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ISP Ecom Bringing Gigabit FTTP Broadband to Rural Buckinghamshire Villages

Wednesday, July 19th, 2017 (11:47 am) - Score 1,507

Little known ISP Ecom (Electronic Communities) has revealed to ISPreview.co.uk that they’re building a new ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to several rural villages in the Aylesbury Vale district of Buckinghamshire (i.e. Dunton, through Creslow and on to Whitchurch with more to follow).

Ecom has been around for over five years, although until recently the ISP has preferred to focus on providing connectivity and hosting services to businesses (e.g. data centre connectivity, IP transit, leased lines etc.). However in 2014 Ecom built a pure fibre optic network of its own to serve a business park in Newport Pagnell, which was conducted alongside Colocker (owned by Ecom’s MD).

The good news is that Ecom has broadened their focus and they’re now using their own private investment to deploy a new point-to-point fibre direct to the premises (no GPON) network to serve homes and businesses in the villages of Dunton, Creslow and Whitchurch (plans are also being considered for a future roll-out to nearby Hardwick and Pitchcott, as well as other areas).

So far over 2km worth of fibre optic cable duct has already been laid and the ISP expects to treble that within the next six weeks. Part of the reason that they’ve been able to do this is because their well-connected office is based at Creslow Park (a former MI6 secure communications centre converted to modern use), which sits in the middle of the villages that they intend to serve and will act as a central hub.

Apparently Ecom are using the same Genexis routers and bi-di fibre technology as the likes of B4RN and all fibre is to be run at Gigabit speed, although it will be limited at network level for those that choose slower packages. The ISP informs that they can go to 10Gbps and upwards “when the market requires it“.

Chris Wilkie, Ecom Managing Director, told ISPreview.co.uk:

“The rural community has waited far too long to gain access to a service that the majority of the population consider a ‘must have’. I am delighted to be contributing towards not only bringing these areas up to date but also to ensure that their infrastructure is future proof and will last for many years to come.”

Apparently the entry-level package for the new service is a 100Mbps (20Mbps upload) option that will cost £36 inc. VAT per month, which includes a free phone service implemented via VoIP so that users can ditch their copper line altogether if they wish.

A one-time activation fee of £250 also applies and home owners may be expected to do some of the installation work themselves. Faster packages with speeds of 250Mbps, 500Mbps and 1000Mbps are available, as well as business options with more upstream capacity.

At this point our regular readers may note that the Aylesbury Vale Broadband project, which is supported by a publicly funded commercial loan, are also in the process of deploying into some of the same areas, although it wouldn’t be the first time that AVB has run into competitive difficulties with another ISP (here).

However ISPreview.co.uk understands that AVB and Ecom, despite being in natural competition, are keen to find solutions for the areas where there is a potential future risk of overbuild. Discussions on this front are said to be on-going.

As a side note, Ecom said they are also actively seeking outside financial contributions to help fund their future deployments.

Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar broadbandbob says:

    Why go 5 kilometres all the way to Dunton, which has about 25 premises , and which has already got FTTP from Aylesbury Vale Broadband? As do all the communities surrounding Creslow, either from Aylesbury Vale or Gigaclear. This might of made sense three or four years ago. It doesn’t now.

    1. Avatar tugwilson says:

      Whitchurch does not have FTTP from either AVB or Gigaclear. AVB have recently reneged on their promise to bring their service to Whitchurch. It seems that AVB have a few problems at the moment

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