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UPDATE Marketing Fail – 6G Broadband Network Goes Live in Blackburn UK

Wednesday, November 13th, 2013 (1:51 pm) - Score 15,955
6g_air_fibre

Sometimes marketing can be misleading (e.g. calling FTTC or cable lines “fibre optic”) and the same could perhaps be said of 6G Internet, which has just launched a new wireless broadband network in Blackburn (Lancashire, England) and for added confusion fun they’re calling the technology “Air Fibre” (they’re not the first to use that).

ISPreview.co.uk have been aware of ‘6G‘ for a little while but we’ve avoided reporting on them due to a lack of information about the technology, coverage and prices. Not to mention the decision to name the service 6G, which will no doubt cause some confusion with the naming conventions for Mobile Broadband technology (i.e. the 5G standard has yet to even be defined).

Similarly their website is full of general information but it’s quite vague and merely suggests that the apparently “pioneering a new communications technology” is unique because the wireless connectivity happens to be fed by a fibre optic cable, which is actually fairly normal for a lot of Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) providers. Otherwise it’s unclear which technologies and spectrum bands have actually been employed.

The website also makes some bold claims, such as by suggesting that customers should be able to get top speeds of 300 Megabits per second and that’s apparently regardless of how far they might reside from their existing local telephone exchange.

6G Air Fibre – Explanation

6G Internet is pioneering a new communications technology: Air Fibre is a signal delivered through the air allowing you to receive your broadband connection using radio-style technologies rather than typical old underground wiring. The result is faster, more secure and direct.

A 6G transceiver installed on the rooftop of your house sends your request to connect to the internet through the air to your local transmitter, which could be on a nearby lamp post or tall building, therefore not relying on underground cables or a protracted journey over wires, to a congested local exchange.

The local transmitter then communicates with the 6G Central Hub, 15 of which are located across the UK, which sends your request to our National Fibre Network.

According to the local rag (Burnley Citizen), 6G has just opened a new store at The Mall in Blackburn and apparently the technology, which is said to have allegedly cost millions to develop, could soon be rolled out across the rest of the United Kingdom over the next 12 months. Now that’s quite a statement and one that should perhaps be taken with a cup full of salt (we’re not quite so trusting as the newspaper clearly is).

The broadly unknown company, which claims to have offices in Hong Kong and Dubai, expects to complete its deployment in Blackburn over the next 8-10 weeks and at that rate it will take a lot longer than 12 months to cover the United Kingdom (math.. we can do it). We suppose it’s possible that 6G could come out of nowhere to solve the UK’s broadband woes but for now sceptical cat is still sceptical.

Funnily enough, and somewhat despite the bold headline speed claims of 300Mbps, the actual packages on offer are rather less impressive (note: these are for now only shown on their blog page). The most expensive Option 2 package offers 20Mbps broadband speeds for £43.48 per month with free evening/weekend calls on a 24 month contract (plus £49 installation). It’s also suggested that the price could rise after the first 18-24 months when various line rental and calling discounts come to an end. Yes, line rental, on a wireless link.

Suffice to say that 6G has a lot to prove and for now we’ve been left with considerably more questions than answers.

UPDATE 9th December 2013

It’s been noted by several of our readers that 6G Internet appears to share the same address as Time Computers (Time Group UK and Time Group AE) and now Supanet, which is an ISP that we no longer list due to a history of questionable business practices / service quality and the fact that they don’t meet our basic listing criteria.

As well as coming under the same group the FWA system being used appears to make use of Ubiquiti Networks point-to-point and point-to-multi-point gear on 2.4GHz and 5GHz, which is a similar setup to Metronet UK’s hybrid fibre optic and wireless broadband network.

Caution is advisable.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
17 Responses
  1. New_Londoner says:

    Tempting to drop a line to the ASA – meaningless techno-babble (6G) and claims of service not currently available (300Mbps). Oh, and it’s expensive too!

    1. DanielM says:

      Maybe you should do the same with o2/voda/ee 4G claims because as we all know it isnt 4G but more like Super 3G/3.9G

  2. DTMark says:

    It sounds exciting at first, then you realise that someone has basically reinvented the wheel.

    If that’s a committed data rate of 20Meg then it’s not that bad on price especially if it’s symmetric. But given the tech, I’ll bet that it isn’t. It’s more likely to be “up to”, isn’t it.

    I hope there’s a cabinet where the transmitter is, so that it may be called fibre-optic broadband, I seem to remember that being the main qualifier from a previous item.

    You’d think they’d tick the headline speeds up to 25Meg on that package and then they could call it superfast fibre-optic broadband that being the only “trick” they seem to have missed.

