CBL Logo

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about Broadband Services

Some of these apply only to our radio-based services.

Can I use my old router?
Perhaps. If your previous ISP was a cable or satellite provider then your old router should be OK. If your old ISP uses a telephone-line connection then your old router is unlikely to be suitable. The router needs to be one with an Ethernet WAN port.

Can you supply a suitable router?
We usually keep a small stock of basic routers and can supply if necessary.

Can you help with setting up my PC and router?
Yes, we aim to leave you with a working system on the day of installation. After that, you can contact us for free advice. We will also come to your location to deal with problems associated with the broadband service. We do not charge for this service.

Do I have to continue to pay for my existing ISP?
No. However, if you wish to keep an email address issued by your ISP you may have to pay a small retainer fee. Note that not all ISPs allow you to keep email addresses like this.

Can I keep my old email address?
Yes, but see above. If you normally read your email with a web browser, nothing changes. If you use an email program on your PC such as Outlook, Windows Mail etc. then you can collect your email in the same way as normal. When sending mail you will only be able to use the SMTP server provided by your existing ISP if it allows authentication. This is to prevent servers being used to send spam. If your ISP does not offer this, Countryside Broadband provides an SMTP server for you to send mail. This requires one simple change to the settings of your email client program.

Can I continue to use my existing Internet Service Provider (ISP)?
If you wish to keep your old ISP as a backup, that's fine. Our service does not use the telephone line so it is straightforward to have both services operating. An Internet connection is so important these days that many of our customers have two connections. We can help with a special router that will switch over if one connection fails

Will I get web space with my subscription, and if so, how much?
Countryside Broadband is primarily a supplier of high-speed Internet access; we do not provide web space. We can help to find appropriate suppliers of web space hosting.

Will I get a new email address?
We do not offer Countryside Broadband email addresses because we feel that customers should not have their email addresses tied to their ISP. Independent email providers such as GMail, Yahoo and HotMail can be used. We recommend that customers obtain their own domain name so that they can have email addresses that are independent of ISPs. We will help in obtaining a domain name and setting up the email hosting.

Why do I have to pay by Direct Debit?
Direct Debit is the lowest-cost method of transferring money on a regular basis. If we can keep these costs down, it helps to keep the price of the service down. Direct Debit is also very secure and the customer is very well protected.

How quickly can I have the service?
We always visit your location to work out an installation plan. Depending on our workload, you should expect the system to be installed within a couple of weeks.

What does the equipment look like?
The installation consists of a small radio unit (normally mounted on the TV pole), a power supply unit and a wall socket with an Ethernet connector. There is also the cabling connecting the radio unit to the wall socket.

How long does the installation work take?
A couple of hours, on average. It may take longer if the cable run is particularly long or access is difficult.

Can I switch off the radio link, when I am not using it?
Yes, no harm will be caused but it may take a few minutes to reconnect to the network when it is switched on again. We recommend that the radio is left switched on; this allows us to keep it up-to-date and to monitor its performance. The radio consumes about 5 watts.

Can I have my own public Internet Protocol (IP) address?
Every customer is given a public IPv4 address as part of the service. Note, however, that IPv4 addresses are running out and we will then issue IPv6 addresses.

What about firewalls?
Every Internet user should have a firewall. Usually, your router provides the firewall function but most computers also include firewall functionality. Please ask for advice.

How is the radio unit connected to my PC?
The wall plate provides an Ethernet socket that connects to your router. Your PC is connected to the router either by cable or by WiFi. It is possible to connect a single PC directly to the wall plate without a router but this is not recommended.

Can I run a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to connect to my office?

Can I upgrade my subscription to get higher speeds?
Some of our radio connections can have higher speeds. If you have a special requirement, please let us know and we may be able to help.

How close to the base station do I have to be?
The limit of range is about 4 km, however, the path between your antenna and the base station must not be obscured. Note that the range is much the same whether the base station is a main one or a relay. Buildings and trees may cause problems but they can often be solved by careful positioning of the antenna. This is one reason why we always do a survey before offering a connection.

What if I cannot get the radio signal from where I live?
We will find out if this is the case when we do a survey. If there is a cluster of houses in the same situation we will consider providing a relay station to bridge the gap. We will also advise on any alternative broadband services that may work.

Can I buy the system?
No. Countryside Broadband owns the equipment. This allows us to make sure the radio is configured correctly and to detect faults at an early stage. We will exchange any units that become faulty. This would be more difficult to manage if subscribers owned the equipment. However, we encourage customers to own the router so that they can choose the features they want.

Are the radio signals dangerous to my health?
No one can say that there is absolutely no risk but we believe that the chance of health effects is very, very small. The radio transmits at a maximum power of about a watt; this is considerably less than the power of a normal mobile phone. As the radio is on the roof it is well away from people anyway. The power levels are much less than the safe levels specified by the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP).

Do I have to keep my landline?
Our service is entirely independent of the phoneline. Many of our customers have cancelled their landlines and only use mobiles. Remember that in the rural areas where we operate mobile phone coverage may be poor.