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Wansdyke Telecom Unveil Packages and Fibre Optic Broadband Speed Promise

Wednesday, Apr 9th, 2014 (1:06 pm) - Score 983
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Wansdyke Telecom, which is building a 1000Mbps capable rural fibre optic broadband (FTTP/H) network that aims to connect “every community in [North East] Somerset that wants it” (provided they can find the £2m needed), has today revealed how much their first package will cost and effectively pledged to guarantee the speeds they offer.

The Community Interest Company (CIC), which recently connected up a farm shop in Newton St Loe to help demonstrate the network, has said that their entry-level broadband package will offer 10Mbps of speed with a 20GB monthly allowance and cost £35 per month (includes monthly line rental and unlimited phone calls).

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A 100Mbps and 500Mbps package is also being developed but the big news is that Wansdyke Telecom has also launched a broadband “speed promise” for “no more ‘up to’ speeds“. Apparently they plan to offer their broadband packages with “between speeds“, which confusingly means that the 10Mbps option will give customers “between 10 megabits per second and 20 megabits per second“.

Matt McCabe, Wansdyke Telecom, said:

Everyone knows that when you buy broadband you get quoted an ‘up to’ speed, and then after a while you realise that you will never get anywhere near that speed. We did a survey at the beginning of the year, and a number of people told us to deliver speeds they could actually trust. So, what we’re planning to do is offer everyone a speed promise. If you buy our entry level 10 megabits per second package, that’s the speed you’ll get.

What we want to do is charge people for the speeds they will actually be using, and not for a speed they might achieve at 4am on a Sunday morning when no one else is using the internet. The same will be true for our fibre optic broadband products where speeds will start at 100mb/s, or 500mb/s.

Wansdyke have also confirmed that they’re looking for £2 million in funding from local people to get started. McCabe added: “It’s all about getting the core network to local communities and then signing up customers, but we think £2m is what we need to get started and to reach the point where we can begin funding our own digs.”

It took B4RN a lot of time and effort to secure several hundred thousand pounds for their core network build and we suspect that Wansdyke will face a similar challenge in achieving their goals, although they must be commended for not becoming reliant upon public funding to do the job.

However it should be noted that Wansdyke has already raised the money needed to get started (£150,000) through an SEIS Investment Scheme, which helped to build their first stretch of cable into Newton St.Loe (this links back to a capacity supply in London) and will soon move into Marksbury and then beyond.

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The issue of a speed promise is, for now at least, something that Wansdyke should have plenty of network capacity to deal with, but if successful then the network might need to balance some of that in order to be cost effective. On the other hand CIC’s aren’t strictly profit focused like mainstream ISPs and can reinvest more of what they earn into keeping the network topped up.

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Mark-Jackson
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 X (Twitter), Mastodon, Facebook and .
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