  3. DanielM says:

    the news on Burnley Citizen just seems like a slightly edited Press release. what ever happened to real journalism and real news.

  4. zemadeiran says:

    Hong Kong, Dubai and the cherry on the cake? yes, you heard right… Burnley 🙂

    6G? That is old news, I have just launched a 15G service based on spooky action at a distance.

  5. Pete says:

    Hmm this company is at the same address as Supanet. Wonder if it’s a re-incarnation in disguise?

    Paper article is also contradictory – first sentance “up to 120mbps” then later 300Mb.. make your mind up..

  6. Bob says:

    so its going in Blackburn… I think I have worked the speeds out… its over the air so gets effected by weather… Blackburn in the heart of Lancashire has bad weather so on the sunny day its 300Mbps!! but the rest of the year you get about 20Mbps less if pigeons land on the aerial.

  7. adam says:

    Sounds a little to good to be true.
    What baffles ms is, from all the beautifull towns and city’s in England, why Blackburn???
    Dont get me wrong i am from Blackburn.its not that we have a thriving economy or i dont know lol you get the point..

  8. Tal says:

    This has ‘con job’ written all over it.

    Rewind a decade or so ago to Time Computers which based its operations at simonstone business park, padiham. They were selling computers all over the place and bundling in their ultra crap dial up internet service ‘Supanet’. Then they paid leonard nimoy (spock from star trek) to do a commercial (you tube). Mr nimoy took millions for that stunt. Shortly after the companywent into admknistration. Workers at the plant turned up to work to be told that the business had gone bust. The owner relocated to Dubai but his internet service (a seperate arm of his failed business) continued trading. Now they have launched 6g from the same location. Anyone smell a rat?

  9. peter Aikman says:

    I went and bought the 20 meg product from the shop in blackburn at £24.99 with a telephone line. It is clear that they are trialing the product, the staff were not as knowledgeable as they could have been but they did put me through to a technical guy who helped answer the questions. I have had it installed for 3 weeks now and I can tell you that i do get 20meg and it is very fast compared to the DSL 3meg I was on. It feels like all my IT in the home has just been upgraded.

    so far so good I don’t understand the issues about bad weather etc ( mobiles don’t get effected by weather )but it has rained a lot and as we all crazy wind but the connection seams to be ok

  10. J-Type says:

    Was extremely interested in this but due to information gathered from this article I will be giving them a wide berth.(Thanks!) Having been a customer of those involved at Time Technologies Park recently, fills me with dread of this new service. Their attitude towards customers and overall security issues and their methods of handling them is atrocious. I am greatly worried that should I take up this offer my highly valued phone number will vanish along with the company 6 months down the road. Be warned, tread carefully!

  11. Carol says:

    Visited their store few weeks back. They have speed options of 10,20,40…going up to 300. Obviously, the price of higher speed options are high. I am taking my chances with their 20Mb option, which will cost around £25 per month. They are charging for installation upfront or increasing the monthly broadband charge if you don’t want to pay upfront install, I think latter is a safer option at this stage. Their sales guys are saying that I would receive around 20Mb at most time. Even if I end up receiving slightly less, I am hoping it will be better than 3-4 Mb I receive right now. My installation is due in a week’s time. Will update on the performance.

    1. Peter says:

      Has your installation taken place? How is the service so far? I am planning to buy their 10Mb as a trial and then upgrade later if the service is as good as they claim. Have you faced any problems so far? I am just a little skeptical as they are so new.

    2. Carol says:

      The installation took place last Friday. There was some set up problem initially but that was sorted out quickly. The speeds are good so far, certainly higher than my previous supplier. The company may be new or have a legacy but the technicians who came knew what they were doing.

  12. Jim Jason says:

    This is indeed a continuation of Supanet. I have a linkedin contact who has recently changed his company from Supanet to 6G internet group. He’s even posted a response to those congratulating his ‘new job’ – “Thanks all, however I am working for the same company, I have just updated the brand etc. to bring it in line with what we are doing at present!”

  13. Bill says:

    Deliberated over Christmas whether or not to sign up to 6G but finally did early January. Was told I would be contacted by instillation engineer within a week. Waited 3 weeks for call before going back into shop. Was told again engineer will call ‘next week’. Sales team left message apologising for delay and asking if I still wanted tp proceed with order. Went back into shop to see what delay was. They couldn’t find my order on system but Manager promised to ring me following morning. Another week went by, no call. So next visit to shop was to cancel order. Couldn’t find order again but promised email cancelling order. No email so visited again to rant at manager. Apologetic and said will send email confirmation. He did say to us before we left that we would be better waiting until they had got everything working properly!!! You have been warned!!!

  14. Jessica says:

    Have they got to Burnley yet?

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