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Subsidy Helps VoIP ISP Deploy 50Mbps Broadband to Kimmeridge in Dorset

Friday, October 7th, 2016 (8:36 am) - Score 899

A mix of support from the Superfast Dorset project and local ISP VoIP Unlimited has enabled the isolated village of Kimmeridge on the remote Dorset (England) coast, which previously struggled to get even 1Mbps via BT’s fixed lines, to build a new 50Mbps wireless broadband network.

The Isle of Purbeck (peninsula) area of Dorset is known for having some extremely poor broadband connectivity and the tiny village of Kimmeridge, which is home to just 90 people, was until recently not an exception to that rule.

However the situation began to change when residents approached VoIP Unlimited and its sister company M2 Networks to find a solution. Shortly after that the company began constructing a new wireless network, which involved running 2km of private fibre optic cable across Portland and then using a Microwave line-of-sight link to reach a mast that overlooked Kimmeridge.

The ISP also had to overcome various legislative and geographical hurdles, not least because much of the area is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and some of the work needed to be observed by an archaeologist (it’s the “Jurassic Coast“). On top of that the engineers had to battle Storm Imogen, which hit in February 2016 and just as they were erecting the new mast.

The project also added two antennas on the mast in order to ensure that the connection had dual resiliency. Meanwhile new home installations are being subsidised via the Government’s Better Broadband Subsidy Scheme (i.e. 2Mbps USC vouchers for those not covered via the Superfast Dorset roll-out).

Mark Pillow, MD of VoIP Unlimited, said:

“Taking on the full overheads of this project was a big decision for me to make, but the challenge & life changing results for the residents was just too appealing. The amount of customers we now have in the area has already reduced my prediction on a rather long return on investment.

I am glad to have removed this extremely frustrating barrier for Kimmeridge residents and am extremely proud of our solution despite all the barriers which would have most likely stopped most companies from deployment completion.”

Sadly we aren’t told how much it actually cost to build the network or how long it will take before VoIP Unlimited expect to recoup their investment, but the figure will probably run into the tens of thousands (this is not uncommon with such builds). However the service is also available to residents in other nearby areas, such as those under the BH20 and DT5 postcodes, which no doubt helps.

The cheapest ‘up to’ 30Mbps (1Mbps upload) package starts at £25 per month with a 30GB usage allowance and £350 installation fee (the subsidy can help to remove that setup cost), which rises to 50Mbps (10Mbps upload) and 350GB usage for the top residential package at £49 per month. A 24 month contract term also applies.

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