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Anonymous
(Unregistered)Wed 04-Apr-12 00:16:43
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Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[link to this post]
 
Hey everyone, my name is Glenn MacKenzie and I live in the highlands of Scotland.

Myself and the local village currently do not have a reliable telephone link, let alone any sort of broadband. This is quite difficult for us as we are struggling to remain solvent whilst living in a remote area.

Our community is mainly made up of generations of families who have grown up here, we have many families of farmers, a shop, a pub and a primary school all within 10 miles, but with modern machinery and modern science there is less and less chance for us to catch up with the rest of the country. Some of our artisans and craftsmen relied on business in local towns but never earned enough to move away. In addition to this our nearest secondary school has recently closed and this means our children have no choice but to be home educated or sent off to boarding school. Both of these options are less than ideal.

We are in sore need of some sort of broadband for the village, else our generation will be the last to be able to stay here.

Last year we managed to get a satellite link into a nearby village hall which now serves as a sort of internet cafe. Unfortunately the cost is astronomical, the speed is really unreliable and we have very small usage limits. We approached the company providing the service about cutting a deal to supply individual houses but at up to £100 a month, it's really not something we can afford.

We have approached BT many times over the years and only recently have we ever heard back, we do not have enough households in our village and the surrounding villages to be big enough for them to replace our aluminium overhead cabling, let alone provide some sort of broadband.

So this brings me here...

None of us are particularly well educated in computers and we are likely not to qualify for any of the digital britain money as some of our villages are not even named villages, more a collection of 2-3 houses and a farm.

What we have managed to do is get around 50 families in the area to pledge £150 each towards setting up a local co-operative internet solution.

It is obvious we are not going to be able to afford a cabled solution, nor are we going to put up with the high price and flakey service of a satellite.

I have read about fixed wireless being a potential solution to our problem and it seems like we could, for very little money, set up a business which will be able to provide a decent service to our communities.

Luckily I am in London for the next few weeks and I have a free wifi in our hotel so I am able to make this contact, even to contact people here back at home is a very frustrating process.

Unfortunately though, I don't know where to start. i've spent the last 4 hours or so reading through this site and I have heard all sorts of different things, in short, what equipment and knowledge do we need to set this up?

How much would it cost and who do we pay? Once we have set up our network amongst eachother, how do we connect to the Internet? What does this cost?

Our goal is to offer something at around £25 a month, we need at least enough speed that people can surf the net, host a website for their businesses, allow remote home schooling (some sort of video conferencing?).

Added bonuses would be if it is fast enough to allow people to watch TV, as we currently only get BBC 1 and ITV in some areas (some of the higher up farms can get BBC2 and CH4 also, but some of the houses in the village don't). And perhaps something to entertain the kids.

I expect that due to all of these things being quite intense, it would be preferable if we were not to impose a limit as this is one of the things that we find we hit very easily at the hall, even with strict limits that only surfing be allowed on the computers.

The idea would be that if the co-operative becomes profitable, we would invite other communities to join us and eventually the cost of the service would decrease.

Any help in giving me pointers on where to go and what we'd need to set this up would be greatly appreciated.
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Wed 04-Apr-12 08:44:14
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Satellite solutions are available for £25 or £30 per month with setup costs of maybe £300 minimum. http://www.toowaybroadband.co.uk/ and several others. http://www.ruralbroadband.co.uk/

If you want a TV service I strongly recommend you use satellite TV as the most appropriate technology, not TV over the internet when you're struggling for an internet connection. http://www.sky.com/shop/tv/ or http://www.freesat.co.uk/

You can build a wireless network to serve the locality, but you need a connection to the outside world or "backhaul" in the jargon. This could be long distance point to point wireless, but that needs line of site to somewhere with decent connectivity maybe 10km away. A fibre optic connection is the other long distance tech but that needs trenching in and again needs somewhere to connect it to.

An end user connection on a wireless broadband setup may cost £150 - £250 if professionally installed. Per household / business. Then you need the "central" base station or base stations to connect them up via line of sight.

Limits are going to be inevitable to give everyone a workable service if you're sharing a thin pipe back to the rest of the planet.

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics

Edited by yarwell (Wed 04-Apr-12 09:50:18)

Standard User Michael_Chare
(committed) Wed 04-Apr-12 22:35:26
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
I suggest that you review all the Tooway resellers on:

http://www.tooway.com/Purchase.

£25 pm for 8GB data at 6mbps is arguable a better deal than I got when I originally signed up for an ADSL connection.

This would be quite easy to install. DIY installation looks to be perfectly possible.

