UK’s First 100Mbps Symmetrical Superfast Broadband network goes Live in Lincolnshire – Property Prices Rocket

I have seen the light and it is in Ashby De La Launde.

This revelation appeared to me this morning in a house surrounded by fields of potatoes, carrots and other parts of my 5 a day diet too numerous to mention. I am talking about the UK’s first true superfast broadband network. 100Mbps symmetrical in fact.

Check this 30 second video out.

The network has a 100Mbps feed which is then distributed around the village using 32kms of fibre that was put down in only 14 weeks – quicker in fact than it took BT to put in the 7 metre connection to hook it up with their own fibre network.

All this talk of “how do we define superfast broadband?” needs to just stop now. The definition is plain to see in Ashby. Readers should note that the uplink speed reported by the tester is simply a limitation of the speed test server which has just not been designed for the performance. The test also shows 72Megs download – this will increase to 100Megs once a router is beefed up. The latency figure of 19ms compares with 1,297 ms on the satellite link used by the neighbouring farm.

Today was day two of the network rollout. Last night, community broadband business NextGenUs connected 1 business and 3 homes in just 3 hours. Over the next two months a further 180 homes will come on line. What a Christmas present! The network itself should be financially sustainable by the end of November despite only charging £25 a month plus VAT for unlimited data usage.

I spoke with some of the first villagers to receive the service. Paula and Will Watson live on a farm and until yesterday could only get 16kbps dial up. I have never in my life seen such happy people. Their life has changed overnight. It is almost as if they have just invented the wheel.

There is a lot to be written about the story of how Ashby “saw the light” but for now we should content ourselves with soaking in the warm glow that comes with success. More anon.

Paula Watson with friend Sibhan in front of their stables. The Watsons we re one of the first villagers to get 100Mbps superfast broadband in the UK
Paula Watson with friend Siobhan in front of their stables. The Watsons we re one of the first villagers to get 100Mbps superfast broadband in the UK

Published by Trefor Davies

Liver of life, father of four, CTO of trefor.net, writer, poet, philosopherontap.com

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  1. Trefor Davies

20 Comments

  1. What a great family to choose to receive the first rural fibre to the home at 100Mbits even gigabit capacity. Night Virgin. Night BT crap Infinity. Night John Boy.
    W00t
    congratulations to Ashby, Fibrestream, AFL, NextgenUS and everyone involved.
    Great post Tref, shame the BBC are so wrapped up in the #twitterjoketrial they have missed this scoop of the century.
    chris

  2. Well Done Guys!

    Great to see this working, but we beat you by a week. http://www.boundlesscomms.co/iwant/SpeedTestMini.PNG
    This was taken on my laptop a week ago using our Fibre/Laser/Microwave Backhaul in Lancashire.

    We are rolling this out around the Ribble Valley over the next few months and will replicate anywhere in the UK.

    We have achieved this with private investment, but would love to see proper government support for schemes like ours and Lincolnshire to create a proper national network, rather than seeing more public money going to prop up BT et al to install more fibre in areas that they probably would have installed any way.

    Our team has put 10Meg+ symmetric into over 260 properties and we can now scale the speed and the number of connections significantly without laying an inch of fibre or digging up a single road (although fibre is great if available).

    Its great to be joined by other visionary firms who can jump the technology void and skip the legacy restrictions that BT and Virgin have (Virgin – fastest broadband in Britain?!? -pah! I don’t think so!).

    Let’s keep showing the world how to do it and give rural Britain the connectivity we deserve.

    Keep up the good work!

  3. Re the previous comment:
    Well done David. We are doing wifi in Lancashire too. well fiwipie actually, but what has happened in Lincolnshire is on another scale of magnitude to our efforts.
    There is only fibre gonna be futureproof. Our wifi is great now, and its the best we can provide now, but it isn’t the future. And like you say, its 100 times better than anything BT are doing for the rural people. Well most urban ones too come to think of it. Keep up the good work, but don’t let us lose sight of the eNdGAme, it has to be fibre to the home.
    Did we meet at the NWDA do at preston a few months ago?
    chris

  4. Again, congratulations this is truly excellent work. Congrats to David as well 🙂

    I’ve heard of WiFi and FiWi but what’s FiWiPie?

  5. Congrats to both of your communities on the FTTH access. Can you all send some of that fiber across the pond to use poor starved Americans. Most of us would be thrilled to have 10Mbps/10Mbps! Once Google picks their five cities, we will have barely over 30 communities in the entire USA that offer symmetrical FTTH Internet Access…so the future is bright.

    Some of us are planning to move to get a brighter future sooner…

  6. spot the fibber – we don’t have 4Megabit lol. I never said we had. We only have 2Meg at the moment, but at least its symmetrical, so its better than a lot of ADSL connections, and we are in the process of upgrading it all, yet again.
    FiWiPie is what we have, a mixture of wifi where we can do it, and fibre where we have no line of sight to properties. Fibre is easy and cheaper than copper, but over long distances we have to use wireless. for now. That’s why its a pie. We just do the best we can in an area of BT market failure. Otherwise our only choice is dial up, as mobile doesn’t work here either.
    chris

  7. 100Mbps/180 homes do the math.

    And how is the 100Mbps being allocated fairly to each property? Sounds like a free for all, all it takes is a greedy one and the rest will suffer. It doesn’t even need greed if they are all on at the same time.

    0.5Mbps each… ouch

  8. Fastnow-slow later
    The network at Ashby is set up with an algorithm that favours the users that use it least. So if you are a heavy donlowader your traffic will get lower priority than if you just go on it occasionally.

    Also whilst you are right in that if everyone absolutely hammered the network at the same time the performance would slow down, real life experience is that this does not happen. For example a typical user on the Timico network averages around 60kbps. If the Ashby network had the same profile of users then the current backhaul would support around 1,600 users.

    Usage does increase with faster broadband speeds though businesses tend to use it more than consumers as you probably have more people sat behind the single connection at work.

    You also want to have headroom in the network to cope with unexpected surges. I’d expect NextGenUs to be looking to increase the backhaul bandwidth well before the 1,600 users mark but with only 180 subs they should have plenty of capacity.

    Hope that helps.
    Tref

  9. Tref,

    I’m interested in what is used to provide that algorithm, are you able to share what bit of kit does that? Is a Cisco router with QoS policies or some other bit of kit that performs it for you.

    Also out of interest, is all this fibre hub and spoke or a ring?

    Thanks

  10. Is there a white paper detailing the financial details of this project?
    If this is a commercial venture, then I can understand the lack of forthcoming data. However, if its a community one, it would be interesting to work out how the costs break down and if it would be possible to replicate the project elsewhere.
    What are the important factors that make this project viable? Distance the users are from each other? Geography etc?

  11. I’m doing some research work for SWRDA on the subject of rural broadband demand stimulation. I would love to quote the Ashby and David Burns examples as studies where you’ve gone beyond stimulating demand to actually delivering services to rural communities but to do that I need to get in contact with you. Would you email me with your contact details, please, so that I can start a discussion.

    If any other readers know of good examples of stimulating demand and/or implementation, I would love to know about them.

    Thanks

  12. I’m interested in how premises (in the SW!) that don’t get FTTC/P and get eg. 3M will upgrade. The not-spots are a focus for a community solution but the areas who get something will probably find limited interest in doing something. How do you persuade people who do a bit of web browsing and send a few emails that they (will/may) need more?

  13. Somerset – i think we are in for a very mixed society. There will be many people with different types of connectivity in different parts of the country. Some townies will only get 3 – 5 megs whilst some lucky country dwellers will get 100megs. Tis is a long post. So i will leave it at that for now.

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