W3Z Newsletter – January 2017

W3Z NEWSLETTER – JANUARY 2017

Why are we still here? BT Infinity, Virgin, 4G, 5G, Satellite Internet, Mystical Dark Fibre and a whole load on non-starters destined for either ‘the bran tub’ or GCHQ – the entire technological world must be against us? WRONG -There is nothing wrong with healthy commercial competition – it brings out the best in those who are up for it.

Here at W3Z we have 38 years of business experience in Radio Technology behind us. Since 1979 our Zycomm Radio Communications Group has not been afraid to take on the leading radio companies of the day, Pye, Storno, Philips and Motorola and now in 2017 only Zycomm and Motorola of that group remain. 38 years concentrating on making our customers smile. Fifteen years ago, we diversified with W3Z into Wireless Broadband with the same stubborn principles, common business sense, customer satisfaction and now the resulting success. Every customer says “Thank you” and MEAN it.

The reason – our customers love us. How many of our competitors can say that?
The most rewarding reaction we see is when our satisfied customers leave Derbyshire to move around to work in areas we do not cover. When the Derbyshire Building Society in Duffield was taken over and closed-down, most HQ Executives and their families had to move to London to stay in the Financial Services world, DBS staff were begging me to open in London in order they would not miss out on our unique quality of service. This was a very rewarding situation but not one I could agree to as I could not face going to work on the London Underground – that’s too much like Dark Fibre! I am only at home given the daily vista and boost of Derbyshire, Chatsworth, The Peak District and Whim Brewery.

Here at W3Z we do not use the phrase used by the major supplier “Up to X Mb/s” This ‘Up to’ is nonsensical as it guarantees nothing and implies at the outset you WILL NOT receive what is offered. At last the Government has realised this and are asking every supplier to state what subscribers will receive. Already suppliers are asking for concessions that the stated figure is what is received by the subscriber for at least 10% of the time. This argument shows what a state our competitors are in? How is that W3Z are the only supplier who guarantees its figures during all standard operating times? We hope Government do not give way on this point.

What made us smile most in 2016? BT giving away BT Sports FREE as an incentive for customers to sign up for BT fibre. We knew this marketing inspiration would bring problems. Many BT fibre customers are now switching to W3Z as they see their normally illuminated blue BT Router change to Orange as their BT FTTC service overloads by the local cabinet being swamped with the promised free BT Sports to everyone, especially on Saturday and Sunday. It is the old ADSL phrase ‘contention’ all being re-enacted again but ironically at the providers’ own miss-marketing and total underestimate of engineering demand much of which cannot now be compensated for with the resource invested.

OUR AIMS FOR W3Z IN 2017

Given the increase in business, as a result of new business, in newly enabled areas and in areas where competitors have failed to match customer expectations, we have now increased our W3Z Engineering Staff by 40%. At my invitation one of our previous Zycomm Engineering staff, Steve Ball has re-joined us after 7 years to take over the important role of W3Z General Manager. Steve lives in Stoke but there is plenty for him to think about while he is driving! He has overall responsibility for all operational aspects of the W3Z business. Jo Ratcliffe is now the lady on the phone following Bev Madeley’s retirement. Bev trained Jo so well you may think you are still speaking to Bev!

We are looking for the current installation team to work 0730- 1600 (one hour sooner than currently) until the end of March as this will give us more daylight hours for installations. There is no need to worry – you will not have to provide Breakfast; we do have a local McDonald’s Drive Through. We may suffer a problem from ice on roofs but that remains to be seen. In addition, we are looking to introduce Saturday installations by one team thus to reduce the new installation backlog.

Richard Drabble our Microwave specialist has just completed a multi thousand-pound upgrade of our entire SAF Microwave Backhaul Network. This has cost over a hundred thousand ponds and is required as individual’s user’s data usage increases – thanks partly to Jeremy Clarkson and his pseudo Netflix promotion – give him back Top Gear and make everyone happy! So, when you want W3Z at a lower price, I am sorry blame Clarkson for the refusal! We only use expensive Ofcom Licenced links for Backhaul we do not use low cost deregulated 5GHz link equipment as do many others.

