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Standard User Yaz
(experienced) Thu 13-Oct-11 01:27:02
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: prlzx] [link to this post]
 
wirelesspacman + prlzx

Thanks for your input into this thread.

My current interest in all things VFast are the capacity upgrades. My current package of 25mb down / 10mb up serves our household needs at this time.

I'm not sure on the hardware that VFast use (though it appears that it's been posted in the other section of this thread) but I can obtain a photo of the mast on our roof if anybody is interested.

Either way, whatever the forth coming news from VFast may be, I hope that they continue to invest in the backhaul/capacity to sustain the growing customer base.

vFast Ltd
Downstream ~24336.33 kbit/s - ~2970.74 KB/s
Upstream ~10224.86 kbit/s - ~1248.15 KB/s
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 13-Oct-11 01:58:51
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: prlzx] [link to this post]
 
Problems with Wireless still exist and I think VFast are brave to try and increase speeds. I have had a VFast service for many many years now and i've had periods where one person locally has brought every single connection to a crawl. Due to the nature of it not being full duplex and the limited backhaul capacity that the airmax products offer, I think they should concentrate on guarenteeing a level of service and lowering ping times, access times etc and slightly increasing upload speed.

It is ridiculous in this day and age that you can get a faster upload speed out of a 3g connection rather than a fixed wireless/copper/fibre solution at your home!

I can understand concerns regarding copyright infringement, business uses and such but you'll find that a lot of people just want to be able to be free to use the connection for the things they want to do for leisure.

Take myself for example, my family are scattered all over the world and we often arrange times where we play online games - unfortunately my connection has very poor latency and upload so I often run into trouble here.

Sending files takes a long time too, though it's much faster than my friends on ADSL, video conferencing and such have noticably higher latency than ADSL/cable and often suffers from packet loss.

Increasing speeds is all well and good but reliability and consistency are really important - to me it's more important than anything else that I know i'll be able to do X Y or Z at any particular time rather than hoping to high heaven that my connection isn't going to be flakey and unreliable.
Standard User darrenorbital
(learned) Thu 13-Oct-11 12:04:51
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Sounds like you have a fault, put in a ticket and it will be fixed smile


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Standard User kijoma
(member) Mon 17-Oct-11 17:37:03
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Re: October news from Vfast


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

Interesting read, As probably the first Wireless ISP to use "Airmax" in 2009 I can vouch for how well it has matured in it's firmware and product range.

We invested £20000 at the time in an unproven "wet paint" technology and it paid off , fortunately for later adopters they didn't get to ride the early adopter firmware bug nightmare smile . At the same time though they would have to agree that those pioneers and their feedback to the manufacturers were essential in the maturing process.

We still have some stock of the original product with the original firmware , ideal for any serious masochists out there! , not for the feint hearted smile

Anyway what i originally popped in to say was.. What is behind the dislike so many people have of "small companies" and Wireless technology? . It is almost as if the very word is an insult to their respective mothers or something?

Sure big companies can put small ones out of business , potentially... But what the whole BDUK fiasco is doing is throwing large sums of money, our public money, at those large companies.. Even though surely they could use their financial might to do it themselves without the need for state bottle feeding?

I tip my hat to Vfast as they are one of the rare examples of a wireless company taken seriously by a county council. Kent do appear to have a clear policy of technology neutrality when they put out tenders for provision to an under served area.

Wireless is of course very cost effective and without it the only bids they would of received would of had 6 figures minimum from the usual suspects and KCC would be somewhat out of pocket or they would of scrapped the project completely.

We have yet to see what West Sussex County Councils plan is but to date at least they have done their best to deny the existence of our service, even to the point of declaring in writing with respect to areas not profitable for BT "we do not consider the areas you cover as having a broadband service" and sure enough they put them down as "notspots". Not spots with 16. 24 and 40 Mbps services over the last 6 years smile


So many people complain about "BT" infrastructure provided services, their call centres, their stranglehold on the market in general... then as soon as money appears the same people are shouting from the roof tops "give it to BT!"..

~sigh~

rant over...

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 Michael_Chare
(committed) Tue 18-Oct-11 00:30:00
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: kijoma] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by kijoma:
Anyway what i originally popped in to say was.. What is behind the dislike so many people have of "small companies" and Wireless technology? . It is almost as if the very word is an insult to their respective mothers or something?
Well my mobile phone keeps losing signal, my msf clock keeps losing sync, I can't get all the Freeview muxes, my DAB radio keeps cutting out, why would I want anything to do with another terrestrial digital wireless signal? Especially one likely to be adversely impacted by trees and hills.

