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Broadband for Kingswells

Updated: 19 August 2004

It seems many of us living in Kingswells would like to be able to use broadband technology. But what is it and what will it mean for KIngswells?

ANNOUNCEMENT FROM BROADBAND4KINGSWELLS:
Broadband4kingswells is pleased to announce that the likely hood of broadband becoming available to all in Kingswells is higher than ever. After several months of searching we have finally located an Internet Service Provider (ISP) who has submitted a technical proposal for a broadband Internet infrastructure within Kingswells that meets the criteria set out in our invitation document published in April this Year . The ISP has visited Kingswells in the last few days to attend meetings with both the BB4KW team and the Kingswells Community Council. The outcome of these meetings was that the ISP has now committed to the creation of a wireless network within Kingswells. Only a few procedural obstacles need to be overcome before we can confirm that broadband will be available in Kingswells however they offer the best hope we have ever had yet for broadband in Kingswells.

VillageInternet, a division of Broadband4Business, specialise in providing Internet services to communities which fail to qualify for BTâs ADSL service. Using leased line technology they will deliver a high speed internet connection to a central location in Kingswells, which is then distributed by the latest wireless technology to residential and business users. They have a number of high speed synchronous (same speed up and down) connection packages from as little as £23.99 a month. Please visit their web site http://www.villageinternet.co.uk for more information.

Broadband4Kingswells will continue to serve the residents of Kingswells and will post further details when available on the campaign web site, newsletters, and the forums. We strongly urge all registered residents to use the forum to post questions or concerns you might have.

Broadband4Kingwells Campaign Team,

http://broadband4kingswells.org.uk

BROADBAND4KINGSWELLS &endash; STATUS UPDATE: The initial stages of promoting and raising interest in bringing broadband to Kingswells have been an overwhelming success! In a short period of time we have managed to take over 200 registrations of interest, more than double the 100 that was anticipated at the start of the campaign.

We have been working around the clock to generate a proposal document which has been sent to 15+ Internet Service Providers who specialise in providing Community Broadband solutions. This document can be downloaded from our website - http://www.broadband4kingswells.org.uk/20040330-proposal.pdf

The 30th of April is the closing date for submissions and all the proposals will then be thoroughly analysed by the Broadband4Kingswells campaign team. When this process is complete we will publish the recommendations on our web site. All residents who have registered will be invited to participate in the final selection of the Internet Service Provider.

Over two hundred residents have now registered! If you haven't yet registered then do so now at http://www.broadband4kingswells.org.uk

Keep up to date with the latest Broadband news using our forum at http://www.broadband4kingswells.org.uk/forum/

Broadband4Kingswells Campaign Team,info@broadband4kingswells.org.uk

BROADBAND 4 KINGSWELLS: is a campaign to raise awareness of alternative broadband technologies to BT's AADSL in the Kingswells area.
Currently it is believed only around 10% of Kingswells has access to broadband technology. The campaign hopes to attaain a wireless internet service provider that is committed to 100% coverage of the Kingswells area. If you wish to register your support. Click on the broadband4kingswells link. (Posted 23.1.2004)

WHERE IS BROADBAND IN KINGSWELLS?
81% of the United Kingdom population has access to broadband internet coverage. Aberdeen city has 100% coverage through its 12 telephone exchanges. I am sure that you will agree that these are most impressive statistics which help position the United Kingdom at the top of the Broadband league within Europe. However, let me add that a third statistic &endash; it is estimated that less than 10% of the households within Kingswells Community have access to broadband technology. In this article I will explain why Kingswells is missing out on the broadband revolution.

What is Broadband?
Let me first begin by defining broadband - broadband is a common term for a high bandwidth internet connection. You can send or download information many times faster with broadband than with a standard telephone and modem. There are a variety of different broadband options:

Type

Available in
Kingswells

Description

ADSL

Yes

Most common form of broadband delivery using existing BT telephone line.

