Kitz ADSL Broadband Information
adsl spacer  
Support this site
Home Broadband ISPs Tech Routers Wiki Forum
 
     
   Compare ISP   Rate your ISP
 
Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Advanced search  

News:

Author Topic: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK  (Read 1358 times)

Bowdon

  • Content Team
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1547
B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« on: March 06, 2018, 03:17:27 PM »

https://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2018/03/b4rn-helping-expand-1gbps-ftth-broadband-rural-cheshire.html

Quote
A small group of volunteers from Puddington, Burton and Capenhurst in West Cheshire (England) have joined forces with the team from B4RN in order to launch B4RN Cheshire, which will further extend the operatorís 1Gbps community built and funded fibre optic (FTTP/H) broadband network.

B4RNís ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Home (ďfull fibreď) network is usually constructed with the help of tireless volunteers from local communities across their patch (c.60 parishes), which is often done in exchange for shares instead of cash. After starting small in Lancashire theyíre now seeing strong growth and also have networks in rural parts of Cumbria, Yorkshire, Norfolk and Suffolk.

It is always good news when hearing of B4RN's continued progress with installing full fibre.

I can't understand why they are so successful and yet bigger companies can't replicate this kind of stuff even in similar geographical locations i.e. rural areas.

Are we saying the only reason full fibre isn't being spread around that fast is down to council planning permissions?

Why can these small groups (it seems the smaller they are the faster the install) can get the job done, yet the big companies don't seem to either entertain installing full fibre or dismiss the idea outright?

I am guessing it comes down to what I've been bringing up recently. The claim that "we'll install it when the need is there" falls down when those same companies arent actively trying to get feedback. In this case B4RN as obviously gone out and canvassed local people in the area and got the feedback.
Logged
BT Infinity 2 - Smart Hub 6 - ECI Cab

c6em

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 500
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2018, 03:36:14 PM »

B4RN relies on unpaid volunteer workers (with time on their hands!) doing lots of various jobs from the actual digging to "sorting out" problem landowners over wayleaves, drumming up support and clients locally and all the rest such as finding secure storage facilities for equipment and supplies.

Commercial operations have to pay the full "going rate" to paid staff and subcontractors and facilities to do all of this and it just makes it uneconomic.

I'm on a Gigaclear commercial installation (not BDUK) and I'd describe this as a half way house. They do all the digging and connection work and the locals did all the sorting out plus finding a position for the village cabinet and dealing with the awkward squad - and there was one malcontent living on every road in the village.  The group of us that did the work were all semi-early-retired and I'd say at some point in the process for a short time I reckoned I was in effect working full time for them unpaid.
Pay for all this local knowledge and work at market rates and the whole project would have been a non starter.
Logged

j0hn

  • Kitizen
  • ****
  • Posts: 1512
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #2 on: March 06, 2018, 04:00:51 PM »

When B4RN rock up to a village/parish they engage with local residents with presentations in the local church hall.
They explain their plans and the benefits of their network (full FTTP, and cheap!).

This gets half the town out digging up their own and their neighbours gardens. Local farmers will volunteer their time , equipment and assess to land.

This model just wouldn't work with the big providers. The cost of them deploying full coverage to a sparsely populated village in the middle of nowhere would give their accountants a heart attack.
Their health& safety rules likely wouldn't allow Joe Public within 10 foot of a shovel.

A big point with B4RN is they will cover every property that wants a service. Just because you live down a rural road on your own they will do their absolute best to reach everyone.
« Last Edit: March 06, 2018, 04:03:14 PM by j0hn »
Logged
BT FTTC 55/10 ECI now Huawei cab
Zyxel VMG1312-B10A bridge mode with 1508 MTU + Asus RT-AC68U running Asuswrt-Merlin

Bowdon

  • Content Team
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1547
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #3 on: March 06, 2018, 10:32:27 PM »

I understand that the current OR and others in their present state aren't suitable to micromanage local projects to the same degree that B4RN does.

But it seems interesting that on the one hand OR struggles to make a case for putting even FTTC in to a rural area, while this small 'band of brothers/sisters' are putting in full fibre.

Ok, the 64 million dollar question, at least for me lol.. can full fibre be used via the telephone poles, or can a fibre line only go to peoples houses underground?

It might be in OR's interest to create a small dedicated team that focuses on rural properties, even if they don't do the actual installing themselves.
Logged
BT Infinity 2 - Smart Hub 6 - ECI Cab

burakkucat

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 22588
  • Over the Rainbow Bridge
    • The ELRepo Project
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #4 on: March 06, 2018, 11:16:30 PM »

.. can full fibre be used via the telephone poles, or can a fibre line only go to peoples houses underground?

Openreach can, and do, deliver optical fibres aerially.
Logged
:cat:  100% Linux and, previously, Unix. Co-founder of the ELRepo Project.

