Fuss ‘n’ Fibre

Posted on May 17 2010 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on Fuss ‘n’ Fibre

Everyone seems to be talking about fibre at the moment – the industry news is full of it. What with BT announcing expanded fibre coverage and numerous providers announcing new fibre based services and participation in BT’s latest fibre trials, it seems to be one of the industry’s current hot topics. So, just what is going on and what is all the fuss about?

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Towards the end of last year BT ran trials of FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet) which provided speeds of up to 40Mbps by utilising fibre optic links to street level cabinets and delivering connectivity via VDSL2 technology between the cabinet and the premises. The trials ran until late December and proved successful. Entanet itself was involved. Since then a number of providers including BT Retail have announced the availability of their FTTC based services with prices ranging from £19.99/month up to £179/month for various packages and options.

But why stop at 40Mbps? BT recently announced its latest round of FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) trials which are expected to provide speeds of up to 100Mbps by delivering a fibre based connection right to the premises. Once again Entanet has been significantly involved from an early stage, starting off with the Kesgrave trials way back in 2008 where we experienced customers reaching speeds of 98Mbps.

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Election 2010 – Drawing the broadband battle lines

Posted on Apr 19 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Election 2010 – Drawing the broadband battle lines

It’s election time and at the moment you can’t turn on the TV, read a newspaper or listen to the radio without being reminded of that fact. Last week saw the launch of several political parties’ election manifestos and whilst the majority of them (notably not the Pirate Party UK) cover a wide range of topical issues we have focussed our investigation on what each party has to say about Digital Britain and the Internet industry. Here is what we found:

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

In the red corner: The Incumbents – Labour

Let’s start with the incumbents, Labour. In the past they have been very vocal about their plans for a Digital Britain and their aims to make the UK a world leader in this area. Only last week they controversially rushed through the Digital Economy Bill, now Act (Entanet Opinion: Digital Economy Bill: The end is nigh…). So what are their plans regarding the Internet and Digital Britain if they are re-elected?

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Digital Economy Bill: The end is nigh…

Posted on Apr 09 2010 by Darren Farnden | 4 Comments

So, the Digital Economy Bill has passed its final stage before Royal Assent and is now, for all intents and purposes, going to be made law – much to the dismay of many ISPs and Internet entities including Google and ISPA.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

We think it’s laughable that the Bill has been passed through the House of Commons with such speed. After three readings in the House of Lords without prior consultation with those in the Internet access industry and many ill-considered amendments, its passage through the House of Commons has seemingly been accelerated to light speed. The correct political term I believe is ‘pre-election wash up’. This basically means that, whilst we and others have only been able to debate this controversial Bill indirectly, the government has been able to get it passed as quickly as possible before the election. As both of the major political parties agreed on the majority of the clauses within the Bill, they’ve managed to do it easily and with little proper debate, consideration or collaboration with industry.

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Update: Net neutrality – Is legislation necessary?

Posted on Mar 30 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Update: Net neutrality – Is legislation necessary?

According to the FCC the answer is yes!

Back in November 2009 we covered the FCC’s (Federal Communications Commission) plans to introduce legislation to enforce net neutrality – the theory that all Internet users and traffic should be treated equally and without bias.

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Operations

The proposals had caused an uproar amongst ISPs in the US as they required network operators to be more transparent about the management of their networks and stopped them from blocking or slowing down certain types of legal traffic e.g. P2P. Obviously the ISPs were far from happy about this and argued that they had invested heavily in the development of their networks only to have their managerial power removed.

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Scoring goals with broadband?

Posted on Mar 24 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Scoring goals with broadband?

In the run-up to the General Election expected this May, the main parties seem determined to make broadband a political football in an effort to win over supporters. This is typical electioneering of course and, in the end, it’ll be down to industry to actually make things happen in the ‘real world’. In true political fashion the winning party will then blame industry when its over-ambitious deadlines are missed, while claiming the credit for every future milestone it thinks industry should be on target to achieve.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

We only have to review progress on the Digital Economy Bill (DEB) though to see that the parties understand little about the moral and practical steps involved in managing Internet access for UK residents and businesses. Both the Labour and Conservative parties’ plans and promises are at best badly thought-out and almost certainly won’t be achieved without the constructive and experienced contribution of the industry bodies and service providers (large and small) that make the UK Internet access market tick.

