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Rural Broadband or lack of!

lombez
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 06-04-2014

Rural Broadband or lack of!

I live in an area not covered by the BT fibre roll out nor the Government funded rural roll out project.  My normal download speed is a maximum of 340kb/s.
Without millions of pounds to put in my own fibre I am abandoned.  My only hope is satellite broadband at a huge cost or 4g mobile connection with a 4g router.  Mobile companies limit tethering though to a very few GB a month.  What can Plusnet do to solve this issue as there is 10% of properties in the country abandoned like me.  Could you offer a 4g connection via say the '3'  network with permitted use of a 4g router and lots of data download.
You have a huge market opportunity here as 10% of properties in the country are in my situation.
14 REPLIES
Devonian
Grafter
Posts: 1,854
Registered: 01-05-2011

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

I agree.  My parents, and several of my friends are in the same situation as you, so I know how frustrating it can be.
My parents can't get broadband at all,  and have no mobile signal, so they are stuffed.
It seem's we all have to live in a city!
SpendLessTime
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,522
Thanks: 671
Fixes: 60
Registered: 21-09-2009

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

As Plusnet are 100% owned by BT, I doubt you will ever see a product on Plusnet that BT does not also supply. Plusnet uses the BT Group plc infrastructure to deliver its products and is really just a cheaper option than BT but with a UK support team.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

@ lombez - Where abouts do you live?
lombez
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 06-04-2014

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

I live in rural south east Leicestershire, not on a mountain in the middle of nowhere.
I know plusnet are owned by BT, however if they don't provide some answer to the problems of 10% of the country left behind then they [both] are going to lose a lot of business once a solution is found.
BT / Plusnet should be coming up with something innovative for the properties where a] they are not going to install fibre and b] the 2mb/s service they are supposed to be installing one day [2018] in the government roll out.  In the 21st century 2mb/s is a [sick] joke!  Everyone where I live it desperate to get away from BT due to the way we are being treated.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

Have you looked here http://www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk/unavailable/ and http://www.superfastleicestershire.org.uk/when-and-where/expected-coverage/ ?
It could be worth looking at some kind of community project if you're out of the planned superfast areas.
lombez
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 06-04-2014

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

Yes we have all looked at the Leicestershire SFBB web site many times.  The map is completely and totally inaccurate.  It tells you to do a community project if you want a service.  There is only one alternative supplier mentioned [Rutland Telecom and Gigaclear are the same business] and they want £2,000 per resident for a solution!.
Our local District Council has spent £530,000 of Council tax payers money towards this SFBB and 3,836 properties are left with no solution.  There is no funding to cover a community scheme.
I didn't write my comments to have a rant.  I am looking for someone to come forward with a workable, affordable solution for the folks stranded by the situation.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

If it was affordable, Openreach would have more than likely done it in the first place.
What would you get for £2,000 a resident? This seems like a lot, but it's not too bad in the grand scheme of things if someone was to supply you with a fibre connection.
lombez
Newbie
Posts: 4
Registered: 06-04-2014

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

These areas are populated by many retired people and / or folks on fixed incomes.  £2,000 per residence was the price ONLY if all of the village took up the service.
So it isn't going to happen.  I appreciate BT aren't going to do it and as someone said above we all have to live in cities.
We have spent months working on this and the 'community DIY projects' are unaffordable for the residents.  The BDUK project has funded the delivery of SFBB to a lot of the market.  That has been been funded by the taxpayer NOT BT.
There is a huge opportunity  for companies to come forward with innovative solutions to solve this huge market i.e. 10% of the properties in the country.
My question to start with was why doesn't Plusnet think about how they can serve this market because its customers E.G. me for one will have no choice but to leave them and BT once a better solution appears.
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

