What is B4RN?
B4RN is Broadband for the Rural North, a community benefit society.
B4RN is a community owned fibre network offering fibre to every home that wants it. B4RN provides a 1000 megabit (1 gigabit) future-proof full fibre connection for £30 a month. It does the job once and does it right.
As well as to homes, its network is a link to the internet for businesses, caravan sites, schools, holiday cottages, churches, public halls etc.
Being a “community benefit society” means that the assets are locked down and cannot be sold off to an outside interest in the way that a conventional company’s could. Therefore, the time, effort and money that the community invests to get high quality broadband will be preserved for the benefit of the community and future generations, not purely to make profits for the shareholders.
B4RN was founded in 2011 by a group of local people near Lancaster including academics with particular expertise in IT networks and management. Their autobiographies can be read at the B4RN website.
Its goal was to provide broadband for the rural parishes east of Lancaster. As this was completed, neighbouring parishes have embarked on the work to extend the network so it is spreading out in a widening circle. The network is being extended eastwards to many parishes along the A65 in Yorkshire, northwards to the Yealand-Silverdale area, and is shortly to arrive at Junction 36 Auction Mart in southernmost Cumbria.
Further details about B4RN can be read on its website.
What will it cost me to join the Network?
Domestic Home owners will pay a one–off connection charge of £150 and then £30 per month thereafter for the full 1000 Mbit/s broadband service. If you have a current Broadband contract you may wish to just pay for the £150 installation charge and delay paying the £30 a month to start your actual service until your current contract terminates.
A BT telephone line is not required for a B4RN Broadband connection.