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Essex Wireless ISP FibreWiFi Joins Rural Broadband Subsidy Scheme

Monday, May 23rd, 2016 (7:39 am) - Score 765
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Chelmsford-based wireless ISP FibreWiFi (Buzcom), which predominantly focuses upon delivering 30Mbps+ capable broadband coverage to significant swathes of Essex and parts of Suffolk in England, is now an approved supplier for the Government’s £60m Universal Broadband Voucher Scheme.

The subsidy scheme, which is somewhat of a quick-fix solution to help meet the original 2Mbps for all Universal Service Commitment (USC), was introduced at the end of 2015 (here) and focuses upon an estimated 300,000 premises that might not benefit from the Broadband Delivery UK roll-out of fixed line “superfast” (24Mbps+) broadband services.

Initially the subsidy was only available via Satellite based connections, but since then a growing number of fixed wireless ISPs have also become approved suppliers and FibreWiFi are the latest to join.

Gary Disley, Managing Director of FibreWiFi, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“With the widest continuous coverage of any Fixed Wireless provider in the East of England we’re well positioned to help BDUK provide a solution to those struggling with sub 2Mb/s speeds. Our new Universal package will give people a genuine alternative to the slow connection they currently endure through their old copper phone line.”

As hinted above the provider has introduced a special package for subsidy users, which offers symmetric speeds of 10Mbps with a 100GB (Gigabyte) monthly usage allowance, 12 month contract, £49 one-off installation fee (plus £45 activation) and an indoor WiFi access device for £24 per month. Additional usage and speed can be purchased at £5 per 10GB and £1 per Mb/s of speed where available.

The subsidy is said by the Government to be worth up to around £350, although we note that the special universal package being offered by FibreWiFi would, over the medium term, appear to be more expensive than their normal £15 per month “SUPER” (15Mbps, but can be upgraded to 30Mbps where available) package (£125 activation fee) with the same usage allowance. It’s likely there’s some key detail that we’re missing here and we hope to update with a clarification of the differences shortly.

UPDATE 8:58am

We understand that the Universal package also factors in the £49 cost of an included internal WiFi access point, which is optional on the SUPER package. However the Universal package is aimed at reaching areas that are usually more difficult to cater for and this is reflected in the cost to FibreWiFi and the subsidy received from Government.

As such the extra cost to connect customers via the Universal package covers all additional items such as poles, brackets and the larger CPE, which would normally be an extra cost to customers.

Separately FibreWiFi also notes that they recently invested £50,000 on an expansion of their network into the county of Suffolk, where a number of new sites are being built.

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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.
Leave a Comment
3 Responses
  1. Avatar TomD

    Good news, I guess. From what I hear from SuperfastEssex however, the subsidy can’t be used to extend coverage, just to provide connection. Does that mean then if you can’t be reached by FibreWifi now you don’t qualify?

  2. Avatar mrpops2ko

    I love how you can literally tack fibre onto anything now and it is considered proper. fibre dial up, fibre ISND, fibre 56k and fibre ADSL

    they all have fibre mostly comprised in the chain.

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