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Standard User Yaz
(experienced) Wed 24-Nov-10 22:33:21
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: kijoma] [link to this post]
 
Hi Bill,

Thanks for the response.

If I were in the same position as you, I am pretty certain that I would want to enjoy the privileges of being at the top of an ISP smile.

I am looking forward to the upgrade of our own connection tomorrow. Just in time if we are to be hit by the winter weather heading our way that snowed us in this time last year.

vFast Ltd
Downstream ~10 mbps (megabits per second) - ~1250 KBps (kilobytes per second)
Upstream ~2 mbps (megabits per second) - ~250 KBps (kilobytes per second)
Sky MID
Downstream Att. ~62db - SNR ~5.5db - Sync - ~2784 Kbps
Upstream Att. ~31db - SNR ~16db - Sync - ~576 Kbps
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 25-Nov-10 08:38:00
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: kijoma] [link to this post]
 
Not to sound rude, but you're very very bitter about the folks here at TB. Your technology is viewed of as a stop gap and last mile solution and that perception won't change over night.

I used to be a customer of SoBroadband and later VFast when they took over the network and I've used other fixed wireless broadband ISPs for properties I own elsewhere in the country. I can honestly say that it's a good thing most of these companies have excellent customer service as I very frequently had problems with VOIP, video on demand, consistency of throughput and uptimes.

I've not been with VFast for a while now and I would be interested to take up a 100mbps service but from past experience I would certainly be worried that the service will suffer during peak times due to huge contention problems (this, plus a much improved (and cheaper) DSL service is what made me leave). After all what use is a 100mbps connection if you're sharing with lots and lots of other users?

Considering most of the people I know who stuck with VFast are moderate - heavy users, I wouldn't be surprised if the connection crawls to a turtle speed during peak time.

I would love to have this technology embraced and developed, but you are going around saying it's pretty damn flawless and you must admit that it really isn't. There are still problems to overcome and ultimately the technology is not an alternative to fibre. It's a useful technology that people should be looking to merge into their network, mindful of the issues it has.

At the end of the day if I had the choice between FTTC and fixed wireless, there's really no option, FTTC has so many more advantages.

What I do agree with you though is that the government should be putting money into a universal service rather than upgrading areas that have spare bandwidth already. My brother lives in a town where for many years he's been getting really high quality ADSL, yet BT are actively rolling out their Infinity service. How's about invest the extra couple of thousand and hook up some of the areas which don't have any ADSL or cable connectivity?

One last point; If I were serviced by any of the fixed wireless ISPs, I am officially receiving a service that satisfies government targets. Unfortunately for the customer, they are pretty much damned if they wish to change supplier. If I were with your "Kijoma" service but felt that your price/connectivity/support was rubbish, I would be unable to switch to another ISP as you would hold a monopoly. Ultimately this is poor as it discourages investment from the ISP (Why bother, the customers are locked in anyway?) and limits choice (don't use the internet that much? Tough, you're locked into a high priced service.).
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 25-Nov-10 08:41:14
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
And another thing, the tariffs you offer to your customers have ridiculously low usage limits, long contract terms, poor upload speeds and sky high prices. It's probably a mixture of these reasons that people are skeptical to use fixed wireless.


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Standard User MarkHampshire
(experienced) Thu 25-Nov-10 09:12:48
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
You make some good ponts, but it leaves me with a question and some other points:

1. There seems to be an assumption that contention can't be managed on a wireless network and that users can easily saturate it.

On a cable network, it used to be (maybe still is) possible to fiddle the cable modem settings to get the maximum possible speed which I believe is about 445Mbps which would potentially saturate the local node especially if a few people on the same node did it.

However without doing that, the cap is set at the service level e.g. 10Mbps, 50Mbps, and you only get what you pay for.

So it's capped at the client end. With DSL I'm assuming it's capped at the exchange given that it works differently. Might be wrong on that one.

Those are fixed paths, yes. But with either cable or DSL there has to be sufficient backhaul - don't know what the formula is to calculate what is needed, it would be possible to supply everyone eith e.g. 50Mbps if there was enough, but that won't be how it's done - guess it's the aggregate of all the peak speeds * some percentage and the backhaul to the node is adjusted accordingly.

