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Fibre GarDen moots gigabit broadband, explains fibre usage limits

Rural superfast broadband provider Fibre GarDen has revealed that its entry-level broadband package will come with a limit of 40GB.

The community project’s Digital Dales website explains that it will have two packages: the lower tier running at 30Mbps up and down with a data limit, and an unlimited 100Mbps service.

Fibre GarDen said it’s expecting to increase speeds and usage allowances, with a 1,000Mbps (1 Gigabit) package under consideration – in a region where few people get above 3Mbps on BT’s copper network.

Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) is able to provide a faster connection than Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC)
Fibre to the premises (FTTP) is able to provide a faster connection than fibre to the cabinet (FTTC)

Digital Dale’s Tony Roberts said: “These are services where level 1 [30Mbps] would be sufficient for most households and level 2 [100Mbps] will suite [sic] heavier users such as those with children and small businesses.

“Our aim was to try to keep thing simple with only two service levels, and to ensure that both provide an excellent user experience and speed in excess of that any of us can currently achieve.”

Fibre GarDen hasn’t yet announced prices for its services, but similar packages run by rural fibre ISPs B4RN (Broadband 4 the Rural North) and Gigaclear are already offering Gigabit internet connections with unlimited data limits.

B4RN’s plan is available for £30/month, while Gigaclear’s Home1000 Unlimited package will set you back £69/month, but you’ll have to be in one of the rural areas the services support.

As a comparison, BT and Virgin Media’s fastest broadband (76Mbps and 152Mbps respectively) will cost you around £40/month.

The new fibre ISPs us FTTP (Fibre to the Premises), which can deliver a guaranteed speed that doesn’t have to come with the “up to” prefix applied to BT, Virgin Media and Sky, who all use the BT Openreach FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) network, limited to around 80Mbps and degrades rapidly for users more than a kilometre from the street cabinet. 

Fibre GarDen is also planning to add a telephone service to its network so users will be able to sever all ties with BT. It’s expected to cost around £3 a month for pay-as-you-go calls, or £10 a month with free calls.

The community project plans to connect every property in the Yorkshire communities of Garsdale and Dentdale, and is being funded both by local investment and a grant from the DEFRA/BDUK Rural Community Broadband Fund. Work on the initial 64km FibreGarDen network will start on October 5, and is planned to be finished by August 2015.

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