The Government has been promising to roll out Super-Fast Broadband to rural areas in the South West for many years. Having stalled for a number of years, installation appears to be back on track but may still take 4 more years before it arrives in North Perrott. Are you willing to wait that long? A story printed last week in the Chard & Ilminster News says that Super-fast Broadband will reach here by 2024. Click here to read the story.
1. HOW FAST IS YOUR CONNECTION?
2. HOW RELIABLE IS YOUR CONNECTION?
3. HOW DO YOU USE YOUR INTERNET, BUSINESS, HOME USE or BOTH?
4. WOULD YOU BE INTERESTED IN A SUPER-FAST CONNECTION TOMORROW?
TO REGISTER YOUR INTEREST in joining a COMMUNITY INITIATIVE to bring Super-Fast internet to North Perrott immediately- please compete the short survey by clicking here.
(It would be sensible to have your Broadband bill to hand when completing the survey.)
(A Zoom meeeting will be announced when the level of interest has been assessed).
5. PLEASE ALSO WRITE TO BT Openreach
Adrian Hopper is collecting letters of complaint to forward to a contact he has made in BT management. If the current roll-out of super-fast broadband in the South West will take 4 years, there must be a list and order of connection. Adrian’s hope is that those that shout loudest are more likely to rise to the head of the queue and wants us to be at the head. When BT get wind of a community broadband hub, it may also focus their attention on keeping their customers in North Perrott and not losing them to a community initiative. Please write an email addressed to BT openreach, complaining about your service and asking for a fibre connection as soon as possible, include your phone number. Send your email to Adrian at firstname.lastname@example.org and he will collate our community response directly to higher management.
- There are a number of ways to check your internet speed, which is normally expressed in Mbps (Megabits per second). This isn’t the whole story though. Using clever gizmo’s, your line can be shared with other users in what is expressed as a contention rate. A contention rate of 1 means your are on a dedicated line. A contention rate of 6 means you are sharing capacity with 6 other users and if your contention rate is as high as 50, although your rated speed might be 20Mbps, when most of the other users are on line, the bandwidth (usable speed) will be severely reduced. You may not notice this for sending emails or reading the news but if you are trying to stream a video or exchange large volumes of business data, you certainly will. The likelihood is that broadband connections in North Perrott maybe in the region of a contention rate of 50. The nearest Fibre Optic connection to North Perrott is at the Village Green in Haselbury, but the copper wires that take the signal to our BT junction box at Townsend, severely limits the speed and it is almost half the distance again to the south end of the village. Getting a fibre connection to Townsend will improve everyone’s speed but is unlikely to improve contention. For every home in North Perrott to receive super-fast broadband, there will have to be a fibre connection to every home. This will take time and a lot of money. Are you prepared to wait? There are a number of speed checking websites such as https://broadbandtest.which.co.uk/ none of which will give the exact answer, which for the technically minded, can be found by logging into your router’s settings and look for the “DSL sync rate”. This will give the exact speed that your router has synchronized with the DSLam (situated in the green cabinet at Haselbury).
- Because of North Perrott’s rural location and the reliance on copper wires for broadband connection, reliability is always going to be worse than fibre. This is because metal wires are subject to variable resistance, corrosion and power leakage from water ingress. This is why, especially in wet and windy weather, our phone calls have increased background noise and our internet speeds slow down and sometimes lose connection altogether.
- How important is the internet and broadband speed to you? Is it holding up your business sales or are you wasting valuable time waiting for important pages that never download? Would you like the internet to be similar to browsing through a magazine rather than walking through toffee? A high speed connection will open up a world of buffer-free video streaming and near perfect call quality for voice an video calls. With high quality digital calls it is possible to dispense with the expense of a land line, while still maintaining a land line number through a VOIP service.
- Fed up of waiting for a promise of improved service? Fed up with paying the same for a broadband contract with 15Mbps as someone with 50-100Mbps? Is it time to do something about it? A Community hub would be a group of villagers who get together to purchase and share a high-speed leased line, sharing the costs not for profit. This involves bringing in a dedicated Fibre connection to a pole positioned in North Perrott. This would provide a 1,000Mbps leased line that the community hub can distribute to individual homes via a Wifi connection (similar to the Wifi in your own home). This could provide a 100Mbps connection into upto 40 homes and would be entirely private to our hub. No sharing with other BT customers and we would be in control of contention rates. This of course comes at cost but that cost could be as low as we are paying at the moment, or even less if a member decided to do away with their land line. It depends on several factors, most important of which is how many people would be interested in joining a community hub. The costs are divided into three areas. Installation of the line. Monthly cost of the line and the initial connection costs for each home or business. The cost of installing a leased line is unknown but might be as little as zero. The monthly cost is likely to be in the region of £430 inc. vat for a 36 month contract. With 30 members the connection cost would be £14.33 per month and with 50 members, the cost drops to £8.60. That looks cheap but there are installation costs for each connection. Each member would have to purchase a directional Wifi aerial and install it. The cost of a Wifi aerial is between £75 and £95 (depending on distance from the pole). Fixing and wiring will vary depending on each location and will probably vary between £50 and £150 (depending on the level of DIY). If we share buying power and resources, costs will be minimised.. A suitable router will also be required in your building. In some cases your existing router may be sufficient but we are suggesting that another £50 for a router. For budgeting purposes, we are quoting a maximum connection cost in the region of £300. Spread over 3 years, the initial cost would be £8.33 per month. As a rough guide, the cost of membership of the community hub would be in the region of £22.66 per month with 30 members. Slightly more with less members but less with every new member that joins. The opportunity for cutting costs will vary. Most people will already be paying for a landline, an internet connection and call costs, which might be part of a prepaid package. Most people will also have a contract that specifies an end date, before which a penalty may be due if the contract is ended early. It is also possible that you may be paying one company for your landline and calls and another company for your internet connection. The proportion of your bill that applies to your broadband connection is normally in the region of £5-£20. This will depend on speed and download capping. The Community hub would provide tens times the speed and capacity for about the same price (although the cost is front loaded). With a high speed internet connection, it is possible to dispense with a land line and call charges. Anyone prepared to take this step will make large savings over what they are currently paying (the appearance of a landline number can be retained using a VOIP service). When the level of interest has been assessed, a Zoom meeting will be announced, to give everyone a chance to ask questions about a Community Wifi hub and how it might work for them. Robson James is our technical expert and has offered to administer the technical aspects of operating the hub. The group itself would most likely be a subsidiary of the Parish Council. If it is determined that a Community Hub is a viable proposition, then Robson will start to obtain quotes to firm up the budget and establish accurate costs before anyone is asked to commit to the idea.