broadband Business

B4RN the movie

B4RN storming video 🙂

B4RN as all of you should know is a rural broadband network providing a 1Gps symmetrical service to parts of the countryside near Lancaster.

B4RN has produced a video that has been entered into a competition. It features @cyberdoyle plus many volunteers seen out digging trenches high up on the hills in  in deepest mid winter. They are helping themselves to provide themselves with decent broadband connectivity, an essential for life nowadays.

It’s a world ignored by mainstream providers of broadband service because there is no business case. As a result the B4RN footprint is growing. The featured image isn’t good quality because the vid isn’t available in hi res until after the competition judging is over. It does however give you a feel for the B4RN geographic footprint.

It takes 2 hours to drive from one end of the B4RN area to the other just because the terrain is so difficult and the roads consequently windy. According to @cyberdoyle you can drive for 2Km without a customer in sight.

It isn’t really just the network operators that find it uneconomical to service these rural areas. The government, which through its BDUK initiative, has hitherto considered it too expensive to facilitate broadband into these areas. The notional spec offered to prospective customers in these areas is 2Mbps. Totally inadequate.

I have just upgraded my 81 year old father in the Isle of Man from ADSL Max to 80Mbps FTTC. The cost difference was very small and in fact he said he was perfectly happy with his existing service. Now that he has the new connection even he, at 81 and with very simple internet access requirements (email, guardian online etc), says he can notice the difference.

Maybe 4G might be the answer but B4RN provides 1Gig at £30 a month with unlimited bandwidth. No way you’ll get that from a mobile service. In fact you won’t get an unlimited bandwidth bundle. It’s just too expensive for mobile operators to provide.

Now B4RN is a special case. A not for profit with a community of helpers willing to pitch in because it’s the only way they’ll get broadband. B4RN also has, in Barry Forde, someone that knows what he is talking about when it comes to networks. Most rural areas won’t have a Barry Forde.

So if you are in a B4RN area then you are lucky. If not and you can’t get broadband I don’t know what to say really. You need a @cyberdoyle and a Barry Forde.

Now watch the video:

Loads of B4RN stuff on this site btw. Search results here.

PS expect an extended “director’s cut” version in due course. They were filming for 3 days.

Trefor Davies

By Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of, writer, poet,

2 replies on “B4RN the movie”

The film wasn’t made by B4RN, ours are not as polished as this one! It was made by Suzette (an anthropologist) and James and his film crew. They did it for the short film category at Cannes. We can have the HD when its finished the film circuit. And it doesn’t star @cyberdoyle, it stars the van, the spades and the people of grit! 😉 spot on about 4G etc, we can’t even get 2G in a lot of places in B4RNland.

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