Members Meeting – 22nd June 2017

Warm thanks to everyone that attended our Members Meeting at Bristol on 22nd June 2017.

We had 45 attendees and a really strong agenda. Special thanks to Ofcom for attending and participating so constructively in this meeting..

The Experts Panel discussion was extended to over an hour, which gave time to get into some real details and good advice on responding to emerging threats in the market. Richard Moore joined the panel from Ofcom’s Spectrum Group, which added some welcome insight from the Regulator. Generally, feedback was positive about BDUK’s Better Broadband Scheme and this has allowed many Members to reach further and help a great deal of homes and businesses get high grade broadband for the first time.

We also heard from RF Elements about how to squeeze more from a wireless network, using their Symmetric Horns. Reducing interference and improving the signal to noise ratios for wireless equipment can dramatically improve speeds and improve spectral efficiency.

Ron Touw from Multithread consultants gave an extremely interesting case study on how they helped build the Superhero Broadband network almost entireley on MikroTIK routers and radios, making this an extremely low cost and easy to manage network.

Our discussions with Ofcom are beginning to show signs of progress and Nigel King’s session about UKWISPA’s efforts in relation to Government and Ofcom consultations was very informative. Members highlighted their deep concerns about proposed imposition of Automatic Compensation legislation and its dis-proportionality. Whilst all Members take a pride in high quality, local service provision, many smaller firms would find it hard to manage if they have to rebate up to a month’s subscription to a customer who is without internet for a day, where fault may lay with an upstream provider. This will be taken and fed back to Ofcom by UKWISPA.

In addition, we discussed the potential removal of the RTTT reservation in 5.8GHz band, which appears to be no longer required in the UK, but which prevents WISPs from efficiently using this important band. We will also take discussions further in respect of 3.5-3.6GHz potential shared spectrum, 3.8-4.2, 17 and 27GHz for dedicated WISP use. This process will take up to two years and so we will be seeking every opportunity to help make this as simple and compelling as possible for Ofcom to review. A document will be prepared by UKWISPA in this respect.

Matt Mangriotis was visiting the UK from the States and gave a really useful view of how our counterparts operate in the USA – WISPAmerica. We will reach out to them to see how we could help one another. We also agreed to implement an ADR Scheme, free of charge to UKWISPA Members. The details of the scheme will be circulated in July 2017.

UKWISPA will also prepare some training materials to help further improve the quality and status of its Members. This will include Regulatory Compliance and Good Neighbourhood.

Members agreed a contact and lead sharing arrangement and further details of how this will be managed via the Website Portal will be issued presently.

Our Chairman, David Burns, gave a Case Study on how his company, Boundless Networks has developed a Wireless Planning system. This allows large scale wireless networks to be planned and refined using mapping data and a high performance line of sight calculator.

Finally, Luke O’Kelly covered a fascinating Case Study into how Siklu technology has been used at large scale in a number of US cities to replace gigabit fibre to the premises and has now been adopted by Google as their technology of choice in place of laying fibre cables.

Our next meeting will be held in Newcastle upon Tyne on September 28th 2017.

We look forward to seeing you there!

This meeting was free for all UKWISPA Members. If you are not a current member and would like to attend future meetings, please see membership information here – Membership Details, or email us at membership@ukwispa.org