Let’s look at their claims on broadband. Gordon Brown has said that he wants to make Britain “the world leader in the digital economy” by 2020 and ensure that all homes in the UK, especially those in rural areas, have access to ‘super-fast’ broadband. At this early stage some obvious questions go unanswered. What’s his deadline for delivering ‘super fast’ broadband to absolutely everyone? What actually constitutes ‘super fast’ broadband in his mind? How is the cost going to be covered? Of course as the potential final whistle for Labour looms, this hasty kick from the sidelines is to be expected given the Conservatives’ mindless counter-attack claim that they’ll deliver “100Mbps broadband across most [what does ‘most’ mean?] of the population” by 2017 if/when they take the trophy to No.10.

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Poll: Do you think the proposed 50p broadband tax is…?

Posted on Mar 08 2010 by Gemma Dickinson | Comments Off on Poll: Do you think the proposed 50p broadband tax is…?

The government’s proposed 50p broadband tax is already proving to be one of the many contraversial issues within the Digital Economy Bill and we would like to know what you think about it.

So we’ve added a new poll to find out. Let us know your thoughts by casting your vote.

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2009 – The good, the bad and the ugly!

Posted on Dec 09 2009 by Elsa Chen | Comments Off on 2009 – The good, the bad and the ugly!

As we approach the end of an eventful year I thought it would be apt to take a look back over the main industry talking points of 2009 to evaluate what happened, why we were discussing it and where we are currently at. When we have completed that let’s take a stab at predicting what we will be discussing in 2010.

Elsa Chen, General Manager

Elsa Chen, General Manager

The ‘hottest’ topic of 2009 was undoubtedly illegal file sharing

We first covered this subject back in April with an article discussing the Pirate Bay case. The four founders of the website ‘The Pirate Bay’ were found guilty in a Swedish court for assisting the illegal downloading of copyrighted material.  They were each sentenced to 1 year in jail and ordered to pay £2.4million in damages to the entertainment industry. This was the catalyst that started the raging debate between the entertainment industry, the government and ISPs which continues to this date. The entertainment industry and a number of high profile MPs, in particular Peter Mandelson, are calling for a three strikes and you’re cut-off policy. However, ISPs have continuously raised concerns regarding the accuracy of correctly identifying offenders and the fact that cutting a user off is presuming guilt before a fair trial with minimal and potentially flawed evidence.

This topic continued to be covered for several months and was once again inflamed with the release of the Digital Britain Report which actually advised against a three strikes policy, much to the annoyance of the entertainment industry.

So where are we at now?

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USC: Solving the digital divide?

Posted on Jun 17 2009 by Darren Farnden | 2 Comments

Updated 26th August 2009:

It seems the government has proposed a controversial amendment to the Digital Britain report. The disconnection of illegal file sharers was originally ruled out in favour of warnings and technical measures but it now appears to be back on the agenda. You can read more about this here:

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The Digital Britain final report has now been released by Lord Carter and outlines Government’s plans to introduce a new Universal Services Commitment (USC) ensuring 100% UK broadband coverage with speeds of at least 2Mbps by 2012. The existing USC which applies only to BT and Kcom will be replaced and the burden will be shared by the industry as a whole.

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

The long awaited report confirms the ongoing speculation of the 2Mbps USC and confirms that this will be achieved by a number of technologies including home wiring improvements, Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) and mobile and satellite solutions to reach the most remote areas. Over recent months there has been mounting speculation as to how this expected USC would be achieved and funded. Possibly the most shocking outcome of the report is the news that public funding will be used to find the most cost effective technology to bring 2Mbps broadband to the UK’s ‘not-spots’.

We’re pleased to see that Government recognises the importance of improving customer experience to all areas of the UK. However, if customers in more rural areas are to actually enjoy the same level of service as those in urban areas then achieving 2Mbps really must be viewed as the first stepping stone. Lord Carter clearly concurs with this view, stating his reasoning for the 2Mbps limit is based on “current consumer expectations, the growing importance of video and increasing multiple use in the home.” He continues “At 2Mbps, all homes should be able to fully benefit from the most basic range of applications, services and opportunities offered by broadband.”

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Broadband – the continuing digital divide

Posted on Sep 01 2008 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on Broadband – the continuing digital divide
Tags :
Categories : Digital Divide

While broadband is almost ubiquitous in urban areas of the UK and Europe, there is a real danger that rural areas will not have the opportunity to benefit from the same levels of service and that European economies could suffer as a result.

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

Darren Farnden, Marketing Manager

The ‘digital divide’ is a term we first heard many years ago when concern started to rise that poorer individuals and communities could be left floundering on the edges of the information superhighway while the rest of us raced ahead.

It has not been heard as much of late but there is now a very real danger that parts of the UK and Europe – and indeed the entire continent – could be left behind in the race towards a more connected world.

Broadband in Europe has been a phenomenal success. In the UK alone, broadband now accounts for 83% of Internet connections.

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