ITSwisp wireless service in South Norfolk now in our systems
With the broadband universal service obligation (USO) pending and the unsurprising upsets that BT and KCOM are intended to be the two provider many will think that BT can cement a 'monopoly' in rural areas, but the presence of numerous fixed wireless providers across the UK does give a good number of people an alternative. This alternative is important as how we understand the USO is that if an alternative is already available at a reasonable price then people will not be able to force the USO provider to roll-out to them.
South Norfolk District Council has an agreement with InTouchSystems under the ITSwisp brand that means in theory every location in the council area can get a 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up service (10 Mbps down and 4 Mbps options are available for business). In conjunction with the unlimited allowance (fair usage policy applies) and reasonable latency this means that in theory the area is now showing 0% needing help to reach the broadband USO and the older USC.
For those who qualify for a voucher to improve their speeds there are two BDUK packages available BDUK Home 10K with up to 10 Mbps down and 1 Mbps at £31.99/m and BDUK Business Plus which increases upload to 4 Mbps and price rises to £60/m, based around 12 month contracts and the voucher will cover installation costs.
The standard Home services start at £19.99 with the top end package being Home 8000 with up to 8 Mbps down and 1 Mbps up at £34.99. A 12 month contract applies and free installation applies.
The ticking of the 10/1 down box is purely because of the BDUK packages, but if once those the voucher scheme ends unless faster packages become available on the standard home and business range we will have to remove the 10/1 tickbox and reduce it simply meeting the 2 Mbps USC. In theory we are told people are getting speeds ranging up to 30 Mbps but without packages to buy at those speeds we would not use that speed definition.
It seems odd that the BDUK packages have an install fee when the standard ones don't but we believe this may be down to the agreement with the council to expand the mast network and by the company getting voucher it can commit to rolling out the masts.
As always if there are people in the South Norfolk area who have applied for an ITSwisp service and have been told its not available we are more than happy to exclude the postcode in our statistics.