Cable

No

Offered by Cable TV companies such as NTL. Broadband is transported within the same cables as Cable TV signal.

Powerline

No

Offered by Scottish Southern Electric. Broadband is transported through the electrical grid to your household. Technology is currently being trialled at selected towns within UK.

Wireless

No

Emerging technology which uses radio waves to transmit broadband to your household. Signal is typically received by a small antenna on your rooftop.

Satellite

Yes

Broadband is received via a satellite dish on your roof. Because of the high costs of installation and monthly rentals, satellite broadband is not considered a viable solution for residential customers.

What's wrong in Kingswells
Ignoring satellite broadband which is too expensive for consumer use, we only have ADSL broadband available to the community which has been provided by British Telecom since April 2003. ADSL broadband is typically delivered at 512kbps which is about 10 times faster than a normal modem connection. To qualify for ADSL broadband you must satisfy three criteria:

1. Have a BT phone line to your household

2. Your house be must within 6km from the telephone exchange

3. Your phone line must be on a copper circuit from the exchange

Most of the households in Kingswells will fail criteria 2 as the local telephone exchange for Kingswells is actually located in Westhill which is approximately 5kms by road. The 6km figure quoted is the cable distance which does not always follow a direct path to the exchange. There are some ADSL successes in Kingswells in Clova Park, Coull Gardens, and Huxterstone Drive indicating that this part of Kingswells is within the 6km limit. Point to note is that this 6km limit is a limit of the ADSL technology and not simply a figure imposed by British Telecom.

All of the households in the newer developments of North Kingswells will fail criteria 3 (in addition to being more than 6km from the exchange) as their telephone service is delivered using fibre optic technology (TPON) to each street cabinet where the signal is then transformed into copper for the last 100m to each household. Currently BT does not support the transmission of ADSL over fibre optic cables.

Any hope for the future?
Recent communication with the BT City Leader for Aberdeen would suggest that there is some hope for some of the Kingswells community in 2004. In spring 2004 BT plan to commence a program to provide copper overlays to some of the developments currently served by fibre optic. This work program will only apply to developments within the current 6km limits and should see some more developments meeting the criteria for ADSL.

The majority of Kingswells households find themselves beyond the 6km limit (BT figures suggest that 4% of the country live more then 6km from their exchange) and have little chance of ever qualifying for ADSL Broadband. The only hope for these households is for some of the other forms of Broadband to become available to the Kingswells community. BT is currently trailing a wireless radio system in Fife that could provide a solution to households which exceed the 6km ADSL limit. Should these trials be successfully then it could become a commercial reality in summer next year.

Wireless Broadband systems are growing in popularity and perceived as the only solution for much of rural Britain. Often these wireless systems are driven by not-for-profit initiatives from within the community itself with grants available from local government enterprise. Many communities who are not adequately served by current broadband technologies have elected to create and manage their own networks.

The two remaining forms of Broadband &endash; cable and powerline &endash; will, in my opinion, not form part of any future Broadband initiatives within Kingswells. Cable is obviously not going to happen as the closure of Aberdeen Cable several years ago there are no remaining cable TV ventures within the area. It has yet to be seen whether SSE can move powerline from a trial technology to a successful commercial venture with many questioning the feasibility of this type of Broadband deployment.

To summarise, for most of Kingswell's residents there are no options at this present time for obtaining Broadband Internet. However by spring of next year few may qualify after the completion of the copper overlay program, and by summer there is the possibility of a BT wireless radio solution.

Of course, if there is enough interest in obtaining Broadband then there is nothing to stop the residents of Kingswells themselves taking collective action to drive the launch of a Community Broadband scheme.

