The £1.2m deal which is for 5 years is designed to help roll out broadband to remote and rural areas of the UK and is part of a recently announced £132 million next generation access project in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
BT recognise that using different technologies is the best way to get as much coverage of the UK with next generation broadband. In some places it is not financially feasible for BT to install their own fibre network to offer next generation internet access, so by using the satellite broadband option means that some “blackspot” areas will now be opened up to the availability of a fast reliable broadband connection. The Hylas-1 satellite will offers broadband speeds up to 10Mb.
The Hylas 1 broadband Satellite was successfully launched last Friday and will aim to bring satellite broadband to people living in rural areas.
The satellite is owned by Avanti Communications who are a UK company. The Hylas 1 Satellite they is to target the UK, Ireland, Spain, Portugal and Eastern Europe with satellite broadband. It has eight regional spot beams which target the satellite to specific areas as apposed to just a blanket coverage.
The video of the launch of the Avanti Hylas 1 Satellite cane be viewed below.
The Avanti broadband satellite is due to be launched tomorrow which should be able to offer satellite broadband with up to 10Mb broadband speeds.
The satellite called “Hylas 1″ will be launched on Friday and then due to be operational in the first quarter of 2011.
Once operational Hylas 1 is expected to to provide satellite broadband internet access for 350,000 broadband users across Europe at any one time with broadband speeds between 2Mb-10Mb. Broadband packages will cost around £25 per month.
The satellite could deliver broadband speeds up to 200Mb but initially the speed limit will be limited to just 10Mb. Currently around a quarter of the capacity of the Hylas 1 has been pre-booked showing that it is popular and is likely to expand further in the future.
Satellite broadband could be the ideal way for many people living in remote and rural areas that struggle to get any sort of decent broadband connection to have access to a fast and reliable broadband connection, it will certainly help with the governments target of getting the whole of the UK covered with a universal 2Mb broadband connection.
Next year the Hylas 2 satellite is due to be launched, this will be even bigger than the Hylas 1 satellite and provide 8,280MHz of bandwidth compared to the 3,000MHz that is offered by the Hylas 1 satellite.
“Human Hotspots” are to hit the streets over the next few weeks in various UK locations as part of an advertising campaign by 3 Mobile.
The “Human Hotspots” will be offering free access to mobile Wi-Fi, also known as MiFi. The 3 Mobile MiFi connection will be available to people who are in an area where one of the “Human Hotspots” are located. They should be relatively easy to spot as they will be dressed all in white (although with snow forecast towards the end of the week then maybe they won’t be so easy to spot).
What MiFi does is share out a wireless internet connection through a battery powered wireless portable router which then allows other internet enabled devices to connect to it, such as laptops or smartphones.
Matthew Halfin from Three Mobile said:
“People are now using mobile internet as part of their everyday lifestyle, and we think it’s important that we’re able to support our customers by providing them with reliable and fast connectivity for wherever they want to go online.
“Three’s 3G network was designed for the mobile internet, so we can give people the very best online experience with their mobile gadgets. This will be particularly important over the Christmas period as a third of people head online with their new mobile toys.“
The reason 3 are launching this latest campaign is because they did a survey and found that people are in need of reliable and strong 3G connections which is what they feel the 3 MiFi device is able to offer customers.
The top 10 places that 3 Mobile’s research said people use their mobile gadgets were as follows:
In the living room – 72%
In the bedroom – 48%
At Work – 29%
On public transport – 24%
On the toilet – 14%
Walking – 14%
In the bathroom – 12%
In the garden – 11%
At a bar/club – 9%
While shopping – 8%
The Human Hotpsots will be in the following locations over the coming weeks:
London (Friday Nov 19), Cardiff (Friday Nov 26), Bristol (Saturday Nov 27), Nottingham (Saturday Dec 4) and Newcastle (Saturday Dec 11).
Virgin Media are launching it’s “Stop The Broadband Con” scheme that is aiming to change broadband providers advertising mis-leading “up to” broadband speeds.
