Five uses for your now redundant telephone line

The landline is dying a remarkably quick death. Having kept families in touch for the more than a century, house phone calls have halved in the last 6 years alone.

Unsurprisingly, the growth of internet data being used by households is showing no signs of slowing down. More people are using web apps like Skype or WhatsApp for calls, with record numbers of the older generation getting online to stay connected with their families.

The joys of internet without line rental

Internet without line rental happens to be one of the nice little extras you get with 6G Internet’s wireless broadband, which means you don’t even need a landline to stay online.

With no need to use it for the internet or calls, your telephone line is pretty much useless when you join us. So what’s the point in keeping it around?

Well, I suppose it depends on how much you enjoy paying line rental. If you still want to pay the monthly fee to keep your telephone line, we have come up with five helpful options so you can make the most of it.

Uses for your now redundant telephone line

Hmmmm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Secondary washing line
    Summer’s just around the corner and the weather is already veering between scorching and slightly damp – that precious time when hanging washing outside leaves you on a constant emotional knife-edge.

Should you dash outside and save your clothes from those ominous grey clouds, or risk leaving them out for that gloriously small chance of getting them all dry on one go?

Why not double the fun by hanging even more washing out on your telephone line? It’s all the fun of the casino with the added bonus of clean bed-sheets.

  • High difficulty badminton net
    It’s a game of energy and deft flicks of the wrist, but have you really even challenged yourself if you haven’t played badminton over a net as high as the roof of your house?

Granted this is very much dependent on whether your telephone line stretches across a busy road. No one wants their badminton match interrupted by an HGV.

  • External display for your children’s artwork
    Anyone with small children cannot help but be bewildered by the level of artwork they bring home on a daily basis. The front of the fridge can only hold so much and the thought of throwing it away is equivalent to burning it in front of them.

Problem solved! Show off your pride and joy’s creations to the whole neighbourhood. Who’s the best parent? I think we know.

  • Tight-rope for your pets
    Sure, there are a lot of unanswered questions for this one. Like how do you get your Labrador onto the telephone line in the first place? How much training will it need before it can travel across, and how do you get it down afterwards?

On second thoughts, this is probably a terrible idea.

  • Extra-dangerous zip line
    Yeah, this could end in tears too. Mea culpa. This one should have never left the brainstorm.

If you’ve got any better ideas we’d love to hear them. Or if you want to taste the joys of internet without line rental for yourself, why not see if you’re eligible today.

Blackburn takes first steps towards gigabit internet

Lancashire broadband network IX Wireless has begun the roll-out of Blackburn’s new high speed superfast internet, with the north west of the town first to benefit from the new infrastructure.

Fibre speed broadband network – phase 1

Phase 1 of the roll-out will cover approximately 1.6 square miles between the A6119 in the north and the A677 in the west, down to the A674 from Wilton Park to Barton Street and the B6232 in the centre of town.

Workmen began installing the network on Revidge Road, with some houses and businesses in the area able to connect immediately. In total, more than 2,000 premises are set to benefit from Phase 1 of the new wireless broadband by June 2019.

IX Wireless plans to complete the majority of work within the next five months, with its partner 6G Internet responsible for delivering internet services to residents and businesses.

Blackburn set to be one of the UK’s first “gigabit-capable” town

The work is part of plans to make Blackburn one of the UK’s first ‘gigabit-capable’ towns, meaning residents will soon be able to access internet speeds of more than 1,000 mbps as standard, increasing to 6,000 mbps by 2025.

Fixed wireless fibre speed network installed without lengthy delays

The installation of the IX Wireless network marks the first time high speed superfast speeds will be available to a town without the months of roadworks and disruption associated with laying fibre-optic cable in the ground.

Instead, users will simply be able to install a small receiver on their building which will pick up the broadband signal via radio wave, broadcast at the speed of light by IX Wireless’s transmitters.

Neil Knighton, communications manager for IX Wireless, said: “This is an exciting first step for both IX Wireless and Blackburn in creating the UK’s first truly gigabit-capable town. We are continuing to work closely with local communities to ensure minimal disruption. If any residents have concerns or questions about work on their street, they can call our helpline on 01254 405 000.”

