Gigabit fibre provider B4RN has revealed plans to extend its rural broadband network to cover three villages under a side project called B4YS.
Short for Broadband for Yealand, Silverdale and Storth, the aim of B4YS is to connect the villages to pure FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connections providing top download and upload speeds of 1Gbps (1,000Mbps).
The project will build on the foundations laid by B4RN – Broadband for the Rural North – which is already connecting villages across rural Lancashire to next-gen gigabit fibre broadband.
Funding for the first stage of the rollout, which will build the core network reaching out to the villages, is almost complete. All of the cash needed to connect Storth (£38,000) has been raised.
Targets of £25,000 and £38,000 for Yealand and Silverdale have yet to be reached, but B4YS says that the war chests for the other two villages are 55 per cent and 68 per cent full respectively.
The second stage of the project will focus on connecting individual properties once the core network has been installed.
The B4YS project is aiming to be completed at some point in 2015, which roughly coincides with the end date for Superfast Lancashire, the BT-backed BDUK (Broadband Delivery for the UK) scheme.
While Superfast Lancashire aims to get 97 per cent of the county connected to superfast broadband, the majority of properties will be able to order to FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) which can’t compete with FTTP in terms of top speeds.
While some properties under this scheme will also get FTTP from Superfast Lancashire the top download speed currently available from BT’s FTTP lines is 330Mbps. That said, BT has proven that its FTTP lines can provide faster speeds if need be.
Businesses able to get FTTC from BT will also eventually be able to pay to upgrade their connection to a full FTTP line – replacing the last copper mile with a fibre optic line. Costs for FTTP on Demand – or FoD as it’s known in the industry – have proven to be pretty expensive.
B4RN is currently charging residents and businesses who want gigabit fibre £30/month plus a one-off £150 connection fee.
The locally-funded project has also beaten BT to the punch in the village of Dolphinholme, where the UK’s biggest ISP planned to provide FTTP connections.