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20mg Broadband for St Hilary summary

broadband A summary of the meeting held on 17 January to discuss broadband options in the village is available.  Click on the read more link below for full details.

Overview (jargon free version) 

  1. Landline: If you are reasonably happy with current broadband speeds and reliability of connection, it’s probably best to stay as you are because BT is expected to double the speed (but not the reliability) of the telephone wires on or around 31 March.
  2. Satellite: If you want a better service but (a) do not have a desire to use iPlayer and other TV catch up applications regularly (b) do not want to download films or stream music (c) do not send large files or photos frequently (ie upload data) (d) do not plan to use remote (cloud) services (e) you (or your children/grandchildren) do not play on-line games – then satellite might be something for you to consider.  You can contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it of Avonline directly (he made a presentation on Tuesday) or another satellite provider of your choice.
  3. Wireless: if you have any of the 5 needs (a to e) above and don’t want to wait between 3 or 5 years for improvements in speed and capacity and reliability, then wireless might be the solution for you.  This will require a community application to the Welsh Government’s Broadband support scheme, which I am happy to co-ordinate.  20 initial expressions of interest are required – I already have 4 email and 4 verbal commitments and there are 46 people on this broadband email group, so there should be sufficient support to proceed.  No commitment is needed at this stage.  I am also making contact with 2 other potential providers.


Landline: do nothing

Satellite: contact a satellite broadband provider (I can provide more detail about the service if you ask for it)

Wireless: reply to this email indicating you are expressing an interest (please do this even if you already emailed or spoken to me about it).  Expressing an interest does not commit you to anything yet.

I will be setting up a separate email group for those of you who are interested in the Wireless (WiMax) option.  If you do not think WiMax is for you, but would like to be kept informed of developments, please let me know and I will add you to the email, group.  Email updates to this email group will cease as the WiMax option develops.

Please forward these details onto anybody who might be interested.

A bit more detail for the geeks and technophiles (and a special thanks to Abby Hanson who has provided additional information):

Welsh Government Broadband Support Scheme

The Broadband Support Scheme  offers a grant of up to £1,000 for a broadband connection if you receive speeds of less than 2Mbps. If the whole community could benefit from this service a community application can be made, which would benefit everyone in the village and surrounding area. This is available for either satellite or wireless solutions.  The scheme could end in April.

The aim of the Welsh Government is that everyone in Wales will be able to access next generation broadband (at least 30mb) by 2015, and 50% will get 100mb.

The contract award announcement was to be made in March, however is now expected to in the Spring (which may mean May).

It seems that superfast broadband will be here eventually, but whether the target date of 2015 is met for St Hilary is something you will have to form your own opinion about.

Landline (BT)

BT’s broadband connect (ADSL2+ or 21CN or  21st century Broadband or WBC) will be available on the Cowbridge exchange on 31 March 2012. This will improve broadband speeds, but will only double what we currently have.  Service will still tail off the further we are from the exchange.  There is no date for the Superfast Broadband rollout for Cowbridge. Barry, Penarth & Llantwit Major now have Superfast Broadband so it probably is coming.  The maximum speed over copper wires is 24mb. 


This involves a straightforward installation of a satellite dish, which can also receive Sky/Freesat HD broadcasts.

All hardware and installation costs are covered by the Welsh Government grant, but not the monthly fee.

The monthly charge starts at £25 for 6mb download and 1mb upload.  Other packages are available.

There is a data cap of 4gb a month – excess data usage is charged.

No phone line required – most households can receive a signal as line of sight is from the sky.


This uses wireless technology (not copper cable, not fibre, not satellite) – WiMAX – and will be beamed from the St Hilary transmitter.

It requires “near line of sight” which we have been told means most houses in the village will be able to receive it – but that needs verification.

This involves a straightforward installation of a small receiving dish (not satellite).

Cost is £20 pm for 4mb download and 1mb upload and a top level service of around 20mb – with a fair usage policy (not yet defined) – we are awaiting a draft contract.

A BT landline is not needed.

Around 40 households are needed for it to be viable – but the company is happy to launch it with 20 households (the wireless range is 10 km, so other villages will be able to join in).

WiMax is not in wide use yet in the UK, but is in other some other European countries and the USA.

Abby Hanson has provided details of two other companies that might be able to provide WiMax services.  I am contacting them for more information.


I have a very useful and comprehensive guide to broadband and its technology prepared by the Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA) which was forwarded to me by Abby Hanson.  If you would like to receive it, let me know (it’s 2mb).

I am happy to answer any questions and provide more information if I have it, but as I have a day job, it would be great if you could make some enquiries yourself if you can.

If you have any relevant information that’s worth passing on, please send it to me.

As soon as I have 20 expressions of interest for wireless, I will move onto the phase of co-ordinating a community submission.

My facilitation of a community application should not be interpreted as support for any particular solution.

Nothing in this or subsequent emails should be relied on for making decisions  - you need to make your own enquiries about what is the best solution/option for you.

Any reliance placed on information in this or subsequent emails is entirely at your own risk.

Best wishes


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