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FSB and WarwickNet to Tackle Slow Business Broadband in Northamptonshire

Monday, February 16th, 2015 (1:06 pm) - Score 559
pride_park_derby_fibre_optic

The Federation of Small Businesses and WarwickNet have joined forces in Northamptonshire (England) for a unique project to identify business parks and industrial estates that have been labelled the “worst affected” by a lack of good broadband, with the goal being to then rollout superfast connectivity to those areas.

WarwickNet certainly has some established experience in this field, not least with the recent rollout of a new 40 – 1000Mbps capable fibre optic broadband network (FTTC and FTTP) to businesses on Derby’s (East Midlands, England) Pride Park (here).

Similar developments have also recently taken place in CorbyGate and Weldon Industrial Estates. The service delivered is often a lot cheaper for SME sized firms, which might otherwise struggle to afford the costly leased line solutions offered via BT’s network or be forced to suffer slow first generation style ADSL lines.

The FSB has often claimed that smaller business can suffer from poor connectivity (here) and repeatedly campaigns for improvement. Under the new project the FSB will work with its members and the ISP in order to identify locations that could benefit from an upgrade.

Maxine Aldred, FSB Development Manager for Northamptonshire, said:

We have been asked by WarwickNet to identify priority business parks in need of superfast broadband and we are in the process of speaking to our members, many of whom depend upon greater bandwidth in order to compete for contracts or to simply run their businesses effectively.”

Ben King, MD of WarwickNet, said:

We are making real progress on the ground in Northampton with strong partnerships with the local authority and now the FSB providing us with a route map of where to go next to help bring an end to Jurassic Parks in the county.”

Last year the ISP also won Code Powers from Ofcom, which makes it easier for them to roll-out their fibre broadband network to businesses by, among other things, making use of Openreach’s existing cable ducts and pole sharing products (here). Hopefully the new project will help Northamptonshire to tackle the so-called problem of “Jurassic business parks“.

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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 Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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18 Responses
  1. Avatar fastman2

    welcome to monopoloy no choice of service provider !!!!! bagded as FTTC ut not FTTC its actually SLU

    • Avatar DTMark

      But they have choice. A crap service from BT or a competent service from someone else.

      I suspect this is the sort of deployment which scares BT the most (more so then what VM get up to) – the business customers they have been able to milk for so very long gaining choice.

    • Indeed, related firms will now get an extra / faster service to choose, so I fail to see how that’s a bad thing. New infrastructure competition is good.

    • Avatar Superfarce

      “But they have choice. A crap service from BT or a competent service from someone else.”

      LOL so funny yet sooo TRUE.

  2. Avatar New_Londoner

    Surprising to see this when Warwicknet provides such an expensive service. I think it’s VDSL products are possibly the most expensive of their type on offer in the UK, why on earth would the FSB want it’s members to be saddled with such high costs?

    • Avatar Superfarce

      Quality costs which is why BT FTTC is so cheap, its anything but quality.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @Superfarce
      These Warwicknet services are so over priced that 2-3 FSB members on a business park would save money by clubbing together to rent a 100Mb Ethernet circuit, which would certainly be better than 3 VDSL lines, “quality” or not. Please explain why this is a good deal for FSB members.

    • Avatar DTMark

      The assumption that businesses stay there long enough and are prepared to work together in such a fashion doesn’t seem realistic to me. Why can’t BT just run the fibre to the “estate” and provide e.g. three or more separate 100Mbps circuits? To make that available to all the premises? It’s no great shakes, is it, hardly that fast or bespoke given a competent network.

      In any event, the users will now get choice. If this were to gain sufficient traction BT will be forced to respond, either by cutting the cost of those circuits, or running FTTP. Or, just lose that business. Either way this is good for the business users.

      Surely as a proud company confident of the pricing and services it has long provided to businesses, BT should welcome the competition and be confident of retaining the business?

    • Avatar names4eva

      “The assumption that businesses stay there long enough and are prepared to work together in such a fashion doesn’t seem realistic to me.”

      Never mind that…..

      “….2-3 FSB members on a business park would save money by clubbing together to rent a 100Mb Ethernet circuit”

      So a single 100Mb line is better than 3 VDSL lines? for 3 people? My calculator says that 100Mb would only give them 33.3(recurring) Mb each if they all wanted to use it at the same time. Is VDSL really that slow that a single shared connection would be better?

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @DTMark
      You’ll see that I made no mention of BT, my point is that these are very expensive VDSL lines and that the FSB would get better value for money by looking at Ethernet instead.

      @names4eva
      Of course an uncontended, synchronous 100Mbps service should perform better than a contended do broadband service, even if it is shared three ways. Why would you think otherwise?

