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Quickline Start BDUK Superfast Wireless Broadband Pilot in North Lincolnshire

Tuesday, June 9th, 2015 (9:08 am) - Score 1,410
quickline_wireless_antenna

ISP Quickline has confirmed that they’ve begun the final deployment phase of their £2,054,000 Government funded superfast wireless broadband pilot in rural North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire (East England), which will deliver Internet speeds of up to 50Mbps and could eventually be deployed around the UK.

The project is one of seven pilot schemes that the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK programme approved for deployment earlier this year (it use to be 8 but MLL was dropped), which are all testing alternative methods for delivering “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) connectivity to the final 5% of predominantly rural premises.

In the case of Quickline’s pilot the ISPs Managing Director, Steve Jagger, informed ISPreview.co.uk that about 4,000 premises (homes and businesses) should be covered by the service and they’re anticipating take-up of approximately 2000 (c50%); the premises are in poorly served areas where there is high demand for something better.

The infrastructure itself is based off a network of primary wireless mast distribution sites that are connected by 28GHz (Ceragon) links as part of a mesh backbone architecture. The original feasibility study also indicated that this could be an open access network, which would allow rival ISPs access.

The service itself is then distributed out to end-users via Cambium Networks kit working in the 5GHz band. Customers will need to have a small antenna (aerial) installed on top of their homes, which is a fair bit smaller than most TV aerials and Satellite dishes (pictured above). A related pre-registration page has already been setup.

The package options are as follows (the installation fee is usually £150, but this may be less for the pilot areas – see below). Take note that the rental prices might seem high, although unlike most fixed line solutions you don’t have to pay for phone line rental and in that sense the cost isn’t too different.

Home Connect 10
* Download speeds of up to 10Mbps
* Unlimited usage
* 24 Month Contract

PRICE: £29.99 per month

Home Connect 30
* Download speeds of up to 30Mbps
* Unlimited usage
* 24 Month Contract

PRICE: £39.99 per month

Home Connect 50
* Download speeds of up to 50Mbps
* Unlimited usage
* 24 Month Contract

PRICE: £59.99 per month

The deployment phase itself will focus on testing the viability of Line of Sight, Near Line of Sight and Non-Line of Sight technologies, as well as the commercial loan approach from Local Authorities (Quickline has already tried this before as part of its West Lindsey project) and the impact of discounted connection fees (i.e. using a subsidy to cover around 50% of the installation cost).

Installations of the new service are now beginning and the pilot will then run until March 2016. At this point the Government hopes to have gathered enough data to decide how much public investment they will need to commit to bring superfast broadband to 100% of the UK and whether or not wireless broadband will form part of the final Phase 3 BDUK plan.

Several other fixed wireless broadband solutions are also being tested by BDUK via ISPs including AB Internet (Wales), Airwave (North Yorkshire), Call Flow (Hampshire) and Cybermoor (Northumberland).

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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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9 Responses
  1. Avatar Matthew Williams

    Hopefully this goes well last 5% should definetely get a mix of fixed wireless or fixed line and not satellite like some people are wanting to do.

    • Avatar Craski

      Couldnt agree more. The pricing may seem steep to some but looks very fair when compared to satellite and I’d put money on it that end-user-experience of this is far better than satellite too.

    • Avatar Matt

      I would be willing pay £40 a month for 30Mbps broadband lets be honest it’s not that much more than BT when you include line rental on BT as well.

  2. Avatar MikeW

    Worth watching, just like the Airwave trial.

    If anyone is taking part in the Quickline trials (or, indeed, any of the other trials), can I suggest you get involved with the BBFix project? It measures the way in which you actually make use of the internet, to give a feel for what limitations you face … so getting data before you activate the service will prove helpful.

  3. Avatar PeterM

    It is important to put the cost of this service in perspective.
    I live in rural West Sussex my broadband speed is around 4Mbps.
    To get a decent service I have a bonded line, therefore, i am paying around £50 per month plus line rental. My neighbours like Netfix, they use 4G for access. How much 4G costs per film I dread to think.
    The point is that what may look expensive to someone sitting on top of a fibre cabinet in a town looks an absolute bargain to us rural folks!

    • Avatar Craski

      @PeterM

      I pay similar amounts for 2 lines to give me ~5Mbps total into house as one line was just too painful. Satellite is not uncommon in my area but I’d rather pay ~£60 / Month for a truly unlimited ~5Mbps connection than pay similar for a high latency, high contention and severely traffic shaped connection on satellite. These wireless projects are way more attractive and I’d happily cancel my BT land-lines if something like this were to become available in my area. Fingers crossed!

    • Avatar PeterM

      @Craski
      Agreed!
      Anyone reading this comment should, in my view, tell BDUK where to go if they try and palm them off with satellite broadband as a cheep fix.

    • Avatar MikeW

      In 2000, when ADSL first gave me an option to break from dial-up, I was happy to trial it (at first) and then pay more than this for a 2Mbps connection.

      If I lived sufficiently outside VDSL2 coverage, and within range of these packages, I’d happily pay; I can see uses of all 3 packages, and I think they’re well chosen ones.

      The only thing I’d be watching is the behaviour under load; this needs to be a quality solution that degrades reasonably at peak congestion times. That means the right dimensioning – with the number of users per antenna, and size of backhaul being key.

    • Avatar PeterM

      @MikeW
      Yes, quality of service is the key. If the service was cheaper then compromises would have to be made.
      With broadband, as with most other things, you only get what you pay for unless of course you live a long distance from your cabinet then you just get ….

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