What is B4RN?

B4RN is Broadband for the Rural North, a community benefit society.

B4RN is a community owned fibre network offering fibre to homes that want it — not just to the nearest cabinet. B4RN provides a 1000 megabit (1 gigabit) future-proof full fibre connection for both upload and download speed.

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.

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 has expanded and is now available to Sedbergh Town.

Further details about B4RN can be read on its website.