Broadband for the Rural North

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Broadband for the Rural North Limited
B4RN - Broadband for the Rural North Ltd
Founded2011 (2011)
Area served
Lancashire, Cumbria, Yorkshire Dales, Norfolk, Suffolk
ServicesInternet connectivity

Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN, read as "BARN") is an innovative community-led project to bring high-speed broadband Internet connectivity to domestic ("FTTH") and business properties in rural Lancashire, in the north west of England.[1][2][3] It functions as an Internet service provider.

The first homes, in Quernmore, were connected in 2012.[1] Others, in Arkholme-with-Cawood, were next.[1]

Tests on the network quoted in February 2013 showed an download speed of over 917Mbit/s and upload speed of 530Mbit/s.[4] UK regulator Ofcom cites a national average upload speed of 12.7Mbit/s.[4]

Broadband for the Rural North Limited was registered as a Community Benefit Society within the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965 (IPS) on 15 August 2011, and is regulated by the Financial Services Authority (Registration number 31352R).[5][6] It was formed to raise funds from the sale of shares to own and operate the network.[3][6] However, much of the labour to dig trenches was supplied by local volunteers,[3] who were rewarded with the chance to get a connection for their families or businesses, and some work is also rewarded in shares. Farmers and other landowners allowed free access for duct and the fibre within to cross their land.[3] The company is headquartered in Lancaster and its chief executive is Barry Forde.[4]

Regardless of line distance and location, properties are offered a true 1 Gbit/s (i.e. 1,000 Mbit/s Download and Upload) Point-To-Point Symmetric Fibre-To-The-Home services for every subscriber. Significant expansion is still underway in early 2015; B4RN services are already available in Arkholme, Abbeystead, Aughton, Capernwray, Dolphinholme, Gressingham, Newton, Docker, Littledale, Quernmore, Roeburndale, Wray, Wennington, Tatham, Borwick, Priest Hutton, Whittington, Wrayton, Claughton, and the Eastern edge of Halton and are now[when?] approaching Melling, The Yealands, Silverdale, Storth and Clapham, as well as the peripheries of Caton, and Hornby, which otherwise have BT exchanges.[7]

Geographical spread[edit]

The first phase of B4RN's operation covered the parishes of: Arkholme-with-Cawood, Caton-with-Littledale (southern part), Melling-with-Wrayton, Over Wyresdale, Quernmore, Roeburndale, Tatham, Wennington, and Wray.[8]

The second phase covers the parishes of: Borwick, Burrow-with-Burrow, Cantsfield, Claughton, Gressingham, Hornby-with-Farleton, Ireby, Leck, Nether Kellet, Over Kellet, Priest Hutton, Tunstall, and Whittington.[8]

The third phase will cover the parishes of: Caton-with-Littledale (northern part), Silverdale, Yealand Conyers, Yealand Redmayne.[8] It is supported by the subproject B4YS (B4RN 4 Yealand, Silverdale & Storth).[9] Clapham Hyperfast is another local project bringing B4RN to Clapham, Keasden, Newby and Mewith.

As of April 2015, Borwick and Priest Hutton, Gressingham, Eskrigge, Aughton and Halton are live. Shortly to come live will be Whittington. The latest village to go live was Borwick, and when they held an open day 115 devices logged on to the network and were updating and streaming video at the same time. The top speeds recorded on wifi were 450 Mbit/s (using apple extreme router) and 935Mbit/s symmetrical using ethernet.

Connection speeds of over 900Mbit/s have been achieved.[10]


  1. ^ a b c Jackson, Mark (22 January 2013). "Fibre Eating Mice Delay First 1Gbps B4RN Broadband Links in Arkholme - ISPreview UK". ISP review. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  2. ^ " - FTTH Broadband for the Rural North". B4RN. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  3. ^ a b c d Cellan Jones, Rory (14 February 2013). "Fast fibre: A community shows the way". BBC Online. Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  4. ^ a b c France, Paul (15 February 2013). "B4RN fibre broadband network 'tops 900Mbps downloads'". Retrieved 1 March 2013.
  5. ^
  6. ^ a b "B4RN share application form" (PDF). B4RN. Archived from the original (PDF) on 26 February 2013. Retrieved 1 March 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  7. ^
  8. ^ a b c "Learn more". B4RN. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  9. ^ "B4YS Hyperfast". B4RN 4 Yealand, Silverdale & Storth. Retrieved 11 February 2015.
  10. ^

External links[edit]