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5G Broadband - is it the future?

 I've spend the last year upgrading our Trust schools to dedicated leased line ethernet circuits. This process is still ongoing and and at some sites painfully slow - a bit like their current VDSL connections. However, 5G broadband is now starting to be offered on unlimited data tariffs and its starting to become an attractive option if you live in the right area.

I've just switched from my BT VDSL connection to EE's 5G unlimited broadband. Below is the before, BT speedtest:


Our home broadband speeds have not changed at all in the last decade since VDSL became a thing. No sign of fibre to premises here - at least not in the short term. Back then we went from about 2Mbps - so going to 20ish was great. 

However, after setting up the new 5G router (and to be fair I have 5G on my phone - so knew what to expect), we now get:


The download speeds we get exceed those of some of our schools on 200Mbps ethernet circuits for about a sixth of the price. However, upload is somewhat slower - but much better than it was. Latency is where you take the hit - but much better than 4G. 

So its a great home solution and greater than ten time better than what we were getting for a similar price. What about in a school?

Firstly you need to be close to a 5G transmitter to get this sort of performance. Let suppose you are. Then I'd say it's certainly an option worth considering for a small to medium sized primary - maybe on a dual SIMS load balanced solution. You do need to consider its a contended service, so unlike a leased line, you share the connection with other users. So speeds can and will vary during the day. There are business 5G solutions now being offered, so maybe the days of struggling to get leased lines installed might be slowly coming to an end.

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