Doing their daily exercise many residents have noticed rolls of ducting outside a number of properties
and we have been asked “are these anything to do with B4RN; what are the different colours for; why are there different sizes?”
All good questions - so we’ve asked Glenn Smithers, our “technical guru”, to explain.
“There are 3 different colours, orange, purple and black, and 3 different sizes - 7mm, 16mm and 50mm (purple). The purple is used particularly when we are doing “infills” - stretches of work which we have to deal with out of sequence for a variety of reasons.
The goal of the Broadband team is to provide every property in the parish with B4RN’s hyperfast fibre broadband service. This will be done by running a core route from the main cabinet (the Head End) at the Village Hall around the Parish. Individual properties will be served by “spurs” running from that core route. These spurs distribute the optical fibres through which the signal is sent. The fibres are very thin - approx. 1/10th the thickness of a human hair.
Core Route cable is a large cluster of individual fibres formed into a single cable. This makes it easier (and cheaper) to feed it round the parish in 16mm orange ducting.
The core route cables feed into chambers where the individual fibres are split out into 7mm orange ducting to feed individual properties. Over time the orange ducting will deteriorate under UV rays so when it is above ground black 7mm ducting is used.
The core route cable comes in different sizes with the largest made up of 12 smaller cables each containing 24 optical cables (288 in total). Two fibres are connected directly to each property (one to use, one a back up). A 288 fibre core route cable can serve 144 properties.
The network for our parish is made up of 7 core routes which require 7 miles of 16mm ducting and a staggering 38 miles of 7mm to enable us to reach every property.”
Thanks Glenn. Now, you may ask “how does it connect to the devices I use?” - and we will answer that next time.
In the meantime - what’s happening? The Lockdown restrictions have stopped much of our work but we have been able to continue with some of the groundwork whilst sticking to the regulations (by having only 2 persons working and maintaining the requisite social distancing) although this means that progress is slower than normal.
The Head End cabinet has been installed and ducting is being laid from there towards the school and eventually to the Route 1 chamber opposite the L & W Wilson entrance.
Additionally some property owners have been able to carry out the necessary trenching work on their own land. Our thanks to St Patrick’s school and all the property owners involved.
We are delighted to report tangible progress in delivering Hyperfast Broadband to Preston Richard Parish.
This week has seen:
+ Connections at Crooklands
+ Connection at Millbrook
+ Installation of the Head End (main cabinet for the project) at the Village Hall.
And to explain the “small steps”. It’s an old proverb - ”the longest journey starts with a small step”.
At Crooklands and Millbrook some residents were fortunate that they were at home when B4RN technicians called to fit the house kits inside the property. Fortunate because the “lockdown“ kicked in almost immediately afterwards which means further fittings are on hold. However those that had been fitted could be completed by one person outside the house without breaching the regulations. So a small but important step forward - and one which moves Hyperfast broadband in our parish that bit closer.
Both Crooklands and Millbrook are currently fed from the Preston Patrick Cabinet but the digging to link them has been carried out by Preston Richard volunteers.
The rest of Endmoor will be fed from the Head End at the Village Hall and that was delivered today. Note the “low tech“ transfer system - rollers - as used to move the stones when the pyramids were built. This “Head End” will be the central point from which all the properties in the rest of the parish will be fed.
We are working on establishing the links from both Preston Patrick and Stainton to the Head End but we are held up at the moment by the lockdown regulations of no more than 2 people together and the 2 metre rule. This means our “dig days” have had to be suspended temporarily.
In the meantime - congratulations to those residents who now have “the connection”. Enjoy your good fortune - and to all other residents and businesses let’s hope the delay in rolling out “the connections” to you won’t be delayed too long.
And to the Parish Council and those who joined in the “dig days” before lockdown - many thanks. We couldn’t have got this far without your help.
As the saying goes - there’s good news and not so good news. The not so good news is that the restrictions applying to prevent the spread of Covid-19 mean that many of our planned activities have had to be paused. The good news is that without contravening the regulations, especially on social distancing, we have been able to continue planning for the post virus future.
What activities have been paused? Your local volunteers are supported by the employed B4RN staff. They are all working from home and to comply with social distancing they can no longer work in teams, nor are they always able to enter properties to do the final installation of some house kits. This has meant a delay to completing the final phases at Crooklands and Millbrook.
So far as the volunteers are concerned the main effect is that we have had to pause the “dig days“. On the last dig we had 15 volunteers so we would be in breach of the regulations on 2 counts - more than 2 people and social distancing. A shame because everyone enjoyed the work and engaging with new people - and the cakes, biscuits and bacon butties were brilliant!
The good news is that through the miracles of modern technology your Steering Group of volunteers have managed to continue with weekly video meetings and this means that we can continue planning for the resumption of full scale digging. However, thinking on a small scale, the regulations do allow everyone to work on their own property. So a number of individuals have been busy laying ducting from the boundary of their own property to the point where the ducting will go into the house.
For information about this just mail your question to firstname.lastname@example.org and one of us will get back to you ASAP.
In the meantime - stay safe.