BT Openreach have announced a Pilot scheme to that will see FTTP (Fibre To The Premises) available as an on demand service.
The “FTTP on Demand” service i to be trialled in 8 locations around the country and will offer customers fibre broadband speeds of up to 330Mb. It is anticipated that Spring 2013 will see the FTTP on demand service made publicly available, however it will only be available in areas where there is FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) already deployed.
The Phase one of testing is to run from July 2012 to early 2013 and will be used to find any issues involved with the participating Communications Providers (ISPs) to place orders for the 330Mb broadband download speeds and either the 20Mb or 30Mb upload speeds required for any customers in the Phase one test area which is in parts of High Wycombe, Bristol South as well as in St Agnes in Cornwall. Edinburgh’s Waverley exchange will also be added to the trials in September 2012.
Phase two of the pilot runs from March 2013 to May 2013 and this will be used to test the new automated order process which will concentrate on the 330Mb download speed and the 30Mb upload speed product. Along with the areas taking part in Phase one, the Phase two areas to be added are parts of Watford, Cardiff, Basingstoke, and Manchester Central.
BT are currently working hard on their fibre network, and have currently got fibre broadband available to over 10 million premises in the UK with this to increase to cover two thirds of UK premises by the end of 2014, the majority of these will be via the FTTC option which currently offers broadband speeds up to 80Mb. Only 15 exchange areas in the UK so far have had full fibre to the premises deployed.
The FTTP on Demand service is likely not to be cheap when it does become available, places where it may become slightly more financially feasible are blocks of flats or apartments where the residents may be able to share the cost and bring down the installation cost of having the service installed.
The BT Openreach MD for Network Investment, Mike Gavin, said:
“FTTP on Demand has great potential and so we are proceeding with these pilots. Whilst we believe FTTC will be our mass market consumer product for some time yet, FTTP may be of interest to small and medium sized businesses and so we want to make it accessible throughout our fibre footprint. This development can potentially help SMEs to compete both at home and abroad as well as maintain and create jobs across the UK.“
Poor set up of peoples internet connections at home is losing many people faster broadband speeds according got TalkTalk.
Broadband speeds of up to 4Mb are being lost from peoples internet connections for an estimated half a million homes in the UK due to bad internet set ups at home according to TalkTalk and as they point out, with the average broadband speed in the UK at around 7.6Mb that is a big load that is being lost!
TalkTalk have their own “Bright Spark engineers” who are used to check out TalkTalk customers broadband connections when a customer feels they are not getting the most from their internet connection. TalkTalk usually charge £50 for one of their Bright Spark engineers to make a visit to a home, but those who run a broadband speed test on the TalkTalk website can qualify for a free visit from an engineer currently if the line is shown to have any errors.
The Bright Spark engineers have visited 25,000 homes and found the following common problems that would affect the broadband speed customers were receiving.
- 31% – poor wiring causing lost speed
- 20% – needed routers set up or reconfigured
- 17% – phone socket needed to be properly set up
- 14% – ADSL broadband filter needing fitting
- 13% – other problems such as customers not connecting routers to the master socket
One of the Bright Spark engineers, Dan Downham told Recombu:
“You can lose anything up to 4 megabits per second of speed simply due to a poor in home set up. When you consider that the average home gets a broadband speed of 7.6 megabits per second, that’s an awful lot of bandwidth going to waste.
People need to think of broadband in the same way as water and electricity. It’s a commodity that can go to waste if you’re not careful.”
The BBC iPlayer alone needs a broadband connection of 3.2Mb for it to deliver HD video, these lost speeds through poor set up could be the difference between a user being able to stream video flawlessly and having buffers and delays.
The ISPA Awards have now had the “Internet Hero” and “Internet Villain” finalists announced ready for the 2012 awards which are taking place on the 3rd July.
The ISPAs are the UK Internet industry awards and have been running since 1999 and were set up to find the best in the Internet industry and acknowledge innovation and best practice.