Keep up to date with the current broadband news and how it affects Kingswells on the kingswells.com bulletin board. Other useful links are:

BT ADSL Broadband &endash; http://www.bt.com/broadband

General Broadband News & Forum &endash; http://www.adslguide.org

Community Broadband Network - http://www.ruralnet.org.uk/~cbuk

SSE Powerline - http://www.hydro.co.uk/broadband/

If you would like to further discuss the Kingswells broadband situation then please contact Graeme Coutts at graeme@gec.me.uk (Posted 6.12.2003)

A BROADBAND ALTERNATIVE TO BT: Check out this website from the Scottish Hydro Electric, they are considering offering broadband in a number of areas. At the moment the have done Campbelltown, Crieff and just about to go live with Stonehaven.  You can register your interest via the website.

The deal appears to be £29.99 inc. VAT per month and £50 for the modem for a 12 month contract of 1MB up and downlink.  Or £29.99 inc. VAT per month and £120 for the modem for a 28 day rolling contract of 1MB up and downlink.

The great thing that they are doing is higher data rates that ADSL, currently BT and Pipex do 0.5MB up and 0.2 downlink for about £25 ish. http://www.hydro.co.uk/broadband/index.asp

Three weeks till the ADSL Broadband Activation Date for Kingswells!

On the 16th of April British Telecom will activate the Kingswells Telephone Exchange for ADSL Broadband. There has been much talk in recent press about Broadband Internet and much excitement in the kingswells.com bulletin board regarding the local activation date, but what does this actually mean for the residents of Kingswells? More (Posted 30.3.2003)

The wireless route could be a viable alternative here in Kingswells.

Hi Claire,

I've been reading the bulletin board with great interest about the latest developments about broadband access. In particular I support Neil Proven's view of the wireless alternative. Neil has a very good point about the alternative to the BT option ö the wireless route could be a viable alternative here in Kingswells. Wireless broadband has already become more than an "emerging technology" and has been implemented successfully in several areas of the UK already; BT themselves are investing in this method in some places.

Why we should seek an alternative

My personal belief is that BT are playing games with ADSL, and are giving the public the run-around with their pre-registration scheme. If they used the money they have invested in the "Broadband has landed" advertising campaign for upgrading exchanges instead, weâd probably be enabledâ already! Incidentally, I find the aforementioned advertising campaign quite insulting since I have wanted ADSL for years (since the technology was first available) but still canât get it. Unfortunately we are lumbered with a monopolised telecomms infrastructure which is controlled by our ownâ (well it used to be) corporate monster, BT. I think BT have become far too big for their boots and probably have hidden agendas which conflict with providing a genuine service to the public as a truly concerned service provider would. I tried to register my interest in ADSL when BT first started the pre-registration scheme, only to be confronted with the following problems:

To register, I had to apply not to BT, but to a third party likely service providerâ from an enormous list (86 if I remember correctly).

None of the likely service providersâ could accept an online application since ADSL was not currently available in my area.

I contacted some of the bigger names on the list by e-mail, only to find that it wasnât possible to register my interest as BT had not informed the service providers of how the process was supposed to work!

Thankfully, in the fullness of time it did become possible to register my interest, which I duly did.

In any case, if we really want a service we should support providers who are willing to give us a service without making us jump through hoops and wait for years as well.

A possible alternative

As I have said, wireless broadband could be a viable alternative here in Kingswells, maybe even an opportunity for a business venture if someone had the right contacts or experience. I had thought of trying something like this myself using satellite broadband as the primary connection to the Internet, with wireless distribution to local users. As you may know already, I have much of the IT experience necessary, but unfortunately, I donât have enough experience on the Ecomms front. If the required expertise was available and enough support could be gained from local users, then "Kingswells.net" might be a viable local broadband service to all in sight of Brimmond hill!

