More rural broadband activity in the UK – Lyddington, Leicestershire

News article

thinkbroadband :: Fibre optic broadband in rural areas: Lyddington

From the horse’s mouth

Rutland Telecom – Web site

My comments on this topic

The main thing that impressed me about this news was that a small local operator took up the gauntlet to establish a backhaul and next-generation Internet service for a rural village in England. It’s so easy to expect the big-time companies like the incumbent or competing telecommunications firms or established ISPs to provide this kind of service, but a small firm has decided to lay the groundwork with its fibre-to-the-cabinet operation for Lyddington and the surrounding villages.

There is an expectation for a service with 48Mbps maximum / 25Mbps average headline speed for this network, which was similar to what would be expected for most suburban next-generation broadband rollouts. It will be based on FTTC (fibre-to-the-cabinet) technology with the copper run to the customer’s door being based on VDSL2 technology. This technology has a greater throughput than  the commonly-deployed ADSL2+ but is designed for short copper runs. Here, it will be installed as a sub-loop unbundled setup where the street cabinet exists between the main telephone exchange and the customer’s telephone.

This deployment was considered feasible for environments where the service would facilitate a full takeup of 40-50 customers in a not-so-dense area.

The prices averaged around GBP30 / month including line rental and 600 minutes of calls to any landline in the UK. The hardware would be part of the installation cost and included a VDSL modem and a broadband router that isn’t wireless. It would be the time to look towards choosing a wireless broadband router of the kind that works with cable Internet for this setup if you want the wireless home network. A wireless router would cost GBP45 extra if you bought it from them.

Location issues

There are still a few questions that need to be asked concerning the Lyddington FTTC rollout and would affect next-generation broadband efforts in rural Britain. One is whether and how the larger properties like the farms would be covered by the next-generation broadband efforts? Could this mean that a street cabinet has to be deployed near a cluster of farm gates with longer VDSL2 runs?

Similarly, there could be a classic estate with a large manor house or similar building and smaller houses scattered further afield on the same property. Some of these estates may have the manor house occupied by the appropriate aristocrat or the manor house may be a National Trust museum or upscale boutique hotel. Here, there may be issues with making sure each lodging on the estate has access to the next-generation broadband, and there could be issues with whether to locate the FTTC street cabinet in these estates and where they should be located, especially to make sure that “His Lordship” in the manor has very good bandwidth.

Equipment issues

Another issue worth raising is whether the VDSL2 modems will be made available without a router so that customers can purchase their own wireless broadband router from a preferred retailer. One reason is that an increasing number of manufacturers may supply “future-proof” dual-WAN home-network routers that have a built-in ADSL2 modem as well as a Gigabit Ethernet port on the broadband side. The other reason is that people who know the ins and outs of Internet and home networking may know the best broadband router for their needs and may find the supplied unit not suiting their needs and just another box in their junk box.

Conclusion

At least a small company who has the country at its heart is making real efforts to provide next-generation Internet to the British countryside and could open the floodgates towards competitive rollout of such technology to this class of people.

I am not a paid spokesman for Rutland Telecom but, as I have said before in this blog, I do stand for the idea that people who live or work in the country don’t deserve second-class Internet service.  Therefore I applaud those efforts that are taking place to improve the Internet-access lot for these users.

STOP PRESS

If anyone is living in Denby Dale – the “Pie Village”, in West Yorkshire, Rutland Telecom are inviting people to register for next-generation broadband in this village and neighbouring villages. They need a target of at least 450 households and small businesses in this area to make their next FTTC project for this town come to fruition.

The registration form for this campaign is at the Rutland Telecom Website.

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