A rural broadband solution that works

Calum Kerr (right) with Barry Forde at the Borders broadband workshop held in Ashkirk Village Hall last weekend.
Calum Kerr (right) with Barry Forde at the Borders broadband workshop held in Ashkirk Village Hall last weekend.

Scottish Borders communities are being urged to engage with a community owned fibre broadband scheme delivering the world’s fastest rural broadband in Lancashire.

Borders MP Calum Kerr hosted a workshop in the region at the weekend along with the chief executive of Broadband for Rural North (B4RN) Barry Forde in to explore the B4RN model in detail. Talks are currently underway between B4RN and the MP’s office to launch a pilot scheme.

Unlike most commercial providers, B4RN deploys state of the art fibre cables directly to the premises.

A solution needs to be found for many Borders communities. The impact of poor broadband delivery came up again at last week’s Berwickshire Area Forum when a Cockburnpsath community councillor explaining that there was concern that the village may lose its once a week half-an-hour GP service: one of the reasons given being that all NHS Borders information is now computerised and it was proving difficult for the GP to get information into the system at Cockburnspath.

Mr Kerr said: “The Scottish Government will be delivering universal superfast broadband by 2021, but I want the Borders to get ahead of the game and find our own regional solution to deliver the world-class connectivity we deserve.”

“The B4RN model has the potential to do just that: with 1GB upload and download speeds and unlimited downloads, it’s a grassroots way of fixing the rural connectivity challenge for a generation.”

“I want to see this new solution actively deployed in the Borders as soon as possible. So if your community has not yet had the chance to consider taking part, please get in touch with my office on 01896 750 820 and we’ll be delighted to provide all the help we can.”