Posted on Mar 17 2011 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Will the big boys’ commitment to traffic management transparency help consumers?
In the face of widespread debate about net neutrality and increasing consumer unrest about how Fair Use Policies and traffic management affects their broadband experience , the Broadband Stakeholder group (BSG) and seven of the UK’s largest ISPs have published a new Voluntary Code of Practice regarding broadband transparency. This new code of practice will be piloted by BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, O2, Three and Vodafone throughout 2011, with review and potentially further adoption by other ISPs in early 2012.
Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations
Commenting on the new code Antony Walker, CEO of the Broadband Stakeholder Group, said:
“There has been more heat than light in the debate about traffic management over recent years. This commitment to provide clear and comparable information in a common format is very important. It will not only help to ensure consumers are better informed about the services they buy and use, but will also provide a clearer picture for policy makers of the way in which traffic management is actually used in the UK market.
Consumers need to be able to make informed choices about the services they buy and policy makers need to be able to make informed decisions about the policy and regulatory framework they set. This new commitment provides an essential building block for getting both of these things right.”Read More »
Posted on Feb 09 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Broadband advertising review- as simple as A, B or C?
There has been an ongoing industry debate over controversial advertising practices regarding broadband for quite some time. ISPs have been criticised repeatedly for advertising broadband quoting maximum achievable headline speeds and for claiming that packages include ‘unlimited’ bandwidth when they are actually subject to Fair Usage Policies (FUPs) and/or traffic shaping. Some argue that advertising broadband in this way causes confusion among customers, often setting their expectations unrealistically high. Therefore last week the ASA (Advertising Standards Agency), BCAP (British Code of Advertising Practice) and CAP (Committee of Advertising Practice) outlined their latest proposals for tackling the issue.
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
Commenting on the review the ASA state: “In 2010 the ASA asked the bodies that write the Advertising Codes (CAP and BCAP) to review broadband speed claims in advertisements as part of a wider look at advertising in the telecommunications sector.
CAP and BCAP are now consulting on their proposals for new advertising guidance on the use of “Up to” broadband speed and “Unlimited” usage claims in telecommunications advertising.
The key issues are whether consumers can actually achieve advertised speeds and “unlimited” usage of telecommunications services as claimed. The objective is to produce guidance for the industry to aid their interpretation of the Misleading Advertising sections of the CAP and BCAP Codes.”
While we agree there needs to be clarity and accuracy around broadband services we have significant concerns over the review’s proposals which are currently based on the following options:Read More »
Posted on Nov 19 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on UPDATE: Vaizey dishes another painful blow to net neutrality
This week the Minister for Communications, Ed Vaizey, backed Ofcom’s decision to step away from regulating net neutrality and leave the market to regulate itself.
Ofcom recently argued that the UK’s ISP market is considered effectively competitive and does not present any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour and should therefore not face restrictions on all forms of traffic management. We recently covered their claims in more detail in our opinion article (opinion.enta.net: Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?).
Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations
It seems the Government agrees with Ofcom, with Mr Vaizey stating: “The internet has been responsible for an unprecedented level of innovation, which has led to multi-billion dollar companies being formed in just a couple of years.
This is a model that the British government wishes to protect. A lightly regulated internet is good for business, good for the economy, and good for people.
The government is no fan of regulation and we should only intervene when it is clearly necessary to deliver important benefits for consumers.”Read More »
Posted on Nov 09 2010 by Guest | Comments Off on What exactly is superfast broadband?
The definition of ‘superfast broadband’ continues to cause confusion amongst the industry and more importantly customers as ISPs lay claim to providing ‘superfast’ services and various government bodies appear to be muddying the waters rather than providing clarification. We asked Editor in Chief of ISPreview.co.uk, Mark Jackson, for his opinion on what exactly constitutes superfast broadband.
So what is superfast broadband?
To most people “broadband” simply means “Internet access”, or perhaps even “faster Internet access”, yet as a descriptive term it’s relatively useless. You can’t define a new technology simply by saying it and its presence in ISP package titles certainly won’t help to describe how fast your expected Internet connection should be.
There was a time when the term broadband became synonymous with “fast Internet access”, albeit spoken in comparison to ancient dialup (narrowband) connections. Similarly most attempts to define the term ultimately remain highly subjective to the time period in which they were first penned, yet crucially what was fast then is slow today.
