Is the UK ready to ditch its traditional phone network?

Posted on Jun 30 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Is the UK ready to ditch its traditional phone network?
Categories : BT, Network, Ofcom, Voice

BT reportedly has plans to move all domestic and business phone customers to an IP based network within the next 10 years and is requesting that Ofcom relax its obligations on the company to provide a traditional copper based phone network at the same time. This would allegedly enable BT to focus on supporting a single network infrastructure and invest elsewhere. So, is the UK ready to move to an IP based network or should BT be forced to retain its existing Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) infrastructure?

BT’s argument is that most customers rarely use their landline to make calls now, with most opting to utilise mobiles or VoIP based technology anyway. In order to move with technology and remain competitive, it wants to utilise an IP based network for all landlines rather than the existing PSTN infrastructure that it (and KCOM in the Hull area) are obligated to provide as part of its Universal Service Obligation.

Mark Shurmer, BT’s group director of regulatory affairs, said: “We believe obsolete regulation should be rolled back, rather than clinging on until the last user dies. What we are looking for is a kind of ‘sunset clause’ that will help customers to plan.”

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Should BT be forced to open up access to its dark fibre?

Posted on Jun 09 2015 by Steve Lalonde | Comments Off on Should BT be forced to open up access to its dark fibre?
Categories : BT, Ethernet, Fibre, Ofcom
Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

In a recent u-turn following their latest Business Connectivity Market Review, Ofcom is proposing that ISPs offering leased lines be granted physical access to BTs ‘dark fibre’, something it disregarded during its previous review in 2012. So, should BT be forced to open up its dark fibre to competitors and how could it affect the industry?

What is dark fibre?
In simple terms, dark fibre is the ‘un-lit’ (unused) fibre optic lines that have already been implemented by a carrier to provide spare capacity for coping with future demand. By allowing access to this fibre, the competing Communications Provider can install its own equipment at either end, taking full charge of the solution on a wholesale basis.

The carriers that have invested in the implementation of this fibre to enhance their own networks and ensure future scalability are obviously upset by the recent proposals and argue that they should not be forced to provide competitor access to this ‘dark fibre’- after all, they are clearly trying to protect their investments.

A recent open letter sent by BT, Virgin Media and Kingston Communications warned Ofcom that such actions could lead to higher prices and “significant regulatory uncertainty, undermining the return on sunk investments and therefore dis-incentivising future infrastructure investments“. It also states that “allowing multiple operators to tamper with the physical network will cause service faults for customers“.

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Meet the author – Neil Watson

Posted on Dec 02 2014 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Meet the author – Neil Watson

It’s time for another ‘meet the author’ article and this time we are introducing our Head of Service Operations, Neil Watson…

How long have you worked at Entanet?

I’ve not long surpassed my 8 year anniversary – and boy has it gone quickly!

What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?

I’m responsible for running the technical support, customer services, premier support and solutions provision teams.

With regards to opinion, which topics do you usually cover and why?

I tend to cover a range of subjects from net neutrality, data retention to BDUK and anything operational. Net neutrality is a key principle of the Internet and any attempt to create a multi-tiered access, especially for commercial gains, should be resisted. I’ve also covered content controls and, whilst anyone that could be considered vulnerable should be protected, I don’t believe that forcing ISPs to become the front line of such controls is a sensible approach – I’d much prefer to tackle the causes rather than implement something that will be simple to circumnavigate.

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The A-Z of industry issues (Part 1)

Posted on Jun 25 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on The A-Z of industry issues (Part 1)

We cover a great deal of topical industry matters on this blog so as a quick overview and update, here is an (almost) complete A-Z to highlight some of the most controversial ones that we discuss regularly and that you might be interested in or at least should be aware of…

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

A – ADR (Alternative Dispute Resolution)

Back in 2012 OFCOM announced its plans to change the current ADR system for ISPs to make it more consistent. With the current system, very similar complaints can be dealt with very differently leading to dissatisfaction for the ISPs and the complainants. Little news has followed this announcement as OFCOM continued to gather feedback on the proposals but in March 2014 ISPA echoed our original perspective and called for changes to the cost allocation of the disputes as ISPs are usually left to pay for the ADR charges even when they win their cases. This is one to keep an eye on and we will provide updates as further news is announced.

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Focus on fibre: How can resellers benefit from the rollout’s progress?

Posted on Jun 02 2014 by Stephen Barclay | 1 Comment
Categories : BT, Fibre

The rollout of superfast broadband in the UK continues to dominate the headlines as BT and the Government (along with other ISPs and organisations) continue to invest heavily in delivering these services.

Stephen Barclay, Head of Sales

Stephen Barclay, Head of Sales

BT’s investment has focused on delivering fibre based broadband and in particular FTTC, so we decided to take a look at their progress since the initial targets were set back in 2008:

At the start of the programme a £1.5billion investment was promised from BT with a target of reaching 40% UK coverage by 2012.This was quickly increased to £2.5billion with a 66% coverage target by 2014.

