Your questions answered

YOUR QUESTIONS ANSWERED

B4RN’s website has answers to many questions. They are at https://b4rn.org.uk/. And their frequently asked questions are here: https://b4rn.org.uk/resources/faqs/.

Here are some of the more common questions we get asked…

  1. Why are you pushing B4RN?
  • It is the only foreseeable option for getting full-fibre broadband to Hawkshead and Claife. BT Openreach has just announced its rollout of full-fibre broadband in Cumbria. The nearest they will come to us are the exchanges in Ambleside and Windermere. The full list of Openreach full fibre rollout is here: https://www.openreach.com/news/openreach-set-to-upgrade-230000-homes-and-businesses-in-the-north-west-to-full-fibre/
  • According to all reviews and reports, B4RN is exceptional as an Internet Service Provider. They allow a huge range of subscription options, they are inexpensive, they have an excellent maintenance record.
  • Since they are specifically set up to cater for rural communities, B4RN are better to deal with than the larger providers. For example, they have 24-hour monitoring on their network, so that if a fault does occur they know exactly where it is immediately, and go and fix it – often before users even realise they are needed.
  • B4RN provide their full 1 Gigabit service to every property. The government only commit internet companies to 85% of properties in any specific area, so the hardest-to-reach dwellings (which are normally the ones with the worst internet) still usually miss out. We don’t want that to happen, and with B4RN it wouldn’t.

 

 

  1. Isn’t 70/80 mb more than adequate for any business round here?
  • By today’s standards 70/80 Megabits per second seems OK. But 20 years ago 28.8 kilobits per second seemed OK! Digital developments move fast and are constantly advancing.
  • The rest of the country is getting full fibre. Why should they have that advantage and not us?
  • 1000 Mbits/s also means that you can have many different users accessing the internet simultaneously with no noticeable degradation in performance.

 

  1. Will I be liable if I break / damage the fibre going over my land?
  • No. The agreement you sign with B4RN specifically states:
    • B4RN agrees that the landowner is not liable for any costs associated with subsequent accidental damage to the network across their land.
    • I/We agree to let B4RN have future access to the land for the purpose of maintaining or repairing the network.
    • B4RN will endeavour to arrange for any such access to be at mutually agreeable times and to minimise any disruption and damage to the land caused by the repair. Any accidental damage done will be made good by B4RN.

 

  1. If I sign a wayleave does that mean B4RN can dig trenches anywhere it likes all over my land/ garden?
  • No, it doesn’t and no, they can’t. The agreement you sign with B4RN states:
    • the owners of the land shown on the attached map agree to let Broadband for the Rural North Ltd (B4RN) install its network across our land following the route shown on the map.
  • The route shown on the map will only be agreed after full consultation with owners and occupiers of the land.

 

  1. What’s in it for me?

To answer this question, here’s what B4RN say on their website…

  • Hyperfast
    • At 1000Mbps (1Gbps) our standard gigabit service is many times times faster than our average competitor. This means that every member of your household or business can use fast broadband simultaneously without frustration. Not many people need 1Gbps broadband just now, but you can rest assured B4RN will be able to exploit whatever the internet requires, well into the future. You can even have an upgrade to 10Gbps but we’ve yet to find anyone who would know what to do with that!
  • Reliable
    • Unlike slower ‘superfast’ broadband providers we don’t use any overhead copper landlines – all our ducts are buried. Water ingress doesn’t affect our fibre and nor do high winds. So next time there’s a storm you don’t need to worry about losing your connection!
  • Affordable
    • No one in our area can offer a service anything like B4RN. Even slower ‘superfast’ broadband providers struggle to offer prices that match ours because they still require you to pay line rental. Once you have B4RN installed, you can dispense with your landline and use your B4RN connection for an internet based telephone service (third party call charges apply).
  • Supportive
    • We don’t have 24-hour call centres all over the world, but we do keep office hours in Melling with caring, knowledgeable staff (Helpdesk tel: 01524 238499 email: helpdesk@b4rn.org.uk). Our own technical teams who build and support the entire network have a next-day response policy for anyone with service issues, and a 24/7 response for core network faults.

 

  1. What’s in it for my business?
  • All of the above benefits apply equally to businesses. Fibre-based connections offer faster, more reliable internet connectivity, and a reliable connection is essential for businesses today—for agricultural businesses such as farms wanting to record their live stock movements and complete Single Farm Payments, or businesses wanting to connect to the Cloud and increase productivity and future-proof ready for the digital challenges of tomorrow.
  • But on top of that, there are added incentives for businesses.
  • B4RN is a registered supplier on the Rural Gigabit Connectivity voucher scheme which is provided by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). This scheme helps local businesses to upgrade their Internet to 1000 Mbps (1 Gbps).
  • The scheme helps to cover some of the costs of getting B4RN to your door. The funding is to assist with the costs of installing the service and cannot be used towards the monthly service charges.)
  • All eligible businesses are entitled to a ‘dig grant’ worth £150 to install ducting to their property from their boundary.
  • In addition, all businesses receive a ‘Free Connection’ worth £150.

 

  1. What do I need it for?
  • You get the best quality internet service in the country (and possibly the world) at a price lower than any other provider.
  • You get a service that is also much more reliable than traditional copper-wire internet.
  • You get maintenance that is much more user-friendly than a traditional service.
    • For example, recently my phone line malfunctioned, causing both phone and internet to stop working. I had to wait two days for an Openreach appointment, and I had to stay in from 1 till 6 waiting for the engineer. They never turned up. With B4RN, the cable is made of flexible glass, so it doesn’t corrode, and any service visits do not depend on you waiting in your home.

 

  1. What will it cost me?
  • For normal domestic use the initial connection cost is £150. After that the monthly amount for 1 gigabit speed is £30 inc VAT. (Note: if you invest a minimum of £1500 with B4RN for three years then the connection fee is waived.)
  • For small businesses up to 5 employees it’s the same cost.
  • Community buildings such as schools, village halls and places of worship can get B4RN for free.
  • For full details, see https://hawkshead-claife-b4rn.co.uk/costs/

 

  1. How does it compare to other options?
  • B4RN cost over first three years (including initial connection cost): £1230
  • Virgin 1GB cost over first three years: £2267
    • Virgin 1GB costs £62 a month.
    • Setup cost is £35.
    • It is not truly comparable to B4RN because it only offers upload speed of 50MB per second, whereas B4RN offers 1GB both up- and download.
    • Virgin have a minimum contract length of 18 months. B4RN allows monthly rolling contract.
  • BT Broadband Fibre 900 cost over first three years: £2169.63
    • BT Fibre 900 costs £59.99 a month.
    • Setup cost is £9.99.
    • It is not truly comparable to B4RN because it only offers upload speed of 110MB per second, whereas B4RN offers 1GB both up- and download
    • The BT service is capped at 900 MB/s, not 1000.
    • BT have a minimum contract length of 24 months. B4RN allows monthly rolling contract.
  • Please note: irrespective of the higher costs
    • Neither BT nor Virgin 1GB service have any plans in the immediate future to come to Hawkshead/Claife.
    • Both of these services are free to increase charges at any time. B4RN can only increase their cost if agreed by shareholders at an AGM. And the vast majority of B4RN shareholders are current customers.

 

Leave a Reply