I'm in a similar situation though unlike many I do have a half decent ADSL connection.
But I'm outside the BDUK footprint for any upgrade.
Fundamentally there is no solution that does not involve lots of money.
The 10% may sound large as a block number - but they are located here and there in odd bits, a cabinet here in various disparate locations round the UK, 100 residences here and there.  A compact village yet miles from anywhere etc.
You say you will leave BT/Plusnet once a new solution comes along - I think you may be out of luck there.
New solutions cost a lot to develop and roll out - no one is interested in the difficult to get to places as they know it will cost a great deal for no return.
So sadly we will see improvements being made to existing FTTC services first where the providers can get the volumes up to bring the cost down.
Individuals may be able to get a personal solution by buying a bespoke leased multi-line bonded solution from BT - but it is megabucks again.
In essence money for bulk upgrades has to either come from:
1) the end users paying to self upgrade or in essence buy the upgrade from BT etc.
2 BT putting money in - in the hope of some return on capital maybe one day once all the old ones have died off and a new breed of the internet saavy move in.
3) Public sector money either Central Gov or Local Authority.
But as for (3) try telling the average council taxpayer that their taxes are going up to pay for the £X million it cost to put in proper broadband to little snoring on the wolds a village of some 60 people - councils' know its is a non starter.
The really remote I know who are not short of cash are going for satellite broadband.
Maybe we will have to wait until the EU starts to force governments to provide universal quality BB access for its citizens.
But even then there will be places left out just as many villages today have no gas and remoter places have no mains water.

SpendLessTime
Aspiring Hero
Posts: 2,522
Thanks: 671
Fixes: 60
Registered: 21-09-2009

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

Quote from: x47c
2 BT putting money in - in the hope of some return on capital maybe one day once all the old ones have died off and a new breed of the internet saavy move in.

And 2 will not happen as BT has to give access to all its competitors so why would it foot the bill and then see people go with Sky/Talktalk etc. It would only get the wholesale value of the sales.
The only good thing about BT being pretty much the only organisation winning the BDUK money is the the consumer can go with any provider due to our competition rules. You are not tied in BT Retail as the lines are available for other ISPs to sell. Unlike the cable fiasco of the 80's where now they is only 1 cable company and has monopoly access in its areas.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

@ lombez - Have you looked at something like http://b4rn.org.uk/ ?
The problem is going to be that no company is going to want to put in a free of charge fibre network (it's probably going to cost at least six figures) . Say you have 100 homes - if only 10 of them would be interested and actually take up next generation access, then it's just never going to be cost effective.
What you need to do is form a community group, gather interest and then approach people to see what they can offer. There are potential sources of funding which might help.
Plusnet Staff
Plusnet Staff
Posts: 6,346
Thanks: 31
Fixes: 5
Registered: 26-11-2011

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

Hi lombez,
We're not really in a position to be able to offer a solution. We utilise the BT Network to provide our services to customers. That means that we have no control whatsoever on any rollouts for Fibre - this is all dependant on BT Openreach.
There are still quite a few places throughout the UK that suffer from very low speeds - some places it just isn't feasible for BT Openreach to provide Super Fast Broadband as they just wouldn't see the return back on implementing it.
I appreciate your position, as my parents are in a similar one too, however, we can only provide a service on the network that we utilise, which is the BT Network. We're not into the mobile market at present, just fixed line so 3G/4G isn't a solution that we can offer at this time I'm afraid.
Chris Pettitt
Cloud Environments Engineer
x47c
Grafter
Posts: 878
Registered: 14-08-2009

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

B4RN works as they is for some reason a large number of retired and semi-retired telecommunication experts
living in the area who know how to do it and they have an easy connection into the internet back haul available.
Also the availability of farmers etc willing to actually get out their equipment and start digging trenches basically for free.
Commercial companies like Gigaclear/Rutland Telecom choose their areas/villages to expand into very carefully.
viz
Long way from exchange - so poor speeds and desperate for an upgrade
Upmarket area - so willing and capable of paying a premium for their service
Dense compact villages - not too many long runs of fibre/property, reasonably cheap to install.
Reasonably sized areas to make it worthwhile - so not hamlets of say 100 which is just too small.
Easy access connection to the backhaul.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,824
Thanks: 1
Registered: 27-10-2012

Re: Rural Broadband or lack of!

Something else to look at - http://www.thinkbroadband.com/news/6410-another-million-to-help-rural-parts-of-worcestershire.html
It seems like there are various sources of potential funding if you're in a very rural area. The key thing is going to be to form a group of local residents who can take it forward.