Broadband for the Mint & Sprint (B4MS) is a community project that aims to bring Gigabit broadband to eight parishes in the South Lakes area of Cumbria: Longsleddale; Fawcett Forest; Whitwell & Selside; Lambrigg; Skelsmergh & Scalthwhaiterigg; Whinfell; Docker and Greyrigg – a total of 707 properties through 8 current Parishes (or 11 before amalgamation).
B4MS is one of several projects currently supported by Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN), a community benefit society that exists to provide high speed broadband to rural premises, especially in those areas that are poorly served and would not otherwise be able to receive full fibre broadband. To date, B4RN has connected more than 4000 homes and businesses throughout the North West and continues to add properties at the rate of about 150 per month.
To connect to B4RN, each parish or area must raise the funding necessary to buy the materials and pay contractors to build the new network. The B4RN network runs largely through fields rather than under roads and pavements, making it easier and cheaper to install, and relies on the generosity and support of local landowners who give permission to lay ducting for the fibre through their land for free. The B4MS project is overseen by a small group of volunteers, who are responsible for delivering the project with the support of B4RN.