Vodafone are not going to charge customers in the UK today for any mobile Internet usage that they make today.
The promotion is running a “Free Mobile Internet Friday” offer which is available to both pay monthly customers and those on Pay-As-You-Go Customers.
For those who pay to have mobile Internet included in their tariff will not have any data transfer they use on the Internet taken off their monthly allowance.
This is a one day promotion so any Vodafone customers should make the most of it while it is available.
The broadband tax of 50p per month for those with phone lines that has been proposed by Labour could see some households paying three times this price.
The Broadband Tax works out at £6 per year but a leaked document has suggested that those with more than one telephone line could be charged for each line they have as apposed to it being just a household charge, so those with 2 or 3 lines would end up paying twice or three times as much!
It is estimated that around 1.7 million households in the UK have more than one telephone line, with some having one line for telephone, on for broadband and one for a fax machine, these people could end up paying £21.15 per year as apposed to the £6 according to The Times (who the report was leaked to).
What’s more is that the government are looking to add VAT onto the broadband tax (yes, tax on tax) meaning that it works out at even more than originally expected.
The broadband tax is designed to help raise funds to deliver next generation fibre broadband to hard to reach rural areas, although the Conservatives have vowed to scrap the broadband tax if they get into power in the next General Election and the tax has not gone through.
The average mobile broadband speeds that were found by BroadbandGenie show that from the 3,600 users that were tested the average speed was less than 1Mb.
The exact figure they found was a mobile broadband speed of just 0.87Mb which is hugely slower than the advertised 3.6Mb and 7.2Mb that is advertised by the mobile broadband providers.
Of those who used the broadband speed test those who managed a mobile broadband speed of 3Mb or above was just 0.5%, with 65% getting speeds that were under 1Mb, with 39% of these results actually being under 0.5Mb!
Around a quarter (26%) got speeds of between 1Mb and 2Mb and just 7% managed to get between 2Mb and 3Mb.
What the big hope is that when 4G services start getting rolled out that mobile broadband speeds will increase dramatically, but hopefully the mobile broadband providers won’t just increase their advertised top speeds to speeds way greater than are likely to be received by most like most currently do at the moment.
There is more problems with mobile broadband still, with the use of smartphones and people using the Internet on the move more the capacity for mobile broadband is being stretched hugely as demand starts to close in on what is actually avai;lable, again 4G technology will hopefully go a long way to sorting this when it is launched.
A village in Cumbria called Alston Moor (which the locals refer to as “England’s last wilderness”) is to get fibre broadband even though BT said that it was “unviable” to put even standard broadband to it.
The reason it is getting the fibre broadband is because the villagers themselves are digging the trenches for the fibre optic cables and going to get it installed themselves.
Back in 2002, Dabiel Heery started a project called “Cybermoor” which brought broadband to the area, it cost households £350 for the equipment and £65 for the connection but now the locals want to go faster.
The fibre broadband is going to be delivered via the fibre optic cables that will have a microwave link to the Tees Valley and will provide broadband speeds of 20Mb with the aim for this to rise up to 100Mb in the future.
Broadband and the effect they have on property prices can be seen here alone, with property prices rising around 20-25% according to the local estate agents just for the area having broadband.
T-Mobile and Orange won’t hand over any of the radio spectrum that they own when they merge companies for other mobile operators to make use of for services such as mobile broadband.
The merger will make the combined T-Mobile/Orange business a 50:50 split between the two companies and give them a mobile market share of 37% in the UK.
They will however also hold between them 170MHz of the 1800Mhz spectrum, which is almost half and don’t feel that they should need to give it up for their merger to be approved.
Three Mobile only have a 15MHz share of the 1800Mhz spectrum which at present is only able to transmit 2G GSM technology, but that is soon to be changed.
So The T-mobile/Orange company will have 37% of the mobile customers in the UK but almost half of the 1800Mhz spectrum to play with.
There is also the fact that Vodafone and O2 have hold of the entire 900MHz spectrum between them so it looks like a bit of a stale mate, with neither majority holders of each of the spectrums likely to give any up unless the others also do.
Fibre optic broadband could be coming to Plymouth in a £40 million project.
