Wireless broadband on Anglesey

A press release from a company called Exwavia makes it the 4th company in the last few weeks to announce a wireless broadband system for Anglesey.

All 4 compnaies in the race so far are planning to use the Fibrespeed backboone.

Details of the Exwavia scheme can be found here.

So far it is the only company that I have seen that has the proposed prices on it’s network.

With at least 4 companies now in the race lets hope that one of them brings it’s project to fruision. The problem is which one to select and what happens if you select the wrong supplier.  Can anyone remember the name of the other satelite tv company that was on the air waves before Sky?

From exwavia web site :-

“Lots of people want to know how it is possible for us to deliver broadband to anyone in Wales – regardless of their geographical location.  Whilst some of our methods are proprietary and so we will not share them readily, the basic technology is available off the shelf.

http://www.ruckuswireless.com/Essentially, the method is relatively simple.  We purchase bandwidth from our wholesale supplier, and at or near the exchange we place our first distribution node (typically wireless) and this is used to ‘send’ the broadband  to where it is required.

Distribution of broadband to users is then a simple case of feeding the wireless signal to each premises using the same wireless technology.  Because our selected supplier is of such high quality the entire network can then be monitored, maintained, configured and upgraded from our HQ in Mid-Wales.  This keeps the cost down and maximises the service.

In the past, wireless technology has been plagued by interference, poor performance and intermittent delivery.  Our chosen manufacturer has all but solved these issues, and as such (correctly installed) the performance of wireless can easily be as competent as the performance of cables.

We are extremely lucky in Wales, that BT have taken the time and made the investment, to enable every exchange for broadband.  We are capitalising on this time and investment by utilising the best possible technology to deliver service levels that are of the highest possible quality.  As wholesale prices fall we will be introducing speeds of 20Mbps+, bringing the fastest internet connections available to all parts of Wales.”

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103 Responses to Wireless broadband on Anglesey

  1. We are indeed the only ones to be open about prices – we are also the only ones to announce actual service rather than yet another trial.
    I would be delighted to talk with anyone who wants to make sure they are picking the ‘right’ company to sign up with and currently am looking for the right location on the island to host a public meeting.
    Any ideas welcomed!

  2. Hi Richard,
    Nice to see a reply from one of the companies trying to bring broadband to Anglesey.
    I have just been looking at your web site again and there is no mention of Anglesey from want I can see?
    Can you tell us a little about some of your existing schemes?
    Where are they and in what sort of environment?
    Is the technology wimax or microwave ( 5.4 ?) back to a BT exchange or a fibre POP / NOC?
    The Fibre speed network runs from Bangor to Llangefni and then up to Holyhead so is the West of the Island your first priority? How will you get service to the East of the Island?
    Looking forward to your replies.

  3. Benllech says:

    I have a caravan at Amlwch with no land line and would like to be able to access broadband on my laptop. Is this possible with your system?

    • The simple answer is yes. The more complex one is that this could happen in two ways:
      1. The caravan park owner subscribes and then redistributes a wireless signal to the park that you can use (either paid for or otherwise)
      2. You subscribe directly and then simply use the bandwidth yourself (wireless or wired) as you would any other broadband.

      If you are a resident (your home) then you would qualify for the support scheme – if not then talk to us and see how we can best fit you into the planning.

      In brief – everyone who wants broadband in Wales can get it – talk to us and we’ll help.

  4. Another press release
    http://www.prfire.co.uk/press-release/broadband-boss-annette-wants-to-help-anglesey-get-connected-37824.html
    =============
    BROADBAND BOSS ANNETTE WANTS TO HELP ANGLESEY GET CONNECTED
    Submitted by exwavia Limited on 9th Dec 2010 11:29:02

    No more planning; no more trials; no more POCs. exwavia promising to connect Anglesey to the Internet at usable speeds rather than announcing another trial on the island.

    A pioneering Welsh broadband company is urging the Isle of Anglesey to get connected.

    Powys-based exwavia, have developed cutting edge technological links which will allow islanders living in so-called notspots to be supplied with access to reliable and super fast wireless internet services in the New Year.

    Now exwavia managing director Annette Burgess is urging householders and businesses to register by December 18th to enable a community broadband application to be made on behalf of the island.

    Applicants just have to register their name, address, phone number and postcode together with whether they are able to access 512Kbps or less.

    Annette anticipates that many applicants, whether commercial or private householders, will be eligible for grants of up to £1000 from the Welsh Assembly Government and she says that exwavia will also help with the paperwork.

    The scheme will welcomed particularly in the more deprived areas of Anglesey and with the developing commercial businesses who are currently driving the island economy including tourism, retail, marina development and large scale power and renewable energy schemes.

    Anglesey has for too long been left out of the loop when it comes to broadband , said Annette. There have been many IT players promising to deliver high-speed broadband on the island but there are still many rural areas where it just isnt happening. There is a digital divide beyond the Menai Strait.

    Anglesey is fast becoming the energy island. But many parts of it seem to be no-go areas when it comes to Internet provision. We have heard of many businesses being severely impaired, because they either cant get broadband at all or are being offered a poor service with intermittent download speeds. Anglesey needs to be able to compete on a level footing in the marketplace.

    We will have a minimum delivery of 4 mb from the outset.

    The company is linking up with the FibreSpeed network to connect home users and businesses and has pledged to bring rural broadband to Wales regardless of location with minimum speeds, not up to with similar prices to fixed line broadband. Installation will be free in line with the Welsh Assembly Broadband Support Scheme.

