Archive for 2008:

Why ISPs need a 21CN strategy – today

Posted on Dec 04 2008 by Neil Watson | No Comments

The UK’s broadband infrastructure is developing, through BT21CN, to provide next generation services such as ADSL2+ and pressure is increasing on ISPs to put themselves in a suitable position to provide them. Both residential and business customers want speed, resilience and flexibility at a price that doesn’t break the bank, especially in the current economic climate.

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

ISPs now have little choice about whether or not to broaden their product portfolios – the market has made that decision for them. What’s important now is that they determine how best to approach 21CN in order to compete and retain, if not grow, their market share. In short, they must have a 21CN strategy that’s right for their business.

Deciding the right strategy isn’t straightforward however. Right now, ISPs are deliberating over what seem to be the only two options – “Do we invest heavily in the infrastructure required to take Wholesale Broadband Connect (WBC), or take the lesser, managed option, Wholesale Broadband Managed Connect (WBMC)?”

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Are we living in “1984”?

Posted on Nov 03 2008 by Neil Watson | 5 Comments
Tags : ,
Categories : Featured, Privacy, Security

Update: (10th August 2009)

The Interception of Communications Commissioner’s annual report has sparked fresh calls to control the amount of surveillance currently carried out on UK citizens. Read more in this ISPreview article

The question has been asked many times before, but just how did George Orwell foresee the future? Ok, so his timescales were a little off, but are we moving even closer towards a big brother culture? The government’s latest proposals suggest we are!

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

The proposal

Sir David Pepper, Director of the British intelligence agency, Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) has announced plans to centrally store records of all electronic communications throughout the UK. The Interception Modernisation Programme (IMP) will be the largest surveillance system ever created in the UK and calls for a ‘live tap’ to be placed on every electronic communication in Britain including telephone calls, emails and visited websites.

The GCHQ and its supporters argue this is a necessary step in the fight against terrorism and that the centrally stored data will enable the police and government organisations to collect vital evidence of what it calls ‘terrorist friendship trees’ to identify potential plots and collaborations.

So how far are they willing to go? “quite a long way” according to Geoff Hoon, Transport Secretary, who recently defended the plans on the BBC’s Question Time. He went so far as to suggest “If they are going to use the Internet to communicate with each other and we don’t have the power to deal with that, then you are giving a licence to terrorists to kill people.”

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ISPs vs iPlayer: Round 2

Posted on Oct 14 2008 by Steve Lalonde | 2 Comments
Tags : , ,
Categories : File Sharing

As the popularity of bandwidth intensive applications such as iPlayer, YouTube and podcasts increase, have the ISPs that previously benefited so well from their dirt cheap broadband, unlimited broadband and even free laptop offerings punched too much above their weight?

Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

In the red corner…The ISPs!

For a long time now large, end user focused ISPs have invaded the market with extremely price-competitive offers that have undoubtedly brought down the average cost of broadband. A significant benefit to the end user you may argue and we agree. No-one denies this was a successful customer growth strategy but is it a sustainable business model?

Apparently not! As the likes of PlusNet complain that their average cost per user has tripled since the launch of the iPlayer and other leading ISPs approach the BBC for funding to off-set their increase in costs, Entanet asks what’s all the fuss about?

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Warning: BT acronym overload!

Posted on Oct 02 2008 by Darren Farnden | 3 Comments
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Categories : 21CN, EWCS, Featured, WBC, WBMC

WBC, WBMC, WBCC, WVC (WVC being previously known as VLA) and of course not forgetting 21CN! A clear case of TMA if ever there was one. No wonder there is confusion throughout the industry and the trade press over BT’s terminology when they insist on using this many acronyms to describe their next generation platforms and services. Do you know your WBC from your WVC and, more importantly, how they are relevant to you and your customers?

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

If not, don’t panic! Read on for our survivors guide to BT’s 21CN terminology. If you think there’s anything we haven’t covered then let us know using the comments feature and we’ll do our best to update this guide.

21CN (21st Century Network)

21CN is the project name given to the roll out of BT’s next generation network. 21CN is a huge overhaul of the entire BT network infrastructure, updating it in order to support new services such as ADSL2+ which could potentially provide broadband speeds of up to 24Mbps, FTTP and FTTC (which are explained later in this article). 21CN will move all voice and data services to an IP based platform. It is a huge undertaking and is due to be completed by 2012, although ADSL2+ services are available in selected areas now.

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Are YOU on the list?

Posted on Sep 08 2008 by Neil Watson | 1 Comment

An increasing number of broadband end users are being approached by law firms such as Davenport Lyons under suspicion of illegal file sharing and, if you are a broadband provider, you need to know what’s going on and how this issue affects you and your customers.

What’s been going on?

No-one denies that illegal file sharing is an issue that should be pursued by the courts however the way in which it is currently being tackled is far from perfect. Over recent months there have been cases where opportunistic law firms identified illegal file sharers, obtained court orders which require the ISP to provide the customer’s details and then sent letters to those customers demanding payments of £300+ or risk being taken to court.

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Neil Watson, Technical Support Manager

Unsurprisingly, many customers when faced with one of these letters may simply choose to pay up in the hope that this will be the end of the matter. But how accurately are these customers being identified? There have been numerous cases of inaccuracies resulting in the wrong customers being served with these intimidating letters. Just one example of this is Euan MacLay who received an email from abuse@pipex.net accusing him of illegally downloading an episode of Stargate Atlantis six months after he moved away from the company. It was eventually found that his IP address had been reassigned and the service provider’s records had not been updated.

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