After all that pre-able: Why can't that be done with wireless? After all, they should be able to calculate how many people are connecting to any given point of presence (it isn't mobile broadband with a transient user base) and I'm presuming that differing maximum speeds can be supplied to different customers with a cap at that point?

2. It strikes me that it would be madness, for instance, for say Kijoma to invest in supplying a wireless solution to the nearby town of Alton, which has sporadic FTTC coverage, because the response from BT would be (we've seen this before) to simply then install the necessary missing fibre cabinets to kill the competition. Suddenly the presence of competition means it's now financially viable where it wasn't before. So, probably not good business sense, and in most (though not all) cases, people in urban areas can get something, even if it's only 1Mbps.

3. What makes anyone think that BT will supply sufficient bandwidth to any given exchange to service all the FTTC users to any particular quality level? BT have had the luxury of only having to provide quite low backhaul per user because the strangling factor has always been the physical lines and nobody yet knows what the FTTC take-up will be, and what sort of backhaul per user will be made available - so you might get 40Mbps now, but is there any reason why - on an "up to 40Mbps" service - that won't drop to e.g. 10Mbps in a couple of years - it's still "up to 40Mbps".

My Broadband Speed Test
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 25-Nov-10 09:33:35
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: MarkHampshire] [link to this post]
 
I own properties throughout the country in villages where very often the tenant cannot receive a connection via anything but fixed wireless. In almost all of these situations I have received endless complaints about how during the peak time the connection is slow, i've experienced first hand how poor VFast / SoBroadband could be during the evenings, i've got a tenant using Kijoma and he's had problems similar to those I constantly hear about.

Problem is, I can't help them, they're stuck with what there is available, you either suck it up and hope that the overworked WISP has time to get around to dealing with the problem (very often my tenants have been told they are the only person experiencing any issues and that they can't see any problems, this is mainly due to complacency from other users I suppose).

Sure, BT can (and do) oversubscribe/overstretch and no amount of switching ISP will help your connection if ultimately the backhaul isn't up to scratch, but when I have spoken to my tenants about the issues they've been having, some of them have experienced periods of less than dialup speeds, no connectivity, latencies in the tens of thousands and sporadic bursts of data, it does show some flaws with either the tech or the set up.

The properties I have that have poor ADSL/Cable (my own house is included in this) have never had the extreme problems that fixed wireless can have. When my connection is broken now, it just gets a bit slower, it doesn't make me want to climb the walls with frustration.

So yes, i'm sure it CAN be done that a universal quality of service is achieved, my experience has shown otherwise. I've not personally used a fixed wireless ISP for a couple of years, but my tenants do and so many of them are unhappy with it. I can't imagine they'd be complaining if they had any sort of FTTC.

As an aside, it's always struck me that the users of fixed wireless are more the sort of "power user" type. I do know that a lot of people around here are happy with a slow connection and that most of the people I know who have "upgraded" to fixed wireless are the sort of people who partake in a lot of heavy use (games, downloading, streaming).
Standard User darrenorbital
(newbie) Thu 25-Nov-10 10:41:33
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Sorry but i totally disagree with your comments, i agree that when we took over the SoBroadband network things were not great, the equipment they had deployed was rubbish, we have since been working very hard to upgrade users and as such around 70% of customers are now receiving above 10mbit and a reliable service. Technology has come a long way in the past couple of years and wireless can now out perform FTTC.

Regards
Darren
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 25-Nov-10 11:12:26
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: darrenorbital] [link to this post]
 
Hello, I have now been a customer of VFast for around 5 years I think, in Thanet. Now I won't say the service is perfect (I had a very long period of horrible packet loss and low speeds) but on the whole the service has been impressive. Support staff are helpful and most of the time if they can't fix it they'll pass the message on to someone who can. In the situations where proble s can't be immediately resolved, Jonathan has been helpful in explaining what the issue was and when there are planned fixes.

I agree that when it is bad, it is really bad, but for a long time the service has been absolutely brilliant (though I have recent had issues with some slow routing to France via telia which is a result of telia being awful and not much VFast can do). Sure, I don't get the full 10mbps in the evening (speedtests vary between 6-9mbps in the evening) and I wouldn't say no to a bit more upload, but honestly for an emerging technology and a small company, I can't fault vfast.

