• CBN provides expert advice and support on the development of transformational digital infrastructure
  • CBN has advised many of the UK's major cities on the strategic use of digital infrastructure for economic development
  • CBN has directly supported over 100 community-led projects

CBN works with local authorities, businesses and NGOs, both in the UK and internationally, to help develop transformational and sustainable digital infrastructure. It brings together some of the UK’s top experts in telecommunications strategy, business development, technical implementation, and mutual structures.

In its work advising next generation projects, CBN stresses:

  • the importance of true open networks and value chains - to enhance competition and to promote development of local digital business
  • the need for communities to play a 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.


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 helped support communities 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. Lord Carter supported CBN's proposals to launch INCA a new association of independent networks. Following the launch of INCA, CBN continued as a co-operative consultancy offering advice and support on digital infrastructure as a tool for transformation.