Emtelle supply FibreFlow™ solution to Broadband for the Rural North Ltd to enable remote rural communities to be connected to a fibre optic broadband network.
Broadband delivered over a fixed telephone line is available to nearly all UK homes, but there is a considerable disparity in the quality of access across the UK. Not surprisingly, the variations are most evident between urban and rural areas. Generally, the more remote and sparsely populated a location, the more likely it is to experience slow broadband connectivity.
And so B4RN was born – a local community team established that adequate broadband connection is important to make living and working in rural areas sustainable. Based in North West England, Broadband for the Rural North Ltd or ‘B4RN’ was launched in December 2011 by a local volunteer group led by industry expert Barry Forde. B4RN is a professionally designed fibre optic broadband network, and run by a dedicated local team with the support of landowners and volunteers. Registered as a community benefit society, it can never be bought by a commercial operator and its profits can only be distributed to the community.
It was then that B4RN’s Barry Forde, engaged in dialogue with Emtelle and the products and solutions they could supply to such a project. After many discussions, Emtelle were able to demonstrate that its FibreFlow™ Solution was ideal for the remote FTTP customers that B4RN wanted to connect.
Emtelle 7mm microducts, are initially installed to the home from the bundle at the access chamber, while the 16mm microducts are used to provide large fibre count cables for B4RN’s backbone network. The installation of these Emtelle microducts do not require any particular expertise and so B4RN volunteers install these themselves, keeping the whole project within the community even further. Following the duct installation, Emtelle’s 2 & 4 blown fibre units are used to drop to the individual customer premises.
Equally Innovative & Responsive
The beginning of a solid partnership between both B4RN & Emtelle was formed, cemented by Emtelle’s levels of responsiveness and innovation being the equivalent to that of B4RN, which led to regular Show-Tell events, for other like-minded community groups. Find information on the next B4RN/Emtelle Show-Tell day on Tuesday 4th April here
“From the inception of B4RN, Emtelle has remained a truly supportive vendor and using its FibreFlow™ Blown Fibre System, we have connected over 2000 customers in the most remote, rural areas of the country. Nothing is too much trouble for Emtelle, who we’ve relied on to provide cost-effective, reliable solutions for our networks in the most challenging of environments.”
Prof Barry Forde, MBE (CEO, B4RN)
The company’s initial share offering raised hundreds of thousands of pounds from the local community and the first ground was broken in Quernmore in March 2012. Within months B4RN’s affordable, community focused model won it the ISPA’s ‘Internet Hero’ award. By 2015 they had 1000 properties connected and received royal recognition with a visit from HRH The Prince of Wales. They are regularly used as a leading exemplar, by national TV and press, of what is possible both in terms of gigabit fibre and an empowered rural community.
Now with over 2,000 connected customers, and over 800km of core network in Lancashire, North Yorkshire & Cumbria, B4RN offers a true FTTP 1Gbps service as standard, with unlimited bandwith costing households only £30 per month. B4RN is all about community with it being a non-profit benefit society; it’s not only faster broadband for families, schools and businesses but also a provider that cares about service to its customers and returns all its profits to the community.
“B4RN is a true example of communities working together for a common purpose – building an optical fibre network, delivering unrivalled broadband speeds seldom seen in cities. I am delighted that B4RN continues to use Emtelle’s FibreFlow ™ solution throughout their networks”
Simon Wade (Sales Manager, Emtelle)