    • Avatar PaulC

      3 separate FTTC connections would surely be cheaper and probably perform better than a single 100Mb shared 3 ways?

      Unless of course the 3 separate FTTC connections are so slow or so contended they can not deliver 33Mb each. Even if they only delivered 25Mb at best each i would had thought 5 separate (to give the 100Mb) FTTC connections would still be cheaper than a 100Mb leased line. You could also load balance them.

      An organisation would have to be crazy to pay the cost of a 100Mb leased line if they have FTTC available.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @PaulC
      In the case of Warwicknet, the renewal for three up to 80Mbps VDSL lines without data caps will cost more than the rental for a 100Mbps Ethernet connection from most service providers. Remember also the Ethernet line is symmetric, should come with monitoring, performance guarantees, and so on, so brings a lot of extras for businesses compared to typical broadband products.

      On that basis, the FSB seems mad to be supporting such an expensive broadband offering to its members, is not doing them any favours whatsoever. If I was saddled with these rediculous prices for my business as a consequence I’d be very unhappy.

    • Avatar PaulC

      “In the case of Warwicknet, the renewal for three up to 80Mbps VDSL lines without data caps will cost more than the rental for a 100Mbps Ethernet connection from most service providers.”

      I find that rather difficult to believe and even if true an unfair comparison. If you are now going to limit the FTTC choice to a singular company but make the 100Mb Ethernet line choice from “most service providers”.

      “Remember also the Ethernet line is symmetric, should come with monitoring, performance guarantees, and so on, so brings a lot of extras for businesses compared to typical broadband products.”

      Which service providers are you refering to?

      “On that basis, the FSB seems mad to be supporting such an expensive broadband offering to its members, is not doing them any favours whatsoever. If I was saddled with these rediculous prices for my business as a consequence I’d be very unhappy.”

      Why would you be unhappy if as you say you have a choice of this service or 100Mb Ethernet from various providers, surely this no matter what you feel is an extra choice.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @PaulC
      See for yourself, VDSL prices go as high as £250 per month from Warwicknet! I can’t imagine why the FSB thought such rediculously high prices would be good for its members.

    • Avatar Paul

      Cheap then compared to some Ethernet services with £2000+ connection/install charges ive had experience with just to start.

      Also with a 100Mb Ethernet product between 3 people that as i previously pointed out is still a max of around 33Mbps each if they all want to use it at the same time.

      Looking at that price list if we are still talking 3 people they could go for the 40Mb products (allowing each user to technically download faster at the same time than a single 100Mb connection) at only £60 per month each (or £180 for 3 connections) as long as they do not need more than the data cap allows or 5Mb uploading each.

      AFAIK that is still cheaper than many 100Mb Ethernet services will cost per month and certainly far cheaper once you factor in the install/connection fees for an Ethernet line.

      I freely admit i could be wrong but i have yet to see a 100Mb Ethernet service which is considerably below £200 per month and has minimal install/connection fees to keep it competitive.

    • Avatar New_Londoner

      @PaulC
      Given the competitive nature of the Ethernet market, your suggested pricing is very high. I’m confident you would find suppliers able to provide a 100Mbps service at a lower cost per month than 3x the top priced Warwicknet VDSL product.

      Your thinking regarding bandwidth is muddled too as you’re ignoring the fact that broadband is a contended service, so your 3 lines may themselves see reductions in throughput, remembering line speed is not the same throughput. Also, remember Ethernet is symmetric, so offers 100Mbps upload speeds. And don’t forget the service level guarantees, monitoring, fix times etc that come with most Ethernet services and not with broadband.

      I could go on, it is a better service which is why it usually costs rather more than broadband. The point here us that Warwicknet’s high prices mean you might as well use the superior option of Ethernet, could save money by doing so if sharing service on a business park. This makes no sense for FSB members.

      And as for connection charges, many of the sites qualify for government vouchers.

    • Avatar Paul

      As mentioned I freely admit i could be wrong but i have yet to see a 100Mb Ethernet service which is considerably below £200 per month and has minimal install/connection fees to keep it competitive.

      The BT leased line where i work costs more than £200. (I think it is in the region of £300) If you could provide as mentioned earlier… “100Mbps Ethernet connection from most service providers. Remember also the Ethernet line is symmetric, should come with monitoring, performance guarantees, and so on, so brings a lot of extras for businesses compared to typical broadband products.”

      Ill be happy to pass the information on to my boss, and maybe get myself a pat on the back.

      Preferable below say £150 to make it a significant saving and also significantly cheaper than the Warwicknet mentioned products.

      The help would be much appreciated

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