B4RN Broadband Reviews

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B4RN 1Gbps Broadband

Our review of B4RN broadband

Who are B4RN Broadband?

Broadband for the Rural North Ltd known as ‘B4RN’ Broadband is a registered non-profit community venture run by a team of local landowners and volunteers. As the name suggests it's a rural broadband service covering a limited area in the North of England. It was founded in Lancashire in 2011 and led by Industry expert Barry Forde. Barry's innovative social enterprise demonstrates that a community approach can deliver a world-class broadband network at a sensible price. It's the community-based approach that has led to B4RN being so successful. Their expanding broadband network has an average takeup of 75% of all properties in the area that they cover. B4RN currently supplies gigabit broadband to over 9000 homes and businesses. Any profit B4RN makes can only be distributed to the community, so by getting connected you're helping support your local community!

What's the cost of B4RN Broadband?

B4RN broadband offers 1000Mbps (1Gbps) as standard. To be fair you're unlikely to need broadband at that speed, but it's nice to know you're ready for the future! There's an option to upgrade to 10Gbps, but that's just showing off! B4RN are so confident about its product and service that they offer all broadband packages on a one-month rolling contract. So, if you need to terminate your contract, you need to give them 10 days' notice. If you're lucky enough to be in a B4RN catchment area, here's a list of current prices, which includes business, domestic and a social broadband tariff. All prices are inclusive of VAT.

Domestic household

One off connection fee £60
£33 per month for broadband

Social broadband tariff

One off connection fee £60
Terms and conditions apply
£15 per month for broadband

Business customers

Micro businesses (Businesses run from home)*

One off connection fee £60
£33 per month for broadband

Independent small businesses (Annual turnover less than £1m)*

One off connection fee £60
£66 per month for broadband

Other businesses (Annual turnover less than £10.2m )*

One off connection fee £60
£66 per month for broadband

*Holiday cottages, caravan sites, schools, larger businesses, hotels, churches etc all have special pricing plans that take into account their special circumstances.

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Advantages of B4RN broadband

  • Incredibly fast broadband 1Gbps
  • Extremely competitive price
  • Social tariffs available

Disadvantages of B4RN broadband

  • Limited network coverage
  • VoIP is the only way to make phone calls, unless you keep your existing landline.
  • It is the property owner’s responsibility to get the duct from the boundary of their property to their house wall.

Read B4RN broadband features in more detail

  • One-off connection fee £360
    £150 per month for broadband

    What area do B4RN Broadband cover?

  • It's a great service and a fantastic price but there are a few things you should be aware of:

    If you want B4RN Broadband, you need to be prepared to get your hands dirty. Unlike most other companies providing FTTP Broadband B4RN request that you dig your own cable duct from your property to the boundary wall. This task can be undertaken by you or a contractor but is your responsibility to organise. B4RN will advise you of the best route to use and what they require.

    Unlike most other ISPs B4RN don’t offer customers the option of an email service. So, you will need to use a third-party email service provider. There are plenty of free email providers to choose from like Google Gmail, Microsoft Outlook, Proton Mail, Apple iCloud etc. Most ISPs will allow you to retain your email address when you leave, however this may become a subscription service. If you’re currently with BT, when you cancel your broadband service, any email addresses associated with your account will remain active for 60 days. After 60 days, you will no longer have access unless you choose to transfer your BT email account to ‘BT premium email’. BT charge £7.50 per month for this service.

    As B4RN broadband doesn’t offer a phone line service, you will need to arrange a VoIP (voice over IP) phone service if you still want to use a landline phone. We would recommend VoIP Talk (they're better than their website looks). We also recommend Orbtalk, who are part of the same Telappliant group. VoIP service providers will usually allow you to port your existing phone number, but this must be done before you cancel your phone contract. It’s worth noting that during a power cut, unlike a phone connected to a traditional copper line, a VoIP phone will not be operational. People for whom this presents a problem may want to consider using a UPS (uninterruptible power supply), i.e., a backup battery device.