    FibreSpeed have invested heavily in the Anglesey infrastructure and we are delighted to be working with them , added Annette. But BT have indicated there will be no more investment by them on Anglesey, which leaves many communities of under 1000 people still without any proper broadband facility at all.

    FibreSpeed sales manager David Ferguson said: This is a very exciting development for Anglesey and for us .It will enable us to reach out to a much broader area .The partnership with exwavia means we are now able to reach beyond the fixed fibre network across North Wales and that is very good news indeed.

    exwavia ,who are planning to provide services to people in those areas that want broadband but cant get it, estimate that almost half Angleseys approximately 70,000 residents and businesses are still without broadband.

    In rural Wales there are 3 million people who cannot get broadband at speeds of 2mbps or better.

    The Assembly Government has said it is keen to receive applications that deliver the best sustainable solutions to local broadband problems ensuring higher-speed connectivity rather than just a basic service.

    Annette is now urging islanders to contact her personally before Christmas so that exwavia can help further link up Anglesey and assist government grant applications where needed.

    For more details contact Annette directly on 0844 884 8588 or email Annette@exwavia.co.uk.

  5. The easiest way to answer your questions is to copy and paste what you have written and answer directly 🙂
    I have just been looking at your web site again and there is no mention of Anglesey from want I can see?
    We don’t mention Anglesey specifically, but then we don’t mention Cardiff; Brecon, Berriew etc. Wales is our coverage area, and there are just too many people to mention (feels like an awards ceremony!)
    Can you tell us a little about some of your existing schemes?
    Not quite sure what to tell you about here – the delivery for each community is much the same, in so much as we purchase wholesale bandwidth and then deliver this to the community via wireless. In Fibrespeed areas (we are Fibrespeeds largest reseller by contractual commitment) we will use their points of presence and in other areas we are a wholesale customer of BT. We do have Digital Fone (an analogue telephone replacement) which is not yet on the website – but that is primarily because the website is quite horrible and is currently being rebuilt.
    Where are they and in what sort of environment?
    Ah – this makes more sense now – all of our focus is on rural environments. Those areas that most companies think are not viable because subscriber density is low. Because of this we are very clear that we have to make sure that customers do not get penalised on subscriptions simply because they have a nice view. Satellite has long been charging colossal monthly fees for a very low service delivery simply because they can. We wont – our business model will stand up – everyone can have good broadband speeds at sensible pricing.
    Is the technology wimax or microwave ( 5.4 ?) back to a BT exchange or a fibre POP / NOC?
    Wimax doesn’t work. It hasn’t worked to date and we cannot see it working in the future. Microwave is fine – but costly. Ruckus Wireless is the kit that we use on public frequencies (5.8 – 2.4), which (if it was anyone other than Ruckus) is congested and subject to interference. Ruckus has proprietary tech (and lots of patents) that allow us to work around noise, interference and in many cases physical obstructions and still achieve significant distances with 100Mbps throughputs. This means that we can deliver cost effective solutions, where previously only fibre or satellite would have been (more costly) options.
    The Fibre speed network runs from Bangor to Llangefni and then up to Holyhead so is the West of the Island your first priority? How will you get service to the East of the Island?
    The whole island has been plagued with ‘trials’, ‘tests’, ‘proof of concepts’ and various other ways of saying ‘we are not sure if we can do it, but would like the Press coverage’. There is no priority on the island. Sure there are easier places to deliver to – but we have bought into the whole of the Fibrespeed infrastructure and can send signals as far as 20km – so we can come from the mainland to the east of the island or simply ‘hop’ (and boost the signal at each hop) from Holyhead etc. It means more equipment – but we get more subscribers, so there is a good balance.
    We have estimated with the Council on the island that there are approx 27k properties – we can cover all of them. Of those properties the vast majority are in <512Kbps areas and so can receive the Broadband Support Scheme grant. We want to make sure that Anglesey – a place so let down by other companies in the past – can REALLY take advantage of this funding and do a community grant application for thousands of residents.
    This will not only bring us a nice number of subscribers – but also significantly change the landscape for residents. New jobs have already been predicted from the activity on the island, but good broadband speeds and inexpensive telephone calls open opportunities for homeworkers and entrepreneurs.
    Long and short of it is everyone wins. Which is about time in our opinion!

    • Thanks for your detailed response to those questions.

      I have been having a dig around and found the following information about exwavia.co.uk.

      The information comes from a very report about Broadband in Wales from Ofcom which can be found at :-

      http://www.ofcom.org.uk/files/2010/11/A-Broadband-Guide-for-Wales.pdf

      I also note that Exwavia in the only one of the 4 companies which have expressed an interest in bring fast broadband to Anglesey which is mentioned in the Ofcom report.