Regards, Alistair (Posted 18.2.2003)

ACTIVATION DATE FOR KINGSWELLS EXCHANGE : We hope to announce an activation date for Kingswells exchange shortly which will probably be around mid-April. The process of enabling an exchange can take up to three months to complete. When a trigger level is hit work will begin to upgrade the exchange and service providers will be able to take orders from their customers. These orders will not actually be progressed until the exchange is live. The work involves installing ADSL equipment at the exchange and then connecting it to the internet backbone network, which is completey separate from the telephone network. Some fairly substantial work is required to be done and, as a result, upgrading a single exchange costs on average between £200,000 and £500,000. (Posted 6.2.2003)

BT Scotland's vision for a digital Scotland:
By Brendan Dick, general manager, BT Scotland.

Broadband may not yet be the talk of the north but under BT Scotland's vision for a digital Scotland, it will be.

Broadband technology allows super-fast internet and e-mail up to 10 times faster than standard modem and it's a key enabler of our transition to a knowledge-based economy. That's why BT has put broadband at the heart of its strategy and set some very challenging targets &endash; one million UK users by this summer and five million by 2006.

We've set out a clear strategy showing how we intend to maximise the potential of the technology and we've underlined the message with a powerful, £33 million advertising campaign on TV and in the press.

Broadband transforms ordinary telephone lines into digital channels capable of carrying data at high speed, with files and e-mail downloading far faster than through dial-up modems or ISDN.

You can make and receive telephone calls while using e-mail and the internet, keeping in touch with your customers or friends and family and reducing the need for additional lines. Broadband is always on, which allows users to access e-mail, online services and applications immediately, without the hassle of establishing a dial-up connection.

Flat rate tariffs mean that customers pay a fixed, monthly fee with no additional call costs, so potential savings are significant. If you're connected for more than just a couple of hours a day you won't be paying much more than you would in call charges from previous dial up methods.

ADSL broadband is currently available to 44% of Scottish businesses served by 67 of the country's largest exchanges, with satellite broadband available to 99%. But only 3.5% of these businesses are using it. On the consumer front, almost 40% of households have access to the technology but the take-up is a mere 3.2%.

The 67 exchanges cover Aberdeen (Balgownie, Denburn, Dyce, Kincorth, Lochnagar, North and West), Alloa, Arbroath, Ayr, Cumbernauld, Dalgety Bay, Dalkeith, Dumfries, Dundee, Dunfermline, East Kilbride, Edinburgh, Elgin, Falkirk, Glasgow, Inverness, Kilmarnock, Kirkcaldy, Livingston, Paisley, Penicuik, Perth, Prestwick, St Andrews, Stirling and Troon.

Customer triggers &endash; the point at which an exchange will be upgraded for broadband &endash; have been set for more than 100 Scottish exchanges. Eight have already reached their targets and are being upgraded at a cost of between £200,000 and £500,000 per exchange. Other exchanges are well on the way to reaching their triggers, which are based on half the number of customers BT requires just to break even after three years.

Culloden became the first Scottish exchange to reach its target in October, and will go live with broadband on February 14. Meanwhile, trigger levels for 63 exchanges in Scotland have just been reduced following a review of the costs of providing broadband at local exchanges.

This included Aberdeen Kingswells exchange, which saw its target reduced from 450 customers to 350. More than 350 customers had already registered so the target was met at a stroke and work to upgrade Kingswells will begin shortly.

Most of the exchanges with triggers in north and north-east Scotland have had their targets reduced, with the two highest triggers, 750 at Fraserburgh and 650 at Peterhead, being slashed to just 500.

People on exchanges which have not been allocated targets should still register their interest because BT is checking levels at every exchange and will set a trigger if sufficient demand is shown.

Five Scottish exchanges have just been allocated new triggers, including Ellon. Customer registrations have topped the 150 mark and BT has said that if it hits 400, it will be upgraded for high-speed internet.

You can find out how to register, check the status of any exchange and see how registrations are proceeding at www.bt.com/broadband &endash; just key in your phone number.

Standard ADSL isn't feasible in small rural exchanges and to address this issue, BT Scotland is working with a number of different technologies to find a solution.

Several local enterprise agencies have worked with BT Scotland to help small and medium sized companies take up satellite services and around 300 are now online. The UK pilot of the technology was held in the Highlands and Islands.

