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Fibre Install High Woolaston, GL156PX

jim1974

Casual Member
Hi,

We are moving to High Woolaston in around May time from our current "in town" location, so I am very interested in this subject.

We currently have vanilla XDSL, at around 60meg, which is ok, but suffers a bit in bad weather as almost all of my town in not copper, its good old 1970's aluminium!

The whole fasteshire thing sounds like a perfect idea, but i guess that as with everything government related, it will run over time and over budget.

I *think* that I will be in Area 3, but no ideas on how big this is, nor if it is split even further, does anyone have any more sources of info, as the main website appears to be rather, er, naff!

Also, I have a few queries that i am hoping some of you nice people may be able to advise/guess/confirm:

1) Is it really, truly FTTH, or is is slowed down at any point by copper etc? Is the bandwidth realistic based upon known connections.

2) Can i finally ditch my PSTN phone line (I don't even own a telephone!!)

3) Is static IP available from any of the providers ?

4) What does the hardware install consist of? I am guessing some sort of weatherproof box or ground mounted pillar ? Do they use BT poles overhead or is it all underground.

6) Does EVERY property get an actual connection, or just an empty duct (or less?!)

6) the border of my property is around 150mtrs from the house - does the connection point NEED to be on the roadside? although I am more than happy/able to dig and duct this bit, are the contractors open to bribery/beers to dig the duct a bit further ?

7) Photos would be fantastic of the various bits if anyone has got them

Thanks guys, I am ready to do lots of reading up
 

sheephouse

Top Member
Welcome to Woolaston - I hope you enjoy the area as much as I do!
You will be in Fastershire area 3c. This is a large area that runs from south Herefordshire down the west of the Severn to the edge of Chepstow. Area 2 which is the central part of the Forest of Dean has been lumped in together with area 3c.
So answers to your questions:
1) it is (will be) real FTTP, with symmetric speeds.
2) you don't need a phone line with FTTP.
3) not sure - not all of the ISPs listed as resellers actually resell Gigaclear yet. There are ways to get a static IP independently of the ISP, so this shouldn't be a sticking point.
4) The use a Toby - a small waterproof plastic box - at the edge of your property, then they run a fibre to your house from that.
5) Every property gets a Toby. They blow the fibre when you order.
6) you may have to pay an extra fee for connection - or do some work yourself.
7) see https://715208136624-codedeploy-ass...ture_v1_.pdf?ggf71ykoN3jXmjgUpK.YXg234aomLOvL

The bad news is that there is currently no date for the start of the build in your area - it is still in the design phase. So you won't have FTTP for a year or two (or three). Existing ADSL may give you <5Mbps.
 

sheephouse

Top Member
I should have added that 4G is a better option than ADSL for areas outside the village - although as coverage is very dependent on your exact location you'll have to try the various providers to find the best.
 

jim1974

Casual Member
Superb, I know that some good 4g coverage is available, so will probably be going down that route, albeit probably rather costly.

I am certainly looking forward to moving to the area, it is fantastic :)
 

sheephouse

Top Member
Three and EE share a mast at ReeceR, which you should have line of sight of from High Woolaston. The Three is band 20 so only has a 5MHz bandwidth. EE is band 3 with 15MHz bandwidth so is faster. Three have another mast using band 3 at Lydney Park Estate, which you may see from up your hill (it is a bit weak for me even with an external directional router).
Both offer unlimited data for under £30pm (if you shop around a bit you can get 3 for under £20, and EE for £27).
Also, do register with Fastershire and Gigaclear. It doesn't commit you to anything, and probably won't make any difference to when FTTP comes to the area, but it just might help.
 

jim1974

Casual Member
Yep, I think it will need to be the 3 network, as I believe they are the only mobile network to provide public facing IP addresses?

the others seem to use CGNAT, which will cause some issues with burglar alarms, cctv etc.

I am intending to mount the antenna up on a small mast anyway, so hopefully can reach the band 3 mast.

speedwise is it fairly reasonable ?

Three and EE share a mast at ReeceR, which you should have line of sight of from High Woolaston. The Three is band 20 so only has a 5MHz bandwidth. EE is band 3 with 15MHz bandwidth so is faster. Three have another mast using band 3 at Lydney Park Estate, which you may see from up your hill (it is a bit weak for me even with an external directional router).
Both offer unlimited data for under £30pm (if you shop around a bit you can get 3 for under £20, and EE for £27).
Also, do register with Fastershire and Gigaclear. It doesn't commit you to anything, and probably won't make any difference to when FTTP comes to the area, but it just might help.
 

sheephouse

Top Member
Yep, I think it will need to be the 3 network, as I believe they are the only mobile network to provide public facing IP addresses?
That's true, but there are ways to get public addresses. I use an outgoing L2TP tunnel (I use AAISP, but others are available) to give me static IPv4 and IPv6 addresses regardless of the ISP I use.