The reason Virgin are running this campaign will be because being a cable broadband provider they are the least affected by a big difference between their advertised broadband speeds and actual broadband speeds delivered to customers compared to standard DSL broadband providers.
The fundamental issues behind the campaign are valid and companies advertising broadband “up to” a certain speed yet in many instances delivering speeds less than half of this speed does make it very misleading to customers.
The fact that ultimately the campaign will be to benefit and promote Virgin Media as a broadband company who can deliver broadband speeds close to their advertised speeds means that the gesture and reasoning behind the campaign is hardly selfless but none the less, if it does help change the way that broadband providers advertise their services with misleading broadband speeds then ultimately it may work out good for the industry.
Virgin Medias executive director of broadband, Jon James, said:
“People are paying for superfast broadband but receiving a service stuck in the slow lane. Broadband providers need to stop advertising speeds that not a single customer can receive and we’re asking people to support our call for change by signing up to stopthebroadbandcon.org. Faster broadband means better broadband, whether you’re surfing the web, watching TV online or downloading music and UK consumers deserve superfast broadband they can trust, rather than having to rely on the fairytales and broken promises of current broadband advertising.“
The slight issue with the campaign is that Virgin Media still advertise their services as “up to” a certain speed, the stats suggest that on average they do deliver customers with around 90% of the advertised headline speed but again this by some would make their call for this campaign a bit flawed.
Stats from Ofcom found that in May 2010 that DSL broadband providers were delivering just 33% of the headline speed for advertised “up to” 20Mb or 24Mb services with a speed on average of just 6.5Mb.
The reason for this is that DSL providers use BT’s copper network to transfer data for broadband, the distance customers are form the local exchange and also the quality of the cable can affect the broadband speed hugely. Fibre optic providers such as Virgin Media do not receive as much loss in broadband speeds over these distances than those providers on DSL connections.
Richard Branson the founder of the Virgin Group, said:
“Staying connected is central to our lives and we all deserve broadband we can trust. I’m challenging all broadband providers to be honest with their customers and ask people to add their voice to the campaign by signing up to Stopthebroadbandcon.org.“
The easy way to check how fast your Internet connection is running at is to use our free broadband speed test tool, it will show you what your upload and download speed are running at.
The slowest place for broadband in the UK is the villiage of Farningham in Kent with an average broadband speed of just 1.3Mb according to a recent broadband speed test study.
The research, done by broadband comparison site Top10.com over the last few months used data from over 100,000 broadband speed tests to draw up their list of top (or should that be bottom) 20 slowest broadband places in the UK. Only places that had at least 50 broadband speed tests performed over the 3 month period were used to be included in the analysis.
The most surprising place to be included on the list was the city of Worcester which came in in 20th position with an average broadband download speed of 2.01Mb. The fact that a city with a population of nearly 100,000 should have such slow broadband is a bit concerning as it is usually much more rural areas that are affected by slow broadband connections.
The top 20 list for slowest broadband places was as follows:
BT’s Race To Infinity campaign has seen the first 2 exchanges reach 1000 votes to put them in the lead to be one of 5 places that are to receive BT fibre broadband installed to.
The towns of Caxton in Cambridgeshire and Malvern in Worcestershire are the first two places that have passed the 1,000 minimum vote required target but there is still around a month and half of the campaign still to run so other areas still have plenty fo time to get their vote sin for their locations.
Clayton Hudson from Cambourne paris council said:
“We’re over the moon that we are currently leading the race. There has been a phenomenal response both here in Cambourne and the smaller villages that feed the Caxton exchange and we are determined to be in the top five at the end of the year.“
There has so far been over 200,000 votes cast in the Race To Infinity campaign which covers the UK from top to bottom and it is due to continue until 31st December 2010.
The 5 areas that are selected by winning the competition will have their exchanges upgraded to fibre optics by early 2012, most likely with a FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) connection which would offer fibre broadband speeds up to 40Mb.
BT are already investing £2.5 bn on their fibre network which should cover 66% of the UK by 2015, by the end of this year there should be around 4 million premises that are able to connect to the new next generation network.