    For further information visit the B4RN website: www.b4rn.org.uk

  • If B4RN are not available there are other options like:
    Boundless Networks - one of the UK’s leading fixed wireless networks which span across Lancashire and Yorkshire. Boundless Networks

    Airband also offer FTTP or ‘Fixed wireless broadband' solutions in rural locations around Devon, Cheshire, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire, Oxfordshire, Shropshire, Somerset, Wales, Warwickshire & Worcestershire. Airband

  • Compare 4G & 5G broadband options for rural homes and businesses.

B4RN Broadband customer reviews

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Compare top 10 ISP reviews 2024

4.6
35 reviews
Post review
  • 31
  • 1
  • 0
  • 2
  • 1
  • Package price
    4.6/5
  • Customer service
    4.4/5
  • Broadband speed
    4.6/5
  • Overall satisfaction
    4.7/5
B4RN broadband review
by Michelle V
OMG!!!
  • Package price
    5.0/5
  • Customer service
    5.0/5
  • Broadband speed
    5.0/5
  • Overall satisfaction
    5.0/5
Review
My hubby was the driving force for getting B4RN into our village, and boy am I glad he did it! We both work on computers from home and with lockdown, our son is schooling via Teams. In the evenings, we can watch catch up online whilst son is playing on his PlayStation. No buffering, no lag and happy family all round. I cannot recommend B4RN enough, any issues, their customer service is second to none. They keep you updated if there are ever any issues and their engineers are absolutely brilliant!!!
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B4RN broadband review
by Picknshovel
Brilliant service in all respects
  • Package price
    5.0/5
  • Customer service
    5.0/5
  • Broadband speed
    5.0/5
  • Overall satisfaction
    5.0/5
Review
What’s not to like?
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B4RN broadband review
by Brian
What’s not to like?
  • Package price
    4.5/5
  • Customer service
    4.5/5
  • Broadband speed
    5.0/5
  • Overall satisfaction
    5.0/5
Review
We have B4RN for almost six years now. Admittedly, at first, I was skeptics, but after checking my speed soon after going live, not any more!! It really is a gig! The cons you mention are true, but are so relatively unimportant as to be hardly worth mentioning. Yes you lose internet with a power cut but nearly everything else goes off also! If you can’t manage a few hours without electricity...... I say no more. In this age of mobiles not having a landline does not present any problems. As regards digging your own dusting, I was late 60s with, unbeknown to me, stage 4 lung cancer when I did mine!!
I think I have only had 2 outages in 6 years and both were speedily and efficiently resolved.
Price wise, for B4RN and Vonage, I am paying less now that I did 6 years ago to BT for a miserable 1mbps( on a good day)!
All in all, if anyone is offered B4RN and doesn’t take it, I shake my head sadly.
A brilliant, truly local, company that gets a 10 from Len!!
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B4RN broadband review
by Bernerlap
Excellent
  • Package price
    5.0/5
  • Customer service
    5.0/5
  • Broadband speed
    4.5/5
  • Overall satisfaction
    5.0/5
Review
Can’t beat it. We’ve had B4RN nearly five years now. It’s fast reliable and the bandwidth means we’ve been able to dispense with satellite TV and TV licence. My one quibble is that B4RN should explain the wifi issues much more clearly and recommend that subscribers in larger houses with thicker walls get a mesh.
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B4RN broadband review
by Sue
Connection
  • Package price
    5.0/5
  • Customer service
    5.0/5
  • Broadband speed
    5.0/5
  • Overall satisfaction
    5.0/5
Review
Been a B4RN customer for years but through Lockdown we noticed little glitches with our connection. Two weeks ago we borrowed a Mesh system. The B4RN guys brought it as they were working in Silverdale. We can’t believe the difference. It is superb so we have ditched the old BT router and Extender for good. Even paid the guys for the borrowed Mesh so I don’t have the bother of ordering another one. Thank you B4RN. Superb service..
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