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100Mbps Wireless Broadband Arrives in Stone – Gloucestershire Village

Monday, February 20th, 2017 (11:29 am) - Score 1,618

Residents of Stone in Gloucestershire (England), which is a rural village and home to over 700 people, can now gain access to superfast broadband speeds of up to 100Mbps after Oxford ISP Rural Broadband teamed-up with Wireless Excellence to install a new wireless network.

Apparently the project has already won the backing of both the South Gloucestershire Council and the Diocese of Gloucester, with the ISP being allowed to install their new receiver and wireless distribution system on top of the local ‘All Saints Church‘ that overlooks most of the village. The network is then fuelled with capacity by harnessing the local School’s fibre optic cable (this is supplied by Virgin Media’s business division).

The wireless hardware being used is said to be the same as deployed with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) and it can theoretically deliver symmetrical broadband speeds of up to 500Mbps, although their residential packages currently only offer a top tier of 100Mbps.

Simon Craker, Chairman of Rural Broadband, said (here):

“This is a community project to offer the village an ultra-fast, economical and reliable Internet service. The speeds are unmatched by the traditional suppliers – up to five times faster than BT at 500mb – and will roll out in the village in the next few months.

Chris Chopping, warden at All Saints Church, and David Joyce, head of governors at Stone’s primary school have been heavily involved in the project.”

Customers of the new service, which could also be expanded to cover other villages in the county, must pay from £25 per month for an unlimited 10Mbps (symmetric) service and this rises to £43 for the top 100Mbps option. A one-off connection fee of £29.99 is also payable and additional installation charges may apply (around £150).

However it’s worth pointing out that part of the village can already access Openreach’s (BT) Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC / VDSL2) based broadband service, with some premises being able to receive “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) speeds. Mind you this doesn’t appear to be true for everybody and the new service may well help to fill in some of the gaps.

There are also a couple of other issues that should be mentioned. Firstly, Rural Broadband’s website appears to lack a legally required postal address (at least we couldn’t find one when checking). On top of that they may also have somewhat of a name and logo conflict with another ISP of the same name that has been around for a lot longer (here). At least the address issue should be an easy fix.

Leave a Comment
24 Responses
  1. Avatar Thomas says:

    Domain http://ruralbb.com is registered for South Gloucs – GL12 8NL

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Domain registration details do not always reflect business details, which is why it helps to show this information on the website where most people can see it.

  2. Avatar wirelesspacman says:

    They also need to learn the difference between symmetric (which they are) and synchronous (which they are not) 🙂

    “upload speed is synchronous”

    1. Avatar wirelesspacman says:

      no mention of a complaint handling service either

    2. Avatar wirelesspacman says:

      I also do wonder how long their “Actual speeds, not ‘up to’” claim will last.

      Still, I do wish them all the best.

    3. Avatar Knobless Spacman says:

      Victor Meldrew found the internet

    4. Avatar wirelesspacman says:

      well Victor, now you’ve found it, perhaps you’ll learn how to use it in a few more years 🙂

  3. Avatar Fastman says:

    weird that village has had superfast for last 3 years enabled by cab 2 and cab 7 off failfield exchange

    1. Avatar MikeW says:

      The right use of wireless, surely, is to put a mast where fibre speeds can reach, and to get superfast signals out to the areas that fixed line can’t reach.

      The fact that the signal has to leapfrog past houses that can get decent fixed-line speeds is immaterial. It is a service meant for someone else.

      The reverse argument is true for VDSL2 cabinets: the service is meant for the 90% that are within superfast range. It isn’t completely meant for the others, even if it is useful.

    2. Avatar Adam says:

      I live in Lower Stone so I am going to try and get the signal here. The spire is really high I can see it from the hill by my house – so ever hopeful. Suck on 5mbps here.

    3. Avatar gerarda says:

      @MikeW It is the right place to put it otherwise you will pay a fortune to get the backhaul installed. Also as you rightly point out being connected to an FTTC cabinet does not guarantee you decent speeds.

    4. Avatar Adam says:

      @MikeW

      But what if they don’t use the Fibre cabinets?

    5. Avatar Spindinio says:

      RuralBB haven’t connected to the cabinet in Stone, which is connected to Falfield. A different line (10x 1Gb to be precise) from Dursley has been run right to the school, and one of those is used by RuralBB to connect. This is why the speed is certain, unlike the copper from the cab to your house which is distance dependent.

    6. Avatar Adam says:

      Is it uncertain? Spindinio? If they are using 1Gbps to start with then they can do the speed?

    7. Avatar Adam says:

      Sorry I read it wrong so please ignore. It is Certain I agree

  4. Avatar Henry says:

    Companies House says that “Rural Broadband (UK) LTD” which has Simon Craker as a director has company number 09208801 and a registered office address of 2 Temple Street, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1EG, though that is actually the address of their accountants Grafton Jones

    https://beta.companieshouse.gov.uk/company/09208801

  5. Avatar TheFacts says:

    ‘The wireless hardware being used is said to be the same as deployed with the Ministry of Defence (MoD)’

    That’s worth knowing…

    More at http://www.cablefree.net/wireless-broadband/wireless-rural-broadband-cotswolds-uk/

    1. Avatar wireless pacman says:

      Have to admit the words salt and pinch spring to mind:-)

  6. Avatar William Cruickshank says:

    Rural broadband is embryonic and it is our intention to provide a service which many villages in Gloucestershire will benefit from. We have had a really difficult experience in getting to this point.It has only taken us two years to get around the bureaucracy. We have actually shown the Stone village how good the service is and we hope that once we have proved the system works at the speeds we offer our web will expand rapidly. Anyone using our service will pay by standing order so will be in control of their payments and we do not require our customers to enter into a contract. As our service is wireless there are inherent benefits in this so what does anyone have to lose by trialing us? Nothing!! The worst case scenario would be to back to your previous provider

    1. Avatar Fastman says:

      the village seems to have supferfast broadband already so very surprised

    2. Avatar Spindinio says:

      @Fastman, the speed you actually get is relative to your cab distance. Some have an appalling service, some are ok, but none will have their advertised speed and none will be able to match RuralBB’s premium speed or any upload speeds. It’s also cheaper than BT.

    3. Avatar gerarda says:

      @Fastman I am very surprised you don’t know the distance limitations of FTTC. Did you work for DCMS when they chose that as a rural broadband “solution”

    4. Avatar DTMark says:

      If you try the phone number of the village hall, which is on cabinet 2, the result is between 32 Meg and 13.1 Meg. The “handback threshold” is only 10 Meg.

      So BT are nowhere near confident that they can deliver anything like superfast speeds there.

  7. Avatar William Cruickshank says:

    ”go back to your previous”

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