As you are all aware we have been trying to get expressions of interest and then put them to the three possible providers and ask them for quotes. Well the quotes are back and the decision has been made.
Openreach quotes for the outlying areas were prohibitive.
For the village they would have been possible if we had a much higher rate of interest.
We put pieces in the Raven, sent flyers round, canvassed personally and then put out more flyers to properties that had not responded and at the end had 130 expressions of interest.
This was far less than Openreach needed.
Openreach required us to sign a contract, which we had been strongly advised not to do, and we were perilously close to owing them money on top of the vouchers.
If any of our expressions of interest had not resulted in a contract with Openreach the scheme would not be viable. This combined with the highest monthly cost made us decide against them.
Lonsdale Net were just too expensive.
This left B4rn. Although, to say left is wrong, as they shone head and shoulders above the rest.
They will deliver an astounding speed of 1000Mbps to every property in the Parish. No, that is not a typo as I at first thought, they will deliver that speed, both download and upload.
In the autumn of 2020 you might think what do I need that for.
A few years ago we had no idea we would need more that 2Mbps. In the future there will be much more demand for a fast reliable broadband for lots of things, including television and increasingly the internet is being used for medical consultations.
B4rn will future proof our whole Parish.
They will put the fibre to the border of all properties in the whole Parish and bring it to the house for those who pledge their vouchers. This means that in the future properties which did not select to have it at first will be able to connect in the future, but obviously at a cost.
B4rn are a not for profit organization. They were started by two farmers in the Lune Valley so they understand rural situations. In 10 years they have grown as a company and in speaking to others I have heard nothing but praise for them as a provider.
They are cheaper because they use different methods to install and do rely on the community to help plan routes etc.
They are also cheaper on a monthly basis at £30, compared to possibly nearly £40 or £50. There is a connection charge of £150 which is waived for businesses.
There is also an opportunity to invest in shares.
For an investment of £1,500, invested for three years you will get a free connection and an additional five per cent of shares per annum.
This is a much better rate than the banks are offering.
At present they are doing a full survey and you will be kept informed.
Wendy Smith and Jane Tea, from the Parish Council, will be taking this forward working with the co-ordinators and Brian Smythe.