Saturday, 16 May 2015 16:26

Broadband Alternative

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Barnet residents who cannot get high speed broadband from British Telecom have been offered an alternative solution that can offer speeds of between 16-30mps.

The system uses radio waves instead of the fixed line technology deployed by BT and is being offered by Sentia, a small telecoms provider based in Peterborough.

The company says it has been already rolled out in Northern Ireland and that they are currently working on a project to connect 6,000 homes in Lincolnshire.

The system works by sending radio radio waves to a small antenna on the roof of houses and doesn't require any fixed line connections. The cost is £200 installation, plus £36 per month (2-year contract)

The company has already identified likely sites in the High Barnet area and is in talks with the council to seek funding. However, chief executive Nik Fox told High Barnet residents at a meeting that even without council funding, the system is still viable commercially with just 100 homes signing up in the High Barnet area.

The company has already scoped the area and has identified likely places for its transmitters and a coverage map as well under its Ionnet brand

More than 3,000 High Barnet households are without high speed broadband despite BT's promising to review the programme. And while BT's speeds are always going to be higher than radio broadband, Sentia reckons that it could be operational within two months.

This is potentially good news for households that are currently getting only 1-3mps from their ADSL connections.

Mr Fox said anyone interested in their system should sign on to and click the 'Register Interest' button.

Meanwhile, some residents in Totteridge have made a private arrangement with BT to have their street telephone cabinet fibre enabled, as the company bypassed them in the roll-out.

The Barnet Society is seeking information about the arrangement to see if it could be adopted in the area, even as a last resort. It would be expensive (sums of £20,000 per cabinet have been mentioned) but that would obviously be offset considerably by the number of subscribers.

Anyone who has followed the broadband debate can see how it is a sorry saga of indifference and inertia by the country's legacy telecoms provider, which is seeking to pick the easy fruit off the trees despite been given billions to roll out the project nationwide.

It has sought cover in statistics - highlighting the number of homes covered, rather than the thousands they have left behind when the BT circus has dismantled its tent and moved on to another area

1 comment

  • Comment Link Sunday, 17 May 2015 16:08 posted by Mark

    Sounds promising. I'm assuming the roof top antennas won't contravene any aesthetic conservation regulations otherwise the local busybodies will squeal you up to the council faster than you can say high speed broadband. I suppose the other good thing about this is that although £36 for up to 30meg download speed isnt exactly a bargain you can at least ditch the landline and the rental charge that goes with it.


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