Wireless ISP Boundless Networks has today announced that they’ve become “one of the first companies in the UK” to trial a new 160Mbps capable “ultrafast” Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) broadband network, which could soon be rolled out across rural parts of North Yorkshire.
The provider already serves a good number of homes and businesses across Yorkshire and Lancashire in Northern England, although their best “unlimited” residential package is currently limited to a top download speed of 30Mbps (4Mbps upload); this costs about £44.99 per month on a 30 day contract (plus £150.00 one-off for a professional installation).
However the ISP, which aims to keep pace with Government expectations and the new drive towards “ultrafast” (100Mbps+) capable connectivity, has just launched the first trials of a new wireless network technology that can deliver data speeds of 160Mbps+ (Megabits per second). The first to benefit are residents and businesses in the village of Bradley, near Skipton, which is home to about 1,300 people.
We note that Openreach’s (BT) fixed line Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) network is also present in some parts of the village, although local performance seems to struggle. A little FTTP may also be floating around in small spots.
David Hood, Entrepreneur and Boundless Networks Chairman, said:
“Being able to go way beyond the Government’s target of 30Mbps is a huge benefit to rural communities. Not only can we deliver the superfast target, we can futureproof the service so that children in rural areas, like Bradley, don’t need to play catch up with their classmates. Wireless ultrafast broadband is able to deliver this and Boundless is leading the way in delivering it.”
Apparently the new network will be rolled out across North Yorkshire over the next two years, although there’s no mention of whether or not it will be extended to reach their customers’ in neighbouring Lancashire. The latter is of course home to B4RN’s excellent 1Gbps community fibre optic network.
ISPreview.co.uk asked Boundless for a bit of extra information on the network setup and the ISP has kindly obliged. The new network used the Mimosa A5c access point with an MTI 65° antenna. This operates on the 5GHz band and Boundless used 40MHz channels. For the homes, Boundless installed Mimosa C5 devices at a maximum distance of 2.5km. All connected to 1Gbps of fibre backhaul located around 6 miles from the village.
At present the network is still under trial and so we don’t yet have any final pricing, but this should be confirmed in the not too distant future. Otherwise the company claims to have one of the “largest wireless coverage footprints” of any such provider in the country, with coverage of over 3,500 square miles with approximately 4,000 wireless links in service and they operate a private national fibre network from their data centre in Manchester.
Most of Boundless’s masts are fuelled by high-capacity fibre optic cables and end-users are then reached by another fibre optic cable or a Microwave (radio) based link.