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.