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DTMark

Does Anyone Here Live In Aldershot?

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I work from home as a web developer/application developer.

Where I am we're 2.5km from the exchange, can't get cable, and so our broadband option is 3G on Three - runs at 2.5Mbps

Starting some new projects in the new year and looking for a local office.

Can't be bothered faffing around with ADSL based stuff with no guarantee of anything useable, ideally I want Virgin business cable but would settle for BT's FTTC service.

Trouble is - nearest two towns - one has FTTC "finished" but all they have done are a few residential postcodes (Alton) and the other one has endlessly moving lauch dates (Farnham) - the whole thing seems a sorry farce and broke down nationally a couple of weeks back. I know this usable-speed broadband is new for BT, but still... never mind.

So back to cable. My nearest option is Aldershot; only 10 miles away so not much further. I search for some offices and straight away get results which are in cabled areas. Great.

So I drive over there. Now bearing in mind I live in a rural area and don't care for a lot of, er, noise, the first place we found was such a cesspit we drove home again. That was Victoria Road, GU11 1JU - 1970s hideous concrete car park, high rise blocks, half the shops boarded up, a kind of "about to be stabbed at any moment, watch your back" feeling about the place as if someone had picked up a bit of Central London and dumped it in Hampshire.

That's right in the the centre, I think, and frankly there are bits of where I grew up (big town) which look like that. It's not "have a go at Aldershot" day AKA "insult the people you're asking for help from".

Is there anyone who knows Aldershot quite well who can suggest any bits of the town which are quite nice - nice as in: able to see the sky out of the window, some greenery, maybe a bit quieter, even on the outskirts in an industrial park?

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Google street view?

Hadn't even thought of that. I remember being in the car once and looking at the icon of where I was flashing on the map, pressed something and up came a photo of the street I was in - very impressive :)

Shall have a hunt around with that.

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leased line.

I worked through that but it's just too expensive (I did find a place doing 10Mbps in Alton for about £299/mo but the setup fees varied depending on location) - driving to Aldershot and back to get 20Mbps is cheaper and it's en-route to where my partner works, so shares the petrol costs.

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That's quite a find :)

Seems those people didn't think much of Aldershot. It must have some nice bits, I lived in Blackpool for a while half of which is the hovel from Hell and the other half (North Shore) is like "anywhere else" and perfectly nice.

Next nearest cabled areas are Andover and Guildford which are both quite a trek (nearest town, Farnham, is partly cabled, but it only passes residential areas - I thought about renting a "bedsit" instead of an office but that doesn't really work when you factor in purpose of use breach, council tax, bills...)

Hampshire is beautiful, 80% rural, but it means big gaps between the towns (we live in one of those gaps, and it's lovely) and not much cable :(

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I live in Aldershot, or should I say Nepaldershot?

A couple of things.

1) Live only in the West - basically anywhere West of Cranmore Lane - Ayling Hill - Church lane west - church lane east + north of lower Farnham road.

2) Do not, under any circumstances ever think it's a good idea to sample the Aldershot nightlife. Just don't. I've lived in the area for 30 years on and off and I think I've been to a town centre pub just a handful of times. If you do insist on going out in the town then expect a fight or several.

3) if you need to buy something then you'll need to go to Farnham, Guildford or somewhere like that. Unless of course the likes of poundland, Iceland or one of the numerous charity shops caters for your needs.

Despite it's drawbacks there are still Positives about Aldershot. It's got the West End Centre (for the arts, bands etc) and there are still places that have a bit of community spirit etc. We've stayed where we are because we've got great neighbours and it would take a lot for somewhere else to trump that.

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I live in Aldershot, or should I say Nepaldershot?

A couple of things.

1) Live only in the West - basically anywhere West of Cranmore Lane - Ayling Hill - Church lane west - church lane east + north of lower Farnham road.

2) Do not, under any circumstances ever think it's a good idea to sample the Aldershot nightlife. Just don't. I've lived in the area for 30 years on and off and I think I've been to a town centre pub just a handful of times. If you do insist on going out in the town then expect a fight or several.

3) if you need to buy something then you'll need to go to Farnham, Guildford or somewhere like that. Unless of course the likes of poundland, Iceland or one of the numerous charity shops caters for your needs.