      =====================================
      Exwavia
      7.12 Originally called Olive Tree IT, Exwavia specialises in the deployment of wireless broadband solutions to rural areas of Wales at prices comparable to the services found in towns and cities (4 Mbps+ for £19.99 per month to 12 Mbps+ for £34.99 per month). It believes delivering broadband wirelessly is more cost-effective, more reliable and better value for money than satellite broadband.
      7.13 Some of the company’s methods of delivering a wireless service to rural locations in Wales are proprietary. However, the basic technology is available to all. Essentially, Exwavia purchases bandwidth from its wholesale supplier and then places its first wireless distribution node at or near the telephone exchange. This is used to “send” the broadband to where it is required. The distribution of broadband to users is then a simple case of feeding the wireless signal to each premises using the same wireless technology. The entire network is monitored, maintained, configured and upgraded from Exwavia’s office in Powys.
      7.14 In the past, wireless technology has been plagued by interference, poor performance and intermittent delivery. However, Exwavia argues that its partner, Ruckus Wireless, has solved these issues and the performance of wireless broadband is now comparable with the performance of cable broadband.
      7.15 Exwavia is committed to bringing superfast internet connections to all parts of Wales and will introduce speeds of 20 Mbps+ to rural areas when wholesale prices fall.
      7.16 Exwavia does not use the term “up to” to deliver services, believing consumers should receive what they order, so if a consumer orders a 4 Mbps connection, that is the minimum speed they will receive.
      7.17 Exwavia is planning additional services including discounted telephone services, streaming media and streaming TV in the near future.
      7.18 See http://exwavia.co.uk for more information.
      =====================

      • Yes – we were invited to attend by Ofcom to help them have a different view of the world than just the traditional (BT?) one. This was attended by quite a lot of MPs and AMs and was intended to reflect what was happening in the world of Welsh broadband delivery.

  6. Benllech says:

    Thanks for the details about the caravan access.
    At the moment the mobile phone signal in the area is pretty poor as we are in a bit of a dip and facing the sea. How do you know that your wireless signal will be any better?

    • Well – this is a bit techie, but bear with me whilst I explain it and it should become clear.
      Mobile signals are typically on a fairly low frequency. This gives good results for distance, but capacity (throughput) is much lower. Couple this with the fact that you are likely to be quite a long way from the transmitter AND you are in a dip and you can see how the signal struggles to get to you consistently.
      The wireless that we use is at a much higher frequency, and we will have an AP (Wireless Access Point) much closer to you. This means a much stronger signal, nearer to you with much better throughput.
      Basically, it is a case of using the right method to achieve the right result.
      Having said that – the devices we use are capable of backhauling the mobile signal – so if we can get an agreement with the right mobile companies we may just be able to fix mobile signals too.
      Finally – we are introducing our Digital Fone service shortly which will give you a full telephone service over wireless. Features of the service include BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) on UK geographical numbers (o1, 02) so that for every hour you use you get an hour for free… So maybe you wont need your mobile 🙂

      • I have been talking to a few of my Clients who have asked?

        1)What happens if I now can now get say,1.0 Mbps from BT ADSL but want to have a faster speed from you? Can I still get it at a similat price or do I have to pay more as I am not in a not spot.

        2) What sort of equipment do I need at my end?
        Do I have to have a large antenna on the roof?
        Can I run a desktop from your service or is it just for a laptop with wireless?
        Do you have to come out to install the kit or is it self install ?

        3) If you are using wireless is it secure? How do I know that other people on your system cannot see my Computers?

  7. 1)What happens if I now can now get say,1.0 Mbps from BT ADSL but want to have a faster speed from you? Can I still get it at a similat price or do I have to pay more as I am not in a not spot.
    The only difference is that that person would not qualify for the WAG broadband support scheme funding and would have to self fund the installation cost. In circumstances where there are a number of applicants in a region where the majority attract the support and the minority do not – we are aiming to directly support that minority ourselves.
    2) What sort of equipment do I need at my end?
    Do I have to have a large antenna on the roof?

    In sub optimum conditions (basically not many neighbours or other subscribers) would have this device attached to the outside of their property. In optimum conditions this device would just be placed near a window (ideally) or similar within the property.
    Can I run a desktop from your service or is it just for a laptop with wireless?
    In common with other types of broadband the service can be wired to a LAN (local area network) – direct connect to a PC or used wirelessly.
    Do you have to come out to install the kit or is it self install ?
    Where a device needs to be attached to a property we need to do the install – in the case of the device being used inside the building it is possible to self install. We tend to do the installs ourselves simply because we are likely to be doing other installs in the area anyway and this is much easier for the customer.
    3) If you are using wireless is it secure? How do I know that other people on your system cannot see my Computers?
    Wireless (at least the way we do it) is as secure as wired. The same methods are used to make sure there is no cross talk between users, and that there are no opportunities for your neighbour’s poor security to affect your security. Each CPE device (the wireless device at/on your property) keeps your network devices separate from everyone elses.

  8. As a follow up to the recent Press and this blog, we have arranged a few meetings on the island that people may wish to come to:

    These will be:

    * 20th Jan – The Bull Llangefni – 6.30pm
    * 21st Jan – The Bull Llangefni – 10am
    * 21st Jan – Holyhead Town Hall – 1pm

  9. John Shufflebottom says:

    I expressed interest in your broadband system, but explained at the time that I had expressed interest last Summer when two local young men visited our area asking about broadband and using the WAG grant to obtain a service. I had not heard anything from them until last weekend, and assumed they had gone away. It turns out that the company they are hoping to use is running a Wimax based system, which it has a licence for.
    Can you tell me what Wimax is, why it doesn’t work (according to your response to angleseycomputersolutions), and why, if it is so poor, someone is trying to sell it to us?
    I’m not a techie, so don’t know the answers. I’m just trying to get a decent broadband service. Incidentally, this other lot seem a bit cheaper per download speed than yours.

