Superfast Swindon home installations start 6th June
Some residents of Swindon have had access to the UK Broadband 4G service for some time but with BDUK funding the operator is expanding to take superfast broadband coverage to a high proportion of the area. As of 6th June residents and businesses in Highworth, Central Swindon, Old Town and East & West Swindon should be able to order new service which boasts a minimum speed of 24 Mbps. July should see Bishopstone coming online followed by Wroughton Village, South Marston, Wanborough and Alexndra Park in August.
The new service is 4G based, but should be more reliable than mobile or other 4G services as it is using a small fixed antenna on the outside of the property to feed the signal to a Huawei router. As for the speeds while we have been seeing speed tests from Relish, Cotswold Wireless and UK Broadband for a long time we believe most of these are not using the external antenna so we will wait a few weeks to see if we can spot a difference in service quality and speed.
The roll-out has been expected for some time but package pricing was the big unknown and the last few days has seen the Superfast Swindon website update with package pricing from several providers.
- Relish Special offer ending 30th June 2016, Home Unlimited £25/month, no upfront charge and a 12 month contract (saves £99 up front charge). For those not wanting a 12 month contract the upfront charge is £199 which covers the install of the antenna and Huawei router.
- Cotswold Wireless Unlimited data allowance, £29.99 per month, no upfront cost and a 12 month contract.
- Swindon Wireless Up to 40 Mbps downloads is mentioned but packages quote a range of 24 to 50 Mbps (with up to 5 Mbps upload). Superfast Home 100 £24/m includes 100GB usage allowance, 200GB allowance is £30/m. Business packages with a static IP address start at £30/m + VAT. Contract length is 12 months with free hardware and installation for qualifying postcodes (we presume this means those in the BDUK funded area rather than the old commercial areas of Swindon).
- Communication Consulting Experts Home Lite £20/m for 100GB data allowance and 12 month contract. Home Advanced with 400GB data allowance is £35/m and this package will let you add a static IP address for £5/m.
Remember if comparing to the cost of ADSL2+, cable or FTTC services that there is no voice line rental required and for those wanting a telephone service some of the providers offer their own VoIP package or any other VoIP service should work.
Our coverage and speed data for Swindon while it knows about the 4G coverage in the area does not yet feature it in the Superfast availability figures as we are waiting to see how the service performs, i.e. does the promised minimum speed of 24 Mbps look reasonable across the proposed footprint or may we have to build in zones based on the distance from the mast. The wireless tab on the quarterly speed data will appear once a statistically reliable sized sample of users tests has built up too. The caution is simply because the promised coverage from the project is meant to take Swindon to 99.4% superfast coverage which is a significant jump from the current 83.8%, the same degree of caution applies to Openreach VDSL2 cabinets where we have been working for four years now constantly changing the model to reflect the roll-out.
We know 4G can deliver the speeds, since we are seeing people with mobiles in Swindon able to get speeds such as this and while residents have been potentially able to buy Huawei routers of their own Huawei B593s-22 4G LTE router at £149.99 for some years, the cost of 4G data has meant very few have adopted 4G as their prime method of connectivity, of course at the other end of the speed spectrum for mobiles in Swindon we see slow results too and the external antenna and install to ensure good sight of the mast should avoid results like this.