Frequently Asked Questions about B4SH’s service

How does gigabit compare to current broadband speeds?

Compared to most standard broadband packages, which offer download speeds of 20 to 100 Mbps, gigabit speeds are an exponential increase. We’re talking 1,000 Mbps, or 1 million bits per second.

The other major benefit of B4SH gigabit is that download speeds are matched with upload speeds. Traditionally, you’ll get a much smaller pipe for uploading, which is part of the reason you can watch a 5-minute YouTube video in roughly 5 minutes, but uploading the same amount of footage can take over an hour.

Will you use BT’s network?

No. We are installing a brand new, full fibre network. It will use the latest fibre-optic technology, rather than ageing copper wires, so will be more reliable.

What can I do with gigabit speeds?

All that data — a million bits per second — means that you can do everything you already do online, but a lot more of it, and faster. All of your usual web browsing and streaming will be supported, but with much higher speeds and far less congestion on your home network. That said, there are several specific uses that benefit dramatically from the new fat pipe of data that gigabit connectivity offers.

  • Streaming video: All that bandwidth means lag-free Netflix, even when you’re watching different shows on different devices at once. But the real improvement is that 4K streaming which uses four to five times as much data as a 1080p stream, will be just as fast, without the interminable loading and buffer times you may experience on standard broadband.
  • Online gaming: Anyone who has ever lost a match due to a laggy connection will appreciate the switch to gigabit speeds. With matching up/down speeds, you’ll never again need to worry about slow ping rates and spotty connections.
  • Immersive media: Ultra HD streaming is just the tip of the iceberg, as faster upload and download speeds make more immersive media, like 360-degree video and VR, more accessible. As higher data capacity goes mainstream, you can expect new media formats to take advantage of this, just as streaming video exploded when broadband became mainstream.
  • Data backup: Traditionally, backing up data has been centered around local storage, like external hard drives, especially for data-heavy uses like videos. With the move to gigabit speeds, expect more cloud capability and backups that you can access anywhere, anytime.
  • Multiple users: Finally, the biggest reason to switch to gigabit speed isn’t to satisfy one prolific data hog, but rather several users. A family of four can max out a broadband connection quite easily with little more than a movie marathon and a round of Grand Theft Auto online, but gigabit speeds promise to support far more data simultaneously, making it possible to stream music in the kitchen, 4K video in the living room and a game in the kids’ rooms without a hiccup.

What does ‘hyperfast’ mean?

We will offer, as standard, a 1,000 Megabits (1 Gigabit) per second symmetric service (same speeds upload and download). Most suppliers only offer residential customers an asymmetric service (fast download and much slower upload). Other suppliers’ symmetric services tend to be available only to businesses, and very expensive.

How fast is 1Gig?

Most BT broadband lines run over copper cable and can provide around a 50Mb connection. The further you are from the Green Cabinet, where the fibre terminates the slower you connection will be.

WIth a pure fibre network B4SH provides a full 1,000 Mb connection. That’s about 20 times faster than a good BT connection.

For a visual comparison see the video on the Home page.


Will my service be slower if I’m not near your main fibre route?

No. The B4SH network is full fibre to the premises so will connect straight into the home or business. No copper, no delay, reliability problems reduced and distance no issue.

The Surrey Hills is a rural AONB and homes and businesses can be sparsely situated. Current suppliers connect customers to cabinets using copper wires and some at great distance. The speed offered to these residents is affected by how close they are to the cabinet, and the more rural you are, the longer the line can be.

How proven is the technology?

We are modelling ourselves on, and receiving technical support from, the highly successful Broadband for Rural North (B4RN) who offer a Gig Broadband service in Lancashire/Yorkshire/Cumbria. We connect into B4RN’s data centre in London, which provides worldwide connectivity and facilities for the continuous monitoring of our network.


How do you fund the cost of building the network?

Building and running the network is funded by monies raised from investors.  B4SH is privately funded so needs independent investors to cover our costs.  We rely on volunteers to do a lot of the work, but need funds to cover the cost of materials and equipment.

How does the Tax Relief work?

B4SH applied for, and were granted, Social Investment Tax Relief (SITR), as a result investors will be able to apply to HMRC for SITR, which is currently 30%.  Individuals making an eligible investment can deduct 30% of the cost of their investment from their income tax liability, either for the tax year in which the investment is made or the previous tax year.  The investment must be held for a minimum period of 3 years for the relief to be retained.

An overview of SITR can be found at https://www.gov.uk/