  10. It’s a shame that a company turns up at your door unannounced and then leaves without actually giving you information that makes it clear for you – however, I happy to try and clear up the confusion if I can:
    First up is WiMAX definition – Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access
    Essentially, this is a wireless technology and has all the good and bad things of wireless. In favour of WiMAX is that it typically uses non-public or licenced frequencies. The downside is that the major user of WiMAX globally (SPRINT in the US) appears to be as unable as everyone else in the world to actually make it work. SPRINT have reported max speeds of 3.6Mbps on the 3G (same as mobile ‘phones essentially) version of WiMAX and are hoping that 4G will get them to 10Mbps. Unfortunately, I doubt we will ever see a worthwhile deployment of WiMAX – not least of all because there seems to be nobody that can get the current iteration to work well enough (or reliably enough at least) which is why we do not see or hear of many WiMAX installations in the UK or elsewhere.
    Finally, SPRINT is predominantly a mobile ‘phone operator (which is where it is believed this technology is best deployed) but even they are seriously considering dropping WiMAX as reported here (amongst many others):
    PC World Article
    As for this question:
    and why, if it is so poor, someone is trying to sell it to us?
    That I cannot answer for you – but licenced frequencies are expensive to buy and you only get your money back if people are paying you for a service, I guess.
    As for their pricing – they don’t publish their pricing on the website so hard to know what they are charging – but as far as we can establish we are the only provider in Wales who are offering minimum service deliveries – not ‘upto’ speeds.
    Whilst ‘upto’ 8Mbps at £20 per month looks great – if you aren’t getting what you pay for then is it really such a good deal? If you went into Tescos and bought a kilo of sugar – wouldn’t you expect to come home with just that – not ‘upto’ a kilo?
    I have no particular interest in selling against BlueNowhere however – if they are offering a service that you like the look of and at prices you are happy with then order now!

  11. Hi, as Bluenowhere was mentioned I’d just like to interject to provide a little more information on our services.

    We have invested in a radio license in North Wales that allows us to build an interference free, robust, WIMAX broadband network. As Richard has said WIMAX is being deployed around the world, however most deployments have been mobile centred networks, whereas we are deploying the network to deliver high speed fixed broadband connections. The speeds Richard quotes are not particularly relevant as they relate to the Sprint network not the one we are deploying. Our network will deliver 20Mbps+ today.

    WIMAX has not been deployed widely in the UK due to lack of radio frequencies which only became available late last year, although Bluenowhere led some of the first trials of the technology in the UK which were extremely successful (more on our website).

    WiMAX has a number of advantages to Wi-Fi ranging from dedicated radio frequencies (spectrum) so that it is protected from interference, higher power for robust connections over greater distances, smart antenna technology for better coverage and capacity, management tools to ensure a high quality service for all users, and a bunch of very technical differences. In practical terms it delivers a service in a similar way to Exwavia’s Wi-Fi service, albeit with some key benefits we believe make for a better overall service.

    With our simulated coverage plots we can also tell you what speed you can expect to recieve before you buy. You only pay for what you get and will never pay for a service that you are not able to recieve.

    We will send an engineer to install a modem at your house, which normally comprises a small 20cm square antenna attached to an existing TV aerial or external wall. The engineer will set up the connection for optimum signal, route the cable to your desired location and leave having demonstrated your connection is working as expected.

    Here are the broadband packages we are offering, and we will also be making a telephone service available shortly.

    5 Mbps for £19.99 pm
    10 Mbps for £24.99 pm
    20 Mbps for £29.99 pm

    I am happy to answer more questions here, or please get in touch at enquiries@bluenowhere.net for more information about our services.

  12. Just for the sake of clarity:
    <blockquote cite="I have no particular interest in selling against BlueNowhere however – if they are offering a service that you like the look of and at prices you are happy with then order now!" still stands…

  13. As this blog has been so accommodating with regard to informing the readers – I thought that I would post here before it goes to Press over the coming week or so.

    exwavia have a 20Mbps synchronous (20Mbps upload and download) connection at St Asaph business park live and running – using exactly the same equipment as will be used throughout the network. Real fast broadband in Wales – in a location where the previous maximum was around 2-3Mbps on the BT infrastructure. Fibre was available, but not cost effective.

    More in coming Press.

    • Hi Richard,
      Thanks for the update.
      Your meeting in Llangefni just after Christmas had suggested that your Anglesey service would be up and running by the end of this month. Can you give us an update on the role out?

      • Welsh Assembly have been slightly slower than anticipated to send back the grant acceptances for those that have made applications – but installations will still be starting towards the end of this month (within the next couple of weeks).
        There is still money in the pot though – and with recent staffing changes it looks like WAG will be able to process significantly faster – so anyone who is holding on should be encouraged to make sure that they confirm their funding – regardless of their selected provider.

  14. valerie wells says:

    how exactly do we get this faster speed broadband,

  15. Hi valerie,
    I have listed the web sites of some companies below , If you contact them they will be able to tell you the latest information:- Normally you have to fill in a form to apply for a grant to the Wesh Goverment which will then be paid to the company to provide you with service.
    Please let us know how you get on !

    http://www.exwavia.co.uk/
    http://www.bluenowhere.net/
    http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/

  16. Sara Wright says:

    Hi, is this up and running and how are you guys finding it? does it live up to expectation? any problems? (we are thinking about subscribing in mid-Wales)

  17. I understand that at least one company ( exwavia) now have a service on the island. I know a few people who have enquired about the system but I do not as yet know of anyone who has taken the final step and signed on the dotted line with any of the providers.

  18. Not Spot says:

    I currently get 200kbps download speed with unlimited downloads for £16 per month. while this this is not any good for youtube or iplayer its fine for general web browsing.

    If i was going to sign up & pay more its because i’d like to watch iplayer in HD ;P

    So what is the fair usage policy?

