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Standard User SlowSurrey
(newbie) Wed 10-Jul-13 16:40:01
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Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


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Hi there. I live in a complete not-spot in Surrey. There are about a dozen houses in the area, and none of them can get ADSL at all.

Surrey council are planning to run fibre to every cabinet in the county, but this isn't likely to be much use to us because if the length of copper between us and the cabinet is too long to allow ADSL to work, I can't see that running fibre to that cabinet will make much difference. Mobile broadband is a complete non-starter - you can only sometimes get a 2G connection. Plans to use the old TV spectrum may not work either, as several of the houses are in a dip and thus struggled to get terrestrial TV at all.

Surrey have said that they have plans to try to sort out the roughly 0.3% of houses that fall into the same category as mine, but they're extremely vague and cagey about the details, and given how tricky our situation seems to be I'm worried that we'll just be fobbed off with some subsidised satellite dishes or something equally sub-par.

Does anyone know what our options might be? Could we persuade Openreach to run a FTTP-On-Demand service to one house and that split it between the remaining 11 on a standard Ethernet network? Will Openreach go for a deal like that? Or is there any way we could convince a local farmer to allow us to run our own fibre across his fields so that we can get it somewhere closer to the cabinet?

Any and all advice very much appreciated!
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 10-Jul-13 16:47:37
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: SlowSurrey] [link to this post]
 
The ADSL comes from the exchange via the cabinet, just double checking you are not confusing things.

e.g. I am 4km from the exchange but 1km from cabinet. Which gives me around 7 Meg from ADSL services, and should be around 24 Meg from FTTC.

One house getting a dedicated fibre via FTTP on demand would be expensive and resale deals are likely to be blocked, as the costs are set in the hope then when 1 in 12 ordered in a street, that another 2 or 3 will order in a year or two. In short you are looking at a lot higher cost £10k+ I'd guess at.

The 0.3% is meant to get something that is at least 2 Mbps, how will depend on how the project goes, e.g. it is possible that like Cornwall did they revised coverage targets up when they spent less money. In short without access to the planning people and the overall picture it has hard to say much. At the end of the day they have a limited pot of money, so will go for the faster/cheaper initially then review the harder to reach spots.

Andrew Ferguson, andrew@thinkbroadband.com
www.thinkbroadband.com - formerly known as ADSLguide.org.uk
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User ukhardy07
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 10-Jul-13 16:55:28
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: SlowSurrey] [link to this post]
 
Just because ADSL doesn't work doesn't mean FTTC will not.

Your local exchange may be 5 miles away, hence no ADSL.
Your nearest fibre cabinet may be 0.4 miles away and deliver 70Mbps fine.

Do you know which cabinet you are connected to and how far away it is? That would really give a good indication... Nevertheless it's probably quite hard to find out.


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Standard User Michael_Chare
(committed) Thu 11-Jul-13 19:08:26
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: SlowSurrey] [link to this post]
 
I suppose that you could ask Surrey CC how they plan to meet the 2mbps minimum service level, though if they are like Kent CC it will be difficult to get a useful answer from them.

If you can attract some more interest, you could try and get a Gigaclear project started. We have a potential Gigaclear system where I live in Kent. The difficulty is getting enough people to commit to adopting the service. At the moment about 18% of residents have signed up, Gigaclear are looking for 30%.

Michael Chare
Standard User gah789
(newbie) Mon 15-Jul-13 08:38:14
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: SlowSurrey] [link to this post]
 
There are a few examples of community/collective systems serving similar situations in Scotland. The best documented example that you might want to consider is that of Allanton in North Lanarkshire which got help from the Tegola project. See:

http://www.tegola.org.uk/allanton/

The collective solution in such cases has been a simple wireless system using a link to a local church, village hall or whatever that can be connected to FTTC or cable networks. It is not hard to set up such a system on DIY basis and the monthly cost can be kept down to £10-15 per month. It wouldn't be superfast broadband but it is certainly better than nothing.