Despite it's drawbacks there are still Positives about Aldershot. It's got the West End Centre (for the arts, bands etc) and there are still places that have a bit of community spirit etc. We've stayed where we are because we've got great neighbours and it would take a lot for somewhere else to trump that.

Reading this had me in stitches (metaphorically, as opposed to actually, which perhaps requires me to go there)

I think I'm getting the message about Aldershot.

Mind you I only need a room somewhere to work out of. Somewhere nice to walk around at lunchtimes is optional.

I'll have a drive over there (the West bit) later on in the week.

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That's quite a find :)

Seems those people didn't think much of Aldershot. It must have some nice bits, I lived in Blackpool for a while half of which is the hovel from Hell and the other half (North Shore) is like "anywhere else" and perfectly nice.

Next nearest cabled areas are Andover and Guildford which are both quite a trek (nearest town, Farnham, is partly cabled, but it only passes residential areas - I thought about renting a "bedsit" instead of an office but that doesn't really work when you factor in purpose of use breach, council tax, bills...)

Hampshire is beautiful, 80% rural, but it means big gaps between the towns (we live in one of those gaps, and it's lovely) and not much cable :(

Shame about the leased line... looked into shared serviced offices? They'll answer the phone and all sorts!

Where abouts are you?

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Shame about the leased line... looked into shared serviced offices? They'll answer the phone and all sorts!

Where abouts are you?

I live in Lower Froyle, which is about half way between Alton and Farnham.

Alton is lovely and would be my first choice, but despite being in the early rollout phase for BT's "lets try and catch up with Virgin Media just a little" FTTC service the place I really wanted has not been done and so can only get ADSL like all of the other business premises in Alton that I looked at. I think a lot of people waiting for their exchange to be enabled are going to end up very disappointed if it's that patchy everywhere else, it's like a "ticking boxes" exercise. Alton - done. Next..

Farnham is very pretty to look at but frankly ruined by the fact that lots of traffic gets routed along the high street and parking is a problem. That had a December date for FTTC and some places were showing availability which now doesn't show as it looks like having to actually supply a group of users with some bandwidth for the first time has scuppered BT's rollout and lots of dates have rowed back.

Both have serviced offices. The one in Alton was a serviced office but I'd want to pay and have my own connectivity as 1. I can and would use a fair chunk of shared bandwidth to the detriment of others and 2. I need a direct line of contact as I can't have it going down regularly like in the last serviced office I had.

Ten years ago BT were useless. They're still useless. But then I suppose it's easy to make money supplying rubbish when you have a natural monopoly in half the country.

Leased lines are simply too expensive and I'm led to believe that BT Openreach are involved somewhere so goodbye SLAs and hello shambles.

Which brings me back again to cable. And Aldershot. Not a problem in Essex where I'm from as cable is widespread but not so in Hampshire.

Edit: looks like Farnborough is cabled too, so there's another option.

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I live in Lower Froyle, which is about half way between Alton and Farnham.

Alton is lovely and would be my first choice, but despite being in the early rollout phase for BT's "lets try and catch up with Virgin Media just a little" FTTC service the place I really wanted has not been done and so can only get ADSL like all of the other business premises in Alton that I looked at. I think a lot of people waiting for their exchange to be enabled are going to end up very disappointed if it's that patchy everywhere else, it's like a "ticking boxes" exercise. Alton - done. Next..

Farnham is very pretty to look at but frankly ruined by the fact that lots of traffic gets routed along the high street and parking is a problem. That had a December date for FTTC and some places were showing availability which now doesn't show as it looks like having to actually supply a group of users with some bandwidth for the first time has scuppered BT's rollout and lots of dates have rowed back.

Both have serviced offices. The one in Alton was a serviced office but I'd want to pay and have my own connectivity as 1. I can and would use a fair chunk of shared bandwidth to the detriment of others and 2. I need a direct line of contact as I can't have it going down regularly like in the last serviced office I had.

Ten years ago BT were useless. They're still useless. But then I suppose it's easy to make money supplying rubbish when you have a natural monopoly in half the country.

Leased lines are simply too expensive and I'm led to believe that BT Openreach are involved somewhere so goodbye SLAs and hello shambles.

Which brings me back again to cable. And Aldershot. Not a problem in Essex where I'm from as cable is widespread but not so in Hampshire.

Edit: looks like Farnborough is cabled too, so there's another option.

Have you looked at the edges of Ash, Ash Vale and Badshot Lea?

