B4RN East Anglia marks beginning of civils works to get the first East Anglia properties connected to B4RN hyperfast broadband

Photo: Ralph Cochrane / Creative Grid.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

SCOLE, NORFOLK, UK (10th December 2017) - B4RN takes a somewhat unorthodox approach to bringing state-of-the-art, 1,000 Mbps broadband to rural communities. It facilitates volunteers in funding and literally building their own part of the network, and on Sunday local volunteers turned out in force, despite atrocious weather conditions, to mark the beginning of the first build-out.

B4RN East Anglia Regional Director, Michael Davey, stated: “The exciting news is that as of today we have started construction of the East Anglian fibre route, and the first to be connected will be Scole Community Centre and a few properties en-route from Billingford.  B4RN was created entirely from the needs of the community, from people coming together and saying enough is enough, we’ve got to do something about rural broadband. B4RN East Anglia was what the community set up to deliver it to this region.”

B4RN is a network of people as much as it is a broadband network.  It’s about getting people out and getting people to work together to achieve a common goal - in this case, a world-leading fibre network that will afford tremendous opportunities to people in rural communities.

B4RN East Anglia Regional Director, David Evans explained: “The reason B4RN works is that the communities and farmers work together. Over 130 villages in this region have expressed an interest in implementing a B4RN project. We are now concentrating on getting the network live in Scole Community Centre so that people can come and experience the hyperfast speeds for themselves. In September, we opened funding pots for Thelveton, Shimpling and Gissing villages. These villages are now racing to be the first to meet their funding target and start their own build-outs.  We’ve also opened a general funding pot for those that want to support the initiative.”

The 1000 Mb/s link that B4RN East Anglia will provide to each property connected is between 40 and 1000 times faster than most residents in Norfolk and Suffolk experience today and is easily upgradable to 10x or 100x that speed in the future, making it truly future proof.

“We’re hoping to offer a wider range of activities at the Community Centre, enabled by the broadband, such as introducing gaming evenings for the local children and providing decent broadband for meetings and events” expanded Clive Blakesley, Chairman of Scole Community Centre.

One of the villages most active in the region is Tivetshall and resident volunteer Dudley Adshead, pointed out: “For people who want to start businesses in more rural areas, it will open up that possibility, as the broadband will go from being one of the worst in the country to one of the best”.

“We talk about the other Gig economy – what we mean is how Gigabit broadband will change the rural economies for the better” added Michael Davey.  “For example, it means that the rural hospitality industry can have better broadband than city centre hotels, rural residents can work from home and have the opportunity to start up their own businesses, it enables a 21st-century cottage industry so people and jobs don’t need to migrate to the cities” he concluded.

B4RN expects the first East Anglian families to be enjoying its full fibre broadband service in the new year, marking the end of hours wasted staring at the ‘spinning wheel’.

Photos: Ralph Cochrane / Creative Grid.  Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution license.