The options that you refer to - laying your own fibre or relying upon a single FTTP connection - are all potentially feasible but will still require a local distribution system which would be very similar to the Allanton wireless network. Unfortunately, it is necessary to spend some time on assessing the physical layout and identifying potential line of sight links.

I would be very surprised if Surrey CC offered more than satellite connections. No council has the resources or technical expertise to sort out the problems of broadband access in small groups of houses.
Standard User davidnye
(newbie) Mon 15-Jul-13 08:55:27
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: SlowSurrey] [link to this post]
 
Hi SlowSurrey, I am in contact with the Surrey team about a similar situation here. Your options will depend on whether you are in an "intervention" area, or "commercial". If you don't know then check on the Superfast Surrey web site. Councils are currently not allowed to spend funds to improve broadband in "commercial" areas as part of any BDUK associated project.

You probably do already know your cabinet, but if not then the BT Broadband Availability Check at www.dslchecker.bt.com should tell you the number, then you have to search for a green roadside BT box with that number (in person or using Google Street View). You can then estimate the distance of the cable run (the Surrey Interactive Map is good for measuring distances).

Can you please let us know your post code, or at least the approximate address and cabinet, so we can check the status and be more specific? Thanks.

Standard User davidnye
(newbie) Mon 15-Jul-13 09:07:05
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: gah789] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by gah789:
No council has the resources or technical expertise to sort out the problems of broadband access in small groups of houses.


In fact I think Surrey is the only council so far to have committed to doing just that. Of course it remains to be seen whether they have budgetted sufficient resources.

Standard User davidnye
(newbie) Mon 15-Jul-13 09:17:36
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: SlowSurrey] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by SlowSurrey:
Could we persuade Openreach to run a FTTP-On-Demand service to one house and that split it between the remaining 11 on a standard Ethernet network? Will Openreach go for a deal like that?


That would not be permitted using the FoD product, but Openreach have told us that they can run fibre to a community scheme of this sort if the community can raise a substantial proportion of the costs. Although as far as I know there has only been one example of this so far, and there does not appear to be any formal channel to request such a scheme. I am expecting (or hoping) that this will be clarified at least before the end of the Surrey project in 2014.

Standard User kijoma
(committed) Mon 15-Jul-13 10:46:06
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: SlowSurrey] [link to this post]
 
hi,

Whereabouts in Surrey are you? , Kijoma have coverage of parts of South Surrey and although not existent based on BDUK / EU rulings and therefore not part of the whole funded effort, the service is available commercially.

There is a notable delay between order and delivery due to the constant high demand level, so it pays to enquire asap.

A single enquiry from an area will not gain any priority so if there is a group of properties then ask them all to enquire. there is nothing to lose in doing so.

If it was possible there then it would be far better than the promised 2 Mbps and closer to the very unlikely FTTC .

Bill Lewis - MD
Kijoma Broadband
Fixed wireless ISP - ISPA/CISAS/RIPE members
http://www.kijoma.net
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1975254274.png
Standard User gah789
(newbie) Mon 15-Jul-13 11:01:44
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Re: Options for some isolated houses in Surrey


[re: davidnye] [link to this post]
 
Two cheers for them in that case. However, the administrative costs of dealing with (potentially) hundreds of groups of 10 to 100 premises, each requiring tailored solutions, will be very high.

From posts on your website it seems that the scale of the problem is quite small in Surrey - 1,200 buildings not suitable for fibre. In the South of Scotland the number is likely to be 10 times that and the authorities involved are much smaller than SCC.

My own feeling is that those of us who live in isolated communities have to rely upon self-help and collective arrangements. A further point is that the current take-up of SFBB is quite low which undermines the economic viability of long term but expensive solutions. The economies of scale in building and operating fibre networks are so large that it is really hard to make them work for communities of less than 1,000 premises.
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