Age verification – Essential protection or slippery censorship slope?

Posted on Feb 15 2017 | Make a comment

Late last year news started to emerge that several amends had been made to the already highly controversial Digital Economy Bill (DEB) including the requirements around ‘age verification’ on pornography websites.

The original plan was to include a note in the DEB to ensure the current optional ‘Parental Controls’ remained available to all customers following changes in EU legislation regarding net neutrality. However, the remit has expanded somewhat and now the DEB wants to implement a ‘tough age verification system’ on all websites displaying ‘adult content’ with ISPs required to block access to any such websites that are non-compliant.

We discuss whether or not this is necessary to effectively protect children from accessing pornography on the Internet or if it’s a slippery slope towards further censorship?

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Poll: ‘Digital Transformation’ – are there really opportunities?

Posted on Feb 09 2017 | Make a comment

You can’t look at an IT industry publication at the moment without coming across at least one mention of ‘digital transformation’ – the notion of businesses using modern technology and digital platforms to improve operational efficiency, grow revenues and / or to focus on customer experience. We’ve previously discussed that connectivity is at the heart of all digital transformation and as such, channel resellers have a massive opportunity to capitalise on everything that digital transformation offers; but we’d like to know what you think. Are you already seizing the opportunities that are presented, or are you unsure of where to start? Let us know by voting in our poll, or leaving a comment.

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Guest Blog: What will 2017 hold for the industry?

Posted on Feb 07 2017 | Make a comment
Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General, ISPA

2017 is once again set to be a big year for the industry with significant policy developments on the horizon. In the coming year, the Digital Economy Bill will become law; there will be changes to Ofcom’s General Conditions; and the Investigatory Powers Act will be implemented. There will also be new Government funding for full-fibre broadband and changes to broadband advertising rules – all against a backdrop of Brexit and political instability. In the light of these developments it is incredibly important that the breadth of Internet industry views are heard and that is where we turn to industry bodies such as ISPA, to ensure we have our say. Nicholas Lansman, Secretary General from ISPA informs us of the key areas they are currently involved in and what we should be aware of in 2017.

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The State of the Broadband Nation

Posted on Feb 02 2017 | Make a comment

Progress. It’s what we all work for and it seems there was quite a lot of it last year in terms of broadband availability. ADSL coverage increased by 1% nationally, while FTTC saw a 6% increase and FTTP coverage grew by 1.7%. It’s no surprise that FTTC – or superfast broadband in layman’s terms – saw the biggest increase given that the Government is quickly coming up on its self-imposed deadline of 95% coverage by the end of this year.

The question now is of course where BDUK and BT will look to upgrade cabinets in order to achieve their 95% coverage target. The logical answer is that they’ll focus on the low-hanging fruit – that is cabinets that are easy and therefore more cost effective to upgrade than those requiring lots of engineering works. This will likely mean that the focus remains on urban and semi-rural locations, leaving those in the countryside to wither on a sub-par service until the Universal Service Obligation (USO) gives them something a little better – if they request it and it won’t cost too much to provision… As you can see from our infographic ‘Connectivity in the UK’, Ofcom’s Connected Nations Report 2016 says that there are 1.4m premises in the UK that can’t currently access a minimum speed of 10Mbps, the proposed minimum threshold speed of the USO.14% of these – or 200,000 premises – are small to medium-sized businesses and 69% (that’s 960,000 buildings) are in rural locations.

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Will rural customers be left out in the cold again?

Posted on Jan 31 2017 | Make a comment

Just when we thought things were looking up for rural customers suffering from low speeds and poor service with the Government’s 10Mbps USO plans, it looks like a spanner has been thrown into the works by Sky Broadband’s new advertising approach.

It was recently reported by ISPReview.co.uk that Sky Broadband has changed their Internet access packages and will no longer sell broadband (of any type) to customers unable to support a Minimum Access Line Speed (MALS) of 2Mbps.

Why? Well, this news follows recent changes to the providers’ advertising approach where they now promote average speeds as opposed to the more prevalent ‘up to’ speed approach used by the majority of the industry (including Sky previously).

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