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Fibre Broadband Jumping Hurdles

Posted on Feb 06 2014 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on Fibre Broadband Jumping Hurdles
Categories : BT

Huge advances in fibre optic technology are propelling the distribution of data into an ever faster future. Fibre is being pushed closer to its physical limits and the impressive statistics match the keen interest of customers in seeking faster connections.

Paul

Paul Heritage-Redpath, Product Manager

Aldous Huxley, whose books so often accurately predicted the future, said: “Speed, it seems to me, provides the one genuinely modern pleasure”. His comment would appear to ring true for a rapidly increasing number of people. The recent revelations from BT’s and Alcatel-Lucent’s field trial of new Flexgrid technology for pushing both every day and  specialist fibre connections toward their limits potentially breathes new life into more vivid predictions of the future of broadband. The trial is reported to have achieved a stunning 1.4 Terabits per second speed on “commercial grade” fibre optic links from BT Tower in London to BT’s Adastral Park in Ipswich. Elsewhere, teams have achieved incredible speeds of over 70 Terabits per second on advanced, non-standard connections.

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They may say that, we couldn’t possibly comment

Posted on Sep 30 2013 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on They may say that, we couldn’t possibly comment
Categories : BT, Government

There’s a great article on ISPreview about the criticisms of the Government and BT by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) in its report on the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

It’s interesting to note the strengthening tide of negative opinion and both cynicism and criticism relating to the scheme and especially toward BT which has clearly become the main commercial benefactor of the roll out. We’ve wondered for a while how long it would be before these feelings would start bubbling to the surface.

On the face of it, it does look like BT is profiting from the use of public money. The criticism about contracts between local authorities’ and BT preventing them from disclosing cost and roll out information inevitably raises suspicions and it’s interesting to note the combined £430 million advantage it will realise through local authorities additional £230 million contribution that will continue to be awarded to BT contracts and the reduction in BT’s own commitment of £200 million, if Margaret Hodge’s statements are correct and not just political spin.

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Poll: Do you think the NAO will find the BDUK offers value for money?

Posted on Jul 02 2013 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: Do you think the NAO will find the BDUK offers value for money?
Tags :
Categories : BT, Government, Polls

Recently, news emerged that the National Audit Office will be investigating and publishing a report in July on whether the BDUK offers value for money.

The £530 million project was set up by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) in a bid to roll out ‘superfast broadband’ to 90 per cent of the UK premises with speeds of up to 24Mbps and for the remaining to receive at least 2Mbps. Its primary objective is for the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

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Is this the beginning of the end for the BDUK?

Posted on Nov 22 2011 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Is this the beginning of the end for the BDUK?
Categories : BT, Digital Divide, Government

The announcement of BT’s PIA (Physical Infrastructure Access) pricing last week appears to have had some severe affects on the BDUK (Broadband Development UK) and their plans for hitting the Government’s superfast broadband targets.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Geo Networks announced that they will be withdrawing from the BDUK bids due to issues with BT’s PIA pricing and flexibility. Chris Smedley of Geo Networks said: “Whilst pricing may have reduced for the current PIA product (still not far enough in our view), the real issue is that it can only be used for providing the final drop from local exchange to a residential broadband consumer’s house. PIA cannot be used for the far more costly task of crossing the long distances in rural areas to get to these remote communities (backhaul) – making the idea of being able to build new fibre connections within them faintly ludicrous.

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Ofcom takes an axe to the DEA on website blocking

Posted on Aug 09 2011 by Darren Farnden | 1 Comment

Plans to block illegal file sharing websites first established within the controversial Digital Economy Act last year, have finally been scrapped by the government thanks to a review of the policy by Ofcom and its conclusion that the measures are ineffective.  At the same time Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, Vince Cable, announced the government has accepted all 10 of the recommendations from Professor Ian Hargreaves’ review of intellectual property law.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), in its official response entitled ‘Next Steps for implementation of the Digital Economy Act’, confirmed: “Following advice from Ofcom – we will not bring forward site blocking regulations under the DEA at this time. We will do more work on what other measures can be pursued to tackle online copyright infringement.” What these measures will be, however, is not mentioned.

The statement is somewhat surprising after recent news (opinion.enta.net: ISPs lose first court battle against website blocking) that the High Court had ruled in favour of the Motion Picture Association by forcing BT to block access to alleged piracy site Newzbin2 and it suggests that the government’s plans are at odds with the ruling. This is understandable when you think about the length of time and the resources it would take to bring each case to court. Many feared this ruling would be the start of a long line of court orders, with right holders dragging ISPs through the courts to get their own way. We’re now hoping this decision will help prove that blocking websites isn’t as easy as right holders make out.

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