W3Z Newsletter – September 2015

In the last newsletter dated July 2013 I listed several notable achievements and reported what then appeared handsome growth throughout our network. At that time it was difficult to visualise the position now, 24 months on.

Thanks to BT, the BDUK roll out policy or just our own dogged W3Z determination I can proudly report that we are seeing people joining W3Z at double the monthly numbers we were seeing 12 months ago. Yes, we see losses when BT ‘Infinity’ finally materialises in an area but after they have given potential customers everything free for 15 months our percentage attrition is less than 5% and we still see new additions in the area from people who just cannot see why, in 2015, they should need to have a BT landline. This process can be likened to clotheslines being replaced by tumble dryers – progress! That 5% loss also includes people moving out of our service area, something we have always had.

I make no apology for reiterating the news item we have headed separately – ‘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 Zycomm and W3Z.

I 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. I commented to him 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. That he acknowledged.

Sajid asked if there was anything he could do to assist, after the election? I 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. It is very gratifying to note that on August 1st the Government announced that customers could no longer be held in long contracts when another ISP could offer a better deliverable service. This really is ‘recognition’.

During the last year in particular our customers have grasped both the technological and financial benefits associated with Vonage IP telephony (see www.vonage.co.uk).
Vonage is a US company with a superb product, which gives exemplary results over our 20/1 W3Z Superfast service. For a current monthly charge of £7 incl VAT you save your BT line rental and make all calls to UK lines within the 01,02 and 03 numbering regime without additional charge. Once you have a Vonage account you can port your existing BT number over and also use the Vonage Extensions Mobile Phone App to make free mobile calls over Wi-Fi – and that is any Wi-Fi including Costa and McDonalds!

As well as Shirley Church near Ashbourne we have teamed up with the Diocese to bring the Community closer to the Church using W3Z. Derby Cathedral has been particularly supportive allowing us to mix our Access Points with the Peregrine Falcons on the Tower. We are currently looking to use other Churches and are well on with agreeing to use The Cathedral of the Peak in Tideswell.

Where else have we activated? Our coverage list on our website has now been updated but recent additions include, Thorpe Constantine near Tamworth, at the request of Estate Managers Fisher-German, Wetton and Alstonfield for Chatsworth Estate. Eyam, Foolow, Wardlow, much of the Staffordshire Moorlands in range of our Ipstones Edge mast, Flagg, Pomeroy and Monyash have just gone live. In the south we have improved coverage in Fenny Bentley and switched on Stanton (Ashbourne), Kniveton, Wyaston, Hollington, Parwich, Sapperton Park on the outskirts of Church Broughton, which also serves elevated parts of Boylestone (notably the pub). Longford, Edlaston and Brailsford are now close on our hit list.

At the time of going to press we await an Ofcom link licence that will allow us to start progress into the areas around Chesterfield. We are very nearly ‘there’ in Tideswell and Taddington and before the end of September fully live in Sheldon.

If you have a community in a black hole and need our help then please get in touch, having succeeded at the Izaak Walton Hotel we are up for a new challenge!

M I Sneap – Project Wizard
September 2015

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. It is very gratifying to note that on August 1st the Government announced that customers could no longer be held in long contracts when another ISP could offer a better deliverable service.

Where there is muck there is money!

Easom Farms of Oakerthorpe near Alfreton have used a dedicated Internet connection from W3Z to link their new Anaerobic Digester to its designers control room on Lubeck, North Germany.

Easom farms are the first farm in Derbyshire to successfully install such a plant which converts all their animal and food waste to methane gas which is used to power a generator producing 250,000 KW of electricity which is then fed into the National Grid. The resultant waste is then used to cultivate the land and is a relatively benign and safe product compared to raw animal slurry.

Easom’s have used W3Z for many years at each of their three farms as well as a wide area Zycomm radio system to allow all their staff the ability to operate efficiently and safely over a wide area, day and night.

Founder, David Easom said “Over the years we have formed a very close relationship with Zycomm and its staff and they always come up with a friendly solution to any problems we have with technology or electronics.”

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

It is our 10th Birthday – A Special Present For Homes and Businesses alike…

Ripley-based W3Z has now been delivering wireless broadband to homes and businesses in even the remotest parts of Derbyshire for ten years.
To celebrate this milestone birthday we have doubled the download speed for new and existing customers at no extra cost with the launch of SUPERFAST 20.

This offers a guaranteed 20Mb/s download speed to participating W3Z customers – wherever they are in our service area and whatever they want to use this technology for – whether for home entertainment or in business.

No landline is required as W3Z’s SUPERFAST 20 service is provided at the speed of light using our own developed Advanced Wireless Technology.

This means that the service is not reliant on poor quality or vulnerable telephone wires or fibre cables. We have been delivering reliable broadband by wireless, first at 2Mb/s for 7 years and then at 10Mb/s for the last three years. Now we are providing SUPERFAST 20 with a guaranteed 20Mb/s download speed which does not reduce or vary as our network gets busy – all without any price increase.

