The UK Budget 2015: What’s in the bag for the channel?

Posted on Mar 19 2015 by Paul Heritage-Redpath | Comments Off on The UK Budget 2015: What’s in the bag for the channel?

It’s that time of year again – Budget time and as this one comes before a General Election it’s unsurprisingly packed full of promises and big ideas.

Here’s a quick summary on what it has in store for our channel:

1. Ultra-fast broadband

First they promised (and delivered) superfast broadband (mainly achieved using Openreach’s fibre broadband roll-out) and now it’s all about a new ‘ambition’ to provide ‘nearly all UK premises’ with at least 100Mbps ‘ultrafast’ broadband.

From what we can tell they haven’t quantified that statement as yet but to be fair, most of the hard work to achieve this has already been done or has been committed to by the industry. For example, Virgin Media recently announced expanding their network to reach 17 million premises by 2020 (60% coverage) and BT have recently been discussing G.fast which would also help to achieve this target.

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Should broadband be a utility?

Posted on Mar 17 2015 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Should broadband be a utility?
Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

For most of us, broadband has become essential to our day-to-day working and home lives with the vast array of ways in which we use our connection continuing to increase and bandwidth demands booming. So, is it time broadband was officially recognised as a utility, like gas, water and electricity?

The recent Digital Skills Committee report commissioned by the House of Lords suggests that broadband is now as essential as our other utilities and that designating broadband as a ‘utility’ could help to solve the issue of ‘not-spots’ in the UK and ensure a future-proof connectivity infrastructure. The Government is already working with providers to rollout superfast broadband to 95% of the country by 2017. But what about that final 5% – would broadband being classed as a utility really help to solve this?

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Is broadband’s bargain basement pricing to blame?

Posted on Oct 01 2014 by Steve Lalonde | Comments Off on Is broadband’s bargain basement pricing to blame?
Categories : 21CN, Digital Divide, Fibre, Network

The ‘superfast broadband’ rollout has regularly come under fire for its focus on utilising FTTC rather than FTTP/H to deliver superfast services to 100% of the UK population by 2017, but is the lack of FTTP coverage simply due to the ongoing rock bottom price war we are seeing across the broadband market?

Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

While FTTC delivers superfast broadband speeds to its customers of up to 80Mbps, critics argue that this is not future-proof enough to accommodate our ever increasing demands and we should be aiming to implement FTTP which delivers speeds of up to 330Mbps. However, FTTP coverage is currently very limited and the initial target of delivering the service to 2.5 million premises was cut back in 2013, due to its expensive and more difficult installation.

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Is the price of independence too high?

Posted on Sep 03 2014 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Is the price of independence too high?

In just a few weeks, on 18th September to be exact, Scotland will vote on whether or not to become an independent country from the UK. Now don’t worry – we’re not going to get into a long winded political debate about whether or not this should happen, we’re simply going to discuss the potential impact of a ‘Yes’ vote on our beloved industry and what it might mean for UK ISPs and Scottish customers…

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Everything will stay the same, right?

Well the simple answer is, we don’t know! Very little has been confirmed so far about the potential impact on broadband in the case of a ‘Yes’ vote. All we do know is that the Scottish Government plan to provide a USO (Universal Service Obligation) and they are expecting to invest a further £2.5million to the CBS (Community Broadband Scotland) fund to help deliver this.

The Scottish Government aim to provide 95% of premises with speeds of at least 24Mbps by 2017, with the remaining 5% receiving at least 2Mbps and they argue that without this ‘intervention’ and additional funding, coverage would have only reached 66%. Interestingly, the UK currently only has a lesser USC (Universal Service Commitment) to provide 100% coverage of at least 2Mbps by 2017. We wonder if a USO north of the border would encourage or maybe even force this commitment to be upgraded to an obligation covering potentially faster speeds?

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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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