A COMMUNITY Benefit Society won two awards at a national industry event.

Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) claimed Best Community Project for a second year running and also took the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) Gold Awards.

The awards were accepted at an awards dinner in Liverpool on Wednesday, November 16, which took place during the annual INCA Conference.

Operating in Northumberland, North Yorkshire, Cumbria, Lancashire, and Norfolk, B4RN aims to bring Full Fibre Gigabit (1,000Mbps) Broadband to remote, isolated communities.

Hexham Courant: Chief operating officer Tom Rigg and CEO Michael Lee win Best Community ProjectChief operating officer Tom Rigg and CEO Michael Lee win Best Community Project (Image: B4RN)

As part of its unique build model, B4RN works with volunteers from within communities, to get those communities connected to broadband.

INCA's Best Community Project Award highlights community-led projects for the use of innovative approaches to challenging circumstances.

The Outstanding Contribution Award was for B4RN's leading role in creating Voucher Priority Areas under Project Gigabit last year, which protected vital funding for altnets trying to connect the most remote communities.

Chief operating officer, Tom Rigg, said: "We are humbled to have received these awards on behalf of all our staff, volunteers, and the communities we serve.

"It is the strong partnership between landowners, communities, and staff that make it possible to deploy Full Fibre Gigabit Broadband services to some of the hardest to reach areas in England, that would otherwise be left behind." 

B4RN CEO, Michael Lee, said: "At B4RN we do things differently. We exist to bring the best internet in the country to the communities that are hardest to reach.

"We do this by working shoulder to shoulder with those communities, and we do it to deliver enduring benefit to those communities. It is humbling to see our unique approach, and the hard work and sacrifice of our staff, volunteers and landowners recognised on the national stage once again."

The company won two awards at Connected Britain in September, the UK's most important connectivity event, which brings together the leaders shaping Britain's digital future.

Further recognition could be on the way for B4RN next week, as it defends its title of Best Rural ISP at the ISPA Awards in London, having claimed the title in 2021.