Listening to customers comments regarding capping limits, with SUPERFAST 10 our system automatically sends a warning email to customers when 80% of the monthly contract has been reached. Customers then have the option of upgrading instantly on-line, via subscriber services at our website, or seeing if the end of the month and automatic capacity ‘reset’ comes before 100% usage is reached. If the 100% limit is reached before midnight on the last day of the month then our network automatically THROTTLES the account – We will offer a prize if you have a less disturbing but descriptive name we can adopt! Once ‘throttled’ the option is to make do with the throttled (intentionally reduced) speed until the end of the month, or to make an instant upgrade request on-line.

The SUPERFAST 10 throttling resulted in a speed reduction to sub 512Kb/s a speed that a few years ago you would be delighted to get via ADSL. That speed still allows basic browsing, email and uninterrupted internet access. It does restrict large downloads, Iplayer and streaming.

We have now decided that with W3Z SUPERFAST 20 customers regularly contracted to 50GB per month and above should be subjected to less stringent throttling, so when they reach the 100% monthly limit the restriction on them will be no worse than 2Mb/s, allowing them to continue using Iplayer, Vonage IP etc. These changes will become effective on November 1st.

It is a fact of life that some capping must be applied if we are to offer guaranteed speeds – Quality of Service is what we are known to offer and an open ended facilty would put us in the same arena as our competitors forced to use meaningless phrases such as ‘Speeds up to…’

W3Z has no need to use these meaningless phrases, as with us, what you pay for is what you get, ALL THE TIME, in line with your contract. We dynamically control system contention to guarantee the quality of service is what you are contracted to receive.

With W3Z you can initially save circa around £15 every month (depending on your landline contract) by cancelling your traditional telephone line, which is no longer required for your Internet with us or even your telephone.

After switching to W3Z SUPERFAST 20 you can change to use low-cost IP Telephony and retain and reuse your existing landline telephone number. One such example is www.vonage.co.uk, which can, if you wish, take over your landline number, then for £5 a month all your UK landline calls are covered. Vonage is not associated or affiliated with W3Z but many of our customers have switched to it and are very happy. The Vonage IP telephone service uses W3Z as its ‘bearer’ (virtual wires). There are many other IP telephone providers you can consider.

W3Z offers 24/7/365 telephone support, manned by our technical team based in Ripley and an engineer will visit the next working day if need be – ensuring 100% customer satisfaction. We also offer server and web hosting, computer assistance and IT support.

Here is the W3Z proposition at a glance – the wireless solution to:

• All of your Internet and speed frustrations.
• Business users in neglected service areas.
• Mobile users who do not have a phone line.
• Telephone users who want to save line rental.
• Simply paying for what you use with no hidden extras.
• Businesses who want Commercial Symmetrical Services up to 360Mb/s.

To register your interest or to sign up on-line the only address you will ever need is;


Working hard to make Derbyshire a better place for us all to live in and enjoy.

W3Z Newsletter July 2013

Here at W3Z our development has continued over the past 18 months with no less vigor than in previous years and there have recently been some major developments, which are out of character with our earlier years of progress.

Just over a year ago we were commissioned by Mercia Marina at Willington near Derby, ‘Derbyshires Best Kept Secret’, to provide a comprehensive and reliable Wi-Fi service for the 600 boats that use this new Marina facility. A boat is essentially a welded steel tube with relatively small portholes, half immersed in water, not a Wi-Fi friendly environment! We installed a bespoke SAF microwave link to deliver our service from Zycomm’s Piston Hill Radio Mast at Smisby in Leicestershire and then distributed the service at Mercia Marina using a total of eight Access Points supporting both customers Wi-Fi, Company Security and CCTV. This contact gave us our first opportunity to get involved with ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition). Mercia Marina have just opened the first 10 of their luxury lodges – second homes, see www.merciamarina.co.uk

After three years trying, we have, this month, finally been approved by East Midlands Public Services Network (emPSN) to supply their East Midlands Broadband Consortium Internet Service (EMBC) into the Schools in Derbyshire. The EMBC Schools Internet Service is a highly sanitized and protected Internet service designed to ensure that the children using it in the Schools of the East Midlands are protected from the various horrors, which they could fall prey to on an open Internet service.

The EMBC service, until now, has only been supplied by BT and other major cable suppliers but there are many villages and areas where the state of the BT lines has not allowed successful delivery. Now W3Z is approved to supply using wireless we can work to supply in the previously disappointed areas and also compete with current suppliers when contracts are up for renewal.

Whilst we have continued to develop our network in the ‘County’ of Derbyshire we have become regularly petitioned by organisations on Pride Park Derby who struggle to get even a basic Internet service.
We have now teamed up with Derby County Football Club who have welcomed us and allowed us to locate our W3Z Access Points at Pride Park Stadium. Our service is now live at Pride Park and we will be launching fully on and after August 1st. We are taking the opportunity at Pride Park to test out the development of a new 20Mb/s service. We are currently discussing other major expansion opportunities for W3Z in the City of Derby.

Finally, we have just been asked by several villages in the Trent basin, in S Notts to assist with fast broadband. Kneeton and Hoveringham are just two of these and the reason we are now in discussion with the PCC and the Church based out of Southwell.

M I Sneap
July 23rd 2013

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.