Can someone explain to me the ongoing WiFi situation in North Swindon in terms that I can understand?
My current interpretation is this:
1: North Swindon Residents (NSR) are complaining about the lack of broadband speed and want fibre installed.
2: SBC tell them that it's not fibre they want but an already outdated wireless system that requires the erection of several masts.
3: SBC, while closing down and selling off God knows what, donate a considerable sum of money to UKB to install the required infrastructure.
4: NSRs, including their local Councillors and MP, reject the solution and call for a superior fibre solution.
5: Planning permission for a couple masts are rejected and considerable time/money is spent in considering the remainder.
6: Existing fibre broadband providers (Virgin/BT) are more than capable of installing the desired fibre infrastructure but resist the cost of implementing the network due to the subsidised competition brought about by SBC. So on the face of it NSRs have a choice of UKB or stone age copper.
I'd begun to accept this fait accompli until I read this statement from UKB in the Adver on-line yesterday, in an article concerning their planning applications.http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/14259426.Wireless_company_to_inform_residents_of_plans/
THE company behind plans to rollout wireless broadband across parts of Swindon are writing to thousands of residents to inform them of the scheme.
In 2014, UKB Networks signed a deal with Swindon Borough Council to provide coverage to rural areas and the north of the town currently without the service.
However, there has been a strong backlash from many residents who want to see a fibre optic solution provided instead.
This view is supported by a number of local councillors and Swindon North MP Justin Tomlinson but the company says it wants to give people more information about what it will be providing.
The wireless network will see 19 masts located around the town which send a signal to receivers in boxes attached to properties.
Many against the scheme do not believe this will work effectively in urban areas as buildings will block the signal and therefore the £2 million in public money being spent on the scheme is a waste.
They also argue the download speeds provided by fibre will dwarf that of wireless.
UKB Networks disputes this and has said it will upgrade the area to fibre if there is sufficient demand. The letter aims to answer many of these questions.
Chief Marketing Officer Will Harnden said: “We are coming to the final stages of consultation, which will determine whether we can start to commence installing the wireless network required to bring superfast broadband to Swindon.
“To ensure that all residents are aware of what they will be able to purchase towards the end of this year, this informative letter provides details of the rollout.
“We are confident that the wireless broadband network will be a great success and well received by thousands of residents, just as it has done in other locations across Europe."
The applications to build five of the masts will go before the planning committee on Tuesday, with two of them being recommended for refusal.
There has been widespread opposition to the masts with many people saying they will be too obtrusive.
The company has said if they are refused they will work with planners to find a new location but campaigners want as many people as possible to attend the meeting to show opposition.
A statement for the ‘No to 4g’ group said: “Now, this reason actually can and does apply to all five sites – three of which are recommended for approval. If the planning committee refuses permission for two of the masts for this reason they, by all rights of logic, should be refusing it for all five.
“The more resident resistance we can show, the greater our chances of preventing UKB Networks from installing these 4G masts in entirely inappropriate locations within our community.”
The planning meeting will take place at 5.30pm on Tuesday at the Civic Offices.
"UKB Networks disputes this and has said it will upgrade the area to fibre if there is sufficient demand. The letter aims to answer many of these questions." "If there is sufficient demand?"
Who's fooling whom?
Time for another FOI Terry to ask if SBC will be footing the bill for UKB's fibre installation while other (renowned and proven) companies are able to carry this out, probably more competively. Also whether or not we'll get our money back if UKB goes down the fibre route [no pun intended]. There's an almighty stench of fish in the air!
BTW, I have no vested interest in this. I'm sat at home quite happy with my Virgin 150M connection that hasn't faltered since the day it was installed.
Hope OOT is picking this up in sunny Sidney