Digital inclusion in the spotlight

As more and more services move online, digital inclusion is a problem that is likely to become more pronounced for a significant section of the UK population. That’s because while the majority of Britain takes the internet for granted, there are still 11 million people lacking basic online skills.

According to OfCom

If you are elderly, a low-earner, unemployed or live in social housing, you are less likely to be able to access the internet from your home or have the digital skills to take advantage of being online.

ITV’s Tonight programme Visits project in conjunction with Leeds Council

Thankfully, this issue has been given oxygen by ITV’s Tonight programme, who visited a project that we have been involved in with Leeds City Council to combat digital exclusion by connecting two of the city’s tower blocks to free broadband.

The partnership is part of the council’s 100% Digital Leeds programme aimed at giving every resident the access and skills to make the most out of the internet.

Highspeed broadband delivered to a social housing project

Leeds City Council estimates 38% of its 57,000 social housing residences don’t have permanent access to the internet. As part of the 14 month trial, we connected 160 social housing residences to free wireless broadband. It is streamed to the Grayson Crest and Clyde Grange tower blocks via radio antenna and offers 5 Mbps broadband residents to log on whenever they want.

Feedback from residents connected to broadband as part of the project

It resulted in some absolutely brilliant feedback.

Grayson Crest resident Oliver had been searching for a job for three years without an internet connection. Four days after he was connected to 6G internet, he secured a job he found on Gumtree as a warehouse forklift driver.

He told us: “It’s the difference between being on £46 a week benefit and earning a good wage. £46 just goes in a day – I couldn’t do anything with my kids. Now I can take them swimming or to the seaside. I’ve started saving money for a better car and I can meet my friends without worrying about money.

“Without an internet connection, I was searching for a job by buying newspapers or going to the library. After three years it gets disheartening – you just give up. Phone credit wasn’t cheap – if you want unlimited internet you’re talking £30 a month, so it was even difficult being able to talk to friends on social media. Now I can use my laptop at home. It’s made a big difference.”

Our partner at Leeds City Council, tenant engagement manager Ian Montgomery, said: “We know people suffer from a lower quality of life as a result of being unable to access the social, educational, financial, recreational and health benefits of being online.

“By connecting these flats to the internet and supporting people to learn how to use the technology, we are helping residents to find improved deals and save money, apply for jobs, manage finances and maintain contact with family and friends. It also helps the council to be more efficient, as residents are able to access online services to claim benefits, report issues and make payments.”

Ian Montgomery – Tenant Engagement Manager – Leeds City Council

We are very proud of our work to connect more people to a better quality of life through free broadband. If you’re part of a local authority and interested in partnering with us, you can make an enquiry here.

Blackburn to experience next generation of superfast broadband

Blackburn residents will be one of the first in the UK to access the next generation of broadband, which will be delivered wirelessly and capable of reaching speeds of 6,000 Mbps by 2025.

Fixed wireless superfast broadband

The new wireless network is being constructed by Lancashire-based company IX Wireless, while the broadband is being delivered to consumers and businesses by internet service provider 6G Internet. The roll-out will see 38,000 Blackburn premises connected to the network over the next 24 months.

High speed & superfastsuperfast broadband is key to local regeneration

Councillor Phil Riley, Blackburn with Darwen Council’s Executive Member for Regeneration, said: “We know that faster broadband and a better internet connection can make a real difference to people’s lives, helping them to not only carry out essential tasks such as money management, applying for jobs and accessing education, but also connecting them to more people through social media. We are looking forward to starting work on this on behalf of local residents and businesses.”

Reduced disruption installing fixed wireless superfast broadband

Because the new network is delivered by wireless transmitters installed on roof-tops, telecommunication masts, monopoles and street poles, there will be very few road closures or disruptions commonly associated with digging up roads to lay fibre-optic cables. It also means that residents will be able to get ultra-fast broadband without needing a telephone line.

Internet for Everyone – free internet for families who apply

And as part of work to ensure everyone can enjoy the benefits of being online, 6G Internet is also donating 20% of its network usage to social causes. This means less well-off residents will be able to access free basic internet, while the local authority, schools and charities can work with 6G to provide digitally excluded pupils with daily access to unlimited internet at home.

Reaching 4million homes

With 6G Internet listed as an approved supplier by the government’s BDUK programme, its expansion in Blackburn comes as part of wider plans to reach four million homes across the UK by 2022.