The north also features in UK-wide trials of community broadband, a technology which could provide a blueprint for bringing high-speed internet services to rural areas. The trials were launched in December at Drumnadrochit and Muir of Ord exchanges, supported by Highlands and Islands Enterprise and local internet service provider Scotnet.

Sixteen small businesses on each exchange are enjoying the benefits of ADSL and, if the six-month long trials are successful, they could clearly have an impact on availability of broadband at smaller exchanges in Scotland. BT Scotland is also finalising details of a Scottish trial of wireless broadband.

Working with new technologies which could benefit small communities is important to us and BT Scotland remains firmly committed to making broadband as widely available as possible. But we cannot achieve success on our own and we are actively working in partnership with others in the industry, with the enterprise agencies and with government at all levels.

We all need to work together if we are to satisfy consumer demands, increase coverage and usage and move towards the creation of a truly digital Scotland.

EVERYTHING YOU WANTED TO KNOW ABOUT BROADBAND. . .

What is broadband? It's a fast internet connection &endash; between 10 and 40 times faster than a standard modem &endash; which is always-on, so you don't need to dial up every time you want to surf the net or send an email. ADSL &endash; asymmetric digital subscriber line &endash; is the type of broadband provided over the telephone network.

What is BT Broadband? BT Retail's no-frills package strips out services like email, personal web space and content and instead allows you to create a portfolio that meets your needs, chosen from a range of partners. You only get one bill and install it yourself so there's no need for an engineer to visit. Find out more about this option at www.bt.com/btbroadband or call 0800 800 060.

My exchange has a trigger level. How do I register an interest? First you need to choose which internet service provider you want as your provider. You will find a full list of these at www.bt.com/broadband. Dozens of different ISPs use the BT wholesale network to serve their customers. The ISP then feeds in registrations to BT. When the trigger is reached work will start to upgrade the exchange.

What if my exchange doesn't have a trigger? You can register for any UK exchange and if there is real demand at an exchange where a target has not yet been set, due to previous low patterns of internet use, BT will do the sums and set one.

Why doesn't BT just upgrade all its exchanges? BT's rollout of broadband has always been done in a commercial way. Like any private business it can't invest hundreds of thousands of pounds unless there is a prospect of financial return within a reasonable timescale. Further investment will happen where there is genuine demand. It's in all our interests &endash; BT, ISPs and customers &endash; to make it happen.

Where can I find out more? Some useful links are:

www.bt.com/broadband

www.bt.com/btbroadband

www.oftel.gov.uk (Posted 13.2.2003)

BT WHOLESALE REDUCE 388 EXCHANGE TRIGGERS

Article from ADSLguide News Archive (http://www.ADSLguide.org.uk) Author: MrSaffron

BT Wholesale has issued a press release detailing the results of a widespread review of the trigger levels required for a BT exchange to become ADSL enabled. The review has resulted in demand level triggers being reduced for 388 exchanges, and a further 87 exchanges now have a trigger level for the first time. Perhaps the best news is that the very high triggers have now gone, the highest trigger level will be 550.

Paul Reynolds, BT Wholesale chief executive, has the following to say on this news. "The registration scheme has helped us guide investment in broadband to match demand. Our growing experience of the actual work involved now allows us to be confident in lowering many of the demand levels at which we will upgrade exchanges for broadband." This is another significant step in making broadband more widely available.

The BT Wholesale demand tracker should update over the period of the 24th January, and our own demand tracker will pick the trigger level changes up overnight.

Under the scheme so far, 14 exchanges have been enabled and there is work going on at a further 58 exchanges. The total number of exchanges which are DSL enabled stands at 1133. The list below shows the exchanges that have reached their trigger levels in the last 24 hours, and includes some that had no triggers previously set.

