Why we really need this

Top reasons to subscribe to Gigaclear now:

1.       Make your internet, TV, homeworking & phone calls as easy, instant & reliable as switching on a light or turning on a tap,  often at a lower price than you pay now.
Having your broadband connected via optical fibre direct into your home will allow you access to internet download speeds around 1000 times faster than you get now.  The service will also be more reliable than you get now and at worst, the same price as the closest ‘comparable’ services from BT (which remain slower and less reliable).  This means you can easily and cheaply run your phone (keeping your existing number), your TV, your internet, your work and your contacts with friends and family all over the world.  Having optical fibre means you can also be assured of getting even higher speeds as technology improves – we call it “future-proofing” – because the fibre won’t need to be upgraded.
 
2.       The future delivered in 2013
If 30% of properties in the Long Hamborough area sign up now, Gigaclear will start to install its future proofed broadband network in Long Hamborough this year.  Meanwhile, BT is refusing to confirm when it plans to upgrade the Long Hamborough telephone cabinet, despite a demand by the secretary of state for culture, media & sport to publish a detailed plan and applications under the Freedom of Information Act.  Even if we do get an upgrade, it’s likely to be at least 2 years before we get it, quite possibly longer.  Just as bad, Virgin Media (which, incidentally, uses copper coaxial cable not fibre-optic), currently has no plans to expand its network anywhere else in the UK, so if we turn down our opportunity with Gigaclear we’ll have no alternative but to wait until a time of BT’s choosing to bring an inferior solution to Long Hamborough.

3.       Light speed fibre optic v old copper wires
Gigaclear builds underground all-fibre-optic broadband networks, along which signals travel at the speed of light from the core internet, direct into your property (called Fibre To The Premises – FTTP – or sometimes Fibre to the Home – FTTH).  BT’s nearest comparable service (Infinity – which isn’t even available here), only runs fibre to the nearest telephone cabinet, with the final section to your house constrained by running along the old copper wires (called Fibre To The Cabinet or FTTC) and rapidly getting worse every metre it travels from the cabinet.

4.       Gigaclear is in the top three fastest broadband ISPs in the UK
Gigaclear’s network can run at up to 10,000 megabits per second (Mbps) (although the standard speed is 1,000 Mbps).  In comparison, current download speeds in Long Hamborough are generally 15 Mbps or lower, and upload speeds (when you want to share a photo, file or email) are less than 0.5 Mbps.  In fact, Gigaclear is currently the ISP with the fastest upload speeds & the 3rd fastest download speeds in the UK.  BT meanwhile doesn’t appear in the top 20 for either.
http://www.netindex.com/upload/2,4/United-Kingdom/   Click on the All ISPs tab half way down the page.
http://www.netindex.com/download/2,4/United-Kingdom/

5.       The same cost as BT Infinity, if not cheaper
The standard Gigaclear Home 50 line rental + broadband service costs £37 per month. The closest ‘equivalent’ BT Infinity Unlimited Superfast service costs £36.70* (for a less reliable, slower and non future proofed service – which we don’t ‘have!).  So, even if you’re happy with your existing ADSL service, if you want a faster service in the future, the BT equivalent, may well be more expensive.
*Calculated on the cheapest package available online for BT’s minimum 12 month contract term & including special offer for the first 3 months.  3 months at £16 + 9 months at £23 + 12 months of line rental = £440.40 divided by 12 = monthly cost of £36.70

6.       Save money on telephone calls & improve services
Cancel your BT land line (saving £15.45 a month, £11.75 a month if you pay annually up front) and call package (saving approx £7.00 for Anytime) and port your existing BT telephone number for free to a crystal clear internet telephony (or VOIP) service such as Vonage.   Vonage offers an equivalent ‘Anytime’ call package for just £5.99 per month, which also includes 20 services such as caller id, 1471, call waiting and ring back as standard on all packages – all on a rolling 30 day contract.  And any calls over and above the package are significantly cheaper than BT too (e.g. mobiles at 5p per minute with no set up charge v 12p with BT).  You make and receive calls just like you currently do and you can keep your existing telephone handsets.  You can even get your voicemail automatically transcribed and e-mailed to you with their Visual Voicemail feature, which is included as standard.  Or make video calls using programmes like Skype without the picture breaking up and the person at the other end sounding like a darlek!

7.       Increase the value of your property by up to 10%
Recent surveys by the Halifax and broadbandchoice found that:
30% of house buyers said access to a good broadband signal was a key factor in choosing a property.

20% of those surveyed said they would pay more for a house with good broadband.  Of those, 65% said they would pay up to 3% extra and 20% said they would be prepared to pay up to 10% extra for fast broadband provision.

A good broadband connection rated higher than off-street parking and access to local amenities in the things that buyers looked for in a property.

