Newsletter 4

Important announcement

By receiving this newsletter you will have registered an Expression of Interest in the Summer to receive ultrafast broadband through B4RN.  Importantly you now need to apply for the Voucher from government that is ringfenced for Witherslack, Meathop and Ulpha B4RN community project.  We understand some in our community think this will automatically happen through registering an initial EOI – it won’t. It’s down to you to claim the voucher, and we need you to do so urgently!

To claim your voucher you need to go to http://b4rn.org.uk/postcode-checker/

(Please note that you will receive a confirmation email with an activation link. You will only qualify for the grant if you activate that link. If you have already applied and not got that email then email us  and I will follow it up for you

Last month we held a drop in  drop-in session in the Village Hall and here are some of the discussion points:

B4RN have now placed the ducting from Hincaster to Levens village hall and installed the fibre distribution cabinet;  shortly the first fibre will be installed, giving some lucky people in Levens one gigabit fibre in the near future. This means our aspiration for a one gigabit service to Witherslack, Meathop and Ulpha is close.

We need people to now claim the vouchers.  The voucher scheme ends March 2021.  Once the pot of cash for the voucher scheme has been allocated it stops so you need to get your claim in now.  The vouchers have a 12 month lifespan and so the clock has now started ticking to get fibre ducting throughout the parish.  There is a small volunteer team who are currently walking the potential routes to check feasibility and landowner agreement.

This voucher application is non contractual (even though it looks from first read as if it is!).  You are not committed until you sign the contract when your connection goes live. And you don’t pay a single penny until it’s working. If you have B4RN installed and you subsequently change your mind  B4RN doesn’t charge a penalty for early exit from the initial twelve month contract.

You will be charged £150 connection fee for a domestic property (no charge for a business). This fee covers the cost of the router hardware inside your property. It does not cover the cost of installing the ducting from your garden wall to the building and drilling the hole through your house wall. You will need to cover the cost of installation of this duct and wall mounted box or install it yourself with our guidance.  However please note that when your service goes live B4RN will give you a connection grant of £150 per domestic property (and £300 per business) to cover any costs you may have incurred to bring the duct into your property.

If you also run a business (for voucher purposes this can be anything from a sole trader or partnership to a medium size business up to £50 million a year turnover) from your home then you can claim for the business voucher, for example, a window cleaner who sends invoices from their home address is a business. A holiday cottage is not a business, but the property that sends the holiday cottage invoices is a business.

Myths

My broadband connection is adequate:

Technology advancements will simply require more broadband speed! In the very near future SKY TV will be moving their service delivery from dishes to delivery by internet like NETFLIX and the new BBC/ITV channels. The new TV standard 4K will take up most of your standard BT type fibre* connection. If you have more than one TV in your house in the future you will need a better internet connection than you currently have. (Or you can watch low resolution versions or get the spinning disk!) *note that most so-called fibre services have only fibre to the street cabinet, not all the way to the property; instead it uses existing phone lines. B4RN takes fibre all the way, hence the phenomenal speed with no slow down or distance problems which plague the hybrid systems.

B4RN does not provide a phone

B4RN will only provide internet connection.  However, you can transfer your telephone number to an internet system call VOIP. This will allow you to connect your telephone to the internet to answer and make calls. You can make and receive calls anywhere in the world with a VOIP service. VOIP service doesn’t need a computer, uses your existing handset, and doesn’t need a landline (so you can ditch the landline charge, have B4RN instead and still have a landline). Many people have mobiles, and most modern mobile phones can use the wifi to connect, so even in a ‘not spot’ for mobile service you can use your mobile at home and not even bother with a landline!

Speeds will be determined by amount of take-up:  the higher the take-up the slower the speed.

B4RN guarantees each property a one thousand megabit per second service and provides an individual connection to every property in the parish that requests it. B4RN can deliver this speed because it is building brand new, full fibre networks, not a hybrid using old fashioned phone lines.

If there is a power cut B4RN won’t work?

The B4RN hub, which will be near the village hall, will have a battery backup called a UPS. This will cut in without any loss of service for the duration of the power cut. If it’s an extended powercut B4RN will bring a generator to provide backup power.  In your property or business you can also buy a UPS (Prices start from £49) which will keep your internet connection working during a power cut. If you get one with sufficient  capacity you could keep your TV on as well.

This is a one-off opportunity

It is true that B4RN will only serve the parish if there is sufficient interest…but we have already demonstrated that interest and it looks very likely ultrafast broadband will be available to every household in the next two years.  To future proof the network

B4RN will install 110% capacity to each of the chambers through out the village. This means that if you convert an outbuilding or begin home working and you want an extra connection then sufficient capacity will exist. If however you don’t sign up now and you are a distance from any other property then you will still be able to get connected but you may have to arrange for the connection from the nearest chamber and you may not have access to the government grant that’s currently available.

If you have any questions then please email info@witherslackb4rn.org.uk.