March 2, 2019 update – good digging progress on the trunk route between Hollin Hall and Green Farm

We have made some good progress over the last few weeks as you will be able to see from the map below. Green shows the part of the dig that B4RN have blown fibre into being served off the Eldroth node, Orange is where we had duct dug to on the last update, and Pink is the duct we have dug in since the last update.

So we have gone under the railway and the A65 and got duct to the properties at Close House and down to the Craven Arms.  The main route has advanced from Hollin Hall up to the lane to Huggon House / Green Farm and spurs have been laid to garden walls of the properties around Huggon House.  We saw a slightly unconventional yet effective approach from Martin Charnley who took his garden fence down and invited the contractor to mole his and his neighbour’s house connections in through his garden! We have also impact-moled under Mill Lane by Tilthammer / Old Sawmill ready to get property ducts to the Old Sawmill area. We were hoping to have reached Hesley Lane at the Old School Field at the end of last week, however a broken starter motor on the mole plough compounded by another problem caused when removing the broken starter prevented us from ploughing this week.  So hoping for better progress during next week.


I’m still not going to give any definitive dates as there are still too many variables to be certain but I will outline what remains to be done (in no particular order, some things will be able to happen in parallel).

  • 1-2 weeks worth of digging on the main trunk duct – this is our prime focus at the moment
  • Open road cut across Hesley Lane at the ‘School Field’ gateway – to be done by B4RN no fixed date as yet but expected to be early April
  • Open road cut across Hesley Lane at Gawthorpe Hosuse – to be done by B4RN no fixed date, but will be done at the same time as the school field crossing
  • B4RN distribution node to install / commission – to be done by B4RN no fixed date as yet
  • Open road cut across Main Street Rathmell from the Reading Room to the lane by the church – to be done by B4RN no fixed date as yet 
  • Filling out property spurs to the rest of central Rathmell (aka the ‘head ends’ in B4RN terminology)Filling out property spurs off the rest of the trunk route e.g. Swainstead / Swaw Beck / Rome / Parsons Close
  • Another variable which may affect timescales is changes made in November to the rules of the Gigabit Fibre Broadband Voucher Scheme which now allow B4RN to make a block application covering both businesses and residential properties.  B4RN have made an application for our area and are awaiting confirmation from the Department of Media, Culture and Sport as to whether this has been approved.  B4RN will be waiting for this to be resolved before they make any further properties live as they cannot claim on a property retrospectively.  I’ll give more details on this as soon as I have them.

Getting yourself ready for a house install

The above diagram gives an overview of how a B4RN connection gets from the duct in the field to the router mounting plate in your house, and who is responsible for which parts of that connection.

The project will get a 7mm orange duct to your garden boundary, please let us know if there is a specific place you would like us to get to.

It is the householder’s responsibility to get the duct dug in through their garden (we can’t mole plough every garden). I would encourage neighbours to work together to have multiple property ducts dug in together as much as possible.

The project will supply the householder with 7mm ducting (black for above ground and orange for below ground) and any connectors required.  If you choose to add additional protection to the buried duct e.g. alkathene water pipe, then you would need to supply that. It may be possible to source some free offcuts of 16mm duct from B4RN to use as additional protection.

It is the project’s responsibility to get the 5mm white property duct through the house wall and fit the internal / external boxes. As things stand this is normally done on a volunteer basis and any costs involved have to be met by the local group as they are not covered by the B4RN connection fee or the project investment.  However if the voucher scheme goes ahead, and a property has signed up with the scheme, I am led to believe that this may well become less of a volunteer basis and may become more of a contractor job with the costs claimable against the voucher scheme.  Again I will update you when we have more definitive details of how this will all work.

Note: I understand that all Harrison Cross’s electricians have all been trained in the fitting of B4RN House Kits so they are also a potential route to get a House Kit installation done at the householder’s expense.  However, the project will still need to be involved in order to get the House Kit from B4RN, so please ask first.

Once all the above is in place and the cluster of properties served off the same access chamber have reached the same point B4RN engineers will come to blow the actual fibre from the chamber to your property and make the connection live and give you a router to mount on the internal box if your are taking up the connection.