back to article Milton Keynes council embraces WiMAX

Milton Keynes Council has launched what is thought to be the UK's first commercial wireless broadband service using WiMAX technology. ConnectMK, a private company set up by the council to address the issue of poor broadband connectivity across Milton Keynes, has joined forces with Freedom4 to provide residents and businesses …


This topic is closed for new posts.
  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Nice start... if they'll just start offering TV over the system I can tell BeardieTV what they can do with MK's analogue cable network.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Astronomical speed....

    If only I lived in Milton Keynes then perhaps I could benefit from the truely astronomical, falsely advertised WiMAX speeds being offered for less than it costs to fill up my car with go-go juice; quote:

    1024/512 ---> mbps <---

    2048/512 ---> mbps <---

    2048/1024 ---> mbps <---

    I guess they've covered their asses though by sticking a nice 10/20/40 GB cap on it though...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    shittest infastructure in the country. You get a better connection living in a village miles from an exchange then in MK 2 miles from the exchange.

    Aluminium telephone wires and shit cable.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    @AC - Astronomical speed....

    You think they need a cap when offering access at *milli* bits per second speeds?!

    Even at 2048mbps (=2.048bits/second), it would take a stupid amount of time to download 1kbyte (1.1 hours if my maths serves correctly), so I don't think they need to worry!

    Or do you think they made a bigger typo than first glance would imply?

  5. Alastair Dodd

    New town

    "In Milton Keynes, it allows us to provide the reach and the coverage which DSL couldn't because of the area's poor infrastructure."

    God help the rest of us in old towns and cities if such a planned town has poor infrastructure

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Exciting new encryption

    Fully encrypted with no key to crack - I am interested in how this new unbreakable technique works, I hope they have a patent

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Gates Horns

    It can't be that bad can it?

    I'm thinking of moving to MK, is the infrastructure really that bad?

  8. Duncan Robertson
    Dead Vulture

    MK not a new town?

    I live in the Highlands of Scotland - admittedly only approx. 200 metres from the exchange. However, this exchange was built in the early 20th Century when the local laird was the Queen's High Commissioner to India, purely to boost the signal from another exchange to our superior's house. My point is that I would have thought that a "new" town's construction would have had the foresight to install scaleable infrastructure from the outset... When was it built? 1967 or something!

    I chose the dead bird because I'm as sick as a parrot of the same thing happening in this country. Lack of foresight is going to cost us dearly. Come on people, forget the political terms and look beyond the next 5 years! It might cost more just now but it WILL be worth it in 7 to 10.

  9. Andy Worth

    MK - infrastructure

    Well at one point it had "cutting edge" infrastructure.....unfortunately that point was about 35 years ago and it's not really improved much since. That's probably why they chose MK as a site for testing, as there are a lot of people unable to get DSL/cable modem.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Mind u its not cheap

    at £60 a month if i read it right

  11. Dan Collett
    Thumb Up

    I live in MK...

    And the infrastructure isnt that bad! Better than Swindon for a start! Regularly see my connection sat at 8Meg!

    This does sound like a good idea for those who dont want a telephone line!

  12. Adam

    Totally no point for MK

    I live in MK, worked with the "Broadband 4 MK" pressure group to get stuff like this done... what a total waste of time. I *desperately* need faster broadband as I'm stuck at 900k-1Mbit (in Europe's fastest growing city? Pathetic!)... but the WiMax install is aimed at the centre/centre west of the town center, where most people have a decent connection already.

    If ConnectMK/MK Council had any sense they would have pointed this thing at the vast majority of us poor luckless souls that don't inhabit the -predominantly business zoned- central area (as per MK's design).

    It's all spin and until they address the nonsense that is MK's comms infrastructure (some of us on aluminium cable, some on old fibre that never took off as a technology and some of us with tragically long copper lines - I'm 6.3km!) we're screwed.

    There's a grid road system here with roundabouts; why not use each roundabout as a distribution node - fibre from the exchanges to the roundabouts, then copper into the individual estates. Problem solved, cheap enough to spin that little bit of fibre out, close/short enough copper lines to make a noticable difference; and none of this faffing about with WiMax that's aimed at totally the wrong type of customer.

    Joke Alert icon as that's what this particular piece of planning is.