Plymouth City Council are in talks with H2O Networks about a £40 million fibre broadband network to be installed in the city that will allow business and consumers to get next generation super fast broadband access.
David Parlby who is the local Chamber of Commerce chief executive said that:
“We need this to deliver growth. If we don’t do it the local economic strategy is not going to happen.
It’s fundamental if we’re serious about being the finest European waterfront city, increasing jobs by 42,000 by 2026. We have to find a way.”
H2O Networks would absorb the costs of installing the fibre network but need to be sure that there is sufficient demand in Plymouth before they invest in doing the roll out.
H20 Networks install fibre optic cable by utilising waste water/sewer networks to avoid expensive road digging.
PlusNet are extending their offer of phone line installations for just £49.99 until January 31st 2010.
PlusNet broadband subscribers are able to make use of the offer which would mean a new phone line for half the price of what the wholesale cost is to PlusNet ( PlusNet are owned by BT).
PlusNet say there is no catch, all that is required if a ten day notice period if any subscribers want to cancel their subscription.
Those who want to get a Pay-as-you-Go mobile broadband dongle can get one half price until tomorrow if they choose O2 mobile broadband.
O2 have halved the price of their mobile broadband pay as you go dongle from £29 down to £14.67 but it is only available at this price until the 17th November (tomorrow)!
O2 mobile broadband pay as you go customers have 3 different tariffs to choose from which include:
- £2 per day that gives 500Mb data
- £7.50 per week which has a weekly allowance of 1Gb
- £15 per month which includes 3Gb of data
All the deals also include unlimited WiFi access.
To get your half price O2 Mobile broadband Pay as you go dongle you need to get your order [placed online before midnight on the 17trh November by visiting www.o2.co.uk
Fibre Optic Broadband won’t meet the demand there is for it according to a fibre optics network map produced by Point-Topic.
BT has planned to connection 10 million homes to it’s Next-Generation Access (NGA) broadband network but this is falling way short of the demand that there is for the service.
BT is installing FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) for most which will provide broadband speeds up to 40Mb, there will also be some who will have FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) installed which could offer broadband speeds up to 100Mb. The problem comes in that an estimated 60% of the UK won’t have the fibre broadband network available to them by 2012 when BT hits it’s 10 million target.
The current plans are thought to mean only 35% of the population would be able to access the next generation network by 2012 with the remaining parts of the population not getting it before 2012 or even for possibly much longer.
Point Topic said:
“BT’s planned NGA rollout, as so far announced, falls a long way short of covering even those areas where NGA should be economically attractive even without subsidy. The contribution from altnets looks quite limited at the moment as well. Thus about 60% of the UK population have no prospect of getting NGA before 2012, and maybe for much longer”
“this new digital divide will cause heated controversy as many customers discover they cannot get the new high-speed services which their neighbours enjoy.“
We could also find that house prices in areas that are in the fibre broadband enabled areas increase or the houses are more sought after, which also ties in with the story we published the other day about how “Broadband speeds could make or break a house sale“.
The difference between fibre broadband users and standard ADSL users broadband will create huge digital divide and it is something that needs to be looked at to make sure there is broadband equality across the UK and to keep us in line with the rest of the world.
It is highly unlikely that mobile broadband will replaced fixed line home broadband according to an industry expert.
The Editor of broadband.co.uk said that smartphones and other mobile devices are complimentary ways to get online as households and businesses will still rely on proper computers and proper Internet connections.
Only last week we said in our news story about “Mobile broadband to exceed fixed line broadband by 2011” that:
“We can’t see mobile broadband replacing fixed line broadband but we do see it as a complementary broadband Internet service that users will make use of when away from the home.”
Although mobile broadband and 3G enabled devices mean that the Internet can be access more freely when users are out and about it isn’t the same experience offered, for starters typing on a small Blackberry or iPhone keypad and looking at the Internet on a screen a couple of inches in size is not the same as being able to sit down and look at things through a full size monitor, plus it is easier to type a full email reply when you can view the whole email and not just part.
To add extra weight to fixed line broadband is the current roll our of Next Generation Fibre broadband which will be able to deliver broadband speeds much quicker than mobile broadband is able to achieve and with ever increasing bandwidth intensive applications mobile broadband may not be able to offer the full functionality of these.