Villagers in Wray are enjoying superfast broadband speeds

Barry Forde - B4RN
Barry Forde - B4RN

A Lune Valley village is enjoying the luxury of having one of the fastest internet connections in the world thanks to a new community broadband network.

Wray’s village hall was connected to the Broadband For Rural North (B4RN) network on New Year’s Eve and the next few connections went live in the afternoon.

On New Year’s Day, Wray Methodist Church became the “fastest chapel in the world”, thanks to its new fibre optic connection, and it could now start streaming church services online.

B4RN said the connection has opened up some great options to the congregation, one of them being the ability to broadcast the services over the web to members of the congregation that may not be able to make it in person to the services.

Richard Johnson, of Winder Farm, has also just got the gigabit B4RN fibre broadband connection.

“We can now watch all sorts on iPlayer and catch up TV with no buffering,” he said.

“My iPad runs the TV, and all pictures and videos come up on the TV for all to watch if they like.

“But you still need remote controls!

“My BT connection was 0.69 Mbps download and 0.38Mbps upload, where as the B4RN connection is 40.67 Mbps Down and 38.15 Mbps Up.

“This was tested on an iPhone 5s over WiFi.

“Using a Ethernet or network cable to a desk top computer was very very much faster.

“The connection is far more reliable than my original connection, I never need to wait for anything to buffer.

“Even updates for computers and Apps take seconds not hours.”

Martyn Dews, from B4RN said: “The community has worked extremely hard to bring the network to the village and work is now ongoing to connect residents as quickly as is possible.

“The farmers and diggers have had some extremely rough terrain to cope with over the fells, and 18km of core were laid to reach the village.”

B4RN, which was launched in 2012, is a community fibre network offering fibre optic broadband to homes in the rual area of north Lancaster.

The organisation decided to take on the task of providing superfast broadband speeds to hard to reach rural areas such as farms and villages, due to there being “no hope” of getting it from other providers.