B4RN EA starts the dig that will bring Gigabit full fibre to villages in Norfolk
B4RN has been a brilliant example of what can be done when a community is motivated to act and their achievements are recognised globally at bringing Gigabit broadband to some of the most rural parts of England. Norfolk is now getting in on the act and with the fibre they are using running up from London Docklands to Lowestoft already the digging to connect communities has now started with a very cold group of volunters helping in the build out that should see Scole Community Centre to be the first building connected to the Gigabit symmetric network - a few more buildings along the route are likely to also get connected.
The full story from the day is on the B4RN Norfolk website and with some 130 villages having expressed an interest there is scope for the footprint to cover more premises than the original B4RN project if they all raise the funding required.
The situation in Norfolk is very different to the original launch of B4RN in 2011 as places like the community centre in Scole have access to VDSL2 with estimates in the 50 to 76 Mbps range and while Grove Farm in Billingford have access to Openreach FTTP that is pretty rare in Norfolk where native Openreach FTTP is only available to 0.13% of premises and the VDSL2 means 6% of premises while connected to an enabled cabinet are not likely to get superfast speeds. The range limitations of VDSL2 and dispersed nature of Norfolk means there is going to be a very willing market of people ready to help dig in fibre ducting if it takes them out of the hell of sub 1 Mbps broadband.