  13. David Gosnell

    Cutting edge

    As Andy Worth said, at one time it was the best. I believe it was one of the very first places in the country to get a cable system. Trouble is, that means it's now one of the oldest and most decrepit cable systems in the country. I doubt it's changed in the three years since I abandoned ship there, but that meant it was defiantly analogue and generally stone age, though at least since it was originally installed as not-for-profit, there was no provision made for disconnecting those not willing to line subsequent profiteers' pockets. Bear in mind RF radio/TV reception is more or less non-existent since there was no need, and aerials at least used to be forbidden. Despite the cable system latterly being run by NTL, if you asked them about cable broadband services they were reputed to put the phone down on you without further explanation. The phone system is indeed largely based on aluminium cabling, done on the cheap and utterly DSL-incompatible. They talked of replacing it with copper, but ripping up the whole town was not really practical even if many would have undoubtedly approved!

    The powers that be have been talking about tackling this dismal state of affairs with wireless coverage for four or five years. This may be half-hearted and not benefit most of the population, but at least it's a start...

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down


    >There's no key to crack and no ability to snoop as with Wi-Fi

    rubbish. theres already some papers out on wimax insecurities and issues.

    as for other comments about speed - too right. 2mbit is a long plummet

    down from the 54mbit of 802.11a/g - the MAX in WiMAX is really about its

    RANGE than speed - and if LOTS of people are on an access point..........

  15. Andy Worth

    It actually annoyed me......

    I've lived in MK for the last 11 years, with a couple of years in Northants stuck in the middle there somewhere. I remember when I used to bother with the NTL cable tv service and I saw the (at the time) new cable broadband being rolled out in various parts of the country. I contacted NTL who told me that the cable in our area was "too old" to support cable modem.

    I lived in a house in one of the shittest areas of Wellingborough (of which even the best parts are barely adequate) and had 20Mb cable, which I DID get reliable speeds from. I move back to a much newer place, only to find that the infrastructure still forces me to use DSL, which just does not compare favourably to my old cable connection.

    I have no idea if this WiMax shit will work, and I doubt very much that I'll be involved. But I just wanted to have my tuppence worth about how shit the infrastructure here is.

  16. Neil Hoskins

    re: "It can't be that bad"

    Yes it can. The water tastes like bleach and is full of mud and worms, too; you'll need a Brita filter or similar. I actually loved living there when I did, but never could quite figure out why some aspects of the infrastructure were so poor in a new town.

  17. Big-G
    Dead Vulture

    It gets worse

    So I live in a village outisde Milton Keynes, yet I also pay the "MK Community Charge"

    Might I be able to receive this as a DSL alternative?

    Why does it take the council to 'invest' in providing an alternative to BT?

    Will I get it in my area?

    Funny this, but completing the rather pedantic online form (..... doesn't recognize spaces in the postcode or telephone no'!....) to see if I could get it, but the submission process fails to work...... some file missing! Suggest I tell the 'webmaster' Well I wouljd if I could but even using the trusty dog and bone is a failure, cos all I get is a default "please leave a message" option, as it seems no-one' at home!

    Am I any better off?

    Am I surprised?

    Will I re-try later?

    ...Do I look bothered?

  18. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects

    It can't be that bad can it?

    "I'm thinking of moving to MK, is the infrastructure really that bad?"

    As long as you never lose the car and the license you could be OK.

    I think they closed pedestrian access to any shops there. Maybe they have pavements still though. Go and see before you make up your mind.

    Port Sunlight it ain't. It's more the sort of 20th century update of the Victorian terraces of mill towns designed for one car families. But I only went there once.

  19. Steve Barnett

    Poor Old MK - Just not future proofed

    I grew up in Bletchley & MK from the early 60s till the mid 80s. It had cable TV in 1977, we had Sky and MusicBox with Sooni and GazTop!

    Sadly we never got the monorail we were promised, and my folks say the whole place is turning to poo!

    Shame really for the UKs 21st century city, the spineless development corporation fell into the pockets of the developers and the rest of it went up in the cheap.

    As for Wimax; I hope it works. Not 'cause i care about the technology, I'm fed up of paying for a telephone line I don;t use just so I can get my email.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It's Pipex, Jim, but not as we know it

    The websites for connectmk (.com and have apparently been pointing to Pipex (1-2-3-reg) holding pages for the last week. Hmmm.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And it's 1-2-3, what are we waiting for, you don't seem to give a damn...

    connectmk sites still lead to 1-2-3 (Pipex) holding pages. Presumably this isn't a 1-2-3-wide DNS outage like the one in November though [1] otherwise we'd have read about it here (and that one only lasted a cpouple of days).

    Even when the connnectmk pages were up, they were lacking the company info legally required under Distance Selling regs, and also lacking the info legally required by Ofcom on any UK ISP web site (not that it was obvious who the ISP was in legal terms, ie connectmk or Freedom4, which also seemed a bit strange)


This topic is closed for new posts.