Lancaster broadband pioneer’s TEDx talk in Poland

A founding member of the Lancaster based Broadband for Rural North (B4RN) community internet provider will present a TEDx talk in Poland next month.

Chris Conder MBE will present a short talk on how the community has got behind B4RN since it was launched in December 2011, and how it is doing what the big companies won’t.

Since it laid its first cabling in Quernmore in March 2012, B4RN now has over 1,500 connected customers and over 800km of core network in Lancashire, North Yorkshire and Cumbria.

So far communities have trusted it with £1.5m of share investment and £1m in loans.

It provides 1,000Mbps fibre broadband for £30 per month.

Chris said: “They contacted me because the theme of the TEDx is Transformation and B4RN has certainly transformed the connectivity in the area, both digitally and socially.

“I will explain how it has enabled rural families and businesses to thrive, and how the business itself is returning money to the community.

“We employ 15 local people, we have events that support local B&B, hotels and guest houses, we have got new businesses moving into the area and older ones staying instead of migrating to cities, sorry Lancaster.

“We started with eight parishes, and now there are 43 digging in to meet us.

“In each community it has built massive social cohesion, and many new friendships made as people help each other.

“We also drink a lot of tea and eat a lot of cake.”

The TEDxKazimierz takes place on June 18 and a link to the event is here:

B4RN is registered as a community benefit society with the FSA (under the Industrial and Provident Societies Act 1965) and can never be bought by a commercial operator and its profits can only be distributed to the community.

Arkholme, Whittington, Gressingham, Aughton, Halton, Capernwray, Borwick, Priest Hutton, The Yealands, Quernmore, Abbeystead, Dolphinholme, Roeburndale, Littledale, Wray, Wennington, Lowgill, Tatham Fells, Tunstall, Wrayton, Cantsfield, Low Bentham, Melling, Hornby, Claughton, Caton Green, Burrow, Cowan Bridge are already on the network.

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