Wireless transmission of data is out of this world

Phil Walker, director of finance at 6G Internet, said: “Over the last 15 years, billions of pounds have been invested in research and development for wireless broadband technology. NASA uses it to communicate with its Mars rover, Tesla’s cars use it to update and navigate. Now we are using it to make sure people in Blackburn can access the internet faster and cheaper than anywhere else in the UK.

Neil Knighton, communications manager at IX Wireless, said: “We are working very closely with Blackburn with Darwen council to ensure the absolute minimum disruption for residents. Our liaison officers will be on site to make sure things are running smoothly throughout the process, while residents will also be able to call a dedicated phone number for community support.

“We’re very excited to bring wireless broadband to Blackburn and look forward to making sure everyone in the town can access the benefits of ultra-fast internet.”

Blackburn: Welcome to wireless

We are delighted to be able to announce that we are bringing gigabit-capable wireless broadband to Blackburn. After working closely with Blackburn with Darwen council, we can confirm that we will soon be beginning work to connect the entire town over the next 24 months.

Check if you can receive high speed broadband in Blackburn

Blackburn residents to receive fibre speed broadband

For the vast majority of Blackburn residents, this will be the first chance to access this type of technology, which will be capable of delivering speeds of up to 6,000 Mbps by 2025.

Introduction high speed broadband offers

Means Blackburn will be one of the first towns in the UK where residents have the option of gigabit fibre speeds as standard.

Quick & Easy network build

As we have mentioned in previous blogs, the way we roll-out our network means there is usually very little disruption to residents. However, we have put carefully thought-through plans in place with the council to ensure that this continues to be the case.

Fixed wireless fibre speed broadband gets to hard to reach places

There will be very little road-digging and most of our infrastructure can be installed within a day or two. We will have liaison officers on the ground during installation to make sure everything is going smoothly, and if there are any issues, residents will be able to call a helpline that will be dedicated to supporting them from the moment work begins.

We will continue to keep you updated as we get more confirmations, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, why not check if you’re eligible today.

What is wireless broadband?

Things have come a long way since dial-up internet connections

Believe it or not, there are those of us who are old enough to remember when the internet consisted of squeaky dial-up connections, pages downloading at a rate of one per day and not being able to get online until your mum was off the phone.

Broadband replaces dial-up internet

Then came broadband, WiFi and speeds that increased a hundred-fold from 53 kbps (kilobits per second) to 5,300 kbps in a matter of a few years. Glorious, beautiful, life-changing internet became possible. But apart from gradual improvements in download speeds, the technology hasn’t really changed since it was introduced 20 years ago.

Fixed wireless fibre speed broadband from 6G Internet

Well, now change has arrived, and it’s come in the form of wireless broadband that will increase the speed of your internet more than a hundred times over again, from the current average of 46.2 Mbps (megabits per second) to 6,000 Mbps by 2025.

50 Mbps Broadband connections are the new dial-up

It means that in the years to come, we will start thinking of our current broadband connections in the same way as we remember dial-up: comically slow and hopelessly unable to achieve what we take for granted from our technology.

We think fixed wireless broadband is the future of ultrafast broadband

Wireless broadband has nothing to do with how you connect your devices at home; it is about how the internet reaches your home in the first place.

Traditional fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) connections need upgrading

Traditional broadband travels via high-speed fibre optic cable from national data centres to local exchanges and then by copper cable to your house. Because copper is terrible at carrying signals over any distance, providers are now in the process of switching them for fibre optic cables, resulting in ‘full fibre’ connections capable of up to 1,000 Mbps. This will take many years to complete, because it involves digging up every road to lay the new cable directly to people’s houses.

Fixed wireless fibre speed broadband is easy to install

Regardless, traditional broadband travels a long way and is limited by the type of cable that carries it, even the most sophisticated fibre optic technology.

Broadband fibre speed network reaches difficult locations not covered by traditional networks

With wireless broadband, the internet is sent to houses via radio signal at the speed of light, with no need for local exchanges and a far shorter distance to travel between the transmitter and receiver. It is broadcast via wireless transmitters installed on roof-tops, telecommunication masts, monopoles and street poles, creating a network that completely covers the town or city. As long as your home is within line-of-sight of one of the transmitters, you can receive wireless broadband, which is much faster and has better latency than anything that comes via cable.