This year, the 5 finalists for the “Internet Hero” award are:
- Broadband for the Rural North (B4RN) for bringing high speed internet into remote rural communities, setting an example for others to follow
- Ofcom – for its independent assessment of the website blocking measures in the DEA, which they found to be neither “practical” nor “desirable” and “trivial” to circumvent
- Reg Bailey – for his government review into childhood sexualisation which found that giving parents and carers an active choice over what content is suitable for children and young people is preferable to default content filtering
- Foreign Secretary Rt Hon William Hague MP – for recognising, at the London Cyber Conference, that the future internet must be without ‘government control or censorship’ where ‘innovation and competition flourish’ and ‘investment and enterprise are rewarded’
- Court of Justice of the European Union – for its verdict on the Scarlet-Sabam case, which found that an injunction requiring a “complicated” and “costly” filter for copyright infringing material would not strike a fair balance between “the right to protect intellectual property and the right to conduct business”
On the other side of the coin is the “Internet Villain” category and there are 4 runners in this category:
- The International Telecommunications Union – for its internet governance land-grab which could lead to a less open and free internet, controlled by governments in a top-down manner
- Karel De Gucht and Directorate-General Trade – for pushing IPR enforcement standards through ACTA and disregarding the concerns from EU citizens and European Parliament in relation to the threats against fundamental rights
- U.S. Representative Lamar S. Smith – for introducing SOPA: an ill-thought out, draconian piece of legislation that would have stifled innovation and free speech online
- Goldeneye International – for following in the dubious footsteps of previous speculative invoicing, by demanding £700 in damages from account holders who had allegedly downloaded copyright infringing material, relying solely on IP matching and claiming that bill payers were liable for any infringement
The 2012 ISPA Awards are taking place at the Park Lane Sheraton Hotel in London at 7.30pm on the 3rd July.
Belfast is looking to become one of the best connected cities in Europe by rolling out city wide broadband coverage with Wi-Fi connectivity set to be at the heart of the plans.
Belfast City Council revealed plans to offer free public airless internet throughout the city on Monday that would benefit both residents and visitors to the city. Belfast had initially been allocated £6 million in funding from the government who had put aside £100 million to fund 10 major cities across the UK with high speed wireless broadband. However, Belfast City Council are hoping to get their hands on a further £7.7 million providing that they are able to prove there is demand for better broadband connections in the city.
Deirdre Hargey, the Sinn Fein councillor who si involved in the roll out of the broadband said:
“By 2015, we aim to have citywide access to a network providing ultra-fast capacity to meet the demands of creative industries which send large volumes of data.
Super-connected Belfast also aims to provide 100% broadband coverage across the city and provide a Wi-Fi infrastructure within the city centre and at transport hubs, conference venues and other key locations.”
It is thougth that Belfacst City Council will also be putting up around £3 million of their owns funds to help witht he project which they hope will see the city with their target coverage by 2015.
Residents and business in Belfast are being called on to show there is demand for broadband in the city and are being asked to fill out a survey which they will then be able to use to help demonstrate the demand when bidding for the extra funding.
O2 and BE Broadband have both now blocked access to The Pirate Bay (TPB) website after the April court ruling was handed out to a number of ISPs to do so, one of which included O2.
The Pirate Bay is a file sharing site that allows users to find peer to peer links to download content, however much of the content is copyrighted and meant users to the site were able to download and send illegally distributed copyright material. The high court ruling in London last month said that Sky Broadband, Everything Everywhere (Orange & T-mobile owner), O2 Broadband, TalkTalk and Virgin Media all had to block access to the site.
Be Broadband whose parent company is O2 had to follow the ruling handed to O2, however, in a post on the BE Broadband blog it said that it is only due to complying with the law that the access has been restricted:
“BE takes pride in the fact that our broadband products are unlimited and unthrottled. Unlike other ISPs, we never slow down or limit your connection artificially no matter what protocol or site you’re using. Legally we need to comply with court orders but wherever possible we leave it up to you.
We wouldn’t chose to do this voluntarily but we need to comply with UK laws just like any UK business. We’re aware of the concerns voiced by members about the broader issue. Our policy of zero traffic management means that we treat all protocols equally (eg web, downloads, VPNs) and we will do as much as we can to give you the internet as you want it, whilst complying with UK laws.”
BT Broadband were not included in the original ruling and were given more time to act on what they were going to do.