  19. Dean says:

    Hello all, I live in Dwyran and have signed up for an Exwavia connection.
    I was told by Exwavia I could receive their service and I qualify for the grant as my connection is less than the required 2Mbs (a lot lot less, think of carrier pigeon type less). The grant paperwork was straight forward enough and I got the ok for the grant about two weeks after submitting it. I gave the go ahead to Exwavia in early October 2011 and am currently waiting for it to be installed. I’m not sure when it will be installed at present but I’ll be more than happy to return to this blog on a regular basis to update any progress. I must admit I didn’t expect it would take this long to get installed, but then it does involve Exwavia setting up transmitters etc so I’m not complaining (yet). So far the company have been very helpful and pleasant to deal with.
    Note to Exwavia:- You could do with an installation update page on your web site so we know which areas you are working on and which are now live or at least some going live dates. If not folk like me twiddle their thumbs and wait in the dark.

    • Hi Dean, Thanks for the update.
      I know that Exwavia are expanding the service to other areas of Anglesey , but not sure about the roll out plan timescale.
      I am sure if you contacted them they would be able to give you an update.
      I know that some CRM systems will allow you to log into a web site and find details of progress on your order.
      Please keep us and other informed how it goes.

  20. Hi Dean, I really hope that you have an update every 2 weeks, please let me know if that is not the case and I will make sure that is happening for you. You are right of course, the time frames for certain areas are too long, however as you have rightly pointed out we are building infrastructure to service different area’s and this (unfortunately) can take some time. The mast rigging team will often pray to the Anglesey winds for light breezes! Thanks for the feedback re updates I think that is a great idea and will speak to the team today to see if we can get that up and running ASAP. Keep well.

    • Dean says:

      Thanks for replying so swiftely Annette, I shall look forward to the regular progress updates.
      I’m more than happy to log in to your website and get the info from there if you manage to get it up and running. May I suggest you include a bit of detail ,where possible, for us nosey people that like to see progress even if maybe all the terms used wont initially be all that obvious to some.
      Have you got a propose go live date for my area?

  21. Dean says:

    Still waiting at present.
    I have been told by eXwavia that implementation should be soon. But as yet I don’t know when or what the holdup actually is. I know it doesn’t make it faster to know the details of what’s happening but it would make me feel better if I could see progress.
    I am starting to flap a little due to once the grant has been ‘granted’ you have six months in which to claim it. If you don’t claim within the six months then you will not only lose the grant but also be precluded from re-applying for the same grant.
    Thus if I don’t get my connection by March which is only just over a month away I’ll be snookered for the grant and thus for other available options. If eXwavia were to state they can’t provide the service to me, at present I could possibly use the grant to install satellite but only if done before March.
    Annette please tell me something to stop me flapping 😦

  22. Dean says:

    Ok. Look forward to it. Thanks.

  23. Annette Burgess says:

    My Pleasure.

  24. Dean says:

    Though by implication, if it is “Hi dean and the lovely people at anglesey computer solutions” am I not lovely ??

  25. Dean says:

    Annette could you get someone to ring me or send an email please ASAP? Someone did ring earlier but spoke to my wife whom wasn’t expecting the call and thus didn’t really know what was going on. At present I’m none the wiser. Thanks..

  26. Dean says:

    I did get the call from Annette and a couple of others from the helpful staff at ExWavia.

    An update, It appears I may have been wrong about being precluded from applying for the same grant once the first has expired. It was the original plan of the gov to cancel the grant scheme on the 31st March this year but I believe it has now been extended, so good news on those two fronts. However not so good news with ExWavia, I have been patiently waiting for someone to knock on my door with a shiny box in hand and a jiffy later I’d have a decent connection. I have been told a few times that delivery was imminent but exactly what the holdup is wasn’t disclosed. I have now been informed that ExWavia would need 20 folk in my area to sign up before it become financially viable to make the nearest connection point to me client side active. The problem with this is it may have caused distrust from potential customers. There are plenty of folk I know that were watching my progress with interest and had the system been installed and did what it said it would there would have been an influx (albeit a small one) of eager house holders following suit. If I/we had known about the critical mass issue up front then it would have seemed understandable and transparent rather than finding out at this late stage and it seeming less than transparent and a little misinformational (if that’s a word).
    Anyway all is not lost, the progress now is I’m to meet up with the Anglesey Man from Exwavia on Tuesday and we will look in to trying to set up an event in Dwyran to ensure all interested parties are suitably informed enough to hopefully get a few more to sign up and trigger the installation process. Whilst I’ve done a little bit of reading up on the different technologies and think this solution best fits my needs the whole area needs a solution so if any other company reading this can provide one then in the interests of fairness and as a good citizen of the village I would also help you set up a presentation and let the individual make his/her own decision. I’m also hoping to speak to the Grant fellow in the gov on Monday to clarify the situation with my case when it runs out in March and I’ll update on that as well.
    On a separate point If the Gov’s plans are to get high speed BB to every house in Wales then possibly solutions like this won’t achieve the end result as there are bound to be many situations where 20 or more people won’t sign up en-mass and thus the less than 20 in that area that could have benefited will go without.

    • Hi Dean, Thanks for the update. I know that Exwavia have subscribers in Llangefni and perhaps some other areas of Western Anglesey.

      I do not know for sure, but thinking about the low lying areas of dwyran, brynsciencyn etc you would imagine that the wireless signal would have to be sent from the main land across the waters of the straits to reach your area.

      If so perhaps the additional costs of getting radio coverage to your area means a minimum number of subscribers. ??? This is just a guess of mine.
      Anyway if you do get a meeting organised in Dwyran I would be happy for you to publicise it on the blog. Although I live the other side of the island I might also attend just to see what is said.

