BT are aiming to have over 90% coverage of the UK with fibre broadband by the end of the decade according to targets set out in BT’s Better Future Strategy.
BT say they want more than 9 out of 10 people in the UK to have access to fibre based products and services by 2020. As part of BT’s Better Future Strategy they have set 3 areas that they want to focus on, they are Connected Society, Net Good and Improving Lives.
Connected Society aim is aimed at improving society globally through the power of digital connections which includes areas such as Africa where BT are providing internet services via satellite to 20 locations.
Net Good is about reducing carbon footprints, with BT wanting to help customers continue to reduce carbon emissions by at least three times the end to end carbon impact of its business.
Improving Lives is aimed at improving hundreds of millions of loves across the world with the help of products by BT. They want to continue using their skills and technology to help generate money for good causes.
Niall Dunne from BT said:
“Our Better Future programme signals BT’s evolution to a new model in which every part of the business and every employee has a role to play in realising our visions and achieving our goals to create a better business with a better future.“
Plusnet (www.plus.net) have launched a new improved range of business broadband packages which includes business fibre broadband packages too which also come with a half price introductory offer to entice over business broadband customers.
Both the Plusnet broadband only and broadband & phone packages are available with the 6 months half price offer providing a 24 month contract is taken out and customers sign up before the 27th June 2013.
Although Plusnet have offered business broadband for years they have only just launched their business fibre broadband deals. For a broadband only option customers can choose the “Business Fibre Broadband” which offers up to 76Mb speeds with 50Gb monthly usage for £25 per month with the first 6 months just being £12.50 per month (both prices exclude the VAT) when a 24 month contract is taken.
The other option is the “Unlimited Business Fibre Broadband” which again offers up to 76Mb speeds but with Unlimited monthly usage for £35 per month with the first 6 months being half price at £17.50 per month when a 24 month contract is taken.
The same broadband only deals are available as a package with a phone and cost: “Business Fibre Broadband and phone” £23 per month with £11.50 a month for 6 months + £10.50 line rental or “Unlimited Business Fibre Broadband and phone” for £33 per month with the first 6 months at £16.50 plus £10.50 line rental.
Jamie Ford, from Plsunet, said:
“We pride ourselves on providing a stellar service, and we feel it is important that small businesses use a broadband package that meets their own promises to clients and customers. Many of our customer trialists discovered new and improved ways of working and we are confident that once people try a fibre broadband connection, they will see the instant benefits.”
Any of the business fibre broadband deals are available on either 12 or 24 month contracts, however to claim the 6 months half price users must sign up for the 24 month contract. Calls packages can be added on for £4 per month for UK anytime calls on the phone packages too.
All prices quotes are excluding the VAT to be added on.
Hyperoptic, a British fibre optic broadband provider has received a boost of investment to the tune of £50m from a private investment fund for George Soros so that they can start to extend their network outside of London.
Hyperoptic are a 1Gb symetrical fibre broadband provider, so user scan get the same speed for uploads and downloads, what’s more they can do so at far greater speeds than are currently readily available from BT Broadband or Virgin.
Hyperoptic have currently covered more than 20,000 homes in London, they have done so by targeting blocks of flats of around 200 or more so they can make their roll out as cost effective as possible rather than having to roll out to individual houses which would cost a lot more to do so to have the same number of homes covered.
The plan for Hyperoptic is to eventually start to have smaller developments covered to, this will happen when costs for their roll outs start to reduce and they are able to do so cost effectively. In their 5 year business plan Hyperoctic want to have their fibre network covering 500,000 homes in 30 cities across Britain, this will include buildings with as few as 20 homes. By the end of the year Hyperoptic aim to have their FTTH technology to 10 cities with the places being deployed to based on the demand.
Hyperoptic was started by Boris Ivanovic and Dana Tobak, they were the founders of Be Broadband, they subsequently sold that to O2 in 2005 for £50m (Sky have subsequently now bought Be Broadband).
My Ivanovic said:
“Today’s investment is a resounding vote of confidence in both our business model and the bright prospects for FTTH technology in the UK. As momentum continues to build for ‘smart cities’ and an increasingly technology-fuelled economy and society, the need to future proof our infrastructure has become absolutely critical and Hyperoptic will play a key role in doing just that.“
Sky are offering existing O2 Broadband customers free Sky TV and free broadband for a year if they switch over to Sky broadband by the end of June.
At the start of March it was announced that Sky would be buying O2 Home broadband & BE Broadband customers from parent company Telefonica in a deal worth £180 million. A combination of factors may have resulted in Sky coming along with this very enticing offer, one being that of the 500,000 home broadband customers that were with O2 & BE, 40,000 are believed to have ended their contracts with the O2 or BE according to results on Telefonicas latest quarter report and Sky are keen to keep the rest. The other reason could well be because of BT’s latest offer of offering BT Broadband customers free access to BT Sports channels which will include 38 free Premier League games for 12 months, Sky won’t want any more O2 broadband customers jumping ship and going to BT rather than staying for the migration over to Sky.
The offer existing O2 Broadband customers are to receive we believe is the Entertainment Extra+ service which comes with 48 HD channels, plus a broadband unlimited package with both of these being free for 12 months. There will still be a monthly line rental of £14.50 per month or £119.40 if paid upfront which is an extra saving of £50. In total the offer is set to save customers £468 based on it’s current charge of £39 per month (excluding the line rental). And customers who do sign up for it will then have to decide after 12 months if they wish to stay on the package or move to another broadband provider.