Any kind of community project would be much more difficult, both technically and commercially.

Michael Chare


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Anonymous
(Unregistered)Thu 05-Apr-12 06:32:39
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
Thank you for your comments lads.

Unfortunately our experience of Satellite so far is that it's really expensive, limits are very low, speeds are slow (I was once trying to contact a client in Belgium using the village hall's wifi using skype and it was extremely delayed to the point that I just sucked it up and paid the oversees call - for a Scot you should understand how big of a deal this is.)

Nice idea with Freesat, i'll spread that around.

Ultimately why I have come here is to find information about fixed wireless because we feel this could be a long term solution which will finally bring us forward to 2012. To extend that analogy, going and getting everyone satellite and paying Tooway would just bring us to a level of service that would be acceptable in 2004. It is in no way a service fit for the future, it will in no way help regenerate our rural community.

I do appreciate the sentiments though lads, just would prefer if someone would be willing to help me with the fixed wireless stuff!

Glenn
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Thu 05-Apr-12 10:59:48
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
There's more than one satellite up there so the fundamental services can be different, as well as the myriad of different deals on offer.

Similarly you can get good call packages on landlines - Belgium is in my inclusive call time per month for example. "Satellite delay" is a characteristic I'm afraid.

How are you going to make the external connection to the internet is the first thing to get over. Where nearby has decent connectivity, how far is it, is it in a straight line ?

A postcode or grid reference would help us envisage things.

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Thu 05-Apr-12 23:54:34
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
Alas the promise a lot but deliver little is my thought on satellite sliding usage windows and upsell when capacity is an issue even with ka birds pus me off.

Also ajax enabled sites hate the latency

Fixed or microwave wireless for backhaul link. Where in scotland is key as you can visit people who have done what you want

Andrew Ferguson, [email protected]
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 kijoma
(committed) Fri 06-Apr-12 09:58:31
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Hi,

Send us post codes of the relevant area and we can take a look at your backhaul options and what FWA kit would achieve the objective, no charge.

This may help set the ball rolling there and allow you decide what to do next

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 Michael_Chare
(committed) Sun 08-Apr-12 21:15:02
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
BT are piloting a Fibre only exchange. How long do we have to wait before FTTH becomes something people in more rural areas can have?

Michael Chare
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Sun 15-Apr-12 21:20:12
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
Depends on how rural, and who wins the BDUK projects

Andrew Ferguson, [email protected]
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 hoopla
(member) Sun 15-Apr-12 22:45:09
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
It might be worth looking at wireless.navigator.co.uk for information about community wi-fi, though the backhaul is a different matter.
Standard User Michael_Chare
(committed) Mon 16-Apr-12 15:28:21
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
The problem with the BDUK funding is that it only provides a minimum connection speed of 2mbps. It might be difficult for Councils to justify spending more than the minimum to achieve this for the last 10%.

Michael Chare
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Mon 16-Apr-12 15:42:48
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
The problem with the BDUK funding is that it only provides a minimum connection speed of 2mbps.


Oh no it doesn't. Much of it is going on "Superfast".

--

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
Standard User Michael_Chare
(committed) Mon 16-Apr-12 17:56:08
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
In reply to a post by yarwell:
The problem with the BDUK funding is that it only provides a minimum connection speed of 2mbps.


Oh no it doesn't. Much of it is going on "Superfast".
Yes, but not everyone gets "Superfast". "They" only have to provide 2mbps to the last 10%. Once they have provided Superfast to 90% and 2mbps to the remainder they have met their goals. How can they then justify spending more? - even if I might like them to.

Michael Chare
Standard User gr0mit
(learned) Sat 21-Apr-12 17:31:20
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: yarwell] [link to this post]
 
Hi Glen
I run a small wireless internet service in Basingstoke. I'd be happy to give you some pointers. Your biggest problem is going to be getting backhaul into your community, from which to distribute to your users. Send me the postcodes of some central places in the village that have line of sight to your customer premises and I can get some ballpark ideas for you.

hope I can help...

Rgds
Tim robinson

Best Regards
Tim Robinson
TxRx Communications Ltd
Fast wireless broadband for Basingstoke www.hiwifi.co.uk
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 24-Apr-12 21:32:55
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
If I had you £10m what do you do

Update 10000 of the slowest lines to superfast, leaving 25,000 on what they are now.
Update 30000 lines to superfast and spend enough on 5000 lines to get them 2Meg

If the BDUK pot were larger the 10% would be smaller, and in some areas it will be smaller as councils are putting in more of their own money.