The benefits of fixed wireless broadband

The positive aspects of wireless broadband are not just limited to its speed (although the headline numbers are pretty impressive).

Peak usage will become a thing of the past

With home phones slowly becoming a distant memory for newer generations, residents will be able to completely ditch their landlines if they want to. It also means there will be no such thing as ‘peak’ usage anymore.

Lots of homes connected to the same traditional network slows down internet speeds

Currently, your home’s internet can slow down if lots of other households are online at the same time. That’s because the whole street often relies on the data from a single optical fibre split between houses.

No delays or congestion with fixed wireless fibre speed broadband connections

The wireless broadband connection provides every house with its own, individual link to ultra-high speed internet, unshared by any other household. It means that no matter how many houses on your street are streaming the latest 4K Ultra HD films, your home’s connection will not slow down.

Fixed wireless fibre speed broadband networks upgrade quickly with advances in technology

One of the most exciting things about wireless broadband is that we are still at the very early stages of its development. Sure, 6,000 Mbps sounds fast now, just as 6 Mbps sounded fast in 1999, but as more and more money continues to flow into R&D for wireless technology, we will inevitably see speeds increase even further.

A new digital landscape created with fibre speed broadband networks

The world is only a few years away from realising the potential of a completely new digital landscape. If you have been in any way excited, entertained or enraptured by the internet over the last 20 years, just imagine what the next couple of decades are going to bring.

The public sector must start working together to address digital inclusion

Poverty costs everyone a lot of money – from the families themselves via the poverty premium, to health and social care services, schools and housing.

The public sector impacted by families living in poverty

In fact, the impact of families living in poverty affects every part of the public sector, taking up 25% of health spending, more than a third of the housing budget and 60% of children’s social care expenditure.

A 2016 report by Heriot Watt and Loughborough Universities found that dealing with the consequences of poverty costs the public purse £78 billion a year – that’s £1,200 for every person in the UK. While it falls to the whole of society to take action to address the underlying causes, it is also the duty of each public service to manage the consequences of poverty as effectively and efficiently as possible. This means reducing its impact on families while also finding ways to reduce the impact on each service’s budget, allowing it to free valuable funds to help more people.

The allure of digitising services

The squeeze on public finances has run parallel to the boom in technology, with every organisation now searching for digital solutions to help improve the service they provide and save money at the same time.

Digital Inclusion helps the public sector

Unsurprisingly, each public service is focused on solving its own problems, but this has led to the mistaken impression that each problem is unique to them.

The NHS is continually exploring ways in which new technology can benefit its patients. Telehealth, for example, involves the use of health technology to monitor patients’ conditions remotely, meaning they are no longer required to stay in hospital and can live more independent lives at home. An NHS telehealth trial in Kent was found to reduce hospital admissions by 50% for the disease that was monitored, while home visits were also cut by 80%, resulting in savings of £1.2 million.

Social Housing benefits from Digital Inclusion

In a previous post, we mentioned a number of ways in which social housing providers are looking to digitise, including using artificial intelligence and big data to improve services to their tenants. Similarly, local authorities are searching for new ways to engage residents through digital services, reducing expenditure while allowing users to access adult and children’s social care services via apps, online portals and digital self-assessment forms.

The problem of digital exclusion

The focus on digital helps to cut costs and offers users the chance to engage on their own terms, but organisations are relying on the assumption that their users will have the means to access digital services. This is far less likely when dealing with families in poverty: Ofcom figures show that working-age people living in the poorest households are three times as likely to not have internet access compared to the national average. This leaves a sizeable portion of deprived service users at a further disadvantage: unable to benefit from digital services with alternative options dwindling as the channel shift picks up pace.

The point here is that digital exclusion affects every public organisation that has a duty of care to its service users. More often than not the responsibility for ensuring everyone can access online services falls to landlords or an individual department within a local authority, but this needs to change.

Instead of focusing on solving universal problems such as digital exclusion in silos, public sector organisations will achieve a far greater impact by pooling their respective resources, expertise and capabilities.

The causes of poverty cannot be addressed by a single charity, organisation, business or community, and neither can the consequences.

