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Broadband options

Hi,
I am currently evaluating my options for mobile broadband. I am currently on three and want to take there unlimited data SIM due to price as we have 2 kids that have high internet usage.

The issue I have is where I am going to live which seem to be a patchy mobile area.

Hutchinson communications have put up a new mast about 2 years ago but when I am next to it with a three sim in my mobile I get no signal.

I currently get a patchy three signal and 4g on EE but the maximum data you get is 100 GB of data and is very expensive.

Land lane Openreach has stated that the broadband will not be very good if it works at all and will cost about 10K to install.

Is there any other options that are possible like putting a repeater on top of a hill etc.

On the picture it states the new mast is still under construction but I contacted Hutchinson and they say it is broadcasting.
 

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Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Hmm difficult. You may be best off waiting for the new 10Mbps+ Universal Service Obligation (USO), but that isn't due to be introduced until later this year and it may take awhile before it can take orders. Alternatively you can benefit from a subsidy on an EE fixed wireless solution:


You could also try asking wireless ISP Speednet Scotland to see if they're able to reach the area, although that's a bit of a hail Mary.

 

Mark8253

Casual Member
If you already have 4G, the USO is irrelevant - you will be deemed to have access to a qualifying service meeting the quality threshold of 10 Mb/s down and 100 GB/month at an “affordable” price (which will probably be around £40-45 a month). I would go with EE, who have packages up to 500GB/month, not 100, but maybe on the 1 month contract rather than
18 months just in case they drop the price or raise data limits in response to Three’s aggressive pricing.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
If you already have 4G, the USO is irrelevant - you will be deemed to have access to a qualifying service meeting the quality threshold of 10 Mb/s down and 100 GB/month at an “affordable” price (which will probably be around £40-45 a month). I would go with EE, who have packages up to 500GB/month, not 100, but maybe on the 1 month contract rather than
18 months just in case they drop the price or raise data limits in response to Three’s aggressive pricing.
I wouldn't take that to the bank just yet. Ofcom has been a bit flaky in confirming that "mobile" variants of 4G will qualify for a binding USO. In the last consultation BT has specifically asked them to clarify this in clearer language since if variable mobile 4G does qualify (very difficult to guarantee its performance) then that's most of the USO done. But Ofcom's cost estimates have largely all been based around FTTC/P.
 

Mark8253

Casual Member
Mark - I'm a bit confused - what do you mean by "mobile" variants of 4G? What other variants are there?
The USO is meant to be technology neutral, so I'm not sure it makes sense to exclude 4G altogether (delivered via a fixed external antenna, where performance is far better than on a handset). However, it is more difficult to guarantee performance, as even adjacent houses could receive very different signals dependent on elevation, tree cover, etc. I suspect Ofcom are also rightly wary of BT's assurances of no performance degradation as the service moves from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of users. Do we know how many premises will actually benefit from the USO if 4G is excluded? I suspect a large fraction will still fall foul of the cost cap, as the cheap/easy ones have already been done by BDUK.
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Networks, regardless of the underlying technology, tend to be setup differently between a fixed wireless access (fwa) and mobile approach (although there is a grey area in the middle for some 4G deployments), which is why in the standards you'll always see these two "environments" being given different treatment.

So I think Ofcom have some concerns about the variable performance of mobile 4G, but not those operators who have simply used 4G technology to build fwa links from nearby transmitters. Mind you most FWA providers prefer to use something closer to long-range WiFi for their outdoor links.

But to answer your other question, as BT said in response to Ofcom's last USO consultation, "As we have explained previously, 450,000 of the 600,000 premises that cannot get a fixed line solution meeting the USO eligibility criteria already have access to faster, more cost effective Fixed Wireless Access services that do meet the criteria."

 

Mark8253

Casual Member
Thanks, I hadn't seen BT's latest document that you linked to. So the stakes are indeed high. If 4G is permitted, there will be only 40k USO installations (BT response, 4 Sep 2018), but if not, that number rises to 300k, most of which will have to be FTTP. I'd love the USO to be the right to a fixed connection, but regrettably, BT have a point - that level of engineering (and associated costs) just isn't going to happen within the 12 month USO timescale, whatever the politicians may wish...
 

Captain_Cretin

ULTIMATE Member
Hi,
I am currently evaluating my options for mobile broadband. I am currently on three and want to take there unlimited data SIM due to price as we have 2 kids that have high internet usage.

The issue I have is where I am going to live which seem to be a patchy mobile area.

Hutchinson communications have put up a new mast about 2 years ago but when I am next to it with a three sim in my mobile I get no signal.

I currently get a patchy three signal and 4g on EE but the maximum data you get is 100 GB of data and is very expensive.

Land lane Openreach has stated that the broadband will not be very good if it works at all and will cost about 10K to install.

Is there any other options that are possible like putting a repeater on top of a hill etc.

On the picture it states the new mast is still under construction but I contacted Hutchinson and they say it is broadcasting.

late to this, but a phone getting no signal from a mast the operator says is working suggests the phone isnt capable of receiving the LTE band being used.

What phone make and model, and does anyone know what bands this transmitter is using??
 
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