One in six home broadband connections will be being used on Christmas Day to allow people to do work at home according to research done by Demon Internet.
On top of this, it is expected that around 10 hours of annual leave over the Christmas period will be used by workers to work form home in some capacity. There was even 4% who envisaged to be working for more than the average 8 hour working day despite the fact they should be away from work and on holiday.
Matt Cantwell, the Head of Demon said:
“We’ve identified a growing trend for Brits to work from home even at the unlikeliest of times. As a nation we’re no longer restricted by set working hours and are often the most productive when working whenever and wherever suits us best.
“It’s also clear that we’re increasingly dependent on technology to support our preference for flexible working.
“With tube strikes, winter illness and the ongoing snow chaos, remote working is no longer a ‘nice to have’, but a necessity. We can see from our research that new technologies, such as smartphones and faster internet connections, are allowing more people to work from home when they need to, helping them to manage their work/life balance.
“Whilst these technologies can mean we’re constantly connected they also give us the much needed flexibility to keep on top of our work without having to disrupt family life by leaving for the office.”
Ofcom have told BT that they can’t raise the wholesale prices of it’s broadband and landline services to help cover the pension costs that BT are having to pay.
BT are having to pay in the region of £5.2 billion per year in pension contributions with this to rise to around £5.8 billion in a few years. BT wanted to help fund it’s pensions deficit by charging the companies who use it’s equipment on a wholesale level more, but Ofcom have stood by their current approach and refused to allow BT to charge more for wholesale access.
An Ofcom statement said:
“Ofcom sets the prices that Openreach, BT’s wholesale access division, can charge other communications providers to deliver services to consumers. Regulatory controls also apply to certain other services provided by BT Wholesale such as leased lines*.
BT’s pension deficit contributions have increased in recent years and Ofcom has considered whether there are good reasons for changing the way that it currently treats BT’s pension costs. At present Ofcom allows for ongoing pension service costs, as reported in BT’s statutory accounts, but excludes payments made by BT in respect of any pension fund deficit.
After considering the evidence, including responses from stakeholders, Ofcom has decided to maintain its current approach.“
BT’s Race To Infinity campaign has seen the town of Innerleithen which is on the Scottish borders move into 4th place on the nationwide poll for areas to receive fibre optic broadband from BT.
The BT “Race To Infinity” campaign is a national poll that gives towns across the country the chance to vote for their town to have the BT fibre optic network installed there by early 2012. The campaign is free for residents to vote for their area with the 31st December the last chance for people to cast their vote. A minimum of 1,000 votes for a town are required to be eligible for the “competition” with BT choosing the top 5 places with the most votes to extend their fibre network to.
Innerleithen currently nearly 75% of the community having registered their vote for having the fibre optic network to be deployed there.
The current standings are as follows:
- Caxton, Cambridgeshire
- Blewbury, Oxfordshire
89.48% of residents
- Madingley, Cambridgeshire
81.1% of residents
- Innerleithen, Scottish Borders
74.9% of residents
- Casteton, Newport
73.09% of residents
The “Race To Infinity” campaign was run to bring fibre to more rural areas that were not on BT’s initial plans to deploy fibre to. The poll will help BT plot areas that show great interest in fibre optic broadband and where it may not have originally been considered commercially viable originally this could change BT’s view.
For the most of the country BT will be deploying FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) which will offer fibre broadband speeds up to 40Mb.
To view the map or to register a vote for your area (if you aren’t in an area that BT is already planning on deploying to) then visit www.racetoinfinity.bt.com and register by December 31st.
Virgin Media’s 100Mb broadband has now gone live for 4 lucky towns which make them the places with the fastest broadband in the UK.
The 4 towns of Heckmondwike, Farnborough, Colchester and Barry in South Wales were the initial 4 places to have the new “ultra-fast” Virgin Media 100Mb fibre broadband go live. Along with the 100Mb download speeds it will also offer 10Mb upload speeds which is faster than much of the country can even manage as a download speed.
The new 100Mb broadband does require a new N standard router to deal with the increased speeds, however the router is future proof as it can deal with potential broadband speeds of 400Mb which may come in the future.
The cost for the Virgin 100Mb fibre optic broadband is £45 per month as a stand alone product although this is reduced to £35 per month when it is also taken along with a phone line from Virgin Media at £12.24 per month. Installation of the service is £40.
It is expected that the new service will be rolled out to the whole of the Virgin Media network by around mid-2012 which would cover around half of the UK.
Not to be left too far behind, BT are to launch their own 110Mb broadband service (conveniently slightly faster than Virgin Media) around March 2011. However, this will only be available to customers who receive FTTH/P (Fibre To The Home/Premises) from BT, although BT’s roll out of fibre optics in the main will be FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) which will offer a download speed of up to 40Mb.
The Government is aiming at having a “digital hub” in every community in country as it aims to make the UK have the best broadband network in Europe by 2015.
The £830 million scheme yesterday revealed by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt and is called the “Britain’s Superfast Broadband Future” strategy.
The strategy still plans on helping virtually all the 2 million households who don’t get a good broadband connection to receive a minimum of 2Mb broadband by 2015 as part of the Universal Service Commitment.
With the private sector (BT & Virgin Media in the main) providing superfast fibre optic broadband to around 66% of the UK by 2015 the government are looking at ways to get this extended to even more of the country with their own investment of £530 million of public funds and a further £300 million that was left over from the TV Digital changeover fund.
Other initiatives include working with builders to make sure that all new homes built have fibre or the availability for fibre optic cable to be put to the home
The full report can be seen at “Britian’s Superfast Broadband Future“
The take up of Superfast fibre broadband in the UK was at just 0.2% at the end of 2009 according to the latest Ofcom report.
However, 2010 has been an important year with regards to the UK and investment in Next Generation Broadband with BT starting the roll out of their own fibre network (BT Infinity) that by 2015 should cover around 66% of UK households. As tends to be the case when it comes to super fast broadband, Japan was leading the way with 34.4% of Japanese households using fibre broadband connections.
What the UK has seen increase at an huge rate is the take up of Smartphones with the year between January 2009 and January 2010 seeing smartphone take up rising by 70%, with 18 out of every 100 people now using a Smartphone. The place with the highest use of Smartphones (of the comparator European countries looked at for the study) is Italy with over a quarter of subscribers using a Smartphone.
Despite the UK being one of the places with the highest internet use via smartphones and mobile phones we are lagging behind hugely compared to other countries for the theoretical maximum mobile download speeds.
- UK – 7.2Mbps
- France – 7.2Mbps
- Canada – 21Mbps
- Spain – 21Mbps
- Ireland – 21Mbps
- Russia – 21Mbps
- Germany – 28Mbps
- Italy – 28Mbps
- USA – 30Mbps
- Japan – 42Mbps
- Austria – 42Mbps
- Poland – 42Mbps
- Sweden – 100Mbps
A global broadband value ranking sees the UK ranked in 24th spot for broadband value according to a recent study done by Point Topic.
The study looked at the price different countries pay per Mb for their broadband. Topping the list for the best value broadband was Hong Kong where it worked out that it cost just $0.028 per MB. In the UK the cost for broadband on average works out at $0.912 per Mb (58p) and ranks us in 24th position.
The top 10 countries in best value order were:
- Hong Kong
At the other end of the scale was Peru where it worked out at $209 (£134) per Mb with other countries who were very expensive including South Africa, Kenya and Indonesia where it cost over $100 per Mb for broadband.
Out of the top 10 value broadband tariffs there was 9 which which were either pure fibre or contained fibre as a major part of the connection.