In the slow lane – Llanberis broadband

 

Laptop repair gwynedd - telephone poles

Copper twisted-pair cables were not designed for high-speed data

 

11 Jun 2013 UPDATE: This Tardis-like item has shown up in the village. The new, larger, faster, cabinet to house the new, larger, faster internet connections. More updates as events unfold.

The new roadside cabinet in Llanberis.

Big, fast and shiny!

9 Jun 2013 UPDATE: As I posted on Facebook, I came face to face with  a real life BT Openreach engineer who confirmed that they were putting the fibre optic cable in from Brynrefail to Llanberis. Read about it here.

8 May 2013 UPDATE: SamKnows now has a Ready for Service date of September this year for Fibre to the Cabinet in Llanberis. This could mean that speeds are going to increase dramatically (as long as FTTC means the little green cabinet on the High Street and not merely the exchange in Brynrefail).

 

13 March 2013 UPDATE: It could be that the infrastructure for fast, reliable internet connections is coming to Wales (especially Llanberis). The details are a bit blurry currently but Superfast Cymru is a WAG/UK government sponsored project with the aim of improving the state of Welsh internet connections. Fibre optic connections are to be rolled out over the next few years, with Gwynedd being part of the 2013/14 schedule. You can register your interest at Superfast Cymru.

 

One of the big issues facing everyone living and working in Llanberis is the slow speed of our internet connections. The problem is due to the nearest exchange being over in Brynrefail. There is roughly two and a half miles of twisted-pair copper cables between our home routers and the infrastructure that connects to the internet. When  they were rolled out, these cables were intended simply for voice calling, internet connections is something they are unsuitable for but have been pressed into.  BT’s Openreach website states that Brynrefail exchange is “Not currently in rollout plans” (check your postcode here). The list of exchanges to be converted to fibre goes up to 2014 so at the very earliest, it may be 2015 before it reaches us. So the chances of superfast network connections coming to Llanberis look decidedly remote.

So what can be done? By far, the limiting factor is the copper cable connecting homes to the exchange. One way of circumventing this would be to create a wireless network, which would be relatively simple using easily available equipment. In Parc Menai, Fibrespeed have a fibre backbone connected to a gateway in Manchester. With enough interest, a community Wireless ISP could be created and an access agreement reached with Fibrespeed to provide better speeds than are available now.

2 Comments

  1. eXwavia

    You might be interested to know that eXwavia are currently bringing broadband into your area with a minimum of 4Mb being available to residents in Llanrug, Bethel and Deiniolen.

    We hope to be bringing the Llanberis service live by May 2013, although we also hope to be able to fit Nant Peris into our plans too.

    If you are interested, feel free to get in touch so we can get your community project off the ground.

  2. Andy Davies

    Thanks for the comment Oli. I read in the community council bulletin that Exwavia has been selected as the local provider. My concern, however, is that WISPs such as yourselves are merely taking advantage of the broadband grants available from the WAG. There has been little information as to how the scheme will work beyond instructions on applying for the funding, that I’ve seen. I would welcome your comments if you can give any further details.

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