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Broadband Internet Access

Broadband 4 months on


Broadband – 4 months on

We easily forget what life was like before joining the fast lane with decent broadband in the village. Some properties are still waiting for it to become reality for them: primarily at the foot of Gangsdown Hill and the Technical Site at RAF Benson.

OCC/Openreach is keeping us informed …

“Regarding properties that are not getting faster fibre speeds, we need to complete the current phase of the project which is enabling more than 47 FTTC cabinets in this area (due to complete at the end of June) to get an accurate picture of speeds for all properties in the phase.  We will then develop an ‘infill’ plan for the complete phase and roll that out. So unfortunately, there isn’t immediate news for Mays Farm Cottages but the properties are on our radar and there is a commitment to address all properties with a minimum of 2Mb speed by the end of 2015 using FTTC or alternative technologies.  We have a whole county to cover (~500 FTTC cabinets) so work has to be planned and resources used effectively.

Once this phase is completed at the end of June and the report is collated for the phase, a workplan will be developed in July for properties that fall below the 2 Mb threshold.

Regarding Exchange Only (EO) configurations – (the more complex installs around the RAF Benson Technical site).  These are planned for phase 3 as we are on a six month cycle and until we get the FTTC installs completed in the surrounding area we won’t be able to plan the fibre spine for EO.  Phase 3 is due to start in July 2014 and will be a six month cycle so the EO installs should be coming on stream around Oct-Dec 2014.”

There’s work going on in the surrounding area too, so our neighbours may be getting big improvements soon. And finally, dedicated donglers are reporting much better speeds again presumably as other users move to landline broadband.

Some people are finding response times slower than they expected. That’s often because everyone is looking at the same website at the same time, their computer is a bit aged or clogged up, or everyone is downloading a video. There are inevitable peaks and troughs.

But generally, everyone’s forgotten that 3 seconds is the limit of human patience when waiting for a computer to reply from anywhere – we discovered that 50 years ago!


Last Updated on Monday, 12 May 2014 07:37


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Last Updated on Friday, 21 March 2014 08:21

Are the Days of Three and 3G Numbered?

Following the long anticipated provision of faster broadband by means of fibre optic cable, it has now finally arrived here in Ewelme. Residents of the village are indeed fortunate to be some of the first in Oxfordshire to be provided with the opportunity to improve the low connection speeds (<2 Mbs) that many have been experiencing for some years using the copper cables from Wallingford. This installation, linked to available fibre infrastructure, is the start of a countywide programme to also provide other rural areas like ours with Super Fast Broadband (>24 Mbs). This project is being financed by Central Government, Oxfordshire CC and BT, which will take up to 2 years to complete, and is concurrently taking place throughout all counties within the UK until 2017, within a scheme called BDUK.

The method chosen by BT, who ‘won’ the contract, is to provide a fibre optic cable to a special electronic 'exchange' cabinet at a central point (e.g. King's Pool). From here, the original telephone cables are then used to transfer the much higher data speeds now available (80 Mbs). A new Wi-Fi and Ethernet box (router) is then required to be installed within each household to benefit from this newer technology. A wide range of providers (BT, Plusnet, TalkTalk etc, etc), can enable the connection, offering a choice of maximum speeds, monthly data usage, telephone usage, and extra facilities such as BT Sport, YouView, etc. requiring > 5Mbs. A characteristic of this method, called  'Fibre To The Cabinet' (FTTC) is that the maximum data speed that may be available near the cabinet will become proportionally slower the further away a residence is located.  However, this should be of no great consequence in receiving SFB until one is located greater than about 1 Km  from the cabinet. Even so, although perhaps not being strictly ‘super fast’, the speed capability would still be in excess of that previously experienced.

So, for those residents who have been using fixed wireless broadband (3G) from Three or Vodafone within the last three and half years, and live within up to say 2 Km of the central cabinet, the advice would be that signing up for the new service would likely yield a noticeable improvement in internet speed compared with that of 3G (>10 Mbs).  However for some, there may either be 3G contract periods to complete, or the use to which their current service is being put continues to be regarded as perfectly satisfactory for the time being at least. It has also become clear that 3G users who previously chose to retain (and pay) for their slow landline broadband  in anticipation of something better in future, will not see any automatic improvement at all, apart from perhaps a reduction in contention, over that available since 2007. This means that new users will basically need to pay a provider some £15/month to obtain fibre based super fast broadband (and continue the £15/ month line rental), whereas current landline broadband subscribers, whether having utilised it or not, will pay around £10 above what they are paying now. (All monetary examples given will vary between competitive providers).

