Unable to access even the most basic Internet services over the village’s existing copper broadband network, a retired software engineer was delighted to find a fibre-optic alternative.
Peter Jennings (69) is a retired software engineer living with his wife in the Oxfordshire village of Appleton. Their grown-up daughters have left home but visit frequently – bringing with them laptops, iPads and smart phones to connect to the couple’s broadband network.
Until recently that might have been a problem. Peter explains, “The network was incredibly slow. Even Skype was unpredictable, and the iPlayer constantly buffered. On top of that, the telephone line was often noisy. Internet telephony was out of the question. It was all very frustrating.
“We were with BT at the time and briefly considered switching to another provider but thought that because the provider would still be operating over BT’s copper-based network we were unlikely to see much improvement in performance. We also wondered whether we would get a reduced level of service in the event of any problems because the provider didn’t own the network.”
Peter was delighted when Gigaclear presented itself as an alternative – offering to install an entirely new ultrafast fibre-optic network to every property in the village as long as a third of residents signed-up.
Timescales for installation were always very ambitious so Peter was unsurprised that it took slightly longer than planned for Gigaclear to pass his house – one of the last in the village. Once Gigaclear had done so, however, Peter was able to quickly connect to the fibre and install the router himself with Gigaclear’s ‘self installation kit’.
Peter comments, “The process was relatively simple. I didn’t realise quite how robust fibre-optic could be though. Concerned that the service wasn’t working properly, I called the engineer for help. The cable simply needed an extra shove to ensure it was fully inserted into the socket.”
With the Gigaclear network, Peter can run lots of devices at the same time throughout the house. “Due to the size of our house, and having brick internal walls, maintaining wireless performance across the house has been a problem so we plug the desktop, blu-ray player, personal video recorder and smart TV in into the network directly using power line network extenders. Our laptops, iPads and smart phones all run wirelessly as do those of our daughters when they visit. Even with all those devices on the network my desktop goes like a bat out of hell.” Peter says.
Peter can now access services such as the iPlayer and Skype reliably and at all times of the day. He uses Vonage for telephone and likes the fact that it sends him voicemails as sound files via email – so he can pick them up from anywhere.
Together Vonage and Gigaclear cost only a couple of pounds more per month than Peter was paying previously. Peter comments, “The service we have now is faster and infinitely better quality. It is well worth the extra. We like that fact too that we can download unlimited amounts of data. Previously we had a 10 GB limit. We seldom went over it but, if we did, we felt we were being ripped off.”
Peter continues, “Now that we’ve got the Gigaclear network my only frustration is that the speeds of virtually all Internet services have yet to catch up. With up to 1000 Mbps it sometimes feels like we’ve got all this speed and nowhere to go. But that is changing – with new film services, for example. With ultrafast broadband we can accommodate whatever the future might bring.”