A North Lancashire community broadband company is celebrating after winning another award earlier this week.
B4RN, Broadband for the Rural North, based at Melling, won ISPA’s ‘Best Rural ISP’ Award for second year running.
The broadband provider – which specialises in getting rural communities connected – also claimed the award in 2021.
The Community Benefit Society received the trophy for a second year running during a ceremony at The Landmark Hotel in London.
B4RN CEO Michael Lee said: “The rural communities that we work with are in some of the hardest to reach places in the country, but they also stand to gain the most from gigabit connectivity. A full fibre network in these rural areas doesn’t just transform how people communicate today, but it can also have a significant and lasting impact on the future they, and their children, see for their communities in an increasingly digital age.
“As a Community Benefit Society, we’re very pleased to be able to support our communities in other ways. B4RN delivers free service to more than two hundred community hubs like schools, village halls and places of worship; while we recently introduced our ‘Social Tariff’ to further support any customer who already receives a Council Tax reduction.”
‘’B4RN has a unique model in that staff & contractors work shoulder-to-shoulder with volunteers from the very communities it serves to get customers live on gigabit full fibre broadband. That combination of staff and volunteers then continue to give the customers support and advice to fix and make the most of their connection.’’
Chief Operating Officer, Tom Rigg, said: “Securing this award for the second-year running is national recognition of the dedication and determination of the volunteers who are at the heart of deploying Gigabit Full Fibre Broadband in their communities.
‘’They are not only an integral part of the deployment, but, with the assistance of our Lancashire based Technical Support team, they also deliver personal and local aftercare and help to create an extraordinary customer experience. This creates long-lasting relationships building a real sense of community, something we are proud to facilitate.”
The ISPA judges took into account overall service levels, packages, availability, performance & customer service. They stated: “The judges were unanimous in picking B4RN for not only delivering a public good, working with the local community and reinvesting all their profits, but for being an effective business with some of the highest penetration rates in the UK.’’
It’s been a busy few months for B4RN. Inn September, B4RN won two awards (Broadband Provider of the Year & the Community Improvement Award) at Connected Britain, the UK’s no.1 connectivity event. Then just last week, B4RN claimed another awards double (Best Community Project & Outstanding Contribution) at infrastructure industry event, the INCA Gold Awards.