I know people with cable in Ash Vale, and I am pretty certain they get covered by the Aldershot exchanges even if they are in Surrey from a postal perspective. Nice and green round the edges as well. Ash Vale is much nicer than Ash BTW - Ash can be a bit rough.

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I am not a computer geek so this may be a silly suggestion, but would it make working from home viable if all your programs were hosted by somewhere with a quick internet connection and you just your slow connection to click the right buttons.

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I am not a computer geek so this may be a silly suggestion, but would it make working from home viable if all your programs were hosted by somewhere with a quick internet connection and you just your slow connection to click the right buttons.

Sort of.... :)

Where we live, we're 2.5km from the exchange with about 3km of knackered old phone line connecting us, so ADSL can only manage about 1.5Mbps. So we use a 3G modem which hits around 3Mbps.

As an aside I'm told that a line that long should be able to hit the dizzying highs of about 4Mbps, maybe even 5Mbps, but my experiences with ADSL are that it's usually nearly useless unless you live in the flat above the phone exchange.

Our 3G mast here is due to be upgraded to "up to 7.2Mbps" next year so that will be a vast improvement but the 3G modem has high "latency" (gap between you pressing the button and something happening, you can see this on web pages with dozens of graphics and applets as you can watch them load one after another)

So it's not that bad, but when I get a client who needs to send me a DVD with 2GB of images on it, the upload speed of only 0.4Mbps means it takes forever (from here to the website). It's also very expensive because you have to pay for the data transfer you use.

I host my applications on a private dedicated server at a data centre so that clients can view them during the development phase and the deployment to live is from that server (this is what you're describing) but it's getting the stuff up there in the first place.

At the same time MSDN (developer) subscripitons can be 5GB downloads, so that's a "leave running overnight" thing.

We also have lots of power cuts here (rural). One today, two yesterday night (fog/mist on the lines perhaps) - only brief - and about 3 extended outages a year which always seem to last for 3 hours.

That and I'd quite like not to work at home so I can get home, turn off the mobile and enjoy an evening.

There are only two possible affordable options which provide a guarantee of decent downstream and upstream. Or a near guarantee, anyway. Cable and BT's new FTTC service. That's in its infancy, and beset by teething problems (for heavens sake, FTTC is hardly new, Virgin Media have been doing it in half the country for over a decade and VDSL is hardly a new concept anyway). Cable is predominantly a residential service and doesn't always pass business areas though it has a decent business offering with an SLA and is all in-house.

Cable is (depending on what you choose) 50Mbps down / 5Mbps up (100/10 only in a few areas so far) and FTTC is anywhere from 15Mbps down to 40Mbps down and can give slightly higher upstream.

Standard ADSL is 150kbps to 20Mbps down and in some setups 2.5Mbps up but as with where we live, get a "long" or rubbish quality line and you find yourself at the bottom end of that range which might not even outperform 3G - the line here doesn't stand a chance of doing that.

So if I'm to rent an office, I need a near guarantee of usable speed (looking for 10Mbps down minimum) and there are 3 options - cable, FTTC and leased line. Leased lines are horrendously expensive and you don't get much performance for pound leaving a choice of two. BT's FTTC is still early days, so it's a choice of one.

The same choice of one which was around a decade ago. It's so frustrating.

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I'm struggling to understand why you're basing your office location on the speed of the internet in the local area.

Surely things like the actual office space is much more costly? Managed offices will be a good short term solution and will be able to offer you a good internet connection, but it can be costly. Failing that, get a rack or a hosted server in a data centre where you can upload your work to/from.

At the end of the day though, if you're using a line for vital business work, then get a business grade service, that when when it goes wrong it gets fixed quickly. I'd also make sure that what ever provider you go with has remote management of there NTE, it makes life alot easier when it all goes tits up.

Generally though, aldershot is a dump, although it must have some alright places somewhere. Maybe you can try finding where the local BT exchange is and have a drive around looking for offices?

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Ah lovely Aldershot

It used to part of my patch when I was a Collector of Taxes for the Inland Revenue

It was the sort of town where people getting axed to death outside the DSS office barely raised an eyebrow

There used to a couple of evil boozers near the football ground.

Plenty of lively night life if you like seeing people getting chucked through pub windows

I believe the Johhny Ghurka curry house is still going though under a changed name.

