“Faster broadband means I can use multi-media more extensively, especially to maintain contact with relations around the world.”
Roger has now retired and lives in the beautiful, rural village of Maidensgrove. The upgrade to fibre broadband was indeed, a long journey in getting connected to high-speed fibre broadband with a suitable Internet Service Provider and at a price that was right. Since making the upgrade, Roger now receives around 17Mbps compared to less than 0.30Mbps in 2014.
Having reliable access to the internet is important to Roger. He explains:
“I need to maintain contact with my relations around the world and when my grandchildren come to visit, they just can’t be without the internet; it’s unthinkable for teenagers to visit grandparents without contact with regular media things! I require the internet to reliably order medication from my surgery and of course very importantly, to watch premiership rugby!”
Living in such a rural area must of course have its advantages and disadvantages. Roger advises for those wanting to upgrade to faster broadband:
“Don't start by living in an area with old, long and worn copper cables between your property and the telephone exchange - do research broadband options and keep at it over an extended period; even if you are sometimes only half-sure that you understand what is going on!”
Roger is happy to share his experience of making the upgrade since 2014 – 2018:
“I live at the very end of the old copper feed, which is delivered from the Nettlebed exchange. In September 2014, post 'dial-up' and after a long time with hopeless broadband speeds of less than 0.30Mbps, my access to broadband finally gave-up altogether. I had a few visits from my service provider’s engineers, but was eventually driven to raise my case to the CEO of the company and was connected to, ‘The Chairman's Office.’ Unfortunately, this didn’t enhance my betterment of broadband access but did eventually get me a discount on my phone and broadband package and was useful as I did keep my broadband email account and received two £5 discounts / month on mobile phone accounts. I then opted for a satellite broadband connection, which did cost rather a lot in capital cost before any subsidies were available.* The outcome was suitable for simpler things and better than the copper connection with my previous service provider, but it did have a very long 'ping' delay.
In early 2016, thanks to a tip off from a knowledgeable friend, I discovered that one of the mobile network providers produced an excellent 4G signal at our location, which may possibly have been due to their mast in the sewage works based at Nettlebed. Amazingly, I can just see the mast over the treetops some 1.5 miles away! I then installed a Pointing aerial and a Huawei router with a suitable sim at a cost of around £250 and got excellent broadband speeds of up to 45Mbps, which was typically 35Mbps. This was indeed a fine solution, but expensive at £29 for 32GB per month. We also had good terrestrial TV. On a personal note, I very much enjoy premiership rugby, which meant I needed two separate packages for broadband + sport, which cost a total of £60 per month.
In 2017 I investigated an alternative with a wireless provider that had recently installed an antenna at Britwell Hill on the Thames Valley Police mast. They then tested the reception near to our house and recorded 70Mbps. However, my neighbours did not favour the £1,000 odd and ‘self-help’ installation costs, so that idea was quickly dropped.
Moving on to this year, we were delighted to hear of the green, fibre broadband cabinet that was being installed in Cookley Green to serve premises up to Russell’s Water. I was connected to this cabinet in April 2018 and I opted for a basic 30GB package to start with, which carried a 17Mbps minimum speed guarantee. After about 6 weeks, I chose to upgrade to the service provider’s, 'Superfast Fibre Plus,' which gave unlimited data use, but only carried a 10Mbps guaranteed speed. No arguments on my part managed to get the guaranteed 'upgrade' minimum increased. Nevertheless, overall, I am delighted with the new service.
We now average at approximately 17Mbps, which is enough for our needs. Also, a year ago our monthly bill for telephone, broadband, mobile phones and TV was about £130 per month – last month it was £67, which is definitely a plus.”
* Follow this link for more details of the, ‘Better Basic Broadband Scheme.’