Wilford Broadband

How it all began in 2012

Better Broadband for the Peninsula (published in Village Voices)

Bruce Page writes:

On March 1st, the Wilford Broadband Group held a very successful meeting at Hollesley Village Hall. About 80 people attended to hear Gary Disley, MD of FibreWiFi (Buzcom) explain the plans to bring high-speed wireless broadband to the Wilford area.

The system gives an aggregate data-transmission rate of 25 Mbps (12.5 Mbps upload and download) with symmetrical upload and download speeds. This is much faster than BT's current ADSL service —which depends on telephone land-lines, is asymmetric (with low upload speeds) and often cannot connect to premises within 2km of the local exchange.

FibreWiFi has set up wireless antennae on the tower of All Saints Hollesley (with permission from the diocesan authorities). Mr Disley presented an electronic coverage map showing that this installation will provide solid high-speed connection to Bawdsey, Methersgate, Boyton, Shingle Street and other locations where landline broadband is slow, intermittent or nonexistent. Additional transmission sites are being investigated (such as the Coastguard Tower in Bawdsey) so as to provide a resilient coverage of the entire Wilford Peninsula and eventually further north. (FibreWiFi is already operating broadband networks at Maldon and Uttlesford in Essex)

Mr Disley fielded numerous questions relating to price (£12.25 monthly plus £135 installation), and to possible barriers — irregular terrain or dense vegetation like leylandii. He said that experience in the very similar Essex landscape indicated that for more than 95 per cent of sites simple solutions could be found.

Some people expressed disquiet about aerials affecting the appearance of the church tower though this was not a widespread view. Mr Disley said he would be ready to meet any objectors for discussion.

This project has been made possible by financial support from the EU, DEFRA, Bawdsey and Boyton Parish Councils and the Alde and Ore Futures Project.