NEW COVERAGE AREAS

With the best of intentions, the dates on our coverage list have in many cases slipped. Please recheck these on the website as they have now been updated to new targets.

We have recently provided a minor miracle by providing coverage to Cressbrook at the top of the Monsal Valley. I am particularly proud of this achievement in Cressbrook.

WEAVER HILLS

The week before Christmas we installed a small but adequate mast on top of the Weaver Hills thanks to the owner the Hon John Greenall. Not only will this allow us to supply Wootton, Ellastone, Alton, Rocester. It will act as a significant stepping on point to many other areas south and west that have until now proved difficult to complete.

CHESTERFIELD

Chesterfield area is now proving ripe for W3Z development. Chesterfield is proving a mixture of excellent and dreadful service from other providers. Thanks to our friends at Chatsworth Estate we have just linked into one of their farm properties at Nether Handley and from that point we will feed out links to satisfy Chesterfield and the NE area.

TUXFORD

As we have a radio mast at Farleys Farm Tuxford we have decided to increase our foray into Nottinghamshire to complement our service from our Mapperley Plains mast in north central Nottingham.

RTC DERBY

Our first new development in January will to be fulfil a substantial order from London & Continental Railways to completely equip the RTC (Railway Technical Centre), London Road, Derby with W3Z service high speed Internet service to service all office and business units.

LOCAL COMPETITORS

If there are any local organisations involved in delivering Wireless Internet who are finding the going difficult please note that we are happy discussing purchasing your customer base. We are aware of difficulties being experienced by other provider’s subscribers in Derby, Pride Park Area, Weston on Trent, Tatenhill, Rangemoor and Burton on Trent areas.

M I Sneap January 2017

The Minister came, listened, went and then acted!

On April 30th The Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, the then Culture Secretary with responsibilities for UK Broadband development paid a surprise visit to W3Z.

Ian Sneap described the 12 years of development of the W3Z network and the Minister expressed surprise and delight at what he heard and congratulated Zycomm and W3Z on the achievement, all without Government aid. Ian Sneap commented that being free from the bureaucratic reporting that would be associated with such funding had actually allowed us to get on at our own pace.

Sajid asked if there was anything he could do to assist, after the election? Ian Sneap requested that he look at the situation with traditional ISP’s who would tie customers up in a three-year contract knowing they could never achieve acceptable speeds whilst W3Z could offer NGA target speeds NOW.

Derby Cathedral Live

Derby Cathedral with 4 W3Z Access PointsVonage (www.vonage.co.uk) IP telephone service works brilliantly over W3Z Superfast Broadband and you get all your calls to standard UK land-lines for £5 a month but you can save the cost of your BT land-line as you have that taken out and have your BT number ported to Vonage. Friends and contacts don’t know any different and you save a fortune.

W3Z Superfast Broadband is now serving over 30 businesses on Pride Park in Derby thanks to assistance from Derby County FC. The Rams have teamed up with Zycomm to house their W3Z Superfast Wireless Broadband Access Points on the iPro Stadium.

Derby Cathedral’s Peregrine Falcons have fledged at the end of June. On July 1st W3Z Superfast Wireless Broadband switched on their service to the Cathedral Quarter and City Centre of Derby using the Cathedral Tower. Derby Cathedral is embracing this relationship with Zycomm, to raise its local businesses and community profile and with this joint cooperation it can offer to help improve local business wellbeing and to interface in a diverse but meaningful manner with the local community.

Spot the W3Z Access PointWith the aid of Shirley Church Zycomm’s W3Z Superfast Wireless Broadband is now providing Superfast Broadband from the Church Tower to the village of Shirley and Rodsley near Ashbourne.

The famous and historical Plague Village of Eyam in North Derbyshire is now getting the W3Z Superfast Broadband service from its first W3Z Access Point switched on in mid June 2014 at the southern end of the village. The entire village will be covered before the end of July well ahead of the first schedule.

Foolow in North Derbyshire will shortly receive W3Z superfast Broadband from an Access Point on a local hillside overlooking the famous Foolow ‘Sink Hole’. Is the signal disappears then you know where to look! Planned Summer 2014.

