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Priston in North East Somerset to Get 100Mbps FTTP Broadband in April

Tuesday, February 23rd, 2016 (1:13 am) - Score 827

North East Somerset (England) ISP TrueSpeed Communications (formerly Wansdyke Telecom) has confirmed to ISPreview.co.uk that their new symmetric 100Mbps Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network should be going live in the rural village of Priston during April 2016.

The roll-out, which is being fuelled by capacity from the new Hibernia Express network that recently connected North America to the UK (here), was first officially confirmed last October 2015 (here). But since then there have been no further updates, which left some to wonder whether anything was going to happen.

Happily TrueSpeed’s Director of Community Engagement, Kevin Rudman, told ISPreview.co.uk: “Our network deployment will be starting imminently, with customer connections expected to go live during April.” The village of Priston itself is home to around 230 people (80+ premises) and resides roughly 4 miles south west of Bath. We further understand that most of the local properties have already signed-up to take the service when it arrives.

Residents will thus soon be able to take home FTTP packages starting at 100Mbps (symmetrical) for £47.50 per month (strangely this is said to include a “phone line“) and a home based business product offering that runs at 150Mbps, although faster speeds are possible. However some of the details remain unclear, such as with regards to where the funding is all coming from.

On top of that some of TrueSpeed’s target coverage area can already access an upgraded broadband connection using BTOpenreach’s Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC VDSL2) network, although that doesn’t appear to bother them because the service struggles to deliver “superfast” (24Mbps+) speeds and apparently locals wanted something better.

Going forwards TrueSpeed has previously hinted that they could expand further into the Chew Valley area and possibly even reaching parts of rural Wiltshire.

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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.
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27 Responses
  1. wirelesspacman says:

    “strangely this is said to include a “phone line“”

    Easy with VoIP

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      Indeed but then it should say “VoIP” or “phone service” as opposed to “phone line”, with the latter potentially resulting in consumer confusion.

    2. wirelesspacman says:

      lol! No more so than the so-called fibre optic broadband peddled by the big operators. 🙂

      After all, there is nothing in the phrase “phone line” to say that it is delivered over a BT copper pair.

    3. JamesM says:


      “• No more copper and no more telephone line rental.”

      “Phone line included”


    4. wirelesspacman says:

      Lol, fair point and well spotted James! 🙂

      Guess they just forgot to include the word “separate” with line rental

  2. Captain.Cretin says:

    Blurry eyed, misread that as “Prison” and was just about to start a rant……..

    1. wirelesspacman says:

      FTTC = Fibre to the Cell 🙂

    2. JamesM says:

      Same here…

    3. joe pineapples says:

      Yep, same.

  3. Jazmin says:

    I was wondering which Prison it was.

    I read it as Prison too

  4. Ignition says:

    Very good news for those residents. Let’s hope the competition keeps coming and more areas like these receive such services.

  5. Steve Jones says:

    I’m not wholly sure how a submarine network is contributing capacity to a tiny, landlocked village in Somerset unless the Hibernia Express network has some nearby, accessible fibre presence on land which they can use for backhaul. Otherwise, presumably, it’s just part of the interconnect arrangements that TrueSpeed Communications use for interconnect.

    The phone line bit is, indeed, confusing. However, it needn’t be VOIP as it’s perfectly possible to have a traditional phone connection via the ONT and carried over the fibre network (Openreach can do this with their FTTP product). Of course, that does need to be terminated at some sort of voice platform, but that can be easily centralised.

    1. wirelesspacman says:

      How can it not be VoIP if it uses the fibre into the home?

    2. Steve Jones says:

      It’s called (in Openreach terminology) FVA, or Fibre Voice Access. Two analogue (copper) ports are presented at the ONT to which you can connect an ordinary phone network. Just what protocol is used to transition across the fibre to the voice platform, I don’t know. It might be using IP, but there’s absolutely no reason why it has to be IP. It could just as easily be carried by lower level protocols, although there may well be routing advantages if it does use IP (or passed throun and IP tunnel).


    3. Mark Jackson says:

      I think Hibernia’s network runs up to Slough in Berkshire.

    4. Steve Jones says:

      That’s a bit of a gap between Priston and Slough. Presumably they will have to lease backhaul capacity for that bit from somebody.

  6. wirelesspacman says:

    “but there’s absolutely no reason”

    apart from common sense, I suppose 🙂

    1. Steve Jones says:

      No, it’s an engineering decision. It totally depends on requirements. If all that’s needed is a simple point-to-point protocol to get to an MSAN, then IP is unnecessary. Just use something like PPPoE. That is, after all what is used for the low level link on VDSL connections. It has the advantage of being simple, needing less logic and makes the voice connection will still work even if there are issues with routers.

