Fibre is here
After years of waiting, some Stanhoe residents should now be able to get fast fibre broadband.
Peter Hallinan, who lives in Docking Road, reports that he had fibre installed by BT on 14 January and that it is both better and cheaper than his previous service.
The new service uses the technology known as “fibre to the premises” (FTTP) instead of the more common “fibre to the cabinet” (FTTC). Frustratingly, in Stanhoe it seems only to be available on Docking Road.
Fast but not cheap
At £30 to £50 a month FTTP is not cheap, but it should be fast and reliable. Both speed and cost vary according to who you buy the service from. BT offered Peter Hallinan 55 Mbit/s, which is well short of the 100 Mbit/s the company guarantees for its standard “Ultrafast Fibre” service. It’s possible that this is a technical limit in Stanhoe.
FTTP versus alternatives
As the name suggests, FTTP uses a direct optical fibre connection from the Docking telephone exchange to the customer’s house. It is capable of blistering speeds – 300 Mbit/s or more – but traditionally has been too expensive for home use.
Recently, though, it seems that in rural areas BT has decided that FTTP can be more cost-effective than FTTC.
For Stanhoe residents who don’t live on Docking Road or don’t want to fork out for FTTP, the situation is less promising.
Standard ADSL broadband delivered over traditional copper cables doesn’t really cut it in Stanhoe. Some households get 4 Mbit/s or more via this route, but many others are limited to an unreliable 1–2 Mbit/s service. This situation probably won’t change.
Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) costs more than standard ADSL but delivers higher speeds. However, it doesn’t seem to be widely available in Stanhoe. You might want to look at the BT broadband checker just in case, but even if FTTC does become available it’s quite possible that it won’t be cheaper than FTTP.
The Better Broadband for Norfolk campaign shows that several Stanhoe postcodes are on the waiting list for fast broadband (see map below), so perhaps the situation will improve. If you manage to get either FTTP or FTTC the would be interested to hear your experiences.
Stanhoe residents have been hoping for better broadband since the first plans to bring fibre to the Docking exchange in April 2014. In January 2015 we though we’d got there, but it turned out to be a false alarm. In January 2017 we were told that 2018 was a possibility. It’s nice to have finally made some progress.