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ISP Exascale Gives FREE Mesh WiFi to All New Full Fibre Homes

Tuesday, May 26th, 2020 (9:28 am) - Score 2,272
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UK ISP Exascale, which is in the early process of building a new gigabit-capable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) broadband network to reach premises around Telford in Shropshire (with Wolverhampton in the West Midlands and Cheltenham in Gloucestershire to follow), is to start installing a free Mesh WiFi system for all new home customers.

At present new customers generally choose packages that start at £32 per month for an unlimited 80Mbps (20Mbps upload) service and that goes up to £75 for their symmetric speed 900Mbps (average) tier, which currently includes free activation and a gigabit WiFi router from Zyxel on an 18 month minimum contract term.

NOTE: Exascale’s FTTP roll-out only started very recently (here), but they will be getting close to 1,000 premises passed within the next few months.

The good news is that Exascale will, with effect from 1st June 2020, replace their gigabit WiFi router with a Mesh WiFi system from Tenda for new customers. We’ve been informed that this is the MW5 model and customers can expect to receive both the primary base unit and one additional repeater unit (more repeaters can be added at extra cost, either via Exascale or a third-party retailer like Amazon etc.).

The provider informed ISPreview.co.uk that the new mesh system delivered better in-home wireless coverage than their current single-router approach. The only downside that we can see may stem from the limited number of Gigabit LAN ports (two) on the back of the main unit (a cheap LAN Switch should solve that). On top of that we generally think it’s better for ISPs today to be shipping routers with phone ports on the back for use with VoIP, although you can always buy an ATA Adapter for this.

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6 Responses
  1. Avatar Neb says:

    What Zyxel router do they currently give out that’s getting replaced by the MW5?

  2. Avatar chris conder says:

    I think this is the state of things to come. BT are already giving free mesh units out. The average customer doesn’t understand the limitations of wifi and doesn’t want to. Supplying a mesh is the answer. Gigaclear use linksys velop meshes with their routers. Zyxel do meshes too but they are quite pricey compared to tendas.

    1. Mark Jackson Mark Jackson says:

      I find the only real downside to a pure mesh approach is that many of the mesh systems lack the same advanced features as a good dedicated broadband router, unless you’re willing to pay quite a bit of money that is.

  3. Avatar chris conder says:

    yes, but not many routers can cover a whole house. Especially rural houses with thick damp walls.

  4. Avatar Exascale says:

    We decided to move away from a transitional single router as our customers judge our service on the speed they obtain over wireless and not necessarily over a wired Ethernet connection. Customers don’t want to understand how everything works they just want the speed they’ve paid for and over WiFi.

    We’ve tested a number of routers and solutions and Tenda’s solution is great for the price point. Customers which have trialed this for Exascale, really like the coverage and the speeds they’re able to obtain across the home.

    1. Avatar Roke Julian Lockhart Beedell says:

      Thank you for the insight.

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