Why wireless beats fibre optic broadband

Most internet providers will tell you that fibre optic broadband is the future. Well, they aren’t exactly fibbing, but they are being pretty liberal with the truth. Sure, connecting your home directly to fibre optic broadband (known in the biz as ‘FTTP’) is better than using traditional copper cables: It’s faster and your speed is no longer affected by how far your home is from the internet exchange. But upgrading your broadband is like buying a remote control aeroplane – if you really want to take off, cables kind of defeat the purpose. Here’s why:

The technology is already almost out of date

Fibre Broadband speeds up to 1Gbps

Work has only just begun to install FTTP cables across the UK, which are expected to be able to deliver home broadband at speeds of approximately 1 Gbps. That’s 1,000 Mbps – pretty fast compared to average speeds now. But in reality, broadband technology is only a few years away from being capable of delivering internet that is much, much faster.

Replacing copper cables is costly and time consuming

This means that by the time all the fancy new cable has been laid to connect homes directly to fibre optic broadband (which is likely to be some point in the next decade), it will already be hopelessly unable to cope with the speeds that other technology will be capable of. And the only way to bring it up to date is spend another decade re-laying newer cable, only for the cycle to begin again.

Fixed wireless superfast broadband

Fixed Wireless technology does not suffer from the same problems as FTTP. The wireless transmitters that broadcast the broadband signal to your home are roughly the size of a packet of sugar and set on top of a mast, similar to mobile phone towers.

6G Internet investing in the future fast broadband

The billions of pounds being invested in wireless technology means it is improving at an incredible rate, so whenever faster broadband becomes possible, it’s simply a matter of swapping out the transmitters for an updated version. No digging, no waiting, just the fastest broadband that modern technology can achieve, beamed directly to your home.

Fibre optic broadband availability is a real pain

bulldozer scraping a road conventional fibre-optic broadband requires trenches to be dug and recovered

If you don’t have FTTP yet, connecting your town means putting cables into the ground to connect every house in every street. That involves a LOT of closed roads, detours, noise, and the hassle of trying to get in and out of your house while dodging workmen, trenches, vans and equipment for months on end. It’s all the fun of your morning traffic jam, extended to the rest of your daytime, leisure time and down time. Plus, with the added bonus of a carbon footprint that would make a low-budget airline blush.

6G Internet lower carbon foot print than conventional fibre broadband

Fixed Wireless broadband uses radio transmitters set up around your town. They are installed in a day or two and can be maintained and upgraded without so much as a single closed road. It’s less hassle, a lower carbon footprint and will last a good 50 to 60 years before needing to be replaced.

Fibre optic broadband deals have no flexibility

Whichever provider you end up choosing, they have to cover the massive expense of the installation and maintenance of their new and improved FTTP network. Which means passing the costs on to you. You want ultra-fast broadband speeds? It’ll cost you double what you’re paying now. Just upgraded your TV to 4K Ultra HD? Better be prepared to sign up to a brand new contract for faster broadband to cope with it. Want to downgrade your speed? There’s that brand new contract again.

6g Internet the flexible way to enjoy ultra-fast broadband

Fixed Wireless broadband is more flexible (well, it is the way we do it here at 6G Internet). Because our installation and running costs are lower, our customers can choose to switch to any package that suits them without extending or renewing their contract. It’s simply a matter of picking what’s right for your household at that particular time. Stick or switch. Upgrade or downgrade. It’s fine by us and it’s up to you.

But here’s the most important bit: because we don’t need to spend as much money on our infrastructure to deliver higher speeds, we can deliver ultra-fast broadband without having to charge the inflated prices our FTTP competitors do. And as we improve our speeds and technology, our customers can enjoy ever faster broadband. The government wants most areas to be able to access 1 Gbps broadband by 2025. By that time, we will be providing internet that is six times faster – for the same price.

If you’re interested in joining the wireless revolution, check if it’s available in your area now.

Digitally-enabled social housing – all it takes is a connection

With technology already beginning to transform how services are delivered to social housing tenants, 6G Internet founder Tahir Mohsan was one of a number of experts invited to speak at this year’s Digital Housing Conference in Manchester.

Continue reading “Digitally-enabled social housing – all it takes is a connection”