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May 28, 2010

UK in 33rd spot for global broadband speeds

The UK is lagging way back in 33rd spot based on world broadband speeds!

The league table was produced by Ookla, the internet speed tester who have performed over 1.5 billion speed tests since they launched and have compiled these average speed tests from the previous 30 days activity.

The top 5 countries for the fastest average download broadband speed test achieved were:

  1. South Korea (34.19 Mbps)
  2. Latvia (24.30 Mbps)
  3. Republic of Moldova (21.55 Mbps)
  4. Japan (20.35 Mbp)
  5. Sweden (19.81 Mbps)

The top 5 countries for the fastest average upload broadband speed test achieved were:

  1. South Korea (18.45 Mbps)
  2. Latvia (12.66 Mbps)
  3. Japan (11.01 Mbps)
  4. Lithuania (9.77 Mbps)
  5. Bulgaria (8.91 Mbps)

The UK are currently ranked 33rd with an average broadband download speed of 7.69Mb with a broadband speed that is pretty much bang on the global average of 6.67Mb.
On the upload side of things, things fair even worse with the UK down in 65th place with an average upload speed of just 0.91Mb.

These poor positions show that the UK has a big mountain to climb to boost itself up the ranks, this just goes to show how important the investment in fibre optic broadband is to help bring the UK closer to the countries who are leading the way for the fastest broadband.

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May 27, 2010

BT want £150,000 to install broadband for a pensioner

A pensioner in Wales has been quoted £150,000 to have broadband installed to her home in Salem near Llandeilo.

The pensioner, Mrs McCartney, would have to pay £129,613.54 + VAT towards the bill while BT would foot £8,000 of the cost of the installation.

Mrs McCartney said:

I live three miles out of Llandeilo but there’s 50 odd houses in Salem and I’m quite sure they’d like broadband too.

I’m not on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere. It’s rural but not a wilderness.

Although Mrs McCartney envisages other residents in the village would welcome having broadband, if each of the homes did agree then they would all be faced with a bill of around £3,000 each anyway to fund it, which for many people alone this will be too much.

BT’s Chris Orum said:

There can be very rare cases where additional charges need to be applied because of an exceptional amount of work required to the network in order to provide service. These charges reflect the additional line plant and equipment needed to provide broadband to a particular location.

“BT is making a multi-billion pound investment in its UK network and is continuing to work with the Welsh Assembly Government to find solutions for the relatively few areas in Wales still unable to access a broadband service.

The money that the government will use from the digital switchover that was funded by the BBC Licence fee is designed to help fun the roll out of broadband to areas of the country where it is not financially viable for the likes of BT to fund doing so themselves.

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May 24, 2010

Brits find Slow Broadband bigger “niggle” than job cuts!

Slow broadband in the UK is the biggest daily niggle to Brits, more so than crime or job cuts according to a survey done by O2 for their “Niggles and Narks” campaign.

O2 Broadbands (www.o2.co.uk/broadband) survey questioned 2,040 people and found that 41% found that slow internet connections was what gave them most daily frustration, 36% said that unfriendly customer support is what caused them to get a bit hot under the collar. These 2 issues were ahead of Crime (26%), jobs cuts (18%) and NHS waiting times (14%) in the survey.

Potholes in the road had 49% unhappy and anti-social behavior had 42% not pleased.

o2 broadband niggles Brits find Slow Broadband bigger niggle than job cuts!The survey was done for O2′s latest campaign “Niggles and Narks” and as such we can probably expect that the question may have been worded in  a way that would perhaps favour the kind of results that O2 would be hoping for, add to that not many people have to deal with the NHS, Crime or job cuts on a daily basis (maybe a yearly basis) so this does help with how to interpret the results of the survey. However, small issues are definitely something that do affect people and can cause daily issues and as such they do need addressing.

The Head of O2 Home Broadband, Felix Geyr said:

It’s clear from this poll that the British public is getting increasingly frustrated with the UK’s broadband services. As the new government comes in, and it looks to get the UK online and connected by 2020, we think that now is the time for all ISP’s to change their ways and try to eliminate as many of these daily frustrations for our customers as we can. The Niggles and Narks campaign is built around listening to the consumer, and what frustrates them. O2 are constantly striving to make our award winning broadband service even better and think that Niggles and Narks will only help emphasise this to the UK’s broadband users.

