Broadband News

First live customer on Airband Superfast Shropshire contract

The Connecting Shropshire scheme has seen its first live customer on the Airband fixed wireless service near Shifnal in Shropshire.

We live in a tiny village with just 46 houses three miles from Shifnal, close to Cosford airbase but our communications have always been poor.

When BT upgraded the exchange in Albrighton it didn’t make any difference to us, so we were really keen to get a better connection with Airband.

It’s a challenging location so installation wasn’t straightforward. I think this is because we are in a valley and it took a while to establish line-of-sight connection and also because our house is a listed building. They were very patient and thorough and to be honest I’m overjoyed with the results.

Before our Airband connection, we had download speed of 2.5 Mbps. Streaming stuff was awful - it was always buffering, and working from home was almost impossible. Now we have 30 Mbps and I am able to work from home when I need to.

T security manager Andrew Lee and his wife Sulayma

The transmitter has a footprint covering 300 premises and is the first of 28 that are expected to be delivered in the spring phase of 2018 which should see coverage increase to 7,000 premises then we understand that there is subsequent work to do to increase the footprint to over 14,000 premises by 2020.

So for people in Sheriffhales and Shifnal parishes and Tong the new mast may mark the end of having to put up with very slow broadband and to start enjoying superfast services

Finding pricing is not that simple as Airband packages vary from area to area, but a postcode that is in the Shifnal area gives us the following (all are 12 month contracts, with £99 one off set-up fee):

  • Up to 30 Mbps download, up to 2 Mbps upload, 10 GB usage allowance, £10 per month
  • Up to 30 Mbps download, up to 2 Mbps upload, 80 GB usage allowance, £30 per month
  • Up to 30 Mbps download, up to 2 Mbps upload, unlimited usage allowance, £38 per month
  • Up to 30 Mbps download, up to 4 Mbps upload, unlimited usage allowance, £42 per month

The unlimited services do appear to be subject to a fair use policy, the two main extracts of interest are:

Fair Use policies are put in place to make sure that one person isn’t ruining the experience for all other customers. If a heavy-internet user continues after warnings, they may have their speeds restricted at peak times, their service suspended, or in worst case scenarios, have their service terminated.

...

Normal internet usage is perfectly fine and will not impact broadband speeds for either yourself or other customers. Anything from day-to-day surfing, checking emails and reasonable downloading/streaming is perfectly fine – but downloading several huge files such as HD movies each day, particularly at peak evening times, is unfair, and will most certainly impact the network performance.

Extracts from Airband Fair Use Policy

So for those looking to embark on massive binge sessions for all those TV shows on Netflix and Amazon that they've not been able to for years there seems to be a caveat that do this too much you might find your speeds impacted and thus dropping from really good HD back to SD resolutions - but without exact detail on the FUP its difficult to say.

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