It is thought that existing O2 Broadband customers will receive a mail shot in the most with a unique reference number to call up with to claim the offer and so it will be worth keeping an eye out for for any existing O2 Broadband customer who fancies taking up the offer.
EE are to provide 4G internet access at Glastonbury Festival this year which makes it the first time a dedicated 4G network has been made available at a UK festival.
Glastonbury which takes place at Worthy Farm in Somerset is always bringing new technologies for festival goers, and with social networking now such a huge part of many users day to day lives 4G internet at Glastonbury is sure to be a big hit for many, even if it will mean mobile phone batteries getting run down even quicker!
Along with the 4G access EE will also be increasing 2G and 3G network coverage around the Glastonbury Festival too. There will also be two “EE Recharge” tents on site for festival goers to charge their mobile phones up at, however as always there will be huge queues for the use of these!
EE are one of the official sponsors of this years Glastonbury Festival. Spencer McHugh, the Brand Manager at EE, said:
“As the UK’s biggest and only superfast 4G network, we’re uniquely placed to use our technological expertise to help make the Glastonbury experience even better for those on site; from producing the feature packed official app for the festival, providing hundreds of charging points on site in our Recharge tents, through to ensuring festival goers can upload and share all their festival photos and videos to social networking sites at superfast speeds.“
Tesco have launched a £2 per month unlimited broadband deal with inclusive evening and weekend calls, however it does require Tesco line rental which is an extra £14.90 per month but as an added bonus Tesco Clubcard points can be earned for every £1 spent!
The Tesco “Unlimited” broadband for £2 is available to order online now. The “Unlimited” part however is subject to a fair usage policy which basically boils down to providing users don’t regularly exceed 100Gb usage per month then they will have no problems.
Tesco broadband is available on either a 12 month contract or a 30 day rolling contract, the 12 month contract has free set up plus a free wireless router while there is a £40 setup cost for the 30 day contract. After 12 months the cost goes up by £4 to be £6 per month for the broadband.
There is also the Tesco Broadband with Inclusive Anytime calls package which is available for £6.50 a month for 12 months before reverting back to £10.50 per month plus the £14.90 line rental per month.
For anyone thinking of signing up for the Tesco Broadband offer they should be sure to quote the discount code: 4OFF
Even better news comes for those who have Tesco Mobiles is that they can take a further £2 per month off their bill meaning that they can get the Unlimited broadband for free for 12 months and just have to pay for line rental, the simply need to be sure to quote the Tesco Broadband discount code: MOBFREE4 when they are signing up.
BT Broadband are offering free access to it’s BT Sport channels for BT Brpadband customers which includes 38 Premier League matches per season for the next 3 years.
BT are not trying to compete with Sky in terms of television as Sky have a huge advantage and a very strong hold on televised sports channels but rather than trying to gain BT Sport channel subscribers (which users can do for £15 per month) they will be looking to keep their existing broadband customer base and hopefully actually increase it with the added bonus of the “free” sports channels being made available to their broadband customers. BT Broadband currently have around 6.3 million broadband subscribers out of the 20 million homes with internet in the UK which Sky are closing that gap with 4.4 million broadband customers.
BT Broadband is available for just £10 per month for it’s cheapest broadband package plus £15.45 for line rental and this will give BT Broadband customers free access to watch the BT Spoirts channels via the internet so users can only watch via their computer or Tablet or they can connect these to a TV screen if they wish to watch them on the TV for free. The other option is a £5 per month subscription to buy BT Vision which allows the BT Sports channels, plus 70+ other TV channels, to be watched via their TV service, this however also carries a £49 activation charge.
BT paid £738 million for the 38 matches a year for 3 years which Sky had to pay £2.3 billion for the 116 games that it will get per year over the same 3 year period.
The 3 sports channels available will be BT Sport 1, BT Sport 2 and ESPN. Of the 38 live and exclusive Premier League games that BT have, 18 of these will be “first pick” matches, along with that BT are the sole and exclusive broadcaster of the Aviva Premiership Rugby where they can get up to 69 matches. Football form other leagues around Europe and the world will also be available such as Germany, France, Italy and Brazil.
BT are going head first into it’s BT Sports channel, they have already taken Jake Humphrey from the BBC F1 team to head their Football programme and they have also got Manchester United’s Rio Ferdinand as an interviewer and football expert on board. Premier League Champion, Robin Van Persie and Gareth Bale are also being used as faces for the new sports channel.
Ofcom are to look into if BT have been abusing their dominant position with superfast broadband after a recent complaint from rival TalkTalk claimed they were building a monopoly and using their dominant position when setting prices for fibre optic broadband.
Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator have launched the competition inquiry after they thought that there was reasonable suspicion that BT have been price fixing with it’s fibre broadband lines. The complaint last month from TalkTalk was for an investigation to be done into the wholesale prices that BT Openreach charge rival providers for using their network, they complained that “BT has failed to maintain a sufficient margin between its upstream costs and downstream prices, thereby operating an abusive margin squeeze.”
The prices charged to the 80 or so rival broadband providers who use the BT network are the same as BT Retail also pay and it has only been TalkTalk who have raised a complaint.
This was not the only beef that TalkTalk had with BT, they also questioned about the money the government are giving to BT under the BDUK scheme and saying that they are helping them create a monopoly.
A BT Spokesman said:
“We are confident there is no case to answer. It would be better if the industry’s, and Ofcom’s, focus was on investing in the future of the country rather than on spurious actions designed to hold up fibre in the UK.“