Poll: Will you be upgrading to superfast fibre broadband (FTTC)?

Posted on Apr 13 2011 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | 1 Comment
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Categories : Business, Polls

Customers are becoming increasingly reliant on fast, resilient broadband connections. Now that the availability of new fibre based broadband is increasing, we would like to know if Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) is something you are interested in. We have therefore added a new poll to gain your feedback. Please also feel free to leave us a comment below.

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Don’t get dizzy in the cloud…

Posted on Apr 04 2011 by Darren Farnden | 1 Comment

Technological change is happening at such a pace that it’s getting difficult to remember when things started happening. A year or so ago there was another phrase being brandished around causing our CTO to shout out that he’d completed yet another line on his iPhone’s ‘Buzzword Bingo’ app – ‘the cloud’.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Of course the concept is nothing new – reducing cost, simplifying IT management and improving flexibility by hosting stuff centrally has been around for a while, although described in other terms. More recently however, it seems everyone’s talking about ‘the cloud’ and how you need to get your head into it if you’re selling to businesses. It’s easy to see why too. The analyst, Gartner, predicts a 19 percent increase in cloud services revenue globally in 2011, even if it’ll only account for 2.3 percent of the entire IT market spend. A massive 83 percent growth by 2014 is forecast too.

As a voice or data reseller though, it’s important to keep your feet firmly planted if you’re going to entertain spending even more of your valuable time and resources (and money) marketing ‘services in the cloud’. The one thing that underpins the successful sale of cloud-based or hosted services – whether they offer VoIP, software apps, email or something unique – is the stability, performance and reliability of the underlying connectivity infrastructure.

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How much more can the DEA withstand?

Posted on Mar 28 2011 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on How much more can the DEA withstand?

The controversial Digital Economy Act (DEA) has once again hit the headlines with news that it has been officially delayed until spring 2012 at the earliest. The news will come as no surprise to many within the industry, as the complex Act has been plagued by debate at every stage since its original conception.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

“Since the DEA passed into law there has been a considerable amount of work to do to implement the mass notification system. Secondary legislation setting out how the system will be paid for and how it will work has to be passed by Parliament. Ofcom also has to set up an appeals process” said a spokesman for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

The latest delay can be attributed to a number of factors including the ongoing debate over the allocation of costs between rights holders and ISPs (Opinion.enta.net: DEA passes buck to ISPs),  ongoing concerns regarding using IP addresses to ‘identify’ alleged offenders , the latest review of website blocking proposals, the Judicial Review brought by BT and TalkTalk which started this week and of course the problems Ofcom has encountered with its code of practice.

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Will the big boys’ commitment to traffic management transparency help consumers?

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

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.”

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Is it the end of the line for leased lines?

Posted on Mar 08 2011 by Stephen Barclay | Comments Off on Is it the end of the line for leased lines?
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Categories : 21CN, Business, Reselling

As the availability of ever faster broadband continues to increase thanks to technology advancement, we ask whether it signals the end of the line for leased line connectivity.

Stephen Barclay, Head of Sales

Stephen Barclay, Head of Sales

First it was ADSL2+ that brought us speeds of up to 24Mbps; then FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) was introduced to deliver up to 40Mbps; and now there are trials of FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) offering speeds of up to 100Mbps. Add extra service features such as Annex M on ADSL2+ for increased upload speed and Elevated Best Efforts (EBE) guaranteeing throughput over the BT network at the busiest times and you can see why it’s a relevant question.

For a business customer the latest broadband technologies available appear to have a lot to offer. For example, higher speed connections with an appropriate bandwidth allowance delivered over a provider’s network that has ample capacity can be good for businesses wanting to use them for VoIP, linking remote workers or accessing centrally hosted applications. As long as the service provider’s network is properly managed to minimise factors like latency, these customers can indeed use business focused broadband connections. We readily promote broadband for day-to-day business communication and have a lot of reseller partners with happy customers.

However, there are commercial and operational factors that can mean broadband doesn’t meet the mark. These generally depend on what business customers are trying to achieve, how critical the connections they’re using are to them and how important it is to ensure service continuity is guaranteed.

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Broadband advertising review- as simple as A, B or C?

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

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:

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That was the year that was!

Posted on Dec 22 2010 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on That was the year that was!

What an eventful year 2010 has proven to be! We saw a new coalition Government take power; we lost yet another World Cup; we saw a number of terrible natural disasters including the Haiti earthquake and the Pakistan floods; volcanic ash grounded our planes; students rioted over tuition fees; the iPhone 4 and iPad were launched; and the winter Olympics were held in Vancouver. But enough about all that – what happened in the Internet industry? Our recap of 2010 highlights some of the most topical issues that affected the industry this year.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The most controversial of them all
Let’s start with arguably the most controversial story of the year – the Digital Economy Bill. We started covering this highly controversial topic back in 2009 but during 2010 we saw this Bill become an Act (DEA) as it was hastily pushed through the pre-election wash-up, much to the dismay of its opponents, which include Entanet. However, there is some good news. A judicial review called for by BT and TalkTalk was granted in November and is expected to be held in April 2011.

Unsurprisingly, the DEA’s supporters are opposing the review and continue to insist that it is satisfactory. Just last week news broke that FAST (Federation Against Software Theft) has organised an event at the House of Commons on 12th January 2011 to ‘discuss’ the topics surrounding the DEA well before the full hearing is expected.

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Is the devil in the detail?

Posted on Dec 14 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Is the devil in the detail?

Last week the Department for Business Innovation and Skills published a 61 page plan titled “Britain’s Superfast Broadband Future” as part of its aim for the UK to have “the best broadband network in Europe by 2015”.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

For quite some time now we and others in the industry have discussed the Government’s plans for rolling out superfast broadband, often focusing on key aspects like the 2Mbps USC and using the BBC license fee to fund this, opening up the fibre ducts and reaching the most rural communities via the use of satellite and mobile services. When discussing these highly topical issues the industry has continuously called for more detail explaining exactly how these plans would be achieved and funded. And so we had high expectations of the new publication.

So what does the report reveal?

Having read the report our conclusion is ‘don’t hold your breath’. Don’t get me wrong, we think it’s laudable that the Government recognises the need to deliver a good level of access to communities that fall outside of the more densely populated areas that ‘the market’ first generally serves. It’s just that, well, we can’t help but feel its grand plan will become logistically constrained by complexity, regulatory debate and excessive demand. 

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UPDATE: Vaizey dishes another painful blow to net neutrality

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

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.”

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Poll: Should Ofcom enforce net neutrality?

Posted on Oct 27 2010 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | Comments Off on Poll: Should Ofcom enforce net neutrality?

It has been recently reported that net neutrality 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. We would like to know what you think about Ofcom’s decision to stand back from enforcing net neutrality. Therefore, we have added a new poll asking for your feedback. Please also feel free to leave us a comment below.

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