Please consider making a donation to support the running of this site.

waltergmw

  • Content Team
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2749
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2018, 09:57:22 AM »

Here is an interesting B4RN article

http://www.thisismoney.co.uk/money/news/article-5470407/The-farmers-wife-set-super-fast-broadband-rural-families.html

The picture of Chris Conder is real as she will have just completed the fibre splice so it's NOT just a "photo opportunity".
I Know because I've been her assistant occasionally.
Logged

Ignitionnet

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 794
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #6 on: March 08, 2018, 09:59:39 PM »

Chris has done amazingly and is to be saluted, just don't tell her I said that.  :D
Logged

waltergmw

  • Content Team
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2749
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #7 on: March 17, 2018, 07:12:54 PM »

Firstly I must declare an interest in B4RN as Iím their first and millionth shareholder all the way from Surrey.

I hope I can help a bit by commenting on the above posts in order.

I should add that the B4RN design is the simplest solution relying on fibre splices done by those who have been trained. They are not encumbered by a very large workforce who have mainly been involved, and are obliged to continue, with crimping twisted pair wires.

The b4rn design starts in a distribution cabinet with each fibre cable terminated into patch tray(s). Cables radiate from a cabinet and often reduce in fibre counts as the fibres are consumed BUT there are always individual fibre bundles left to feed the next cabinet often in an adjacent parish. As the cable nears the remote cabinet the fibre count is increased to supply those nearer the second cabinet. Along a distribution cable ďbulletĒ joints are installed in chambers where individualís twin fibres radiate to every property nearby, whether or not the resident has selected a b4rn service. If a route is just feeding an ďislandĒ of properties then a spur cable is used but dual-diverse routed fibre cables are used wherever possible connecting the cabinets in a large set of rings. (This approach is not followed by the major Telcos for distribution cabinets.)

Some residents elect to just install the fibre as it can have a massive positive effect on the house price and allows a near instantaneous service to be provided perhaps when their existing contract has expired or when the twisted pair service goes AWOL.

The fibre pair enters the required building through a gas block (blocking methane and radon etc.) and a 5 mm tube direct into a wall mounted termination unit. The Gigabit router is then slid on to the wall unit thus completing the service.

For those who can look at Facebook the following video (with rather too much music IMHO) is an interesting revue from the Clapham North Yorkshire team:-




Bowden 6 March

One reason for the Incumbentís reluctance is they want to preserve the return on investment of their current infrastructure.

I donít think planning permissions are a serious concern for any supplier.

Another reason for B4RNís success is that their entire network is designed as a completely new higher-reliability** underground symmetric solution using soft dig mainly over private land. I.e. every Parish deployment is a point-to-point network and includes sufficient core fibres to expand almost limitlessly into the next Parishes without the need for new backhaul routes that the incumbent has to add due to their shared GPON design.

** Every cabinet and battery supply is continuously monitored to maintain the highest possible service availability. The traffic on every fibre link is recorded and additional DWDM# wavelengths are added as soon as the peak load exceeds 50%. (#  Dense Wavelength Digital Multiplexing providing 40 * 10 Gbps channels.) Battery charge levels (and power outages) are monitored and standby generators are easily connected before brown-out conditions arise. (For those that are not aware major Telcos are unable to cover individual cabinetís battery discharge due to the logistics involved with far greater numbers.)

C6em reply 1

B4RN encourage volunteers as they have (probably) been the ones contributing their investment** into B4RN. Furthermore B4RN wonít blow the fibre before a new distribution cabinet (if required) AND complete tube route(s) have been installed by the villagers themselves.

** Unlike some of the larger Telcos B4RN will eventually repay every investor but, unsurprisingly, it is likely to take many years due to the astonishing rate of expansion   

j0hn reply 2

The local farmer volunteers are rewarded with a payment IN B4RN SHARES at a rate of £1.50 per m installed provided at least 1 km has been dug in.

Bowden  reply 3

Overhead and underground fibre designs are available but b4rn chose underground as thatís far less prone to storm damage and allows additional spurs to be added later quite easily from the nearest chamber. It also avoids the need for all the overhand equipment and staff safety training, higher insurance etc.

OR attempt to reduce costs by utilising their existing poles and ducts etc. just as an add-on.

Ignitionnet reply 6

Prof Barry Forde and Chris Conder have both been recognised with MBE awards which are richly deserved but they will both freely admit that their quite remarkable achievements are only possible due to the immense volunteer workforce they have very actively encouraged as well as now about 25 paid staff covering an area the size of the M25 with nearly 5,000 live properties in all sorts of terrain from peat bogs, alluvial mud, boulder clay, limestone pavements etc. etc.
« Last Edit: March 18, 2018, 11:45:59 AM by waltergmw »
Logged

burakkucat

  • Global Moderator
  • Senior Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 22588
  • Over the Rainbow Bridge
    • The ELRepo Project
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #8 on: March 18, 2018, 11:52:08 PM »

Thank you for that insider-view of the B4RN mode of installation and service workings.  :)

If there are any subsequent queries regarding "things B4RN", I trust we may look to you for clarification?  :-\
Logged
:cat:  100% Linux and, previously, Unix. Co-founder of the ELRepo Project.

