Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Six Months and Counting

I hope that I am not just being optimistic but we could be six months away from joining the connected world!  Yeh, I know, I have a connection now but at 3Mbps there are simply things that I can do only painfully if at all and I am dire tired of it!  Makes me really happy that we did not buy a property on the Island where the speeds are even lower!

In any case I continue to wait with baited breath wondering not just when it is finally going to be here but how fast will it be?  No matter how you slice it we are still a long ways from the cabinet that serves us and from the data that I have previously published it looks like VDSL2 speeds attenuate pretty quickly with distance.

What would help is a real life correlation with someone in a similar situation that has been upgraded by Call Flow.  To that end I found a business listing in one of the areas that Call Flow serves (Yardling in Kent) and did some digging using that post code and telephone number:

  1. The post code is served by Call Flow per their website with a claim of up to 25Mbps of download speed.
  2. The post code does not get Fibre Optic service from BT or Talk Talk with BT saying that the post code can get 2-4Mbps of download speed.
  3. The BT Broadband Availability Checker indicates a download speed range of 2-6Mbps (which is a bit better than our 1-3.5Mbps).
  4. The Broadband Speed Checker shows a Call Flow customer in Yardling getting 17.53Mbps of download speed while BT and Talk Talk customers are getting 2.73 and 2.8Mbps.
  5. Finally, a boutique network access company called Zen Internet does offer a fibre optic service in Yardling with a speed estimate of 17Mbps.

The above tells me a couple things.

First, there is nothing to contradict my estimates of 10-12Mbps for Temple when we go live.  My prediction is lower than that of Yardling but our current speeds are as well.  My concern is that "line attenuation" thing that I mentioned.  We are a long ways from Cabinet 9!

Second, it is unlikely that vendors like BT and Talk Talk will be offering us service any time soon after Call Flow does the upgrade.  I am not sure how long Yardling has been upgraded but it has to have been a little while and BT is not offering service.  In my opinion they will never offer service as their cost model is a one size fits all model and service via Call Flow is going to come at a bit of a premium.

Third, there may well be other vendors that can and will use the upgraded infrastructure to provide us with options.  Zen Internet being an example.  Zen Internet, btw, is also known for the quality of the customer service.

So.  I continue to wait impatiently but still with a feeling of optimism!

Update for the Bisham Life Newsletter

Below is the text for an article that I have submitted for inclusion in the Bisham Life (new name for the Bisham Parish newsletter).  I suspect that it will get cut down for publishing but here is the full text.
Temple is finally going to be on the Superfast Internet!  Our Internet speeds are some of the worst in the country at 1-3Mbps.  This is due to our being located so far away from the exchange that provides our phone and Internet services (located in Littlewick Green).  Further, the cabinet that connects us to our exchange, located near the roundabout to Henley from the A404, was deemed to not be economically viable for an upgrade by British Telecom.
Unfortunately, Temple was also left out of a 2011 government program to improve Internet connectivity for areas like ours.  Just last year, however, RBMW allocated funds to provide upgrades for areas of the Borough struggling like ours.  Temple residents rallied around the cause to broadcast our interest, and with the help of our council​l​or Richard Kellaway, Temple has now been included in the next wave of rollouts for a faster Internet service.
The contract for the upgrade has gone to a company named Call Flow who have done similar work in other counties and the upgrade should be complete by the middle of this year.  There are still a lot of unknowns.   Speeds from 10 to 15Mpbs might be possible.  We don't know what providers will offer the new service though we expect that Call Flow will do so at a minimum.  The higher speed service will cost more than our current service but we will not see a rate structure until nearer the time.
There are a lot of unknowns but this is still very good news for Temple! 
Note that if you are happy with your current connection then you don't need to do anything and nothing will change for either your costs or service!.
More information and any current updates can be found at