      I know that there were a couple of other wireless companies interested in Anglesey but I think Exwavia is the only one active at the moment.
      Like me, I am sure you have seen the adverts in the local paper about satellite provision which is available “everywhere”. As far as I know that company has not made a local presentation so perhaps that is another avenue.

  27. Dean says:

    A gent called Ifor Williams is the Anglesey chap for ExWavia I’m meeting with him tomorrow morning and go from there. One of the questions I’ve mentioned I’ll be asking is the footprint of these transmitters I’m not even sure at present whether it’s a mesh or centralised system. If anything gets arranged I’ll keep you informed and of course you’ll be welcomed to any meeting. Satellite solutions like Tooway are an option but a little quirky with their specialise protocols and latency workarounds. I haven’t had much direct experience with the Sat option but guess it would be ok for most applications that don’t mind a bit of delay. The sat option is also cheap enough not to bother with the grant and use it as fill in for 12 months until something else gets established.

  28. Dean says:

    Sorry for the delay in updating.
    I met with Ifor and we had a discussion about the inns and outs of it all. It appears that it is a direct (rather than mesh) system and will be using a fibre speed hub based in Port Dinorwig. A transmitter would be placed on a mast at the hub (called rapid Farm or something similar) and beamed towards Dwyran/Bryn/ Newborough. Tests would need to be made as to where the final resting point of the receivers would be once the transmitter was up and going. We here in Dwyran are the wrong side of a large lump of Island for my liking but I’m assured it’ll get to Dwyran no problem and once there can then be further subdivided and beamed wherever needed.
    We’ve only just (and thus the delayed update) arranged a meeting at Dwyran School for 19:00 on the 7th of March. ExWavia are hopefully going to leaflet the area over the next week or so and I’ll do the best I can to get the word out so as many people as possible can attend the information event. ExWavia will need to meet the min number of folk signing up before they will invest in the transmitter side and to sign up you basically apply for the grant. You aren’t actually tied in to any contract with ExWavia until such times as they have installed and proven the connection to you and you sign on the dotted line. The only thing you will be accountable for is unless you cancel the grant the grant officials reserve the right to come and inspect the installation and confirm it is what they agreed to once it’s installed.
    A gent from the grant office was meant to ring me back today but hasn’t managed so I’ll chase him tomorrow. I’m hoping (and it appears it will be possible) that when my grant application runs out in March ,as most will, as long as I notify the grant office it can be resubmitted without any paperwork. If for whatever reason ExWavia don’t deliver then it will be possible to use the existing grant for another project as long as it fits the criteria and again after notifying the grant office.
    So next step is the meeting, if anyone reading this is from the area including Brynsiencyn and Newborough then please pass the message around as I know even though both villages have a BT exchange, once you move off from the centre of the village the broad band is as bad as Dwyran and this solution could cover you as well as Dwyran.

  29. Dean says:

    Well we had the meeting and it wasn’t fantastically oversubscribed. A few more folk willing to sign up though so I’m hoping this will do the trick and push ExWavia into making a commitment and getting the relevant transmitter up and running.

  30. Dean says:

    Meeting was the 7th March and I’m eagely awaiting an update from ExWavia. Anynews ???

  31. Philhen says:

    So what is the latest news regarding ExWavia.? I’m thinking of using this company but am unsure what speeds they can deliver.
    Does anybody know if Llanddeusant has direct line of sight with any of their transmitters.

    • Hi Phil,
      I have seen two exwavia installations both of which looked as if they had been installed carefully. The one installation on which I have done a speed test had a speed higher than the promised 4Mbps. Neither of those installations where near Llanddeusant so I am not sure about the coverage in that area.

  32. Philhen says:

    I seen their fitters working on a property yesterday on the north facing side of Mynydd Bodafon.
    The small tidy square dish they put up seemed to be pointing towards Llaneilian,
    They said the owner would be getting 4Mbps because that’s the speed he will be paying for but I presume he could have had a faster connection if he wished to pay more.
    I also asked them about their fair usage policy and their reply was that it’s extremely fair .

  33. Dean says:

    If you look on ExWavia web site you’ll see the different Inet plans. The cheapest and thus the slowest is 4Mbps which for a lot of folk is still 3.7Mbps more than they get now. What I’m led to believe is it will be possible to get anything up to 30Mbs depending on where you are in relation to the transmitter and what plan you pay for. 10 Mbps should be achievable for anyone that can receive an ExWavia signal. I’m also of the impression you can upgrade your connection but not downgrade so you sign up for 4Mbps and that’s great to start with, then you get greedy and upgrade to 10 or even 30. However if you sign up for a contract at 10Mbps you can’t then downgrade within the contract to 4Mbps.
    The latest news on the Dwyran area is ExWavia contact me about two days ago stating they had reached the critical mass point in the area to warrant getting the transmitter (in Port Dinorwig) up and running. A niggle for me is my grant ran out on March 31st and speaking to the Welsh gov I have to do the whole thing again. I’ll fill the grant in again but I’m waiting for a firm time from ExWavia for if I get the grant and sign up how long will it take to actually get a connection. I’m currently waiting for that information and will let you all know of any progress made. I’m a bit wary until I see some action.

  34. Philhen says:

    Dean, I asked the guy who was being fitted on Mynydd Bodafon how long it too from start to finish and he said it took six weeks from filling the grant application to having the system up and running.