Exchange Name

Old Threshold

New Threshold

Aberdeen Kingswells

450

350

Posted: Friday 24 January 2003, 10:07:07

REGISTER FOR BETTER TECHNOLOGY FOR KINGSWELLS:

I have recently been looking at the Broadband trigger levesl on BT's website and we are 168 away from the exchange qualifyig for an upgrade.

Could you highlight this in the website and see if we can try and get more people intersted in it to up the numbers even more.

(At the time of writing this note) The level was sitting at 282 and it needs to reach 450.

I look forward to hearing from you in regards to this matter.

Regards Jason (Kingswells Resident) Posted 2.12.2002)

BETTER TECHNOLOGY FOR KINGSWELLS:

Dear All, Maybe as a united community we can persuade BT, broadband is worth bringing to Kingswells? I look forward to hearing from you.
Kind regards Claire Burt
info@kingswells.com

The site below is an easy way to register interest in an ADSL link http://www.btopenworld.com/broadband/reg10. I hope you will register an interest, so BT will upgrade the telphone communications to Kingswells. (Posted 17.7.2002)

A definition of broadband from the BBC

What is broadband?
Broadband is a method of faster data delivery meaning your connection to the Internet is much quicker. There are two main methods of delivering broadband - ADSL and cable.

ADSL uses normal phone lines, but transmits computer data 'above' the area used for phone calls. Your normal phone conversation takes place on a specific band of frequencies. ADSL uses higher frequencies to send and receive information.

Cable modems, on the other hand, do not use traditional phone lines. Instead they use fibre optic cables that use light instead of electricity. These cables are installed in your home for cable television and telephone and can carry enormous amounts of information.

Connection speed
How long it takes to download information from the Internet depends on how fast this information travels between the network and your computer. The table below shows how this varies between narrowband, ADSL and cable.

Internet connection

Network to computer (bits per second)

Computer to network (bits per second)

Narrowband

56 000

56 000

ADSL*

8 000 000

1 000 000

Cable*

40 000 000

40 000 000

*These are maximum speeds the technology can allow. Most service providers do not offer such high connection speeds.

ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line
ADSL uses a copper wire between you and the phone company's exchange, with ADSL modems at either end. This set-up can carry data up to 10 times faster than a 56K narrowband connection.

The problem with ADSL comes when you live far away from the exchange. The further away you get, the more the signal quality decreases. ADSL can reliably be accessed 5.5 km away from the local exchange.

ADSL uses the copper cable that was installed by BT to provide a phone service. BT provide an ADSL broadband service through its exchanges and lines. So if a third party wishes to sell you ADSL, they will still be using BT equipment. BT charge a lot for this and that's one reason ADSL is still fairly expensive.

Cable
Cable, on the other hand, uses the same line that brings TV and telephone signals into your home. The cable can carry hundreds of megahertz (Mhz) of bandwidth, while each TV channel only needs 6 MHz. The extra bandwidth is used to connect to the Internet.

Cable providers offer both narrowband and broadband Internet services. However, this bandwidth is shared with anyone else using the same cable Internet service in your area. So your connection speed will slow down if lots of people are on the Net.

To access it, you need to have the cable laid in your area and it must be Internet enabled. This is expensive for the company to install, so not everywhere has a cable connection yet. With one of the two major cable companies, NTL, in financial trouble, the spread of cable access is still slow.

 

 


If you have an event or an article to publish and it's relevant to Kingswells. Send the information to info@kingswells.com A credit will be given to anyone submitting articles and photos used on web site. Claire Burt Web mistress
hat

ASDL Broadband and for Kingswells

Kingswells Community Council

Bulletin Board

Discuss the broadband option


http://www.adslguide.org/

This site has been suggested by a Stephen a local resident as having lots of Q&A's , a good discussion forum and good links to the Registration and Trigger information. (Posted 21.11.2002)

 

Site Compiled by Claire Burt Email: info@kingswells.com or write to: Kingswells.com 21 Wellside Avenue, Kingswells, Aberdeen, AB15 8EF