Please consider making a donation to support the running of this site.

gt94sss2

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 773
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #9 on: March 19, 2018, 02:11:41 AM »

Walter,

I know you are a keen supporter of B4RN and naturally wish to promote them/their progress but can I suggest you concentrate on actual progress by B4RN rather than trying to make comparisons against other networks which come across as cheap attempts at PR. I'm not saying what B4RN do or don't but several of the statements above about other networks potential concerns, network design, battery/power monitoring etc. are incorrect or misleading imho which distract from the progress/results that B4RN are actually achieving.

Logged

waltergmw

  • Content Team
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2749
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #10 on: March 19, 2018, 08:37:10 AM »

Thank you gt94sss2 for your suggestions.

As an example of the battery design you might perhaps remember the flood in Lancaster itself which caused a significant power outage due to the flooding of a bulk supply substation.
It was noted at that time that B4RN maintained services in all their distribution cabinets whereas BT's FTTC cabinets depleted their batteries causing the loss of VDSL services but I suspect not ADSL and dial tone as they are usually supported with power from the exchange standby power systems. Even if FTTCabinets were modified to include generator sockets it would surely be impossible to deploy sufficient staff and generators to maintain power supplies due to the very much larger number of cabinets installed over the larger urban areas.

I should also point out that the B4RN design includes dual diverse fibre feeds to protect each cabinet's services but most cabinets start out with a single feed in order to connect as many clients as soon as possible. I am aware of one early case near Ingleton where vandals cut through two feed cables in mid afternoon presumably mistakenly expecting there was copper to be stolen. B4RN field staff restored service at around 05:30 on the following morning after working all night. That task required a second chamber to be installed, two replacement lengths of fibre cable inserted and four fibre joints completed.

Regarding continuous monitoring that is limited to faults detected at cabinet level as it would be impractical (and an unacceptable intrusion) to enquire of every client whether they had deliberately switched off their equipment. In those cases B4RN rely on a call from a user to report a difficulty. B4RN do not provide 24/7 phone replies but do record all messages for their immediate attention on the following morning. B4RN's response staff are local so understand the network topology and don't require scripts handled by e.g. Asian staff either.

If you would like to explain what other points are misleading I would like to clarify any misconceptions I have published.

(All B4RN's publicity has to be cheap as they don't have the marketing budgets that the major Telcos have ! They also try to be completely factual and quite correctly use the term "Fibre broadband" as that is what they supply without any metallic component.)
Logged

Ignitionnet

  • Reg Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 794
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #11 on: March 19, 2018, 10:35:00 AM »

Apples and oranges. Both are what they are. Little point in comparing them any more than you'd compare any other mass-market, large scale product to a bespoke, hand-made one.
Logged

Black Sheep

  • Helpful
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 4787
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #12 on: March 19, 2018, 10:54:38 AM »

Apples and oranges. Both are what they are. Little point in comparing them any more than you'd compare any other mass-market, large scale product to a bespoke, hand-made one.

100% concur with this statement.

Fabulous work being done by Walter's mob ..... but leave it as a 'pat on the back' ..... for reasons ^^^ stated.  :) :)
Logged

Bowdon

  • Content Team
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 1547
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #13 on: March 19, 2018, 11:45:16 AM »

To be fair to waltergmw, it was me that was comparing the different network providers by asking why can smaller providers make progress in rural areas while the bigger ones, specifically OR, see it as more of a problem.
Logged
BT Infinity 2 - Smart Hub 6 - ECI Cab

waltergmw

  • Content Team
  • Kitizen
  • *
  • Posts: 2749
Re: B4RN Help Expand 1Gbps FTTH Broadband to Rural Cheshire UK
« Reply #14 on: March 19, 2018, 01:03:10 PM »

I hope we can all agree that apples and oranges are in fact quite different.

In our B4RN case we are a Community Benefit Society (CBS) which is obliged to benefit the community and not (very much) the shareholders.
Shareholders do get an immediate 30% HMRC Enterprise Investment Scheme tax rebate for those paying tax and will eventually get their investment returned at face value.
Shareholders also get a modest 5% compound interest paid in shares after three years.
Even BT get some relief from not having to deploy Hyperfast in areas they cannot possibly achieve economically and can even forget about the remains of their worn-out twisted pairs.

The Communities' part of this "win win" is they get a superlative service not constrained by commercial policies.
A 1 Gbps point-to-point symmetric service may actually be slightly cheaper to deploy by a CBS in a sparse rural area but BT is almost certain (IMHO) to continue with their lower-speed asymmetric services to differentiate them from their more expensive commercial symmetric services they offer; unless the likes of Gigaclear, Hyperoptic etc. force a policy change . However I don't envy the stalwart Openreach engineers now having to maintain both twisted pairs and fibre services on some of their poles.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2018, 01:09:12 PM by waltergmw »
Logged
 

anything