BT’s latest results show that their fibre broadband network (BT Infinity) has passed 3 million premises yet currently only around 40,000 customers have signed up to the next generation broadband service.
The figure of around 40,000 customers signed up to BT’s own BT Infinity product doesn’t take into account people who are signed up through other broadband providers who use BT’s fibre network. Currently BT Infinity orders are adding around 4,000 new customers to the fibre broadband network each week.
By 2015 BT are aiming to have 2 thirds of UK homes covered by it’s fibre broadband network which will offer broadband speeds up to 40Mb for the majority of customers who will be connected via FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet). Over this period BT are investing £2.5 billion in this new next generation network which will also for the lucky few who will be connected by FTTH (Fibre To The Home) be able to sign up to their up to 110Mb fibre broadband service next March!
On standard broadband additions BT managed to take an impressive 45% of all new broadband additions in the second quarter, which in real terms was around 114,000 new customers which took their total broadband customer base to 5.34 million.
Ian Livingston, the Chief Executive for BT said:
“We have made significant progress in improving profitability and cash flow, enabling us to invest in building the foundations for revenue growth in 2012/13.
We have increased our EBITDA outlook for the year and now expect to hit our £2bn free cash flow target two years early.
Global Services order intake was up 50% at £2.1bn. Our fibre roll out has passed three million premises and BT Infinity orders are now running at over 4,000 per week. BT Vision customers now stand at more than half a million, with more developments planned to enhance our offering. Our share of DSL broadband net additions was 45%, one of our highest shares ever.”
BT’s wireless hotspot network has reached an impressive 2 million WiFi hotspots, making it the largest of it’s kind in the UK.
With the demand for wireless internet access growing at a very fast rate due to the popularity of devices such as smartphones, laptops, iPods and e-readers it has helped spur BT on to extend their wireless network. In the last 6 months alone they have added more than 780,000 hotspots.
BT Total Broadband customers are able to access this wireless network unlimited and for free as part of their broadband package.
The whole wireless network is made up with BT FON customers and BT Openzone. Many well known brands across the UK offer the access at their premises, such as Hilton Hotels, Starbucks and British Airways to name a few.
The breakdown of how the wireless network is made up is that there are around 1.95 million BT FON hotspots which are public hotspots that are sent by BT customers Home Hubs, 195,000 BT Business hubs and 3,900 BT Openzone hotspots at public locations such as hotels and coffee shops.
The Chief Executive of BT Retail, Gavin Patterson, said:
“Demand for wireless access is growing at a record rate, we’ve have added more than 780,000 hotspots in the last six months and will continue to meet the demand as more and more smart-phone, laptop, tablet, iPod and e-reader users choose WiFi to stay connected when they are out and about. What’s more our BT Total Broadband customers have free and unlimited access to the largest WiFi network in the UK included in their broadband package.“
Broadband on Jersey is set to receive a speed increase with broadband speeds doubling for a quarter of households from December this year.
Jersey Telecom Group which is owned by the government has invested £11 million on improving it’s telecoms network on the island and is also installing fibre optic broadband to replace some of the original copper network.
From December this year it is expected that around a quarter of the residents on Jersey will have broadband speeds of up to 20Mb with around half the islanders having access to these broadband speeds by 2012.
The improvements don’t stop there though with a “Gigabit Isles” project which will see the network continually being invested in, with the target to make it have the world’s fastest internet access to islanders.
Graeme Miller, the CEO of Jersey Telecom Group said:
“This Christmas we will be making broadband speeds of up to 20Mb available to Islanders, meaning another key milestone in our continuing programme of network improvements has been reached – and we’re not stopping there. Islanders will be hearing more and more of this type of announcement in the coming months, as the considerable investment which JTG has made in the Island’s infrastructure is realised. By 2012 more than half of local households will be able to achieve between 15 & 20Mb speeds. In terms of core network technology, our ongoing investment will put the Jersey between ten and fifteen years ahead of the UK by 2012.“