  35. dean says:

    Thanks for the comment looks good once you have the main transmitter feeding your area live then, mine isn’t but will be soon and it’s the will be soon bit I’m not sure of.

  36. Philhen says:

    I’m not sure how accurate this speed tester is http://www.pcwelt.de/ashampoo-speedtest_/
    On average my speed is DL 1.8KbIts, UL244Kbits, Ping 47ms ,Connections 914cpm.
    That speed is not bad compared to a lot of people but idrasticallyly drops when other members of my family use their laptop or desktop.
    I’m going to apply for the grant but my concern is that maybe they will turnaround and say that I’m not a priority or does the fact that I’m under 2Mbps put me in the same boat as everybody else that applies ?

  37. dean says:

    I use speedtest as well as you can save tests and send them to third parties. If your three tests show less than 2Mbps then you qualify.

  38. Philhen says:

    I have never been over 2Mbps but it’s not rocket science for somebody to get it under 2Mbps if it’s just three readings they need as proof to qualify for a grant.

    The BT Broadband availability checker info
    Your exchange is ADSL enabled and our initial test on your line indicates that your line should be able to have an ADSL broadband service that provides a fixed line speed up to 2Mbps.

    BT checker states that I can get up to 2Mbps should that in itself not be all the info needed by the grant department ?
    When filing out the form I will be providing my telephone number , I presume if they use the BT checker then it will be far less open to abuse than somebody just sending three random tests..

  39. dean says:

    I guess they cross reference others in your area and if they all get well above 2 and you don’t then there’s another problem somwhere.

  40. Philhen says:

    http://fibrespeednorthwales.co.uk/?page_id=8

    What does resilient route mean ?

  41. Philhen says:

    Does this system need 100% line of sight or is it capable of going over small hills trees low buildings ext.
    Is PoP the location of a mast ?
    http://www.fibrespeed.co.uk/casestudies/map/

    • Hi Phil,
      A POP is a “Point of Presence” this is normally a site on the network where the supplier has some “intelligent” equipment which can be used to monitor the activity between sites. This might be as simple as a switch to a large control room from which a large area of the network may be monitored.

      Almost all communication radio links need to have “LOS” or line of site between stations. However depending on frequency and strength of signal it is sometimes possible for radio signals to “burn through” limited trees or roof space in the same way that a radio inside the house can pick up Radio One from a transmitter outside the house.

      • Philhen says:

        Thank you for the prompt reply and also thank you for going to the trouble of making such a informative site.
        I will certainly come knocking on your door if I have computer related issues..

  42. dean says:

    To answer that last question on LOS, as the good gent stated you do need more or less LOS as radio waves travel in a straight-ish line but they do bounce to a degree allowing some leeway. How companies get around this is by doing LOS to repeater stations then retransmitting from there. So for example you have a village in a hollow but one House on top of a hill. If the owner of the house is willing he may agree for the receiver to be fitted at his house and beamed from there to cover others in the dip. These repeaters aren’t as powerful or broad in bandwidth terms as the main and I guess they would only handle so many forward on connections by dividing up the available bandwidth. But then I’m also guessing you can set up as many repeaters as you (ExWavia ) want up to the bandwidth of the main signal. Maybe someone from ExWavia will come on and correct my assumptions but I spent a few years in the royal signals so know how I’d do it.

  43. Philhen says:

    I’m out of the 12/18 month initial contract with my ISP I’m now on a monthly contract.. If and when I do go wireless will I have to pay a get out fee ?
    I presume a MAC code is useless when you are going from fixed line to wireless

    • If you are on a monthly contract I would suspect that you just have to give 1 months notice. You will not need a MAC code from your ISP as the wireless system does not use your telephone line. One thing to watch out for is your email address. If you use for example Virgin.net and are no longer with virgin you may not be able to use the virgin email system unless it is web based. I will see if I can get Exwavia to post a comment about email accounts.

  44. Philhen says:

    If I just type in my postcode it tells me I cant have wireless but when I move the red bubble a short distance to my exact location then it tells me wireless is available.
    The centre of the postcode is only 50mts from my property
    http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8&Itemid=30

  45. Philhen says:

    My grant application has been approved and a appointment with Exwavia has been arranged for next week.
    Will post on here the result of the site visit

  46. Dean says:

    Waiting for my grant application to be accepted. Exwavia say they are ready to install as soon as the green light comes on from the Grant people. I should know by the end of next week about the grant. I’ll post an update here as soon as possible.

  47. Dean says:

    My first application took about that as well, hopefully the second will be equally as painless.

  48. Philhen says:

    Does anybody know how to activate WiFi on the exwavia system ?

    • The Exwavia system will only provide you a cabled connection into a wireless router in the house. You will need to log into the wireless router to set up secure wifi around the house. If you connect a network cable between your PC and one of the ports on the back of the router you will be able to find your IP address and that of the router. You should then be able to browse to the router IP address and set up your internal WIFi network. Once this has been set up , disconnect the cable between your PC and the router and then search for the wifi signal , enter the security password and bob’s your aunty. Any problems contact me.

  49. Dean says:

    As Mr Anglesey computers (AC) intimated I think it will operate like a standard router and thus WIFI set up, so do it the same as you would for any other ISP. If you’re not sure how to set up a normal WIFI net then I’m sure Mr AC would be able to talk you through it fairly easily. What brand/model of router is it out of interest?

