Broadband Speed Guarantees – Oh come on Which? get real!

Posted on Nov 18 2014 | 1 Comment

Which? have once again called for broadband speed guarantees for customers, demonstrating their continued lack of understanding of the complexity of this issue and the multi-tier structure of the broadband delivery market – including Openreach’s critical role in fault resolution.

Paul Heritage Redpath1 Broadband Speed Guarantees – Oh come on Which? get real!

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager

Back in March, they called on all ISPs to provide a ‘broadband speed guarantee’ which would provide customers with written speed ‘estimates’ at the start of the contract; allow customers to exit contracts without penalty if that speed isn’t achieved (so, actually they want a ‘guarantee’ not an ‘estimate’); fix loss of connection as quickly as possible; refund people for loss of service; and remove the jargon and ‘take responsibility’ for fixing problems. All in all, they wanted a basic SLA for broadband providing guarantees and compensation.

Their latest survey of over 2000 UK adults reportedly found that only 5% of people agreed that broadband speed is advertised in the clearest way and 88% agreed that speed was the second most important factor when choosing a broadband deal (after price). This has led Which? to re-issue their calls for a ‘broadband speed guarantee’ although in fairness, this time they appear to have dropped the request for early contract exit options where the speed provided isn’t achieved.

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Nee Naw Nee Naw – Internet police coming through!

Posted on Nov 11 2014 | Make a comment

Once again the role of technology firms has been called into question in the never ending debate over ‘policing the Internet’. This time its new GCHQ boss, Robert Hannigan, who has suggested the need for a new ‘deal’ between the technology industry and intelligence organisations such as GCHQ.

Paul Heritage Redpath1 Nee Naw Nee Naw – Internet police coming through!

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager

Hannigan requested the new deal between “democratic governments and technology companies in the area of protecting our citizens”. However, Julian David, CEO of TechUK which represents 860 technology companies has been amongst the first to reject the idea stating: “To ensure public confidence, both in the digital economy and our democracy as a whole, any obligations placed upon technology companies must be based upon a clear and transparent legal framework and effective oversight rather than, as suggested, a deal between the industry and government,”

Hannigan also suggested that technology firms are in ‘denial’ about the use of their services by criminal and terrorist organisations to which David replied:

“He is wrong to suggest that this is an issue that technology companies are in denial about. As we made clear in our recent tech manifesto, technology firms which we represent have important legal obligations to work with government to help keep the UK safe and secure which they take extremely seriously.”

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Poll: Have you and your customers encountered issues with the existing MAC system and will the new one solve these?

Posted on Nov 05 2014 | 1 Comment

Next year the current MAC based migration process for broadband services will change due to reported issues with the existing system. The new system will be ‘Gaining Provider Led’ and intends to speed up the migration process for customers by eliminating the losing provider’s ability to cause unnecessary delays. The new process is due to go live in June 2015 but will the new GPL based system really solve the alleged existing problems? Will it cause new ones? We would like to hear your opinion so we have created a new poll on this subject – take a look and cast your vote.

You can also leave us a comment below!

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GUEST BLOG: ORG successfully adds ‘safeguards’ to latest trade mark blocking case

Posted on Oct 28 2014 | Make a comment

The ongoing fight against online infringement has taken a new twist as Cartier International, owners of the luxury Mont Blanc and Cartier brands, has won its case in the High Court to force ISPs to block access to websites allegedly infringing its trade mark. Until now only copyright infringers (such as music and film distributors) have been pursued in this manner. Elizabeth Knight, Open Rights Group’s (ORG) Legal Director, explains her initial concerns about this new development and the safeguards suggested by ORG that have now been accepted by the judge:

ElizabethKnight400 GUEST BLOG: ORG successfully adds ‘safeguards’ to latest trade mark blocking case

Elizabeth Knight, ORG Legal Director

Blocking websites for trade mark ‘infringement’

The High Court has now decided on this case and instructed the largest UK ISPs to block the reported websites for alleged trade mark infringement. The case was brought by Cartier International and related companies who were seeking an order to force BSkyB, BT, EE, TalkTalk and VirginMedia to block a number of websites that it has claimed have been using the brands’ trade marks for counterfeiting activity.

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It’s official – Censorship is no substitute for good parenting!

Posted on Oct 22 2014 | 3 Comments

We’ve argued that good and sensible parenting is key when it comes to children’s safe Internet use for quite some time but it seems a recent survey by The Parent Zone and the Oxford Internet Institute has now echoed our opinions. In their survey of 2000 14-17 year olds they found that restricting kids’ Internet usage through the use of parental controls is not as effective as good parenting and allowing them to self-regulate their own online usage.

darren farnden It’s official   Censorship is no substitute for good parenting!

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing at Entanet

Following ongoing pressure from the Government, most of the major residential focused ISPs now provide parental control options as standard to help parents regulate their children’s Internet usage, however these filters have their pitfalls. They have been known to accidentally block access to legitimate sites due to poor categorisation and errors and they are quite easy to circumvent using proxy websites or VPNs – something the child possibly has more knowledge of than the parent!

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