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How I get broadband (successfully) in the Norfolk suburbs

After using BT’s not-so-fast network for just over 2 years (with the false promise of a speed increase from the council), I switched to a mobile broadband solution through the Three network.

The speed we had through the Origin Broadband / Plusnet (BT / Openreach) system was usually around 6Mbps down and 1Mbps up. This was OK to work with, but at the beginning of this year it all went tits-up and suddenly decreased to dial-up speed (see 2nd screenshot).

2018
2019

We had multiple BT engineers out, but no-one could fix the speed back to what it was so they simply gave up and refunded my contract money. Given that I work from home I thought I should step in and sort out an alternative system. I’m glad I found a solution!

The kit I used to set it all up:

1 x Three sim card with unlimited data

1 x Huawei B525 4G Router (read about my 5G upgrade plan here)

1 x Poynting 4G-XPOL-A0002 Outdoor Antenna

1 x Antenna man to mount the antenna on the side of the house (in the correct direction) & drill a hole through the wall into the house.

The white 4G antenna is mounted on the silver TV aerial pole.

The current speed through Three is now around 20Mbps down and 8Mbps up (on 4G) or 14Mbps down and 6Mbps up (on 3G).

An added bonus of using the Huawei B525 is that it comes with VOIP meaning the wife is happy with a pseudo-landline in the house. We basically plugged our regular telephone into the router and it works just like a landline (with the exception of the number being a mobile number). Note that incoming calls only work when the router is switched to 3G only. Outgoing calls work on 3G only, or with Auto selected.

I’ll keep my eye out for the time when the broadband lines are upgraded to something that actually works, and that can compete with the mobile signal. But right now, there’s no competition in this part of the countryside.