulerID over 2 years ago
I think we have a fair idea how much a commercial roll-out would cost by now, and I think the original report for the BSG got it about right; that's if it was done efficiently.

My rough calculation is that it amounts to about £3-4 per month extra per line over 30 years. But that's essentially a 100% takeup. Substantial movement to cable would screw up the financial model.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
I admire the effort & coordination being put into B4RN's rollout. It is going a lot slower than envisaged, but still running well.

Those advantages - the landowner/volunteers that both do the work and give free wayleaves - make it possible for Chris to quote costs of £5/m, where the cheapest commercial costs are £40/m (grass verge) rising to £60/m (path) and £100/m (road).

The real question is how far can a volunteer, B4RN-like rollout go before it encounters too much of the roads & paths, and not enough farms. How big must the village get before the advantages peter out?
Posted by ValueforMoney over 2 years ago
@TheEulerID BSG/Analysis Mason predicted £5-£6bn for FTTC - BT commercial rollout ' 18 months ahead of schedule and comfortably under; at £1.3bn-£1.6bn with no discernable increase in Group Capital expenditure during the period. On top £1.2-£1.7bn pulic cash and £350m of a BT contribution. That suggests a £1.5bn less than expected for FTTC and includes 3-4% FTTP.
The proposects for more P and impact on lowering BT's long term costs ought to be good.
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