O2 are most likely going to be using these findings to say how well they perform, as O2 Broadband does regularly win awards for it’s fast broadband speeds (check your broadband speed with our broadband speed test), customer service and broadband reliability which is what they will push to people.

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May 21, 2010

Over half of workers plan to watch World Cup online in work

Workers who plan to watch the World Cup games while in work are likely to put UK Broadband under a lot of strain according to broadband provider Eclipse Internet.

world cup trophy 225x300 Over half of workers plan to watch World Cup online in workAccording to research by Eclipse Internet they found that over half of employees plan to watch World Cup games online while at work, with 54% saying that they plan on doing this.

The biggest potentially troublesome day over here in the UK is Wednesday 23rd June when England play Slovenia at 3pm in a group stage game when workers are still likely to be in work. The problems could arise if large number of employees all switch on live streaming websites to watch the football which could take up huge chunks of bandwidth and also impact a businesses internet connection.

Fortunately for employers this is only scheduled day so far that England are due to play a World Cup game during office hours, however employers are being advised to make up plans and rules surrounding watching the football games online. Obviously many employees will hope their boss isn’t that computer savvy and doesn’t block the websites where people can watch online such as the BBC iPlayer.

Eclipse Internet offer home and business broadband which includes fibre broadband which starts at £39.95 per month.

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Ed Vaizey named new Broadband Minister

As we reported earlier in the week (see here) Ed Vaizey has been appointed as the new broadband minister for the UK.

His role will include getting the Digital Economy Act (DEA) implemented and also next generation fibre broadband roll out across the country.

The government are to use part of the BBC’s license fee that was set aside for the Digital Switchover to help fund next generation broadband to areas of the country where it is not financially viable for broadband providers to deploy to themselves, this part of the licence fee is worth around £130 million.

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- Filed under: News
- Tags: Broadband Minister, Ed Vaizey, Ed Vaizey named new Broadband Minister
Author: Rob @ 10:15 am

May 20, 2010

30Mb broadband for half of Europeans by 2013

By 2020 half of European households will have 30Mb broadband speeds in a pledge done by the European Union.

The pledge is part of a range of parts in the European Union’s Digital Agenda which is a five year plan that is aimed at improving Internet access.

The Digital Affairs commissioner, Neelie Kroes, announced the various proposals which also included making sure that broadband access is available to the whole of the EU by 2013, another proposal and aim is that half of EU residents will do their shopping online and use web based public services by 2015.

The EU has reportedly invested 40% less than America in technology and that around one third of Europeans had never used the Internet with a staggeringly small 1% only having fibre broadband available to them.

EU member states are being encouraged to increase what they give for investment for technological research and development to make it up to £9.5 billion per year.

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May 18, 2010

New Broadband Minister to be appointed this week

The UK is to get a new Broadband Minister by the end of this week to be part of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS).

Ed Vaizey, the Culture Minister is rumoured to be one of the likely candidates for the position. The position will be to make sure that the whole of the country is able to get a minimum 2Mb broadband connection by 2012 as part of the Universal Service Commitment and also to look at ways to get the remaining third of the country that won’t have next generation fibre broadband to be wired up to it.

BT announced last week that they were going to spend an extra £1 billion to roll out a fibre optic network to 66% of the UK making their total investment around £2.5 billion.

Labour had hoped to use a 50p per month Broadband Tax to help fun the roll out of next generation broadband to rural areas that were not in places where it made it financially viable for companies such as BT  or Virgin Media to roll out fibre to these places.
However, the Conservatives had planned before the election on using money from the Digital Switchover which is raised from the BBC License fee to help with the roll out of fibre optic networks, although this would not be available until after 2012.

This new position would keep broadband as an important issue and is one that we feel is a key part to the UK and it’s economy, it may involve some heavy investment but it would also help with the recovery of the economy.