There is little doubt that the arrival of SFB into the Village will bring to those who have never used 3G, the full function experience of the internet currently only enjoyed by town dwellers, and recognition should be given to our Village Champions for the years of campaigning and lobbying of OCC to influence its early availability. But spare a thought for those hundreds of rural households throughout the County, some of whom may have to wait another two years to get similar improvements.  However, 3G/4G will continue to be the evolving de facto data communications standard for all users of mobile devices and portable Wi-Fi access points (dongles/MiFi’s). So for those who will have to wait for fibre, or who are not included within the BDUK schedule, or are located some distance from a central cabinet, may also find that a fixed 3G/4G Wi-Fi router can still provide an interim or even permanent solution in  bringing fast broadband into a rural household.

Chris Jenkins


Last Updated on Saturday, 04 January 2014 14:36

How to check your SFB status

We're now checking if any parish residents (Ewelme and RAF Benson) are out of range of the new SFB (super fast broadband) cabinets.


You can check your own service status by going to …




Then click on ...

Which brings up …

Enter your number and submit …


and you'll see what you can get at this moment.  FTTC is what you're looking for.

Cabinet 7 is the one by the Kings Pool. Cabinet 5 is at Cochrane Road inside the Domestic Site at RAF Benson. Those on Cabinet 5 may not yet be quite ready for service.


A few numbers may be on the Nettlebed exchange, which will be a little challenge to fix.






You can help us by checking your status, and if you think there's a problem tell  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it with a copy of the screen shot if you can.


Neil Blake




Last Updated on Tuesday, 24 December 2013 12:13

Another wireless broadband success


We moved to the outskirts of Ewelme recently on the main road opposite Mays Farm. When we moved in, Sky told us we could get Internet, but after several phone calls and a visit from a BT engineer we were told that it would not be possible because we are too far from the exchange and the cables are just not good enough. (sounds familiar! Ed)


We got in touch with Christopher Jenkins to see if he could help us because these days most things are done on the Internet, so to not have any was a bit of a problem.


Chris was very helpful. He came out to do a speed test and see what connection we might be able to get. He suggested we try a mobile wifi unit on the upstairs window using Three mobile whose nearest tower is in Wallingford.


So we bought a Huawei Mobile WiFi E5332 Unlocked Mobile Wifi device from Amazon. We signed up with Three Mobile, attached it all to the window upstairs and I am pleased to report we now have 24/7 Internet access. Speeds are good and we can do everything we need to with little disruption. Occasionally when it is misty or the weather is really miserable things slow down but it is not long before we are back up and running again.


We initially tried a 30 day 1Gb SIM from Three but this didn't give us enough Internet for the month, so after speaking with Three we have signed up for 10Gb a month on a special offer deal which is much better.


We bought the mifi unit from Amazon, a charger from EBay and a 30 day Three mobile SIM for £9 from Amazon. The initial SIM has now been replaced with a £15 monthly contract with the 10 Gb SIM from Three.

In all, about £50 to install it and £15 a month on a contract now with Three that we can cancel anytime just giving 30 days notice without any fees.


There is hope out there for those who are struggling with Internet connection and there are ways around the issues with cables. Our Internet is as good now with the mobile wifi as it was in our old house with the cables!

I am really pleased we looked into it and got the right help. I hope others can also get the Internet they need.


Jessica Hayes




The advice was invaluable, as was the referral to our neighbours (Jessica) who pointed us in the direction of the kit recommended and we discussed positioning of the receiver etc.. We now have very very usable broadband at a fraction of the cost of satellite broadband. This has enriched our lives no end and was such an easy solution to implement. We found it through the Ewelme village newsletter and had it not been for that would probably still be leading a life ‘off-line’.


Alex Ballard MSc

Assistant Principal: Higher Education and Adult Learning


Last Updated on Thursday, 28 November 2013 20:12


Your new pavilion

The results are in...

200+ preferred a traditional style and 50+ preferred the modern. There were many, many constructive comments which the PC is now collating into a report to be issued very shortly.

Someone has already borrowed the bulldozer!