Halifax survey:  http://www.lloydsbankinggroup.com/media/pdfs/halifax/2013/0802_Broadband.pdf
Broadbandchoices survey:  http://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/news/2012/09/fast-broadband-a-priority-for-homebuyers-280912

8.       Stream BBC iPlayer, Sky channels, ITV and the rest, plus your favourite movies, in full High Definition with no buffering
Watch BBC iPlayer and other streaming TV services such as LoveFilm, Netflix & Now TV (i.e. Sky) in HD, with no buffering.  TV signals over superfast fibre are not affected by the weather, electrical interference, or obstacles.  As an example of future-proofing, when Ultra HD broadcasts (4 times the quality of current HD TV) such as the one tested by Sky recently, become the norm, the Gigaclear network will be able to deliver the pictures with no buffering or signal degradation.  There’s even a development type of HD called 8K or Super HiVision that is 16 times the quality!

9.       Symmetrical v Asymmetrical
All Gigaclear packages are ‘symmetrical’ – meaning they deliver the same upload and download speed, simultaneously.  You can share a photo with friends as quickly as they can share it with you.  BT Infinity meanwhile is ‘asymmetrical,’ meaning the upload speed is typically only 10-25% that of the download speed.

10.   Unlimited v capped data
All Gigaclear packages allow unlimited uploads and downloads as standard.  Only the more expensive BT Infinity packages allow for uncapped usage.

11.   More of the network to yourself
With BT Infinity, you share your internet bandwidth with 49 other properties (referred to as a contention ratio of 50:1). Gigaclear’s contention ratio meanwhile is 25:1 for residential and 10:1 for business accounts.  In practice, this means that even on the standard Home 50 Gigaclear package, you will experience faster download and upload speeds than on the fastest currently available Infinity package.

12.   A more reliable service
Because it’s all-fibre, Gigaclear’s service is not affected by the weather or your distance from the local telephone exchange or cabinet.  Meanwhile, because it still uses the existing copper wires for the final stretch, BT Infinity is affected by adverse weather conditions and the speed that you experience degrades rapidly the further you get from the cabinet.   In fact, properties over 800 metres from the cabinet, would experience little or no improvement on current speeds even if Infinity was installed, with those over 1.3km definitely experiencing no improvement.

Chart of VDSL2 speed against distance from the street cabinet

Distance v speed:  http://www.increasebroadbandspeed.co.uk/2013/chart-bt-fttc-vdsl2-speed-against-distance

13.   Faster in practice now than BTs theoretical solution for the future
The fastest BT Infinity service currently available in the UK (not in Long Hamborough) delivers absolute maximum speeds of 76 Mbps download / 19 Mbps upload.   Even the standard Home 50 Gigaclear package offers up to 50 Mbps download and 50 Mbps upload speeds.  There is a theoretical ‘final’ FTTC upgrade (called 30a but not yet available in the UK) which would theoretically deliver an absolute maximum of 200 Mbps download.  Even this however, is a minimum of 5 times slower than the speed that Gigaclear already delivers over its standard 1,000 Mbps network (and 50 times slower than the speed that Gigaclear can deliver to Enterprise level businesses if required).

14.   Future proofed v obsolete technology
Gigaclear’s network would be future proofed for at least 50 years, requiring only software upgrades to increase speeds.  BT Infinity meanwhile, has a limited shelf life because of its reliance on the copper wire section, which inherently limits the amount of data that can be pushed down it.

15.   Boost your mobile phone signal
With a fast broadband connection, you could utilise hardware gadgets such as EE SignalBoost or Vodafone SureSignal to boost the mobile phone signal inside your property.  Currently, these generally require faster speeds than we currently endure in Long Hamborough, in order to work effectively.

16.   Free yourself from long-term contracts for TV services
Free yourself from long term contracts with the likes of Sky TV and embrace the endless possibilities of the reliably delivered on-demand online services, which super fast broadband opens up.

17.   Choose your ISP
In July 2013, Gigaclear announced that it had signed a contract with a company called FluidData, which means that Gigaclear customers will soon be able to choose from a range of around 50 telecoms companies as their internet service provider.  Further details will be announced very soon, but effectively, this means that although the fibre network and hardware will be supplied by Gigaclear, you do not necessarily need to use them as your ISP.

18.   Future proof Long Hamborough for the internet age
Even if you’re not a high end user yourself, as more and more services are delivered online (including medical monitoring, video telephony and cloud based computing), existing bandwidth will become increasingly squeezed, so by ‘standing still’ we’ll effectively be going backwards.  Remember dial up internet?  If we don’t get faster broadband here soon, it will feel just like we’ve gone back to dial up within a few short years.
Nielsen’s law of internet bandwidth demonstrates that “a high-end user’s broadband speed grows by 50% every year”.  This suggests that “mass residential demand will hit a requirement for 1,000Mbps (or 1Gbps) speeds by 2020.”  Gigaclear can already deliver this speed.
As broadband industry expert blogger says:
“In the same way that the pioneers of the electricity industry couldn’t have foreseen the plethora of devices connected to their new energy distribution networks, we can’t envisage what applications and uses a true optical fibre network will enable, what changes to our lives such a thing would make.”

19.   Control your digital destiny & rescue us from the BT ‘monopoly’

This is a one time opportunity to improve our community, bring a second, competitive telecoms operator to the village and to be in control of our own digital destiny.  If we fall short of our target, we will remain forever at the mercy of the BT ‘monopoly’ which continues to show little or no interest in Long Hamborough.   But we need to act now!