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ISP Voneus Builds Superfast Broadband to Durham UK Villages

Tuesday, February 2nd, 2021 (11:38 am) - Score 1,200

Homes and businesses in the neighbouring villages of Ouston and Perkinsville in County Durham (England) can now access “superfast broadband” speeds of 30-50Mbps, which is thanks to the deployment of a new fibre-fed Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) network by Voneus.

The announcement claims that both villages had previously “struggled with patchy connections and insufficient speeds,” although upon checking we noted that a large chunk of the area does appear to have access to Openreach’s FTTC (VDSL2) network and a few tiny patches of FTTP. Nevertheless, it’s also clear that some areas can only get a naff ADSL service.

According to Voneus, the location makes it expensive to lay FTTP into this area and so the operator instead decided to install a fibre optic fed wireless network at the Ouston & District Social Club, which beams broadband southwards, to the Red Lion pub, via a high-capacity Point-to-Point link. Local premises with a direct Line of Sight (LoS) to these locations can now access “guaranteed superfast speeds of between 30-50Mbps.”

The provider also has future plans to extend their network. During the next phase, Voneus will connect Ouston’s Community Centre to a free connection for community use and in the future they’re also proposing to “upgrade the infrastructure to full-fibre, offering residents minimum speeds of 100Mbps” (it’s unclear when this might occur).

Steve Leighton, CEO of Voneus, said:

“I’m so glad we could get this network up-and-running so that the homes and businesses in the area could get online for the start of the new year.

The pandemic has meant rolling out the Ouston network presented a particular challenge, but I’m proud of the way we have worked with the local community to find solutions to their problems, and I hope we can continue to work together to ensure everyone in the area has access to a decent broadband connection, regardless of where they live.”

Meanwhile Voneus, which has secured financial backing from Macquarie Capital, is currently targeting future expansion into a potentially addressable market of c.900,000 UK homes for their FTTP and wireless networks.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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9 Responses
  1. ian says:

    An honest question as i have no idea, how stable are these point-to-point backhaul links and from the customer side with the smaller kit?

    Genuinely curious.

    1. Gareth says:

      Depends whether the person specifying the equipment understands rain fade and does the maths. The size of the equipment should be relative to the distance of the link, not really whether you’re an end customer or not.

      If that’s taken into account they are generally very reliable.

    2. David says:

      For higher frequency equipment Gareth is correct. Unfortunately a lot of smaller providers are using 5GHz p2p equipment, presumably due to cost, which is more prone to interference. The antenna in the photo looks to be low spec Miktrotik equipment.

      In today’s age I don’t consider building infrastructure only capable of delivering 30 to 50Mbps subscriber services to be a sensible investment. It’s very short term sighted until FTTP becomes more widely deployed and services such as Starlink become a possible for some infill.

  2. Shaun says:

    Drilling into chimneys is bad practise. They should be using chimney straps.

    1. David says:

      Yep a bad install. Cabling looks poor, not clipped and tucked under the lead flashing. Brick dust from the drilling left too. And this probably a marketing photo!

  3. Jimbo says:

    Bad install,i agree the other blogs. Drilling into a chimney bad or what, should be a lashing kit used.
    I used MikroTik LTE 4G SXT worked well until the rain got into it,100Mbps down 25Mbps up on EE.
    They are not very weather resistant.

  4. Kevin Nash says:

    Voneus the few ISPs in the UK with no public peering. They seem to operate off a single upstream ISP… Maybe that’s OK for a pure residential ISP?? Voneus offer ‘Business Broadband’ packages based on that network design. Is it suitable for businesses? Feel free for someone with more knowledge and experience to correct my understanding.

    1. Olly says:

      It’s not a big deal.

      Their ASN is upstreamed by ANLX, who are a T3. ANLX have connectivity with 2 T1s and some IXPs in London.

      According to traces, Voneus are single-homed in THE which is more of a concern, because any wider-spread issues would down them. However, in all fairness, if we ever lost THE/THN/THW due to a wide-spread issue, we’d lose 50%+ of the UK internet in one go.

      I’m intrigued by the /22 though, and not all of it is used. Are they CG-NATting all customers and charging extra for dedicated IPs? There’s no v6 either, which is quite a poor strategy if so. It’s not like they’re short on millions of v6 addresses either, according to RIPE.

      Anyway, crucially; if the service is good and customers are happy, who cares?

  5. Pat McPhilimey says:

    The picture used in this story is not one of a Voneus installation. We certainly do not drill into chimneys and we certainly do not run cables like that loose on the roof tiles.

    The Ouston network is Radwin designed not Microtik which confirms my suspicions that it’s a library photo.

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