Further there was a local wireless broadband operator 'Edenbridge Broadband'. Where are they now?

BT may have their problems, but my phone works, as does my rather slow broadband which uses BT equipment.

Michael Chare
Standard User wirelesspacman
(fountain of knowledge) Tue 18-Oct-11 08:02:04
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
"...but my phone works, as does my rather slow broadband which uses BT equipment."

Unless/until some kind person(s) decides to remove a few km of very valuable copper cable, os some workmen put a digger through a cable - both of which could put you off line for days.

Hills do not tend to pop up over night and block wireless signals, they actually tend to be pretty useful for finding locations to bounce signals off.

Trees are also rarely an issue with a well designed network rollout (in the sense of them later affecting existing customers).

Peter

Loop Scorpio Ltd
Ledbury; Highnam; Newent; Painswick; Arlingham, Cranham
===============================================

Symmetric Pro
Now also offering 20 Mbps symmetric broadband!
Standard User smurf46
(member) Tue 18-Oct-11 10:08:05
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: wirelesspacman] [link to this post]
 
Is your response perhaps a bit glib? I've both landline broadband and fixed wireless (and I'm happy with both). The fixed wireless has a slightly better record of reliability - merely though because the Easynet fibre backhaul network seems to suffer from slightly less faults than BTWs. I've never experienced a cable theft or digger damage to the ADSL local loop and suggest most others haven't either. (I suspect it's actually the least common fault with ADSL). And I doubt if even the fabled wizards of the west can magic up structures or owner or statutory permissions to provide and connect up new transmitters on any old hill, or perhaps even have the will to do so for a single residential customer, but perhaps it would be interesting to know what cost you'd charge them for doing so!

A couple of genuine questions for the wireless ISPs that post here:
1. do all your transmitters have the ability to operate independently of a mains power supply (which seems more unreliable than the telephone service) and for how long?
2. how many initial queries do you receive (NOT just those you decide to "accept" as potential customers) and what percentage of them do you successfully connect from people within the telephone exchange areas you serve? (My WISP has this info).
3. bearing in mind the recent ASA ruling, and I know that everyone quotes their maximum throughput, what throughtput speeds do at least 80% of your customers actually maintain on each up to package?
4. do you wholesale your connections to other ISPs which I understand is a necessary requirement for BDUK (and future EU) funding to comply with European procurement law? (If not then surely you can't complain about the unavailability of that funding to you - it'd be unlawful).

I think this sort of info is more useful for potential customers . And yes I know it's not the whole picture, but a snapshot never is but as the ASA recognised it's a useful starting point.

EDIT: PS On a more general point, having skimmed the BDUK guidance now on DCMS website is there a change to the business model perhaps: 1. WISPs can be wholly commercial outfits and operate end to end as at present and 2. have a new prospective role as a local ISP taking a wholesale service over a local wireless link to serve all the individual customers within a local community where it is necessary/appropriate to replace the fixed local loop which is unable to supply the faster broadband required to meet the national policy objectives (and accords with the local delivery plan). In fact doesn't this open up a bright future for wireless ISPs with both vastly greater penetration to the local level of, combined with open access to, competitive wholesale backhaul fibre at lower cost; and as they constantly tell us about the superior performance of a wireless link over the copper local loop . . .

We see things not as they are, but as we are .
- Anais Nin

Edited by smurf46 (Tue 18-Oct-11 17:21:08)

Standard User darrenorbital
(learned) Tue 18-Oct-11 21:25:43
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: smurf46] [link to this post]
 
>A couple of genuine questions for the wireless ISPs that post here:
>1. do all your transmitters have the ability to operate independently of a mains >power supply (which seems more unreliable than the telephone service) and for >how long?

Yes, all have UPS which can power for 4 - 8 hours although some repeaters are powered by a Solar / Wind combination, one i can think of has been running for around 2 years with 100% uptime.

>2. how many initial queries do you receive (NOT just those you decide to "accept" >as potential customers) and what percentage of them do you successfully connect >from people within the telephone exchange areas you serve? (My WISP has this >info).

Our connection success rate from orders is around 90% although this is a constantly changing figure, not sure why you would want to know how many initial queries we get though, i would suggest that is commercially sensitive for any ISP.