 

Tideswell is another Broadband deprived village in Derbyshire that W3Z plan to bring a solution to before the end of summer 2014.

Fenny Bentley in the Derbyshire Dales is now receiving W3Z Superfast Broadband from an Access Point located at Peak Waste near Kniveton.

Zycomm W3Z are planning to introduce their Superfast Broadband into Flagg and Monyash before the end of summer 2014.

W3Z Superfast Broadband in June 2014 switched its service on at Zycomm’s new Ipstones Edge Radio mast in the Staffordshire Moorlands. Anyone who can see Ipstones Edge in Calton, Waterhouses and surrounding villages will now be able to get Superfast W3Z service.

Zycomm is in the final stages of agreeing with STWA to use the Trusley Water Tower in South Derbyshire to use this landmark to provide W3Z Superfast Broadband to the local communities.

W3Z in the news

In today’s issue of the Derby Business Telegraph you will find an article about ourselves explaining what we’ve been doing of late to benefit the broadband in and around the Pride Park area of Derby.

Naturally we are delighted to have the good news spread out to the world, you can read an online version of the article by clicking here

Customer Testimonials

We have begun collating testimonials from our customers for use on our website to show potential new customers what to expect from our service. If you feel that you would like to take part in this then feel free to jot a few words down on an email, we will then review it and possibly include it on our site.

There are no restrictions on this regarding amount of words and we are always glad to hear of how we have improved your experience of the internet where others have failed.

Either drop an email to support@w3z.co.uk or use our contact form from the menu at the top of the site.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Newsletter January 2012

At the end of 2010 we applied to DEFRA for a Rural Community Grant through LEADER, which is administered by the Derby and Derbyshire Economic Partnership DDEP. The grant prospectus offered equal funding for any qualifying cause, which could tick all the boxes. Ever since we launched W3Z 8 years ago we have been totally self funded so we felt justified in asking for a 50% consideration of the £300,000 we would have to provide to upgrade all our microwave links in order that we could offer: SUPERFAST BROADBAND to Derbyshire well ahead of the competition.

£300,000 was only half the story, as this would only upgrade the microwave links that couple our hilltop radio sites, via our Alport Heights and Highoredish Radio Masts to W3Z Network Centre at Ripley. There was as much expense again to be incurred re-equipping the local Access Points which serve each community and then new equipment for each of our existing customers’ replacement connection equipment and new equipment for every potential new customer, as in truth, understandably, nobody would want to pay for it! The total bill for 2011 then has been in excess of £500,000 and when the grant appeared it was a disappointing £40,000 and not the expected £150,000. Needless to say, despite being very disappointed, we did not send it back, we said “thank you very much” before approaching our Bank Manager for the difference. In our 33 years of business with the NatWest never once have they proved to be the monster all those bankruptcy cases claim. The response came – a big smile and the comment “if you need a grant you shouldn’t be doing it – get on with it!”

Before applying for the grant we upgraded our Ripley Access Point to Superfast during 2010. Since this is on our Ripley mast no link upgrades were necessary. We loaded the new Ripley AP with a hundred or so existing / new customers and made development progress by trying various new equipment in ‘our own back yard’ before installing the final selected equipment throughout the Peak District. By the time we applied for the grant we were 100% confident that our new development would fly.

By February 2011 the financial jousting was complete and the first tranche of High Speed Microwave Link equipment from our suppliers in Latvia was delivered 6 weeks later and then the hard work really started. It was vital to roll out the upgrade in a manner that would not leave some areas wanting while others were being provided for, as this could have led to a revolution amongst our loyal customer base and we would have been snarled up handling enquiries which we could not adequately answer “What about us?”

The Almighty must also have his Mortgage with NatWest as during the summer and autumn we have been blessed with some of the best weather we could have hoped for. During the year our own two teams of certified mast climbers have performed magnificently and as we close for Christmas all the microwave links are now installed ahead of the program we submitted to DEFRA.

The W3Z area is now 95% SUPERFAST offering our 10Mb/s service. If you have not yet upgraded then you may not have been reading our website. Check out the ‘SUPERFAST’ bright blue link on the Home Page at www.w3z.co.uk. The areas remaining to be upgraded with be completed by March.