Fibre is technically no harder to get to people in remote areas, just costs more due to the greater distance involved. Some areas are looking at 4G overlays to give 100% coverage levels at 4G type speeds.

Andrew Ferguson, [email protected]
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 Michael_Chare
(committed) Thu 26-Apr-12 14:38:44
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
I agree that there is a conundrum. However once you set the principle of a minimum that raises the question of what the minimum should be. These days I could make a case for the minimum being enough for one stream of HD TV

BT do appear to be making progress with FTTP. There is a half of me that would not object to a much larger connection charge if that meant that I could get the service sooner, and the other half objects to the idea of paying more than everyone else!

Michael Chare
Standard User anglianbroadband
(newbie) Sun 06-May-12 14:29:09
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Anonymous] [link to this post]
 
Hello Glenn,

The money that your community has stumped up should be enough to get you started.
Scotland is 'hilly' to say the least but you can use that to your advantage to zig-zag wireless signals down the glens. The lochs are nice and flat so you can get signal from one shore to another. You may need to get very good at solar and wind power and batteries for mountain top repeater stations. Someone within wireless reach will have a decent ADSL service. You can kick off by connecting to that or to the Satellite service you mentioned. Just plug the CAT5 cable in and let NAT and DHCP do the rest wink

I maybe over simplifying but if you think it's too difficult you won't try.

People have high expectations these days, if they can't watch TV in HD over the Internet they throw their toys out of the pram. The biggest impact of Internet is simpler things such as web sites, email, online banking, social networking and a bit of YouTube. If you want to watch TV then buy a TV.

Set your sights on what matters and get on with it. You have computer experts and people who can climb roofs within your community. So what if they don't have a government approved certificate, do you ask the government before blowing your nose (I was going to say something else)?

This is your community and way of life you are defending so behave as the situation requires smile

Connecting you to 2meg or more in rural Essex
Standard User qasdfdsaq
(regular) Sun 06-May-12 16:13:53
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: anglianbroadband] [link to this post]
 
I've done computing support for these guys

http://www.tegola.org.uk/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Might be able to have a chat and see what's possible, if you're still interested.
Standard User kijoma
(committed) Mon 07-May-12 14:30:56
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: gr0mit] [link to this post]
 
its good to see the free consultancy paid off ...

In reply to a post by gr0mit:
Hi Glen
I run a small wireless internet service in Basingstoke. I'd be happy to give you some pointers. Your biggest problem is going to be getting backhaul into your community, from which to distribute to your users. Send me the postcodes of some central places in the village that have line of sight to your customer premises and I can get some ballpark ideas for you.

hope I can help...

Rgds
Tim robinson


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 gr0mit
(learned) Mon 07-May-12 15:09:36
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: kijoma] [link to this post]
 
Hi Bill
I think free consultancy is a bit of an exaggeration! I recall you being rather cagey the equipment you used etc.

At the time I was trying to get Kijoma to cover Basingstoke - and looking back at my emails of Feb 2010 I introduced you to the council and tried to get you in touch with the owners of the tall buildings in Basingstoke. I also offered you use of my own house at the top of the hill to site your antennas. Last correspondence I had from you was in Feb 2010... In June 2010 I gave up waiting and I had an FTTC line installed in another part of town in order to feed my own house via wireless.

We started our wifi service in late Summer 2010 with a few frustrated neighbours who were asking me to share my FTTC line, and it grew from that. I think if Kijoma had delivered the service I would not have bothered doing it myself. It's all a moot point now, as most of Basingstoke has FTTC. I just fill in for some of the missing cabs. I think you probably made the right commercial decision by not deploying here.

Anyhow - just wanted to put the record straight.
With my best wishes etc.

Best Regards
Tim Robinson
TxRx Communications Ltd
Fast wireless broadband for Basingstoke www.hiwifi.co.uk
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Tue 08-May-12 22:46:07
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: gr0mit] [link to this post]
 
Every time I read this section of the forums I always think i'm [censored] glad not to live in the UK anymore, looks like a total mess!

Especially when you have ISPs like Kijoma being run by what seems to be the biggest [censored] on the forums!

Even on Svalbard I could get better deals.
Standard User yarwell
(sensei) Sun 20-May-12 16:46:01
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Re: Community Co-Op Broadband Project


[re: Michael_Chare] [link to this post]
 
These days I could make a case for the minimum being enough for one stream of HD TV


"Sky" smile

--

Phil

MaxDSL - goes as fast as it can and doesn't read the line checker first.

MaxDSL diagnostics
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