>3. bearing in mind the recent ASA ruling, and I know that everyone quotes their >maximum throughput, what throughtput speeds do at least 80% of your customers >actually maintain on each up to package?

Maintain is not really the right word i feel, i would say that an average customers on say a 15mbit package will average somewhere around 14 - 15 mbit most of the time, we have to restrict people down to that speed as even with a weak signal, customers can normally exceed that speed.

The biggest issue with a speedtest, as any ISP will experience is customers take them as gospel even though there are so many factors, its fine for us to give an average speed for "on-net" traffic but when it leaves out network, we have no control over congestion. I would say around 50% of tech support calls are due to customers performing speedtests, getting say 11mbit result on a 15 or 25 mbit connection and reporting it as a fault. Customers do not take general Internet congestion on a particular site into account or perhaps how many people are testing on any given speedtest server at the same time.

If you were to purchase a sporty porche capable of 155mph and cruise into london, you would probably not phone Porche complaining when you hit traffic on the M25 and slowed down to 40mph. The internet is a similar scenario which is why this average speed to customers just does not work out.

>4. do you wholesale your connections to other ISPs which I understand is a >necessary requirement for BDUK (and future EU) funding to comply with European >procurement law? (If not then surely you can't complain about the unavailability of >hat funding to you - it'd be unlawful).

Yes we do using L2tp back to the ISP to provide a transparent service over our network.

Regards
Darren

Edited by darrenorbital (Tue 18-Oct-11 21:29:31)

Standard User smurf46
(member) Wed 19-Oct-11 00:21:25
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: darrenorbital] [link to this post]
 
Thanks Darren, I hope that gives some encouragement and confidence to prospective customers!
1. I don't know if my WISP uses the backup/alternative power options, but I'd encourage them to follow your example (but I've not noticed any power cuts at their end (unlike mine, but I have a UPS battery). But I imagine it could be more of an issue with rural transmitters.
2. Again I understand they're at well over 90% (though on favourable terrain). I suppose I asked about queries (commercially sensitive I understand) remembering when I first tried to get fixed wireless my fear was that it was something of a private club for the initiated and not for an average-joe, but I have to say the WISP did not show that attitude at all when I approached them.
3. Sorry I used "maintain" to try and get an average and so disregard non-ISP issues: on aggregate up/down my general is around 75-80% of maximum (restricted) throughput with no significant time variations (though seems to pick up a bit extra in winter/spring perhaps due to absence of leaf cover).
4. They don't as far as I am aware.
I didn't ask about latency: mine is about double that of my FTTC service (40/20) though can rise closer to 100 at peak times (though always better than my ADSL used to be).

We see things not as they are, but as we are .
- Anais Nin

Edited by smurf46 (Wed 19-Oct-11 00:36:00)

Standard User wirelesspacman
(fountain of knowledge) Wed 19-Oct-11 09:12:55
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Re: October news from Vfast


[re: smurf46] [link to this post]
 
A little bit perhaps smile but why should you expect me to just sit in a corner and not defend our industry?

We are a smaller outfit than Darren's and operate on a somewhat different deployment model (we do not use towers/masts but utilise some of our customers as hopping points).

A growing number of our nodes have battery backup - generally for around 4 hours. We are steadily increasing the proportion, though for some (say only serving a couple of local customers) it does not cost in.

Where we have initial queries in a covered area (which is the wisp version of your "telephone exchange area" since that is meaningless to a WISP) then we connect up the large majority of them. Don't keep the stats on this as never seen a need to.

Yes we do wholesale connectivitiy, though not yet on the wireless part of our network only on the fully cabled part. Am a long way from being convinced that wholesaling a wisp network would be viable as the wholesale products that would be feasible are unlikely to be of interest to retail ISPs (who would want all you can eat wholesale products for peanuts).

The BDUK lot are already ignoring EU state aid rules by the way, as demonstrated by their recent announcement on "assisting" standard (2 Mbps) broadband provision by 2015. This already exists via the new satellites, so applying ANY state aid to foster terrestrial competition is illegal.

What is this "new prospective" you talk about anyway? That is and has been what WISPs have been doing for the last eight years or so - nothing new there. As to "open access to competitive wholesale backhaul fibre at lower cost" - yeah right, like that's going to happen sometime soon in rural areas!

Peter

Loop Scorpio Ltd
Ledbury; Highnam; Newent; Painswick; Arlingham, Cranham
===============================================

Symmetric Pro
Now also offering 20 Mbps symmetric broadband!
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