With an external antenna (I use a MikroTik SXT LTE router) I can only get up to 8Mbps down from the Lydney band 3 mast (but 18+Mbps up!)

From the more local band 20 mast I get 12-18Mbps down but only ~6Mbps up. Three has been quite variable recently, so I fear the local mast is getting congested. A couple of years ago I could usually get over 20Mbps.
 

jim1974

Casual Member
Good information, thanks.

- I have just checked and I will only be 850m from the ReeceR mast, and am higher with direct line of sight, so strength wise its fine.

The other mast is 4250m away, but again appears that I am line of sight, and higher too, so looking positive on this also.

Are you using a directional Yagi type antenna, or standard flat plate patch style.

Do you find that the tunnelling gives much of a latency increase over LTE, and do AA charge on a bandwidth basis, or just flat monthly ?

I guess you also have a DSL backup line also, or do you just rely on the 4G ?
 

sheephouse

Top Member
The Mikrotik I use is an antenna and router all in a small external box. I get full strength from the ReeceR mast, which is 1.2km from me, but I'm too low to have clear line of sight from the Lydney mast.
I have been load balancing 4G with ADSL, but I'm giving up on the ADSL as it doesn't add much (esp. upload), and it results in quite a lot of variability in latency (depending which route a packet takes). I also have to lock my work VPNs to 4G, as load balancing the VPN makes it think there is a man-in-the-middle attack and it disconnects me.
The AAISP L2TP doesn't seem to add to latency (the 4G is slow anyway), and they charge a flat £10pm for up to 1TB of traffic. Being AAISP it is reliable and does just what it says on the tin - basically you get a AAISP connection but without using them as your ISP.
 

jim1974

Casual Member
Right, all finally moved in, and trying to get sorted. I have an external directional setup similar to the Mikrotik solution, and have been trying with a thr33 sim card, which is fine for email, but crap for everything else as expected.

is there a website that shows the cell locations and bandwidths, as I will be going up a ladder in the morning to see if height helps.

I have a funny feeling i will be going down the EE route however, or one of their MVNOs.

just checking out the latest "Unlimited" deals to see what makes sense, but only really after a 12 month contract.....

You're definitely right, a lovely area - even if crap internet :)
 

sheephouse

Top Member
Welcome to the Woolaston area! As an aside I can recommend the Rising Sun take-away meals - especially the pies (of course it would be better if the pub was open as usual).

Anyway, the nearest Three/EE mast is at ReeceR as you will know. But Three only have Band 20 (with 5MHz bandwidth - which makes it quite slow, and congested).

There is another Three mast near Lydney Park Estate with Band 3, but I haven't found the exact spot - none of the mast location apps I've tried have its position correct. Although that would provide better bandwidth I'm too low to get a good signal. Your higher location may be better - aim the antenna towards Woolaston. You could also try directly across the Severn - I got about the same speeds as from ReeceR (except in rainy or foggy weather).

I would avoid MVNOs as they often don't have access to all the frequencies.

Regarding cost, I now have an EE unlimited data business SIM only deal for £27+VAT pm on a 12 month contract. I'm getting 50-90Mbps down and 20-30Mbps up. There is no AUP cap on usage. Still using AAISP L2TP to get static IPs.
 

jim1974

Casual Member
Well, after a bit of faffing around, i gave up on three completely and am now on EE.

I have a Huawei 4G mast mounted CPE around 10metres up and am connected to the cell at the M48 bridge services, as the other local masts seemed to be far too directional, even the one at Reece which you can see in my photo!

3A48A1A2-3F49-429A-91B4-5CCCB4EAD623.jpeg
 

Mark.J

Administrator
Staff member
ISPreview Team
Pretty damn good speeds from that. What exact Huawei 4G mast mounted CPE are you using in that setup?
 

jim1974

Casual Member
Impressive. I get 85Mbps down, 28Mbps up using the ReeceR mast.

Strangely, even though I am pointing directly at the rear of the ReeceR mast, I cannot even pick up off the side nodes, its far too directional.

Happy with the connection though, its stable at those speeds, so useable.
 
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