Surpisingly amongst all the mayhem there were also some really nice people living in the place (as tax man I found the inhabitants of Aldershot to be far more honest than those residing in supposedly salubrious Godalming) and dare I say it even one or two pubs tucked away from the town centre where one could actually enjoy an evening without getting killed

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I'm struggling to understand why you're basing your office location on the speed of the internet in the local area.

Surely things like the actual office space is much more costly? Managed offices will be a good short term solution and will be able to offer you a good internet connection, but it can be costly. Failing that, get a rack or a hosted server in a data centre where you can upload your work to/from.

At the end of the day though, if you're using a line for vital business work, then get a business grade service, that when when it goes wrong it gets fixed quickly. I'd also make sure that what ever provider you go with has remote management of there NTE, it makes life alot easier when it all goes tits up.

Generally though, aldershot is a dump, although it must have some alright places somewhere. Maybe you can try finding where the local BT exchange is and have a drive around looking for offices?

Having moved around a bit over the years, for me, the first thing is to find the connectivity and the office space comes second, it has to be that way around because only a fairly small part of the UK's business areas can receive a basic 10Mbps broadband service (only about half the country has cable and it's mostly residential areas, while the business community has to carry on surviving with the crap BT dish out down phone lines)

To put into context, places I've lived and worked:

Welwyn Garden City - no cable, ADSL not serviceable (line too poor) - we had to move home one mile into a cabled area.

Backpool - ADSL at home (300m from exchange so got 7 Meg out of a possible 8), office cable yes, ADSL no (line too poor)

Harlow - cable yes, ADSL 256kbps/no (line too poor)

Here - cable no, ADSL useless as 3km long line/too poor so upgraded to 3G

I did pursue one place in Alton which has had the FTTC rollout to a couple of postcodes and that looks to be a "finished project". But no businesses can have it. Perhaps that wretched telephone monopoly company has an eye on some leased line customers round there.

It's very near the exchange, only 500m away, but broadband speed estimates on ADSL2+ were between 6.5Meg and 11Meg (matching actual performance in the building as I got them to do some speed tests, different lines have widely varying speeds/attenuations as you might expect), and even those aren't guarantees.

So it's pointless finding an office and then waiting weeks for a phone line to be put in then find it can't even manage a basic 10Meg service and I have to move again.

This country's infrastructure, especially broadband, is diabolical, most of Europe laughs at us with our pathetic broadband speeds.

On the positive side though offices are being practically given away these days.

I shall have a look at the areas people suggested - must be able to find something cabled that's within 15 miles and not in Stabsville. Ash Vale is nice. I shall have to sit for a couple of hours with the Samknows street mapping thing to check cabled streets and Google streetview.

I guess in five years or so when about 10Mbps is the minimum you could reasonably call "broadband" this problem will be catered for with sites which show which towns and areas have cable/fibre so people can choose where to live and work easily without this hassle e.g. "I need 25Mbps down" gives you the cabled towns and those which have the FTTC service and then you can drill down to streets etc.

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I'm not a techy but when I needed (MUCH) better internet access, these guys sorted me out:

http://aaisp.net.uk/broadband.html

They looked at a number of different options for me -seemed quite flexible and very helpful.

That's my fallback position :) They're very well rated and using them you can remove BT as much as possible from the circuit as they can route over the BE network instead of BT's.

If I can't find somewhere with cable by travelling further, then I'll see if I can persuade that office place near the exchange in Alton to get a line installed for me and I'll pop in with a router and check out the sync rate and IP profile and if over 10Mbps I'll then take the office.

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Ah lovely Aldershot

It used to part of my patch when I was a Collector of Taxes for the Inland Revenue

It was the sort of town where people getting axed to death outside the DSS office barely raised an eyebrow

There used to a couple of evil boozers near the football ground.

Plenty of lively night life if you like seeing people getting chucked through pub windows

I believe the Johhny Ghurka curry house is still going though under a changed name.

Surpisingly amongst all the mayhem there were also some really nice people living in the place (as tax man I found the inhabitants of Aldershot to be far more honest than those residing in supposedly salubrious Godalming) and dare I say it even one or two pubs tucked away from the town centre where one could actually enjoy an evening without getting killed

I do recall once driving past an establishment called the Airborne Bar - not being a Para (or in indeed any other type of military) I decided to give it a miss.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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