Community Broadband Network

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"* CBN supports, promotes and develops community-owned broadband schemes

  • We have helped more than 100 projects directly and connect 200 project promoters throughout Great Britain
  • We develop strategic thinking in Next Generation services and architectures
  • We work with partners to deliver advanced and exciting community services

CBN works with communities, local authorities and NGOs, both in the UK and internationally, to help develop community-focused, sustainable broadband networks. It brings together some of the UK’s top experts in telecommunications strategy, business development, technical implementation, and social ownership and mutual structures.

When CBN (Community Broadband Network) was launched in January 2004 by the then Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael and Broadband Minister Stephen Timms, first generation broadband was being deployed in the UK, and many communities – particularly rural and deprived urban areas – were being left behind. CBN’s aim was to encourage and support communities who were interested in developing and running their own networks. These mostly social enterprise and community-owned projects have played a crucial role in bringing broadband to all parts of the UK, a fact recognised by Lord Carter in his Digital Britain Report.

Now CBN is applying the lessons learnt then to the deployment of 'next generation' broadband. In its work advising next generation projects, CBN stresses:

  • the importance of true open networks - to enhance competition and to promote development of local digital business
  • the need for communities to play the leading role - both communities of people and of businesses
  • the role of mutual and multi-stakeholder ownership mechanisms both to drive take up and to ensure open competition

CBN is a Co-operative Consortium of independent contractors, incorporated as a cooperative society under Co-operatives UK model rules." (