Broadband for the Rural North Ltd (B4RN) is a local, independent Internet Service Provider (ISP) based in Melling, and is owned entirely by the community of rural Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cumbria. You pay them a monthly Direct Debit — instead of BT, Plusnet, Sky or whoever currently provides your “broadband”. Read more about B4RN.
B4RN costs £30 per month on a rolling monthly contract. You need to bear in mind this is for a 1000Gb symmetric true fibre connection, and there is no landline involved.
There is an initial £150 connection charge. Some people choose to invest in £1,500 of B4RN shares to gain a free connection, among other significant benefits. This is how we fund the Ingleton project, and the reason B4RN is owned by the community.
The full price list for businesses, schools etc. can be found on the B4RN website.
B4RN just provides your Internet service, and doesn’t do anything else.
Many people decide they do not need a landline, since these days they can use their mobiles, and are only paying for their copper landline to get an Internet connection. (B4RN can even fix your mobile signal — see below!)
If you decide you really do need your landline, you can:
- switch to an Internet telephony provider and keep your existing number. You can sign up with Vonage or similar from around £8 per month.
- keep your BT service on a landline-only tariff.
There are several things to consider when deciding whether or not to ditch your landline or use Internet telephony. Please see the B4RN website until we can write a more detailed guide!
If you have little or no mobile signal in your house, the B4RN router supports Wifi Calling which routes your mobile signal through the Internet. This is great news if you live in a stone cottage or barn conversion, or in a mobile blackspot! If you have a modern smartphone, Vodaphone and EE provide this service for free, and it works incredibly well.
Most modern smart TVs can stream from the Internet, and B4RN provides a world-beating Internet service. A single B4RN connection can easily support everyone in the family watching different programmes on iPlayer at the same time, in full HD! If you pay for an existing satellite or cable packages, you must decide for yourself what you want to do.
Free email addresses, such as email@example.com, are one way your existing provider might have tried to “lock you in” to their service. B4RN does not do this. If you are in this situation, you might be able to keep your email address, but you may need to change it to a free provider, like Gmail. It is easier to do these days, and we will write a guide about how to do this.
We need to lay a thin plastic tube under your garden or along your wall, and drill a hole in your house. Strictly speaking, the householder is responsible for this, but this is the ultimate community project, so we’re hoping to be able to help as many people as possible who cannot do this for themselves.
In the above picture, you can see the orange ducting (for burying underground) and the black ducting (for external walls). If you look closely (click on the photo to zoom) you can see a bit of optical fibre sticking out of it! It enters your house through a little box fixed to your wall.
Inside your house, you will need the B4RN router attached to a wall in a suitable spot, near a power supply.
Typical broadband speed in the area may be 5Mbps download and 0.4Mbps upload. This can vary - try testing your current broadband speed during the evening! The B4RN service is 1000Mbps download and 1000Mbps upload, irrespective of the time of day or the distance from your B4RN cabinet. This is 200x faster download and 2500x faster upload. B4RN removes the internet connection as being the problem - your devices will now be the bottleneck!
A single B4RN connection would easily allow a family to watch iPlayer on all their own devices, simultaneously, in full HD. For business and creative use, the reliability, upload and low latency is a different world to ADSL broadband.
Please see our Conservation Policy for a full explanation on how our work will affect the built and natural environment of the village and the surrounding area.
For more Frequently Asked Questions, please see those on the B4RN website.