I am glad there are no silly usage limits as I often buy games through steam and use the iplayer all the time, but I usually leave any large downloads until late at night (steam had a sale on the Grand Theft Auto games recently and that was pretty massive).

All that said, I do look forward to getting a faster connection but considering the price is already quite high, I'm not sure that I would want to pay more.

Incidentally, if I were to move house and I were able to receive a connection of this speed and reliablity from VFast, I would certainly take them over ANY ADSL supplier. No limits, good speeds, brilliant support, better than average upload speeds... Only issues are price and lack of the extras Virgin and BT can offer (TV for example) and better speeds are avaliable from their respective FTTC services (but after upgrades this will not be the case).

Sorry for the garbled writing. Using my new phone and it is hard to re read what I have previously written.

Regards,

William Farren
Standard User kijoma
(member) Fri 26-Nov-10 10:34:11
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anonymous moans


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by Anonymous:
And another thing, the tariffs you offer to your customers have ridiculously low usage limits, long contract terms, poor upload speeds and sky high prices. It's probably a mixture of these reasons that people are skeptical to use fixed wireless.


Hello Mr Anonymous

Interesting... sky high prices... £13.99 for 5GB a month at 16Mbps and 6/12 month contracts aren't exactly extortionate?. Compare these to BT's rates and contracts (18/24 months) and of course factor in the need for a BT phone line at ~£13 a month and i think people will see your view is extremely simplistic and inaccurate.

You made me laugh at "poor upload speeds" , we provide 1,4 and 6 Mbps upload speeds as standard fixed products and 40Mbps upload via bespoke contracts to specific customers. yep that's pretty poor speed compared to ADSL with its 0.2 , 0.4 , 0.7 Mbps upload and the blistering 2 Mbps of ADSL2+ if your close to the exchange..

There hasn't been a single price increase ever here either but the allowances have risen considerably over the years as we have improved capacity. this is a managed network, not a super contended ADSL free for all.

Your "Fibre is the end game" thinking is interesting and is similar to saying that the entire country will have motorway grade roads too and A,B and C roads are just a stop gap.. I don't see this happening from the incumbent road operator as it isn't viable to do so..

Equally unfounded is the idea that it will ever be economic to provide Fibre to every home/business in the country, especially provided from such a large organisation as BT wholesale where their lower cut off threshold for commercial viability will exclude large swathes of the countries infrastructure.

I see from the TB news that retail are already accepting 5 Mbps orders for FTTC, with ADSL it was years before they changed from fixed 0.5/1/2 Mbps services and unleashed the hell that is Max. They are already offering sub "super fast" concessions on FTTC to try and raise order levels..

5 Mbps over VDSL, combined with crosstalk on the same bundle will be absolute rubbish, a repeat of the ADSL fiasco all over again.. I would hope any public organisations being suckered into financing this "stop gap" measure will be looking closely at the Value For Money, or lack of.

I have read your original post and will respond to the many points you raise later. Work demands my time first smile

You mention you have a tenant with a Kijoma service, perhaps you would contact us direct and raise the problems you say they are experiencing so we can address them?

cheers

Bill Lewis - MD
Kijoma Broadband - (Division of Kijoma Solutions Ltd)
Fixed wireless ISP - ISPA/CISAS/RIPE members
http://www.kijoma.net
My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User mjay
(newbie) Fri 26-Nov-10 13:34:52
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: darrenorbital] [link to this post]
 
Is there any ETA for the Sittingbourne area on the network upgrades?

Also help clear something up for me.. I was told the Sittingborune POP was in/on the Kent Science Park, however my CPE is clearly pointing towards the town center and not KSP. When some engineers came to fix my CPE that had fallen off the roof during the high winds they said they was upgrading the POP in the town center soon. So, where is the sittingbourne pop really hiding away at?

My Broadband Speed Test
Standard User darrenorbital
(newbie) Fri 26-Nov-10 14:36:22
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Re: VFast Testing 100Mbit Service


[re: mjay] [link to this post]
 
Yes, the new transmitter for airmax is in place, you will be upgraded soon but we have a very big backlog of work at the moment. We have more than one transmitter in and around Sittingbourne, i really dont know without looking which one you are on.

Regards
darren
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