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More choice if seeking a 2 Mbps USC solution in Lincolnshire
Friday 29 January 2016 18:28:02 by Andrew Ferguson

While the number of premises believed to be falling below 2 Mbps in the UK is believed to be just 250,000 to 300,000 premises for those affected who want broadband it will feel like the end of the world, and as 2015 drew to a close people were hoping for a decent solution as part of the Universal Service Commitment. Then the bombshell of the easy to administer but less than ideal solution of vouchers to pay for the install of a satellite broadband connection arrived, which while working is the sort of connection people only use if there is no other option.

Now at least for premises in parts of Lincolnshire things have changed, as now Quickline who can provide a fixed wireless service at download speeds of up to 50 Mbps is an approved supplier on the BDUK USC voucher scheme. The voucher covering the cost of installing the wireless kit.

Coverage of Quickline is already integrated into our availability checker, and the example of DN21 4RT shows how bad things are with regard to fixed line services by the number of red crosses and exclamation marks.

The vouchers are only available if your existing connection is under 2 Mbps, for those with something a little faster but still wanting a speed boost e.g. to allow reliable video streaming, then an up to 10 Mbps service is £29.99 per month with a £150 installation charge (remember no voice line rental needed) and a 30 Mbps service is available for £39.99 per month. An example speed test from someone we believe who is on the 30 Mbps service can be see here with a download speed of 29.1 Mbps and an upload speed of 5.7 Mbps.

Hopefully more of the alternate broadband suppliers will seek and gain approval for the voucher scheme. Based on what we know of the coverage of alternate providers at this time over 10,000 of the 71,000 postcodes falling below 2 Mbps have an alternate provider as an option.


Posted by chilting 9 months ago
Well done Lincolnshire CC.
Hopefully they will be the first of many BDUK projects around the country to finally embrace Fixed Wireless as a viable solution for the final 5%
Posted by RuralWire 9 months ago
At last, some good news!
Posted by burble 9 months ago
All I can say is "Roll on 2020" as I have now managed to bump my FTTC connection to 3.18Mbps so are 'way over' 2Mbps and will receive no more help from BDUK. The annoying thing is the BT fibre runs just 1.5km from my house as it carries on to the next villages, and for those that think I live 'in the sticks' the school just 100m from my house has full fibre.
Posted by TheEulerID 9 months ago

The school doubtless has paid for a private circuit. As for the fibre 1.5km, that's frustrating, but the real cost (as I suspect you know) is the changes in the local network which would be required for full FTTP or any of the hybrid fibre/copper solutions.

However, there is some hope in the current Ofcom review. It's possible that a "voluntary" USO for a faster service will emerge as part of a deal. Possibly 10mbps. Not ideal, but better than nothing.
Posted by TheEulerID 9 months ago
I should also add that politicians will probably also be looking for faster action, and ahead of the next general election. That might also trigger action of a more immediate nature.
Posted by WWWombat 9 months ago
I'm impressed that a county has decided that wireless installation costs can be covered - some of the early documents setting terms for satellite vouchers looked to exclude places covered by wireless.
Posted by WWWombat 9 months ago
BDUK will certainly exclude you from any expenditure on basic broadband, but your speed won't be enough to get over the superfast threshold. You should remain eligible for subsidy for NGA.
Posted by JNeuhoff 9 months ago
@TheEulerID (Steve Jones): How is there hope in the current Ofcom review? I thought you were against making Openreach an independent company?
Posted by WWWombat 9 months ago
Is it impossible to be both against making Openreach an independent company *and* hoping for a good outcome of the Ofcom review?

A split isn't the only possible solution.

Likewise the status quo isn't the worst state that things could be, even if it isn't the best either.
Posted by maltrab 9 months ago
I was with Quickline for over a year, for the first 6 months speeds were good and a reliable service,that was followed by regular outages and speeds dropping off to less than BT ADSL offered locally, CS also changed from being very good to no response unless you posted on their facebook page,then you would be contacted followed by nothing fixed, so what could of been a very good cost effective solution went downhill
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