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hpr0980 :: Broadband for Rural North

The story of a Lancashire community and their high-speed network

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Hosted by Ken Fallon on 2012-05-03 is flagged as Explicit and is released under a CC-BY-SA license.
broadband, fibre optic, fiber optic, B4RN. 3.
The show is available on the Internet Archive at:

Listen in ogg, spx, or mp3 format. Play now:

Duration: 01:05:48


#da12bb #HPR
In todays show Ken talks to Chris Conder of the Broadband for Rural North (
A big line of people with spades

Located in the very pretty but the rural Forest of Bowland in Lancashire in the UK, and tired of putting up with slow 'broadband' they decided to put together their own network. They tried shared wifi, 3 and 4G mobile networks, MMDS and Satellite yet all proved to be unreliable.

So over tea and cake they came up with a plan.

  • A 240 Kilometer (150 mile) plan.
  • A 1 gigabit (1000mb/sec) fiber optic connection plan.
  • A let's give a connection to every one of the 1700 homes, farms, schools, churches and businesses, in the area plan

And while they were at it they designed it to be:

  • redundant with a dual homed backbone direct to the UK's Internet exchange
  • upgradeable with ducts large enough to take multiple fibers
  • laid through some of the most rugged, mountainous area of Lancashire to get to the people that need it most. (And let's be clear here, nothing to do with the fact that they will need to use dynamite to blast their way through the rocks.)

Chris herself has lived in the Lune Valley for many years and is married to a farmer in Wray. She has been involved with the community in many roles over the years; for instance school governor and chair of Wray Endowed school during the eighties and early nineties and more recently supporter of a number of rural broadband projects. In 2002 she began campaigning for rural broadband and over the next few years helped establish a wireless network around Wray and a satellite network for rural farms. A founder member of Wray Com Com in 2003 ( and Wennet CIC in 2005 ( She is a pioneer of self installation fibre and a regular speaker at broadband events on the topic of rural broadband and DIY fibre build.
She is also a 'online animator' for high speed broadband for Europe. She posts on the blog (") and your feedback would be MORE than welcome. Europe assures her that they are listening. You can contact her at and be sure to tweet the hash tag #da12bb

The Photos

The Map

View B4RN core route phase 1 in a larger map

The Movie

The Links


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Comment #1 posted on 2012-05-06 22:28:21 by sigflup


Fascinating episode!

Comment #2 posted on 2012-05-11 02:05:06 by Nancy

great job Ken

I really enjoyed listening to this, one of the best! It is one of the great obstacles in modern life-how to obtain high speed internet in rural areas, and it's the rural areas that need it the most! It is only because I am good friends with our local computer guy/isp that I was able to finally receive high speed wifi at my home in rural New Mexico.

Comment #3 posted on 2012-05-29 12:27:45 by pokey

Great interview. Great project.

Well done, Ken. You're the best.

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