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Frequently Asked Questions about B4RN

  • What exactly is B4RN offering me?
    Frankly amazing internet speeds! B4RN’s service can supply you with up to 1000 Megabits per Second (yes, 1Gbps!) speed. For lots of us here on the fell, that’s one hundred times faster than the services we currently have, and with more digital TV services all the time, it's entirely sensible to want that speed, too.
  • I’m impressed. But is this going to cost me an arm and a leg!?
    No! B4RN’s incredible, future-proof service is astonishingly affordable. The standard residential price for service is just £33 per month + a one-off connection fee which has now been reduced to £60. Even businesses run from home and holiday lets only pay the standard residential service tariff. Here's B4RN's latest price list: https://b4rn.org.uk/rates2022-faqs/
  • And it’s reliable? It’s not going to cut out on me all the time?
    When there’s a storm on Cartmel Fell, B4RN will remove the worry about losing your connection! B4RN's fibre ducts are buried. Some parts of Cartmel Fell were without internet for MANY WEEKS over Christmas and into January due to storm damage and trees falling onto the overhead lines. Storms, water ingress and high winds don't affect the B4RN services like they do the internet cables of other providers, which are precariously hanging from poles along the Fell.
  • Wow! OK, so how likely is it that B4RN will actually come here?"
    Well, it all depends on people like you, but it's more likely now than ever! Firstly, please register online! We need as many people as possible to jump on board and fill in our registration form in order to make B4RN’s expansion onto the fell economically viable. There's no financial commitment until just before your house is actually connected. The Crook area volunteers are planning their network and Witherslack, Meathop, Ulpha and Crosthwaite are all under construction already! Secondly, if you can, invest in B4RN shares. You can find out about shares on the B4RN website - please get the usual financial advice as you wish. For a minimum shareholding of £100 (maximum £100,000) invested in B4RN shares which are held for a minimum of 3 years, your investment currently attracts a rate of 5%. This can be paid out or reinvested year on year.
  • I can invest in this? What's involved?
    Yes, you can invest in this project! Over £200,000 of the Cartmel Fell project cost is being met with government voucher funding, which we are over the moon about! To invest in B4RN shares: You can invest anything from £100 to £100,000 for a minimum of 3 years which will currently earn interest for you at a rate of 5% per annum. There are also other discounts and incentives for investors - full details are on the investors page on the B4RN website. ...and please note on your form that your investment is for Cartmel Fell (B4RN and the Cartmel Fell B4RN Group recommend that, as with any financial investment, you take independent financial advice before investing so that you're fully comfortable with the terms and conditions of this investment.)
  • What exactly is B4RN?
    Broadband for the Rural North Ltd or ‘B4RN’ (pronounced ‘Barn’) was launched in December 2011 as a means of bringing Hyperfast broadband to the rural communities of the North that other, established companies were unwilling or unable to reach. Within a year, its affordable, not-for-profit, community-focused model won it the ISPA’s ‘Internet Hero’ award. By 2015, its founding members had received MBEs. B4RN is extremely proud that it is driven and built by local volunteers with invaluable support from landowners and farmers. It is not public sector funded – instead it relies on local investment into B4RN and government voucher funding. You can find out more about the Gigabit voucher scheme on the B4RN website.
  • So, it’s quite a big deal, then?"
    Yes! Since its foundation, B4RN has delivered hyperfast broadband to more than 7,000 properties across the North. Local communities have invested more than £7m in B4RN’s various projects and over 2,300 happy customers have chosen to become investors in B4RN’s mission. And now OUR group of volunteers want you to help us to bring B4RN's incredible service to Cartmel Fell, too.
  • 100x faster broadband? That’s amazing! What about upload speeds?
    Exactly the same! 1000 Mbps! Most providers DON'T OFFER THIS. With B4RN, upload and download speeds are both Hyperfast.
  • Wow. I really want this to happen! Can I help out in any way?
    ​​Certainly! In fact, we’d love you to! If you can, firstly invest in B4RN shares as this is actually the most useful thing right now to do to ensure that this project proceeds in 2022. If you’d also like to volunteer for as much or as little time as you have, you can support the roll out of B4RN’s service onto Cartmel Fell. Examples of things you could choose to help us with: arranging Wayleave agreements for local landowners communicating the project’s progress to the parish doing garden digs (you'll receive training) connecting house kits for customers (you'll receive training) Just contact us if you're interested in any of these and we'll help you get started.
  • What if I want to keep my telephone number?
    YES - that's possible! You can keep your existing number. B4RN now has its own telephone service called "B4RN VOICE". Most existing telephone equipment can still be used, and it's quick to set up a transfer as long as you keep your service running in the meantime. With this new style of telephony, you can also opt to receive your home phone calls to your mobile if you wish. With the planned UK copper landline switch-off in 2025, there's even more reason to have your digital telephone service in place, so you can relax and know we'll help you be ready. There are also other services also available such as Vonage.
  • What if I'm in a contract with someone else?
    Connect+ is a great way for people to get connected to B4RN without having to wait for their existing provider’s deal to end. If you’re stuck in a contract that has 12 months or less to run, you can get B4RN service for only a £5 monthly service charge (plus the connection fee) until your other deal runs out. Once your existing provider’s contract ends, you’ll move on to your applicable B4RN service charge.
  • OK, great. If I want to know more, where should I go?"
    We will be updating this FAQ page regularly, so please do come back and check to see if we’ve addressed any of your new queries as and when they occur to you. For now, though, you should feel free to visit B4RN’s FAQ page here.

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