Broadband News

£2 million of crowdfunding raised to enable B4RN to grow network

Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) is racing towards its £3 million crowd funding goal and at the time of writing the amount raised is at £1,992,410 and if the full target is reached B4RN will be able to quadruple its network by 2023 and thus cover up to 20,000 premises.

Those investing in B4RN need to remember that this is an investment and as such the return of your capital and the interest payments are dependant on the continued success of B4RN i.e. there is a degree of risk. For investors some of the attraction beyond helping some of the hardest working full fibre deployment teams is the 4.5% of interest each year for the 7 year term.

We're delighted to have raised £2 million through crowdfunding with Triodos. Investors from all over the UK have got behind us and will help us to connect more properties, more quickly than we would have usually been able to do. We also see the impact this valuable service has on communities and how it brings them closer together as they are instrumental in helping to ensure the network connection happens. The future of B4RN is very exciting and we hope to reach our overall crowdfunding target, which will help us to significantly grow the network so more people and businesses benefit.

Barry Forde, CEO of B4RN

With schools mentioned over the weekend in a new Government initiative it is worth pointing out that B4RN offers internet provision to schools in its area for free as part of its commitments to helping the community.

The existing Gigabit Broadband Voucher Scheme (GBVS) is something B4RN is a registered supplier for and has apparently delivered connections using 100 vouchers to business users. Aggregate packages for combined a business voucher with a number of residential vouchers (lower maximum value of £500 for residential compared to a maximum of £2,500 for business) are also available and a number of these are in the process of being built out to. So for those outside the current footprint and keen to get connected the voucher scheme may be useful so long there is a qualifying business involved.

As this is an investement we include the following important information: "An investment in B4RN is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme. The organisation's ability to pay the interest and repay the bonds is not guaranteed and is dependent on the continued success of its business model. These bonds are unquoted securities with a fixed repayment date and although the bonds are transferable, investors should be aware that they may not be able to access their capital during the life of the bond."


They could probably get half the country hooked up if the government gave them £200 million.

  • darren_mccoy
  • 4 months ago

The B4RN model is very special as it is entirely 'community facing', with the local funding,route planning, digging and finishing of route spurs being down to volunteers in each community. I agree that "if the government gave them £200 million" much more could be achieved, especially if government supported the launch of multiple independent B4RN like initiatives around the country. Perhaps the DCMS should take a more creative approach 2019-2024...

  • B4RN_Volunteer
  • 4 months ago

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