Frequently Asked Questions


What is ‘Superfast broadband’?

The Government define it as any download speed of at least 24Mbps (megabits per second)

Why do I need Superfast broadband?

Modern internet services used more download capacity (‘bandwidth’) in order to work. Reading email and surfing the web doesn’t need that much data to be downloaded to your computer. However, watching video, either on YouTube or on a video streaming service like iPlayer or Netflix uses far more data. And if you like High Definition video, then it’s even more! Without a fast connection you may find video hard to watch without it going ‘blocky’ and losing image quality. Air gives you superfast broadband, like fibre to the home or cable.

Does it cost more than other services?

Usually not – to get BT unlimited broadband costs you between £16 and £30 per month. However, you also need to pay £17.99 per month in line rental.  So the total cost is between £34 and £48 per month. Our all-in pricing ranges from £20 per month to £36  – around a 35-45% saving.

 What, no line rental?

Nope, no line rental. You can just have broadband on its own. 

 How much data can I download?

As much as you like – we do not have a limit or ‘data cap’ on our service. 

How fast is it really?

We’ve been getting speeds of around 60Mbps reported by our first customers, so we can nearly always offer the actual speed you are signing up for. DSL services always quote “up to” a certain speed, as it depends on the quality and length of the copper phone line you have going to the exchange or cabinet. We do not have that problem. 

Is it suitable for gaming, video conferencing (e.e. Apple Facetime) and VOIP/Internet phone calls?

Oh yes, very much so. Information travels very quickly through our system – radio works at the speed of light, and the light in our fibre-optics works at…well, the speed of light as well. This means we have low latency (the delay in getting information from one end of the system to the other) of typically less than 20ms, so our system is ideal for low latency applications, like internet phone calls (e.g. Skype) where high latency gives you lots of echoes and delays on the line.

What about video?

Our high bandwidth services are ideal for streaming video – with our 30Mbps service you can stream up to 20 normal video streams simultaneously, or 4 High Definition streams – all at the same time.

If I register my interest, does that mean I definitely have to sign up for your service?

No, not at all – we just want to find out which communities have the greatest need. We can then make sure our network of masts and transmitters is in the right place.

How complex is it to set up?

We send an installer with a preconfigured receiver. A wire comes out of that and plugs into your existing wireless/non-wireless router. 

How does customer service work?

You can call us or email us. Our customer support staff are based in the local area, right here in East Anglia.

This sounds awesome! How do I sign up?

You can sign up here, or register your interest for future deployments here – we use that information to decide which communities we will roll out in first. The more people you can get to register their interest, the higher up our priority list you’ll get, so encourage your friends and neighbours to register their interest.

We are already live in around a dozen communities around Cambridge and Ely, and are deploying new communities throughout 2014 – so watch this space! You can sign up for our RSS feed or our facebook or twitter feeds to keep track of all our news. 

I am a community broadband champion and interested in getting your services for my community – who should I speak to in your company?

You need to speak to Jo Dening, our operations director who manages our customer acquisition program – you can email her at jo@airbroadband.co.uk.

How does your service compare to other types of broadband?

There are three other ways of getting internet. This chart should explain more:

Technology Speed

Data cap

Setup

Cost/month Limitations
3G Dongle

2-3Mbps

5GB

£10-50

£15

No use for home networking, gaming, very variable speed
Satellite[1]

20Mbps

None

£425

£65

Very high latency[2] – unsuitable for VOIP, gaming, video calls
Satellite

20Mbps

20GB

£425

£45

Very high latency – unsuitable for VOIP, gaming, video calls
Air Broadband

30Mbps

None

£75-160

£30-36

None

[1] We have taken figures from http://www.satellitebroadbanduk.com, the leading UK provider

[2] Latency is the time (usually measured in milliseconds) taken for data to get from one computer to another over an internet link. High latency makes voice/video calls poor due to the delay introduced.