Monday, November 17, 2014

Tackling Partial Not-Spots in Mobile Phone Coverage

There is a government consultation under way in regards to the lack of coverage of some areas of the country by mobile operators.   I found some of the wording in this consultation interesting as it is very relevant to our situation:

Here is the introduction for the consultation by Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport:
Mobile phones are no longer the luxury they once were. Today they are a central part of our modern lives and are widely viewed as an essential service. Consequently, we expect to be able to use our phones no matter where we are in the UK for work or pleasure. This isn’t just about lifestyle, it’s vital for our modern economy.
Substitute reliable high speed internet for mobile phones:
Reliable high speed internet is no longer the luxury it once was. Today it is a central part of our modern lives and is widely viewed as an essential service. Consequently, we expect to be able to use our high speed internet connection for work or pleasure. This isn’t just about lifestyle, it’s vital for our modern economy.
To that end I responded to the consultation with the below message.

Dear Sir,

While I do support the idea of universal coverage for mobile devices I would also call your attention to another matter of connectivity.   As I know you are aware the government is currently assisting with the roll-out of SuperFast broadband across the country.  This is a welcome program given that access to an affordable and dependable high speed broadband, is in my opinion, even more crucial than access to a mobile signal.   With high speed broadband I can be my own mobile operator, have access to Skype and other like products, as well as partaking in a wealth of other services offered via broadband, services that are impossible to appreciate without a reliable and fast connection. 

Unfortunately I live in an area that is under served by broadband in that we suffer from speeds in the range of 1.5 to 2.5Mbps.    BT has bypassed us for their commercial roll-out of high speed broadband and we have also been bypassed by the initial phase of the government program to extend the reach of SuperFast Broadband (BDUK).  

While we are hoping that a followup program might be able to address our needs this is far from certain.   We are in danger of being left with a low speed internet connection that is incapable of supporting much of what we would like to be able to accomplish via the Internet.  Skype becomes a challenge if possible at all and streaming video something that we can only wish for.  The situation here in Temple is so bad that we fear it could start to impact on the value of our homes as more and more people are considering high speed internet in their buying decisions.

I sincerely hope that the government will continue to champion the roll-out of broadband connectivity.   Every home should have access to affordable high speed internet.   While this may mean Superfast speeds for some, I would be more than happy with 5-10Mbps as that would be a huge improvement over my current situation.  

Will Kostelecky
6 Temple Mill Cottages
Temple Lane
Temple, Marlow

cc:  Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Another Correlation of Distance

I had forgotten about this but there is a way to translate the line attenuation that is seen by the hub that connects us to our Exchange and what that translates to in terms of distance.  My hub shows the following:
The important number is the

Line attenuation (Down/Up): 54.5 dB / 30.0 dB

as this number, the Down one of 54.5, can be input to the following website:
which will tell you what the maximum speed possible is on your line, and more importantly for my purpose here, how far we are from the exchange.  My output is as shown below:

This distance, 4km, does help to confirm my estimates in regards to our distance from the Exchange, and correspondingly, my estimates of improvements possible if FTTC, or Fibre to the Cabinet, were implemented for us.

You can find your own line attenuation through the admin menu of your hub.   If you are using BT then in your browser enter  Click on "Settings" then on "Advanced Settings".   User name and password should be admin and admin.  Click on "Broadband" then select "Connection".

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Speed Impact of a Cabinet Upgrade

The Cabinet that serves Temple is still quite a distance from us but is closer than our Exchange (Littlewick Green).   If our cabinet were upgraded to Fibre the speed that we would get would then be dependent on our distance from the Cabinet rather than the Exchange.

Figure 1, the BT Broadband availability checker, indicates a speed of 1 to 3.5Mpbs for our residence.  In reality we get a little less than 3Mpbs and we are located where the BT lines come into Temple so our speed is probably about as good as it gets.  

Figure 1
Figure 2 shows a prediction of speed versus distance for traditional ADSL which is what we have now.   A speed range of 1 to 3.5Mpbs indicates a distance from the Exchange of between 4.3 and 5 kilometers.

Figure 2
Figure 3 shows a possible route for the copper lines that connect us to the Exchange.  This is probably reasonably accurate as the distance corresponds with the speed estimates from above.   The total distance is 4.35km and the distance from Temple to the Roundabout for Henley is about 2.25km.
Figure 3
Finally, Figure 4 shows an estimate of the speed we would get using VDSL2 which is the technology that would connect us to our cabinet if it were upgraded to Fibre.   A rough estimate would be a speed in the range of 10 to 14Mpbs.   Note that this is only my rough estimate!!!   

Figure 4
A big improvement!   Not quite what our friends in Hurley get with a cabinet right there but still a BIG improvement!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Registration Progress

We have made some progress in getting registrations on the Superfast Berkshire website.  We are currently showing 71% (up from 53%) of the residences within Temple as having registered:

SL71SA - Temple Lane 32 18 56%
SL71SG - Island Left 23 18 78%
SL71SQ - Island Right 39 31 79%
SL71SB - Bradenham Lane 4 3 75%

98 70 71%

As you can see from the above the Island and Bradenham lane are doing particularly well though Temple Lane is lagging a little.

If this is important to you, and I suspect that it is if you are reading this, then ask your neighbors if they have registered!   Remind them that there is no obilgation

Also, if you have not sent a letter to our councilors in the Borough, then please consider doing so?

One of the residents that I talked to recently noted that prospective buyers of properties in Temple may well be young successful professionals.   These are the very type of buyers that would see our Internet connectivity as a negative in their buying decision.