Ill-served by British Telecom (BT), using traditional copper-based 'narrowband', until very recently I have had to put up with a service that has a typical download speed of only 3-5Mbps and somewhere in the region of 0.3-0.7Mbps upload speeds, which is appalling. After months of searching and false hopes offered by other providers I have finally found a service that works and is, relatively, blindingly fast.

As you will have noted in one of my previous posts, my village's parish council managed to elevate fence-sitting to an art form. If the subject under discussion pertained to the efficient supply of mains water, electricity, sewage or swept roads my parish councillors would be in their element and determined to get things sorted out rapidly and efficiently. Sadly the same could not be said for their endeavours when they were applied to pushing to get modern high speed internet access into the community. They spent inordinate amounts of time prevaricating, putting off things today in the hope that something - anything - might happen. But by taking that stance nothing was ever achieved. Some glibly stated that, personally, they had no real need for faster internet yet disingenuously added as a rider that their wives, husbands or children were actually the ones that wanted a faster service. Taking their lead from the parish council many residents - and not always the older ones that one frequently associates with technophobia - preferred to sit on the fence until someone else took the lead or sufficient numbers grouped together in the fight to achieve a better service.

Since my original post in September 2017 many promises have been made, principly by three companies. Firstly, the now defunct Field offered wireless broadband at a moderate speed but needed to gain a reasonable takeup from the community - which was not forthcoming - so they fell by the wayside.

Then Truespeed stepped in with an offer of a 200Mbps duplex FTC (Fibre To Computer) service that would have immediately lifted us from the bottom 5% of the country into the top 5%. However the caveat to this was twofold; one that there should be a 30% takeup from local residents and two that the 'pipeline' joining us to the exisiting network would have to be complete before we could get any service.

A huge amount of effort was expended selling the service within the community but we finally reached the threshold needed to get consent. Things looked great but nothing happened - on a regular basis! Finally it transpired that one of the villages along the projected pipeline turned out to be quite happy with their BT fibre broadband and saw no need to be disrupted again, even if the offer was priced the same and offered 200Mbps rather than 50Mbps.

Finally one service provider, Voneus, who had previously tried to win interest in the village with a similar wireless service to Field - and failed - agreed to introduce high speed interent to the village using ultra-efficient wireless technology to distribute the signal around the village and outlying areas, using rebroadcasting stations to maintain signal strength. We were talking about speeds of up to 100Mbps duplex (download and upload speeds) but that has now been reduced to 35-50Mbps, making it attractive for many but less so for me.

Since the original article was penned in September 2017 I have been investigating alternative methods and finally, a couple of months ago, I bought a TP-Link SIM Router and an unlimited contract with VOXI, part of Vodafone. It's on a month-by-month contract, so when anything better appears it can be ditched easily. Voneus supplied their service to the village a week or so ago, but is still lags behind mine.

The result is that I've now got a service ten times faster - in both directions - for £10 a month LESS than BT were charging me for a phone line that was never used for calls, and broadband that was pathetic in every respect. Sending image files has now become easy, as has receiving them, and my clients all note the increased efficiency. Perhaps one day the village will still get the Truespeed offering of 200Mbps - I hope it does - but I'm not holding my breath!


Fast Broadband For Efficient Image Delivery At Last!