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Wireless ISP Beacon Broadband Offered £48K Boost in Northern Ireland

Wednesday, January 17th, 2018 (8:12 am) - Score 1,983

Derry-based fixed wireless ISP Beacon Broadband has been offered £48,000 by Invest Northern Ireland (Invest NI) to help fuel the creation of 12 new jobs, which will support the expansion of their network in Northern Ireland via additional engineers, support staff and management roles.

The provider has built a network that straddles various parts of both Northern Ireland and Ireland, which includes communities such as St Johnston, Carrigans, Newton, Manor, Killea, Ramelton, Inch, Bridge End, Tooban, Lisfannon, Buncrana, Illies, Rathmullan, Portsallon Derry City, Bready, Newbuildings, Ardmore, Campsie, Culmore, Muff, Redcastle, Moville and Shrove.

Customers of the ISP typically pay from £25 inc. VAT per month (plus £99 one-off for installation) in order to receive a 10Mbps (2Mbps upload) connection with unlimited usage, a monthly contract and an included broadband router. The top package costs £55 per month and offers a download speed of 40Mbps (8Mbps upload).

Brian McCourt, Managing Director of Beacon Broadband, said:

“Our company ethos is built on providing strong customer service backed by the provision of guaranteed service speeds and uptime. Using the latest technology, we offer speeds that rival fibre broadband in areas that have little or no broadband access. This is making us a very attractive proposition to many consumers across both Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland.

Invest NI assistance is helping us grow our business by recruiting additional employees to help increase our sales in export markets. We are delighted with the support we have received which will help us to secure new sales, particularly in the ROI market.”

We should point out that the top speed of 40Mbps may be said to “rival” hybrid “fibre broadband” services like FTTC (VDSL2), although it’s a long way off the Gigabit (1000Mbps+) capability of true fibre optic providers (FTTH/P and FTTB) and is also well behind Virgin Media’s 350Mbps capable HFC EuroDOCSIS network. The new generation of G.fast based hybrid fibre services also push well above 100Mbps+ for those who can receive it.

Des Gartland, Invest NI’s North West Regional Manager, said:

“Beacon Broadband was established in 2016 to exploit a gap in the wireless broadband market created as a result of the increased popularity in media streaming. These new jobs are great news for the local area and our support is ensuring the company has the resources in place to win new business in its target markets.”

Beacon also offers a range of business packages with Prioritised Traffic, although these top out at the same speed as their residential offerings (40Mbps).

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Pat says:

    Not really fair to compare Beacon’s products with the likes of FTTP and Virgin’s DOCSIS. They would be far more interested in serving rural areas around the Derry city hinterland on both sides of the border where such premises are currently out of reach of either Openreach’s FTTC or similar offerings by OpenEIR in Donegal. Virgin has done some expansion locally through project lightning but it doesn’t cover areas that weren’t already covered by VDSL. And I don’t think FTTP is available locally on the NI side of the border except for some very special cases. There’s definitely a market for decent FWA Internet in the local area as quite a few premises would be getting less than 10Mbps through Openreach, though not as proportionally as many compared to its southward neighbours in counties Tyrone and Fermanagh.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      No it’s not fair, but then that’s the point I was trying to make after Beacon said “we offer speeds that rival fibre broadband.”

  2. Avatar Pat says:

    I understand your point Mark, but when Beacon are talking about “we offer speeds that rival fibre broadband” I’m sure they mean VDSL on both sides of the border because “fibre broadband” is how that is advertised for better or worse. The average Joe that just wants a decent broadband connection isn’t going to get hung up on the delivery method, just as long as it works at the speed they expect.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      Not only VDSL2 though, Virgin Media Cable and other FTTH/P providers have also long made use of “fibre broadband” in marketing and this is a long running issue.

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