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Wireless broadband on the way to parts of Yorkshire Dales
Sunday 25 January 2015 12:28:37 by Andrew Ferguson

While there is excitement that the pilot projects aimed at exploring how to resolve the superfast broadband coverage problems for the last 5% of the UK are edging closer, it needs to be remembered that the pilot projects are limited in scope and only have funding to run for one year.

The superfast wireless broadband project in West Witton in the Yorkshire Dales is getting closer to delivering working connections, planning permission is being sought for four masts in West Witton of varying heights: 6m, 2x9m and 13m mast to house a mixture of dishes and antennae to cover the surrounding areas with a mixture of Wi-Fi, fixed wireless, LTE and TV White Space. The mixture of solutions is aiming to overcome line of sight issues that the higher frequency solutions suffer from, so it will be interesting to see how superfast for example the TV White Space proves. The project is aiming to connect people at 25 Mbps and faster.

West Witton currently gets ADSL speeds in the 0.5 to 2 Mbps region, and while served by cabinet 2 from the Leyburn exchange, the premises are spread over a wide area which makes FTTC unfeasible. The backhaul for the masts will involve a line of sight wireless link to a mast at the Leyburn exchange.

For those living in the area and keen to see if they might benefit the planning applications include indicative maps of the coverage footprint from the £1.5 million project.

Hopefully if this project is successful, the plug will not be pulled on the service after the pilot period of a year and the solutions be left running permanently without on-going subsidy.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 2 years ago
It would be totally sustainable if they could lease a dark fibre and get cheap backhaul, but they will be charged through the nose if they buy it from BT. The same problem exists in all the rural areas, yet the FTTC bandwagon trundles on, helping a few go faster and ignoring the majority of the land mass. Obsolete technology. At least wireless goes faster and further than copper. But the end game is still FTTH. With £1.5 million they could have done 8 parishes with real fibre.
Posted by ian72 over 2 years ago
Where do you think the dark fibre is going to come from? Communities generally aren't going to have handy dark fibre sitting there waiting for them so someone has to put it in - why do you think this would suddenly be cheap? Fibre costs money to lay - unless you can get lots of locals to do it for free but even then if it crosses roads etc then it gets more complicated.
Posted by ian72 over 2 years ago
Plus - there are other network providers. But, the economics of reaching rural communities will generally mean it won't be cheap no matter who puts it in. Maybe your project could install a nice cheap dark fibre for them?
Posted by AndrueC over 2 years ago
"helping a few go faster and ignoring the majority of the land mass."

Where 'a few' is defined as 'More than 90% of the population'.

Most of the UK's 'landmass' has no-one living on it.

Oh and I think that claiming wireless goes 'faster and further' than copper is pushing the bounds of credibility as well.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Hehe. An article that has nothing whatsoever to do with FTTC, if anything the exact opposite, but CD has to get her pet hate involved somehow.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 2 years ago
The Leyburn exchange has TalkTalk LLU, so opportunity to buy capacity from their backhaul network exists.

Posted by cyberdoyle over 2 years ago
WWWombat, it is precisly because of FTTC that the project the story is about has to exist. FTTC can't do the job. Also the wirelss network will probably be symmetrical. so its better and faster than fttc AndrueC. When we were on wireless network we got 40-50Mbps symmetrical. that knocks the spots off copper. And the majority of the land mass is where we need connectivity, as that is where your food and water comes from.
Posted by AndrueC over 2 years ago
Wireless broadband helps crops and livestock to grow? Amazing. And there was me thinking it was more about fertiliser and good quality feed.

And thanks but my FTTC connection is 60/20. I haven't really found much of a need for a faster upload but at least I always get that speed. If I was on wireless I'd be sharing the signal with everyone else around me and no way would I be getting the kind of speeds you are suggesting.
Posted by AndrueC over 2 years ago
(cont'd) even a mast with 1Gb of bandwidth is little use if it's being shared by 100 people. It might work out in the sticks (unless the sheep start taking all the bandwidth) but for everyone else it's a pretty poor solution.
Posted by WWWombat over 2 years ago
Just because FTTC is bad for some, doesn't make it bad for everyone. But because you are one of the people who FTTC is worst for, it makes you see everything through the opposite of rose-tinted spectacles: you see that FTTC must be bad for everyone - and you push that message hard, and sometimes bend the truth.

The truth is that FTTC is fine for perhaps 80-90% of the UK. There is no need to force an FTTP solution on those people, not for a good while yet.

For the rest, something else is needed - which may be FTTP, and may be something else.
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