If you couple the increasing availability of ‘up to’ 80Mbps FTTC (Fibre To The Cabinet) broadband with the growing popularity of competitively priced Ethernet based services such as leased lines, GEA and EFM, we ask “Is there really still a market for FTTP?”
While the answer is fundamentally ‘yes’ in our view, it’s important to understand that the potential market for FTTP customers is being squeezed. We are still receiving regular enquiries about FTTP from our resellers, who tell us they often struggled to find a wholesale provider for FTTP. It continues to be a viable option for business customers looking for high speed connectivity but who don’t need the service guarantees provided by Ethernet based solutions. It’s only real current Achilles heel is its limited availability, especially when compared to its more accessible cousin, FTTC.
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We recently ran a poll on this blog asking “Have you and your customers encountered issues with the existing MAC system and will the new one solve these?” Unsurprisingly, 50% stated that they hadn’t had any issues and believe the changes to be unnecessary with a further 38% stating a few issues had been experienced but that they didn’t think the new system would help. That’s an 88% majority that think the changes coming into force from June are unnecessary! So, why are Ofcom getting involved? After all, if it’s not broke – why fix it?
That’s a good question! Back in 2012 when the consultation began, Ofcom argued that they received numerous complaints on this subject and their own research showed problems with customer confusion, unnecessary delays, unfair costs and even slamming – although this was later agreed to be a much smaller problem than originally suspected. Therefore Ofcom set about to evaluate and change the current process and as a result the new Gaining Provider Led (GPL) system will take effect from June 2015.
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We have been discussing the merits of adding VoIP to your portfolio for quite some time now and whilst we continue to believe that the addition of VoIP could help resellers take advantage of valuable opportunities, we would like to hear your experiences and opinions.
That’s why we’ve added a new poll to find out how many of our readers are already providing VoIP and which of you are providing it as an alternative to traditional PBX solutions or in addition to. Let us know your feedback by participating in our poll and/or leaving us a comment below.
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It’s no secret that China imposes wide reaching Internet censorship on its citizens – nicknamed the Great Firewall of China, but this Firewall just got greater as the Chinese Government strengthened its blocks against VPNs (and other means of circumvention) last week.
For years, Chinese citizens have been subject to the Government’s Internet censorship which blocks access to many Western sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Google as well as email clients such as Gmail and is known to restrict access to information that is ‘critical’ of the Chinese Government. Their argument is they are trying to ‘enhance development’ of their own Internet services within the country and give Chinese based tech firms an advantage over foreign competition. Critics argue though that their actions actually hamper innovation and serve only to control and restrict the information their citizens have access to.
Until now many citizens used VPNs to circumvent the filters and gain access to the ‘forbidden’ sites but last week it was reported that China has increased its Firewall capabilities and is specifically targeting VPNs and other circumvention methods to enforce its restrictions. It is also increasing the ‘requirements’ it makes on foreign companies wanting to do business within China.
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On Monday we published an article in response to the Government’s latest cries for increased surveillance powers and data retention and asked if the highly controversial ‘Snooper’s charter’ was inevitable. It appears three of the Lords (Lord Blair, Lord Carlisle and Lord King) believe it should be, as they have attempted to push through 18 pages worth of ‘amendments’ to the existing CTSB (Counter Terrorism and Security Bill) in yet another last minute and underhand move. If successful, this move would see the CTSB echo the previously rejected Snooper’s charter (aka Communications Data Bill).
The most worrying aspect of this latest development is that by passing these ‘amendments’ through at this stage of the parliamentary process they could enter into law without the proper parliamentary scrutiny and industry input that we’d all hoped for and is reasonable to expect. In fact, most of the amendments are reportedly key aspects that were rejected in the original ‘Snooper’s charter’ – so they are literally trying to resurrect it!
We expected additional powers to be introduced at some point but we are very disappointed that once again measures previously disputed are being ‘sneaked in’ without proper consideration and consultation. After the shambles of the DEA (also passed through in a pre-election back-door process), we’d hoped lessons had been learned. It seems we were wrong.
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