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1000ft Masts for Financial Trades Could Boost Broadband in Kent

Tuesday, Mar 1st, 2016 (12:48 pm) - Score 1,040
wireless broadband radio spectrum signal

Vigilant Global and New Line Networks (NLN) have proposed to build two new 1,000ft (304 metres) tall and 3 metre wide towers in the South Thanet area of Kent (England) in order to make large financial trades fractionally faster, but they could also be used to improve local broadband connectivity.

The massive masts, which use Microwave radio (wireless) technology, would be designed to shave a few milliseconds off the response time of financial trading data sent via UK and Europe. Admittedly a few milliseconds might not sound like much, but it can make a huge difference in the market for big supercomputer dominated financial trading.

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According to The Guardian, the new network would also be supported by a 3,200 mile long fibre optic cable that stretches from New York (USA) to Land’s End in Cornwall, then on to London and eventually to Germany’s financial centre of Frankfurt.

As a bonus the two operators have promised to assist those in the surrounding communities by helping them to access faster broadband and mobile broadband connectivity, such as by allowing operators to install related infrastructure on the side or top of their masts.

NLN Statement:

“NLN is committed to serving the communities in which we operate. We look forward to working closely with the local Dover and wider East Kent communities to collectively develop a plan that enables them to share in the benefits of a proposed mast development.”

Mind you this is easier said than done and there may be a few potential points of conflict. Firstly, the Kent and Medway councils are already working with BT and the Broadband Delivery UK programme to extend the reach of FTTC/P based superfast broadband (24Mbps+) services to 91% and this could hit 95% by around the end of 2017 (here).

On top of that VFast (OrbitalNet) already has a 24Mbps capable fixed wireless broadband network that can reach many parts of Kent, which is often overlooked. Suffice to say that careful consideration would need to be paid in regards to the threat from overbuilding and indeed whether or not the new masts would result in enough of a benefit over existing plans.

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The other problem is that locals have not yet been consulted about the plans and most appear to be understandably unhappy about the idea. In this case we’d say that the usual accusations of NIMBY-ism (Not In My Back Yard) might not be fair, after all a 1,000ft tower is quite a significant piece of infrastructure and would have a very noticeable impact. However this may be more of a concern for those living closest.

Otherwise there’s not a lot of detail to go around and if approved then it’s expected that the new towers would take around 6 months to construct.

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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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