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May 17, 2010

Virgin Fibre Broadband from £5 per month offer

Virgin Media the UK Cable operator has brought in some online offers that gives customers fibre broadband at reduced prices for 3 months when taken with a Virgin phone line.

virgin media Virgin Fibre Broadband from £5 per month offerThis means that the Virgin Broadband (www.virginmedia.com) L package which offers 10Mb fibre broadband is available for just £5 per month for the first 3 months, there is also discounts on the 20Mb broadband and their headline 50Mb broadband that they offer.
The full deals and what each one offers are listed below:

  • L (10Mb broadband) – Save £22.50
    • £5 per month for 3 months then £12.50 per month (when taken with Virgin Phone line for £11.99 per month) or
    • £15 per month for 3 months then £20 per month if only broadband taken
    • 10Mb broadband speed
    • Unlimited downloads (fair use policy)
    • 12 month contract
    • Free Internet Security
    • Free Wireless N Router
    • Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles when taken with a Virgin Phone line.
  • XL (20Mb broadband) – Save £30
    • £10 per month for 3 months then £20 per month (when taken with Virgin Phone line for £11.99 per month) or
    • £25 per month for 3 months then £30 per month if only broadband taken
    • 20Mb broadband speed
    • Unlimited downloads (fair use policy)
    • 12 month contract
    • Free Internet Security
    • Free Wireless N Router
    • Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles when taken with a Virgin Phone line.
  • XXL (50Mb broadband) – Save £39
    • £15 per month for 3 months then £28 per month (when taken with Virgin Phone line for £11.99 per month) or
    • £33 per month for 3 months then £38 per month if only broadband taken
    • 50Mb broadband speed
    • Unlimited downloads (fair use policy)
    • 12 month contract
    • Free Internet Security
    • Free Wireless N Router
    • Unlimited weekend calls to UK landlines and Virgin mobiles when taken with a Virgin Phone line.

The discounted Virgin Media fibre broadband offer runs until 30 June 2010.

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May 14, 2010

BT confirm extra £1bn for fibre broadband network

We reported at the start of this week about BT extending the roll out of it’s fibre optic network to two-thirds of the UK up from the 40% it originally planned and this has been confirmed yesterday by BT as they had a press conference releasing their annual figures.

fibre optic cable BT confirm extra £1bn for fibre broadband networkThe increased roll out has come with an extra £1 billion of funding being pumped into the fibre network, originally BT were going to spend £1.5 bn but yesterday said that this is now going to be £2.5 bn and should have the 66% coverage by 2015.
Last year (to the end of March 2010) BT made a £1bn profit, with is a huge increase on the previous year where they actually made a £244 million loss.

BT’s fibre network is mainly going to be FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) that will offer broadband speeds up to 40Mb, BT themselves will be offering customers fibre broadband on it’s service they have named BT Infinity or they will be other broadband providers who will use BT’s fibre network to offer their own fibre broadband services.

This news will no doubt be a blow to BT’s main rivals Virgin Media, who currently have 55% coverage of the UK with their own fibre broadband network where they offer a headline speed of 50Mb broadband. The increased rivalry between the two companies should hopefully be good news for consumers though as each company fights to win over customers, hopefully meaning cheaper fibre broadband for us.

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May 12, 2010

Vodafone Mobile Broadband 3 months free offer

New Vodafone mobile broadband customers can get 3 months free mobile broadband and save up to £75 when signing up to it’s Standard, Premium or Ultimate mobile broadband contracts.

Customers need to sign up to an 18 month contract on one of these Vodafone mobile broadband deals and they will receive the 3 months free and also a free mobile broadband dongle.

The current Vodafone Mobile broadband deals (Visit: www.vodafone.co.uk/mobile-broadband) available and what they include are:

  • Starter
    • £15 per month
    • 1 month contract
    • 3GB data
  • Standard – £45 Saving
    • £15 per month
    • 3 months free
    • Free dongle
    • 18 month contract
    • 3GB data
    • Basic PC protection
    • 2GB PC Backup
  • Premium – £60 Saving
    • £20 per month
    • 3 months free
    • Free dongle
    • 18 month contract
    • 4GB data
    • Premium PC protection
    • 20GB PC Backup
  • Ultimate – £75 Saving
    • £25 per month
    • 3 months free
    • Free professional dongle
    • 18 month contract
    • 5GB data
    • Premium PC protection
    • 20GB PC Backup

Before anyone jumps into a mobile broadband contract they should think if the usage allowance is going to be sufficient for the next 18 months and that Mobile broadband speeds don’t tend to get near to broadband speeds that you receive to the home (free broadband speed test).

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