Alternative to broadband

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Alternative to broadband

I thought that villagers may be interested to know that there is an alternative to broadband internet via a local company called Sugarnet, based in Shenington. It works via a small dish mounted on the roof which points to a relay mast and then on to Sugarnet HQ. It is line-of-sight based and the relay mast is at Barn Farm and can be seen from the road down to Chacombe.

Speed from my installation is up to 60Mbps upload and download, although my contract is set at 10Mbps, for which I pay £34.99 inc VAT per month. Faster speeds cost more!

I have no incentive from Sugarnet for writing this – I’m not on commission! It’s just a great service and may suit some residents as an alternative to broadband.

About the Author:

Resident of Upper Wardington and responsible for the development of this website.


  1. Robert Harwood 13/12/2012 at 9:11 am - Reply

    Thanks for this Andrew- anything that can give that kind of speed is worth investigating,not a bad price either. thanks again.

  2. Henri 14/12/2012 at 7:20 am - Reply

    Since we are in a conservation area, would the small dish on the roof require planning permission, as I understand sattelite dishes do?

    • Andrew Steven 14/12/2012 at 8:48 am - Reply

      I had no idea that satellite dishes require planning permission. There was one on my house when I arrived, but when Sky came to replace it some years ago they certainly didn’t ask for sight of a planning certificate. I would be interested to know how many dishes in Wardington do have planning permission. I do however think it is the responsibility of the householder to ensure that any satellite dish is out of sight if possible, planning permission or not.

      The internet connection is not a satellite dish but a microwave link about the size of the palm of your hand which is attached to the TV aerial pole. Given that the TV aerial does not require planning permission I would argue that this link forms, in effect, another component of that, and is therefore exempt as well.

  3. Mark Thorley 14/12/2012 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Useful information and it is good to see viable alternative offerings to broadband delivered via the phone network. Do you find performance is affected by atmospheric conditions – fog and mist for example?


    • Andrew Steven 14/12/2012 at 11:26 am - Reply

      That’s an interesting question. I’m not conscious of any decline in performance, but occasionally it will drop-out for a few seconds. Now you’ve mentioned it, I’ll monitor the weather conditions versus service quality and let you know if there’s any deterioration.

      • Norman Hudson 16/12/2012 at 5:30 pm - Reply

        I have the same type of Sugarnet radio internet connection with speeds of 10MBS plus. I think it was perhaps adversely affected by the bad fog the other day but not for long. Certainly it is very much faster than my fixed line connection.

        On the planning permission front, the dish is quite small. In a designated area ie a Conservation Area, as is most of Wardington, the general rule is that it is permitted and you do not need to apply for planning permission to install an antenna on your property, as long as:

        there will be no more than two antennas on the property overall;
        if you are installing a single antenna, it is not be more than 100 centimetres in any linear dimension (not including any projecting feed element, reinforcing rim, mounting and brackets);
        if you are installing two antennas, one is not more than 100 centimetres in any linear dimension, and the other is not more than 60 centimetres in any linear dimension (not including any projecting feed element, reinforcing rim, mounting and brackets);
        the cubic capacity of each individual antenna is not more than 35 litres;
        an antenna fitted onto a chimney stack is not more than 60 centimetres in any linear dimension;
        an antenna mounted on the roof only sticks out above the roof when there is a chimney-stack. In this case, the antenna should not stick out more than 60 centimetres above the highest part of the roof, or above the highest part of the chimney stack, whichever is lower; and
        an antenna is not installed on a chimney, wall, or a roof slope which faces onto, and is visible from a road. (If you are not sure, get advice from the local planning authority.)
        If you live in a ‘listed building’ and want to install an antenna on that building, you generally need to apply for ‘listed building consent’. Listed building consent is required for any antenna, or indeed any works, that affects the character or appearance of a listed building or its setting.

        Norman Hudson

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