However an inability to define something so common place as broadband could have serious repercussions for future generations of “super-fast” (Next Generation Access) services, which the government is currently trying to plug as a solution for the country’s aging telecoms infrastructure. After all, just what is “superfast”?Read More »
Posted on Oct 12 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?
It seems net neutrality, the principle of treating all Internet traffic equally in order to provide a fair and equal service for all users, suffered a further blow when Ofcom announced its decision not to step in as regulator after receiving responses to its traffic management and net neutrality consultation. The consultation was initiated to discuss Ofcom’s regulatory responsibilities and any future duties under the revised framework, along with a debate on why traffic management and net neutrality is important to both citizens and customers. The regulator’s reasoning behind its decision is that the UK’s ISP market is considered effectively competitive and does not present any evidence of anti-competitive behaviour and should therefore not face restrictions on all forms of traffic management. Worryingly, Ofcom has made this announcement despite the fact that BT and the TalkTalk Group freely admitted they’d favour any video or content providers that want to make a ‘deal’ in their Ofcom responses.
Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations
Speaking at a Westminster eForum on net neutrality, International director of Ofcom, Alex Blowers, said “Ofcom is committed to dealing swiftly with problems as they emerge, but we are also committed to approaching issues in such a way as not to assume a problem before a problem has emerged.” Surely with BT and Talk Talk blatantly stating their intent in their consultation responses it would not be hard to ‘assume’ that this will become a problem in the near future.Read More »
Posted on Sep 09 2010 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | 2 Comments
It has recently been reported that ISPs are misleading their consumers on the real speeds of their broadband services. We would like to know what you think should be done about the advertising of broadband speeds. Therefore we have added a new poll to find out your thoughts. Remember you can also leave us a comment below.Read More »
Posted on Jul 12 2010 by Gemma Dickinson | Comments Off on Poll: What do you think about the ASA review of ‘unlimited’ broadband?
Our latest article features a guest blog from co-founder of Thinkbroadband.com, Sebastien Lahtinen, regarding the subject of ‘unlimited’ broadband. Mr Lahtinen argues that the concept of ‘unlimited’ broadband is no longer viable and welcomes the proposed ASA review into ISP’s use of the terminology in their advertising of broadband packages. We agree with Mr Lahtinen but are also keen to find out what you think. Therefore we have added a new poll via which you can share your views. Remember you can also leave us a comment below.Read More »
Following the recent news that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is planning a review of ISPs’ use of terminology such as ‘unlimited broadband’, we invited Sebastien Lahtinen, co-founder of thinkbroadband.com, to guest blog on this subject.
Why ‘unlimited broadband’ is not a viable business proposition in today’s economic climate
In the last few years, broadband service providers have been offering what they call ‘unlimited’ broadband services in the hope of attracting customers in what has been a growth market. This has been possible as, historically, capacity of ISP networks has not been a major limiting factor when the typical broadband service was anything up to 2Mbps.Read More »
Posted on Dec 02 2009 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Murdoch vs Google – biting the hand that feeds him?
Last month Media tycoon Rupert Murdoch, founder of News Corp which owns titles such as The Wall Street Journal, The Times and The Sun, announced plans to block Google from searching the company’s websites as he believes companies such as Google and Microsoft are “stealing” his stories for their own benefit.
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing
In his interview with Sky News Australia he stated “The people who simply just pick up everything and run with it – steal our stories, we say they steal our stories – they just take them. That’s Google, that’s Microsoft, that’s Ask.com, a whole lot of people … they shouldn’t have had it free all the time, and I think we’ve been asleep.”
He continued “There’s a doctrine called fair use which we believe could be challenged in the courts and barred altogether — but, you know, it’s OK. We’re getting a lot of advertising revenue, so we’ll take that slowly.”
But it’s not as one sided as Murdoch would have us believe. News Corp also benefits from its involvement with Google. Google is reported to deliver 100,000 clicks a minute to News Corps’ websites, that’s a lot of traffic to simply dismiss. Murdoch responded to this by questioning the quality of the traffic delivered by Google, stating that Google does not deliver loyal customers that would be willing to pay for his stories. “What’s the point of having someone come occasionally who likes a headline they see on Google?” he asked. “There’s not enough advertising in the world to make all the websites profitable. We’d rather have fewer people come to our website, but paying. Customers are very happy to pay for it when they buy a newspaper.”Read More »