    Update on my set up: –
    Got the reply from the Grant people and I’ve been successful again so rang ExWavia and arranged an appointment for a hot survey on the 31st of this month. If I can get a signal they can then indicate what speeds are available and I can sign on the line and get it installed there and then. If I can’t get a signal then I guess I’ll have to wait on the side lines until someone else in the village signs up that can provide a hop site for me.

  50. Philhen says:

    Since I joined Exwavia my speeds have been very erratic. One minute I could be getting 4.00 Mb/s + and the next it could be extremely slow. Last night for instance my download speed was 0.40 Mb/s and the upload speed was 0.09 Mb/s.
    Using the computer with such a slow speed is very frustrating when you have to wait so long for web pages to open but more often than not they will fail to open.
    I have asked Exwavia by e-mail and phone call to sort it out and I hope they can do it very soon or this sales talk of no up to speeds means nothing at the end of the day.

  51. Dean says:

    Well The Exwavia folk turned up and decided I can’t get a signal where I live 😦
    Fair play to the engineers though, they did give it a good go in the rain.
    So I’m waiting for someone else in the near vicinity to get theirs up and running and hopefully become a hop site.
    I’ll be watching your posts Philhen with interest, every system and company have problems from time to time but it’s the speed with which they try and fix it and how contactable they are etc which makes all the difference to the customer.

  52. Philhen says:

    I had a e-mail from Exwavia and they said they are aware of the problem and will have it sorted out by next week
    They reply to my mail in a positive way and I cant ask for more than that.

  53. Dean says:

    I’m not suggesting for a minute that they won’t fix it for you but it crossed my mind, what if you got involved with a rogue company that couldn’t or wouldn’t fix it? Would the grant folk then be around your house demanding their £1K back? It is clearly stated in the TnC that you have to have installed and maintained a connection of whatever you stated on the application form for 12 month (or some similar time period). Who would the grant folk chase? Do Exwavia offer any sort of discount on your monthly subs if you aren’t receiving the agreed rate for all or part of the month?

  54. Philhen says:

    Do Exwavia offer any sort of discount on your monthly subs if you aren’t receiving the agreed rate for all or part of the month?

    This is something that has crossed my mind and will look into if my speed does not become stable in the very near future.

    This is part of the email sent to me.

    Many thanks for your email in regards to your slow speeds.

    Firstly, please let me apologise for the length of time you have been
    experiencing this issue. We are working on it and aim to have a
    resolution for you next week.

    We are looking to resolve your issue with an equipment change at the
    main transmitting site. This will be able to deliver a more stable
    connection to you and give you the consistent speeds we would like you
    to have.

    We are just waiting for the site owners to let us know when their
    Engineers are available to assit us with the unit change. We have
    schedule the change in for next week and are waiting for the
    confirmation of the date.
    So they seem to be aware of the problem and how to fix it.

  55. Dean says:

    Fingers crossed then….

  56. Philhen says:

    Worked like a dream I’m glad I moved over to Exwavia

  57. Dean says:

    Philhen:- Why is your upload speed so slow? I was told by the ExWavia folk that it would be the same speed as the download the only difference being the download speed is guaranteed but the upload may be affected by how many up loader on at any time. This doesn’t make too much sense to me not having a bandwidth problem one direction only. However are these speeds the same at different times of the day? What speed / service are you paying for?
    I’m afraid I’m still in the same boat as concerns broadband and ExWavia I had a communication form them some weeks ago stating they were nearly there but nothing since. They are not the best company for keeping people informed and run the risk of being usurped by fibre as more gets rolled out. I would still sign up with ExWavia for 12 months as I Know I’m unlikely to get fibre in the next couple of years but it is coming and as soon as it arrives in the village then no one is going to go Radio over fibre unless the prices of fibre are ridiculous which doesn’t appear to be the case.
    Mr AC solutions:- You say you are being upgraded, are you one of the lucky fibre people?

    • Philhen says:

      Hi Dean
      The upload speed does change on a regular basis.
      http://www.speedtest.net/results.php but rarely are the download and upload speed the same.

      • Dean says:

        I’m afraid I don’t get any results shown when I click that link. What speed are you paying for ? or is the download speed always greater than the contract states ?

    • The Amlwch Exchange has been upgraded to ADSL2+ but not fiber on site yet. So in theory I should be moved from “up to 8mb” to “up to 24 mb” However my current attenuation is about 62 which gives me about 1.8 on ADSL and only predicted 2.5 on ADSL+ because of the distance from the exchange. Lets see what happens on change over day (5th Sept)

  58. Philhen says:

    I’m paying £20 for a 4Mb connection but more often than not it’s faster than that.

  59. Dean says:

    You can’t complain at that then.
    Do you get any drop outs? Especially when the weathers bad?

  60. Philhen says:

    I did initially but it’s no worse than my wired connection.

  61. Dean says:

    Sorry to ask so many questions 🙂
    What would you estimate the uptime to be? Is it Hours, Days, weeks etc ? My wired connection is pretty stable now BT have been and replaced the cable to my house and re-routed it. I’m still on the same sub MB speed though.

  62. Philhen says:

    It’s stable to a acceptable level and even when speed fluctuates it’s still above 2Mb
    I initially did have a speed problem but they soon sorted that out.

  63. Dean says:

    I’ve still heard nothing positive from Exwavia and my second grant application will be running out soon. 😦

  64. Philhen says:

    Disappointing that they have not made more effort. The least they could do is tell you a simple yes or no.

  65. Dean says:

    Nope the main land bit is done (or so they say) we have been told we are waiting for a repeater to be installed on a nearby high spot to beam down to us which should take a week or so. Unfortunately that was months ago.

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