North Lancs residents make broadband history
More than 100 North Lancashire residents gathered in a field at Quernmore on Saturday to make internet history. They were all members of the B4RN (Broadband for the Rural North) project, a community-led company which is about to install some of the fastest internet connections in the world into homes and businesses in the area. This is being made possible by the residents themselves who are not only investing in the company and paying for fibre cables to be connected to their premises, but are getting out their shovels and digging the trenches the cables will be laid in.
As captured in the video below, the first sod of the first trench was turned on Saturday by the Mayor of Lancaster, Cllr Paul Woodruff; the local MP for Lancaster and Fleetwood, Eric Ollerenshaw, was also present at the sod cutting.
B4RN Chief Executive Barry Forde praised the efforts of local people: “It’s been an emotional day. This has been a long time in planning and it’s fantastic finally to see the day arrive, especially as so many have tried to tell us this couldn’t be done. People here know the big telecomms companies will never get round to providing them with decent internet connectivity, and its in the spirit of how people do things around here that they’ve just got on an done it themselves”.
If the digging goes to schedule, the first houses and businesses should be connected to the network by June. This initiative is only possible because local residents have committed time, labour and money in an area where other companies cannot reach. From then on, people in this part of North Lancashire will have access to internet connections which are 80 times faster than the UK current average – all for a £150 connection fee and £30 a month line rental.