Surely an on land PTP carrier grade microwave link would have been more appropriate? Way more capacity and with lower latency too.
BT and satellite operator OneWeb are now providing internet access to the island of Lundy as part of the UK government's program to connect up hard-to-reach areas of the country, but the pair are strangely reluctant to discuss costs. Westminster announced a trial last year to look into how satellite connectivity might be used …
Undoubtedly true that there's options for Lundy that would be cheaper in the long term, but this is not about permanent connectivity, just trialing one of a number of options. As such the cost is not really a big deal - for 28 people it is going to be bonkers-per-head amount whatever they do.
Cabling is the obvious permanent option, since it's only a few km from the landing points for about 8 submarine cables (plus any secret ones we don't know about). And it's conveniently situated so that GCHQ's summer holiday camp at Bude can keep a careful eye on the Lundy separatists. Anchors won't be any more of a hazard than for those other eight cables.
Cam here to say this.
15 years ago I was selling Point to Point microwave links that could squirt upwards of 40mbps to a reciever 12 miles away, and I'm pretty sure technology has increased the reliability of higher throughputs.
At any rate, it'll be cheaper than using satellites...
At any rate, it'll be cheaper than using satellites...
Maybe not. The satellites are already there as part of the wider system, so the only additional cost would be the base station on the island. That's probably cheaper than two microwave stations (land + island), with the associated land-side cabling & wayleaves.
15 years ago I was selling Point to Point microwave links that could squirt upwards of 40mbps to a receiver 12 miles away, and I'm pretty sure technology has increased the reliability of higher throughputs.
A couple of points... I take it that 12 miles was over land, not over tidal water. SHF links over tidal water are another ball - game entirely, with height diversity reception being a common solution. In addition, making a radio system with sufficient bandwidth to carry broadband in any meaningful way is not entirely easy.
Well, for 28 people and line of sight to land, they could share a decent Wifi 6 router, connected to a suitable high gain antenna back to a similar setup on land. The Tegola project is reportedly already doing this for distances up to 19km across tidal waters according to Wikepedia.
I think the bigger concern is fading caused by destructive interference between the direct signal and the variable-delay reflection from the rising and falling water surface. That used to have a big effect on my UHF TV reception when the best signal was from across a 15 mile sea path.
I think the bigger concern is fading caused by destructive interference between the direct signal and the variable-delay reflection from the rising and falling water surface.
Exactly so; I am relieved that at least someone else here is aware of the problems when planning an SHF radio link over tidal waters.
When Airwave was being put together someone decided that it would be a good idea to have a section of the GBN (Ground Based Network) over tidal waters between <redacted> and <redacted>. This knocked out radio communications at one or two comms - critical sites on a regular basis. It was quite some time before Airwave owned up to their design error and reorganised that bit of the overall route to be, er, on the ground.
I spent 6 days on Lundy last year. 4G coverage was spotty, and only really reliable if you stood in the same place just near the pub, or at the top of the old lighthouse.
Getting to the Internet from anywhere other than near the main "settlement" was a hit and miss affair, more so at the bottom of Devil's Slide or similar on the western side of the island but by then I had other things on my mind!
X'ey Bois offering (ignoring hardware cost) is almost identical to the combined price that I pay BT & my current ISP, it's only questions over connection reliability and about the NAT that they use that have prevented us from switching away from our land based (fastest available without spending 5 figures) 16mb down 1mb up connection
BT/oneweb thing: Wait 'til BT et al show up with their industrial strength gear mountain, then wait until they install said gear, order online(?), get central internet and be locked in.
Fuck knows mbps down and unknown price.
SkyDSL: Order online, get box, assemble assorted metal things, spend a couple of hours dangling off the roof listening for "tones", fight with sky accounts nazis.
40mbps down. 55 euros a month
Starlink: Order online, get box, connect part A to part B. Plug in, wait a mo, get internet.
324mbps down 65 euros a month.
From what some people I know who used to regularly stay on Lundy then one of its attractions is that there was no connectivity so you could get away from everything for a few days.
"No connectivity" includes no mains supply 0000 - 0630 (approximately) every day 'cos the generators are turned off between those hours, assuming that Wikipedia is to be believed.
Had a look at available options a few years ago and a mix of point to point and point to multipoint radio could 'light up' an island without much trouble, with little disruption to nature, predictable costs and decent performance (speeds and latency).
If mobile operators invest - great.
LEO satellite connectivity has come in and now provides a real option that does NOT require any further distribution on the ground. The cynic in me sees BT just cementing its position by making OneWeb part of its delivery chain.
Let users have their own terminals, their own contracts rather than having BT add its 'service' layer please...
Fibre should still be the first choice where economically feasible, but not at any cost (do you hear me, Scottish Government R100 project???)
For those of us with long enough beards to remember The Rockall Times then you'll know why I'm asking!
And yes, I still have the t-shirt. A bit faded but you can still make out the 'There's f**k all on Rockall' caption.
While I'm about it, bring back Dabsy. Oh, and gratuitous references to Paris. :)
I know the chief twit has been upsetting most of the world, but why not use Starlink?
Having used it myself in rural Wales (until BT hooked me up to fttp), the download speed is better than 75mb and it is cheap enough they could likely have provided every house with a unit for less than the BT option.
Outside of T H White's "The Master" this is the first reference to Rockall I have encountered.
Had to laugh at Eff'all on Rockall and would also loved to have seen the "Spitting Image" episode.
I suppose hrh actually is the king of Rockall now unless they seagulls have managed to secede.
I can see Q. Camilla as la Grande Seigneuse (jure uxoris) of Rockall and a multitude of seabirds.