      The point is a VOIP service to the home is a different thing to the presentation of a voice line over fibre. A VOIP service to the home involves some form of IP aware device (maybe a box, maybe using your PC, tablet etc.). Something which presents directly as an analogue phone port from the fibre ONT has considerable advantages in that you can just plug in your home phone network and (if battery backed up like OR’s FVA) still has the potential to work through power outages.

  7. wirelesspacman says:

    how on earth can a fibre present itself as an analogue phone port? Have to admit I have yet to see a fibre connection that looks the same as a standard BT phone socket! 🙂

    1. Steve Jones says:

      Very simply. The ONT (Optical Network Terminator) just has two analogue phone ports. Just plug a phone (or your domestic phone network in) and you are away. The ONT can provide two analogue voice lines (although I think that the standard line rental only enables one). The ONT is an active device of course and just contains all the circuitry that converts your phone’s analogue interface to the protocol that it sends across the fibre to the voice service at the exchange (which is the one where the fibre terminates, not necessarily the local exchange). It’s logically separate from ISP service but is, of course, pumped down the same bit of fibre. The analogue phone service does not (as far as I’m aware) appear as an IP device on your local network (unlike a VOIP gateway). However, I don’t have FTTP, so this is all from reading stuff online.

      Incidentally, for premises upgraded to FTTP, I think retention of the existing coper loop voice service is still an option.

  8. Cogger says:

    Surely it is all quiet simple? (in simple laymans terms) they are terminating to Hibernia at the landing station where the transatlantic cable comes ashore and have (leased or purchased) from the main pipe which runs through their patch on it’s way up to the large POP / aggregation node in Slough Industrial Estate. Clever and cunning strategy in my book, shows initiative and we surely are not going to worry about them over building a (very) small part of BT’s poor network are we? (the biter is bit for once?)

    1. Steve Jones says:

      So where is the landing station? In any event, it’s going to be a minimum of about four times the distance to Bath or twice the distance to Bristol. It’s going to be much cheaper to get a circuit to those locations than the far more distant sea, even if the cable comes to land at the nearest coast. More likely is surely that this transatlantic link has some backbone connection that goes via Bristol and there’s some sort of deal to get cheap backhaul that way.

  9. Roger Cashmore says:

    If you are really interested to find out you can quickly discover that the cable comes ashore at Brean.
    Nothing to do with Bristol!
    Landing stations are buildings with termination & racks etc.
    There is a huge one in Bude, N. Cornwall.

  10. MikeW says:

    It looks like the whole point of the Hibernia Express cable is that it follows the great circle between London and New York, designed to shave milliseconds off the latency. All to appeal to financial firms wanting those vital few milliseconds of advantage in making trades.

    [Aside: That straight line seems to shave 6ms off the current latency. This would appear to be a lifetime for those engaged in HFT – high frequency trading]

    Brean becomes the lucky beneficiary of the landing station on this circle.

    Truespeed/Wansdyke presumably managed to capitalise by piggy-backing on some of the landside connectivity running out to Brean … from wherever in Slough or London. Presumably directed in as straight a line as possible.

    However, some careful googling might indicate that HFT firms have been very interested in making microwave links as straight as possible too. This page mentions Brean and Hibernia Express, and starts to give an insight into a very strange world: https://sniperinmahwah.wordpress.com/2015/01/14/hft-in-my-backyard-v/

    Reading further discovers similar things going on for, say, microwave connections between London and Frankfurt. All to be as close to straight-line as possible.

    There are further parts to that story, which indicate that important landing points in the UK include Slough and Basildon. Very fascinating…

    Back to Truespeed though … you have to presume that there is some landside fibre as part of Hibernia Express, that connects from Brean to Slough … and Truespeed have grabbed some capacity on that.

    1. Somerset says:

      The Hibernia single duct runs from Brean to Bath. It goes near Newton St Lowe where Truespeed are based. They will be using Western Power poles as part of the distribution.


    2. MikeW says:


      I just watched about the HFT people using microwave because it is faster than fibre.

      And a surprising hint of the importance of Basildon…

  11. Stuart Andrews says:

    The fibre came along the A4 from Chippenham to Bath,I registered an intrest last year,my village Bathampton had the chance to have the fibre spur off,hardly anyone in the village was intrested in having it,Shame!

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