Q When are we likely to see improved broadband?
A Our preferred supplier, Spectrum Internet, are aiming for the end of 2012. However, this depends not only on Spectrum, but also on the speed at which the grant application/award process runs.
Q Will I have to change my internet provider (ISP)?
A Yes. Spectrum would be the only ISP available under the improved system.
Q So, will I have to change my email address(es)?
A It depends. If you have an email address which is independent of your ISP, e.g. with hotmail, googlemail, etc, then no. Also, if you have your own domain name, then this is independent of ISP too. [NB Ash Beale of Janus Computers in Lone Lane can help with this]. However, if your address has been provided by your ISP, e.g. BT Internet, then the answer is likely to be yes, although some ISPs do allow you to keep your email addresses these days, for a small fee. Spectrum Internet do not supply email addresses themselves.
Q I am having problems with my current ISP and wish to change. Should I wait, or make the change now?
A Changing ISPs can be notoriously difficult, so you should aim to do it as little as possible. If you can hang on with the present one, then that would be the best option. If not, then choose an ISP with monthly contracts rather than yearly ones, so that you can change away from it when you need to and not have to wait until a new 12 month contract expires.
Q What sort of speed increase can I expect?
A For those connected to the Lone Lane cabinet, the answer depends on their distance from it. Spectrum estimate that download speeds would average 18 Mbps for those 100m from the cabinet and 8 Mbps for those 2.2 km away. We have no figures for the WiFi solution proposed for Tregagle, but we estimate the provision would better the current UK average of 7.6 Mbps.
Q Tell me more about Spectrum Internet and the broadband packages they offer
A Their information pack can be downloaded here.
Q How will the solution work?
A Spectrum would use microwave links to bounce the broadband "signal" from the Monmouth exchange to a new cabinet in Lone Lane via a mast on the ridge between The Kymin and Redbrook. This would shorten the distance from all those connected to the Monmouth exchange by approximately 4.5 km and would thereby produce a dramatic increase in broadband speeds for these users.
The situation for those in e.g. Tregagle is different, in that they are connected to the Trellech exchange and so would need a separate solution. A large scale wireless network is proposed by Spectrum.
Q My current broadband provider bundles in telephony to reduce the overall cost. Will Spectrum do the same?
A Spectrum are trialling this at the moment and plan to launch the scheme in early September.
Q What new equipment would I need at my end?
A As the broadband signal will come into your house via telephone wires as before, you should be able to keep your current router. All that should be needed is then some changes to the settings for your router and someone will come to help with this.
More FAQ, this time produced by Spectrum, available here.