B4RN is a hero at ISPAs 2012

B4RN broadband -Barry Forde and Chris Conder at ISPAs

B4RN Broadband is award winner

B4RN broadband has just been announced as winner of the Internet Hero at the Internet Service Providers Association annual Awards bash. They were pretty clear winners in the vote that involved all of the ISPA council (moi included).

I’m not going to dwell on the other candidates or on the Internet villain. It is quite fair that the attention is all focussed on B4RN. B4RN has featured on the blog before. It is literally a ground breaking project.

B4RN is aiming to light up 1,500 or so properties across the 8 parish areas in the Lancashire/Cumbria borders at a cost £1.86M. That’s roughly over £1,200 per home/business. They are doing it with a combination of hard cash raised from investors and potential customers and “effort”. The “effort” is payment in kind – much of the total cost of the project is down to civil engineering works – digging the trenches in which the fibre is laid.

The 1,500 properties will need over 256km of fibre – that’s roughly £1,200 per property connected and just over £7 per metre. A very significant chunk of the cost of the project is going to be paid for in kind so the overall cost per property/per metre will come down from this. B4RN has enough cash to initially light up the core of the network – that’s 40,000 km through 8 parishes.

If you take a look at the Openreach website you can see their regulated tariff. For laying fibre the costs range between £25 a metre and £140 a metre.  Believe me this is not a “have a go at BT” post. BT has to gear for scale and is not used to having to gear for low cost.

These numbers suggest there is a clear need for competition in the local loop/Openreach space. The Openreach position will be that the market isn’t big enough for two players.

The people that got B4RN going are real heroes. The biggest problem that the UK has is that there aren’t enough of these heroes to go around. It’s not just guts you need it’s know how and it’s not just know how locally on the ground. It’s know how right the way up through the ranks of the civil service and up to government ministerial level.

BT will be whispering in the minister’s ear “do you really want to take the risk with critical national infrastructure by letting just anyone get involved”. That’s what’s happened with the BDUK rollout of funding for rural NGA broadband – we are left with BT and possibly Fujitsu though only in a few regions (that’s my understanding anyway).

I don’t have the right answers here. Hopefully B4RN’s winning of the ISPA Internet Hero award will give someone food for thought.
imagePhoto – Barry Forde and Chris Conder of B4RN proudly show off their award.

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27 thoughts on “The grand mobile phone photo competition – deadline extended to Friday 13th July

  1. John says:

    Hi Tref, I’ll give it a go :-) I assume you don’t mind when I took the photo, but it has to be straight from the camera (no tweaking)?

  2. Trefor Davies tref says:

    seems reasonable don’t you think – doesn’t matter when it was taken

  3. Wayno says:

    what about with Instragram’s magic?

  4. Trefor Davies tref says:

    lets keep it unadulterated. if someone wants to enter a processed pic I can create a second category

  5. Faye says:

    I’d say do a category for edited shots – it’s so easy to tweak them with Instagram and Camera+ and they’re still mobile-based apps.

  6. Trefor Davies tref says:

    Ok – I’ve added an edited shot category :) (all a bit on the fly but hey – this is the web…

  7. anne rogers says:

    Will be interesting to see which type of phone dominates proceedings. Perhaps I should enter to represent team Blackberry… maybe RIM *can* succeed at something this year! (although judging by my umpteen photos of cats and not a lot else, I think it’d be a long shot 😉 )

    1. Trefor Davies tref says:

      Good idea Anne :)

  8. cyberdoyle says:

    cat photos usually win stuff Anne… dunno what it is about cats. 😉

  9. Here is a photo from one of the windows over-looking the lake in Jataniemi, Sotkamo, Finland – at around midnight a few days ago. This is my entry to the competition.

  10. How do I enter? give me the mail ID please! :)

    1. Trefor Davies tref says:

      I see you found it Purbayan. Thanks for the entry.

  11. Rob Fletcher says:

    Hi Tref, Forgot to send with my pics…

    HTC Desire Z


  12. Trefor Davies tref says:

    Thanks Rob – noted

  13. khairul says:

    i would like to join competition.

  14. khairul says:

    i use nokia xpressmusic.

  15. Trefor Davies tref says:

    good oh khairul – you need to send hte photo to tref at :)

  16. Carl Wright says:

    Got some shots this morning, just got to pic my entries now :-)

  17. how many entries till now? 😛

    1. Trefor Davies tref says:

      not counted but I’d guess 150 entries

  18. Pretty good response..:)
    So by when can the anxious uploaders(including me) expect the results? :)

    1. Trefor Davies tref says:

      hoping to do shortlist tomorrow – been a bit snowed under.

  19. Richard says:

    took these whilst with our year 9 students at the back of our school, we were trying to show them they didnt need professional equipment to take some great photos. Thy all had digital cameras, this was however taken with my Samsung Galaxy S3 zoomed in all the way and very close to the insects!!!!!

  20. Richard says:

    they are pretty cool. il have to turn up the quality size to match them! il have a look see if i can get some rose ones in the next few days for you.

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