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B4RN fibre broadband network 'tops 900Mbps downloads'

Friday, February 15th 2013 by Paul France
900Mbps download speeds achieved on B4RN's rural fibre broadband network

Speed tests have been carried out on the B4RN network, delivering impressive results.

A north Lancashire community ultra-fast broadband network is delivering downstream speeds that are around 75 times faster than the UK average, new speed tests have revealed.

BBC News technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones took a trip to the north-west to see the Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) network in action.

The community scheme is rolling out an advanced fibre-to-the-home network in an area considered too remote and sparsely populated for commercial providers to undertake the work.

While BT says the cost of connecting a rural home can be as high as £10,000, B4RN believes it can slash this sum to around £1,000.

A speed test on the network revealed that it is delivering downstream rates of more than 917Mbps - substantially faster than the UK-wide average figure of 12.7Mbps, as recorded by Ofcom. Upstream speeds were also found to be impressive, at 530Mbps.

Networking expert Barry Forde, chief executive of B4RN, told BBC News that fast broadband access is just as important in rural communities as it is in major towns and cities.

"Farmers are being told they have to fill in forms online," he explained. "If you haven't got broadband you are severely disadvantaged."

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