Skip fibre, Go wireless

The Computer Society of Bermuda must have gone mad with their recent report recommending installation of fibre to the home at at an approximate cost of $9,000 per home.

"Local on-island facilities need to be upgraded to fibre-to-the-home to exceed the 24 Mbps technical maximum we have now," the report stated.

"This may require investment above $9,000 per home and have to cover over 75 percent of homes to be worthwhile."

There are many fans of rolling out higher speed lower cost internet in Bermuda but $9,000 a home?  At 30,000 dewellings that amounts to nearly $200 million invested to reach their coverage levels.  Sorry, but we can do better.

Bermuda has a significant advantage over mainland nations because we have a largely unused wireless spectrum, one which opens opportunities for greater connectivity.  Take the example of CSIRO and their proposed 100mbit over frequencies presently used by UHF tv when tv switches to digital.  Bermuda has 3 stations so most of our UHF band is already unused, perhaps we should be pursuing companies like CSIRO to trial their services here?
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11 thoughts on “Skip fibre, Go wireless

  1. “Bermuda has 3 stations so most of our UHF band is already unused,”
    You might need to investigate that statement, I think most of the UHF band has been given to WOW.

  2. Actually, I already have. When WOW was first introduced I went and talked to their president about the potential to run internet over it and was told that they were denied the request to become an ISP or local loop provider.

  3. What rubbish! Please spend money on putting electricity below ground instead so we do not need to lose power when hurricanes hit.

  4. “The Computer Society of Bermuda must have gone mad…”
    Oh no they haven’t. I suspect more than a few of them stand to benefit from participating in the $200M in infrastructure upgrades.
    All quite logical actually.

  5. Lol, good point Christian.
    While it would be nice to have transmission wires underground I suspect the costs would be astronomical and far outweigh the inconvenience of losing power during hurricanes.
    The thing to note is that we don’t have $200 million just lying around which unless we will attain substantial returns from such an investment it is worth while stopping and asking how we’d afford it and what the gains will be before suggesting we should have it.

  6. No, you don’t have $200,000,000 lying around any longer – you are giving it to Butterfield Bank so they can have another miserable failure of an infrastructure project like the one that just cost them $30,000,000

  7. Gone baby gone,
    Let’s note that the capital for Butterfield Bank is a loan with guarantees for people who purchase shares not simply a handing over of money. It makes things a bit different.

  8. Gone baby gone hasn’t a clue what the BNTB underwriting is. No-one is getting much of a guarantee, what the government has said is that it will purchase those preferred shares that do not sell. It is not guaranteeing the interest on that investment.
    As for wireless, I’ve had a NorthRock high speed wireless since inception, nine years ago. Broadband with an extra phone line to boot.
    Have been with WOW for a year.
    Wire is great, but inflexible and costly. Wireless is the way forward.

  9. Oh, forgot to add re putting power cabling underground. This costs 20 to 30 times as much as overhead wiring, not including the various rights of way the utility has to get.
    FWIW, all residential developments since the 70s have had the costs of undergrounding rolled into the overall development costs. The first location was Harrington Sound Road, which was started in the late 60s.

  10. Bit of a telecoms geek – so this piqued the ole interest. Best solution for Bermuda would likely be a wireless solution more akin to WiMax or LTE. Both offer speeds upwards of 16Mbps, and more importantly both can be deployed on top of existing 3G infrastructure, more or less. A typical LTE base station upgrade shouldn’t cost more than $50k, so maybe $100k landed on the rock. Much more efficient and cost effective than FTTH/x.
    Other option would be to use the existing co-ax cable, they can pump some pretty impressive bandwidth over that now. Downside being you have to therefore deal with Cablevision. Which means its more or less not worth it.
    Does anyone know if the mobile operators in Bermuda have wireless broadband offerings? Do they have an ISP license?

  11. M3 Wireless recently launched 3G so it’s in the works but the costs are still very prohibitive.
    I’d like to see them create a bundle that allows using it for home and mobile use assuming it has decent latency.

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