Progress Report – October 2020

Progress Report – October 2020

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I hope this post finds you all well and keeping safe.

Things are definitely moving forward with the project. A number of people have been working very hard in the Barrasford area with the hope that we will be breaking ground by the end of the year. Paul E. from B4NTR has been working very closely with Dave Ryall from B4RN over the last several weeks on the ground to finalise the details of route BF1 (between Barrasford and Birtley) and work out any kinks. They have also discussed the detailed plans with local people who own land that the main route crosses.

The final wayleaves are now in the hands of the B4RN team. Hopefully, the final details will be signed off by the last landowners in the next couple of weeks. If this is the case B4RN will then do a final cost analysis for the BF1 route which will tell us if we have the green light to start the dig.

We’ve also been in discussion with the Barrasford Village Hall committee to make sure they are happy with the final position of the B4RN cabinet. They would be kindly housing the cabinet for the community. By doing this the village hall will benefit from a completely FREE gigabit connection and will be helping not just Barrasford but the whole B4NTR covered project. Bringing future proof gigabit internet connections to over 1400 of the most rural properties in the UK, covering a huge 150km squared!

If all this is agreed it seems we are very close to the moment we have all been waiting (so patiently) for and the “build” part of the project can begin.

We have worked hard to be part of a Government and Council joint Borderlands Voucher Scheme

We also need to mention the continued importance for signups to the government vouchers. It’s imperative to the whole project that we continue to get signups. Basically, B4RN will use the number of voucher signups to determine the order they dig a route, this makes sense as the more signups they have the more customers they know they will have. So given that we are somewhat restricted about knocking on doors at the moment anything you can do online would be really appreciated to get numbers up. If you know of people in the local area who are active on social media and would be willing to encourage signup that would be very helpful. We have a new video below to help promote this. Created by a local B4NTR volunteer Rich Alderson, who makes videos professionally, we thank him for his work and support! Please do link and share this to all your friends and neighbours to help promote the project.

The all-important link is:
https://b4rn.org.uk/postcode-checker/
where they can sign-up for a government voucher.

Remember though, there is a deadline for signing up for GOVERNMENT BROADBAND VOUCHERS

31 MARCH 2021!

Click this picture to go to the “Get B4RN” website and sign-up for a government voucher

At the moment we have 79 signups out of a potential 472 properties in the Kirkwhelpington build area and 69 out of 370 properties in the Woodburn area. Any online help you can give to get these numbers up would be most beneficial to all.

Signup numbers can be checked on the B4NTR website at
http://b4ntr.com/government-voucher-sign-up-data/

Dave Ryall from B4RN also mentioned the need to encourage local investment, again B4RN like this to show support for the project. It is likely that we will have to have some virtual meetings to promote this when the time comes. Any ideas you may have to promote this at the current challenging time would be most welcome.

For more information on investing into just our local B4NTR project or into B4RN as a whole check out their website for all the information – https://b4rn.org.uk/community/investors/

Wonderfully – The Ray Wind Fund CIC, businesses and local residents have already invested almost £100,000 into the project through B4RN already. This had allowed us to get this far and to start building.
Money invested into the project can be returned after 3 years and the interest rate is currently 5%. Please do check the B4RN website for further details.

Government broadband vouchers which are already being signed up for by locals are likely to cover a huge proportion of the cost of installation as well.

Remember though, there is a deadline for signing up for GOVERNMENT BROADBAND VOUCHERS

31 MARCH 2021!

Sign-up on the B4RN website, just pop in your postcode!
https://b4rn.org.uk/postcode-checker/

I do hope this news excites you.

Undoubtedly this is a massive project and we have a long way to go but to get the first duct in the ground will mean it’s the first step to creating a tangible infrastructure change which will benefit our community for decades to come.

Thank you as always for your support and encouragement as we all work together to make change happen.

Kind regards
Lynne Rawles
B4NTR Chair

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