A fond farewell to ISDN

Posted on Jun 21 2017 | Make a comment

When it comes to technology, the pace of change is quickening. Ten years ago we didn’t know what an iPhone was (at least not for another month anyway) but now it seems that every week we’re seeing an innovative new means of communication being introduced. This continuous push for newer, faster, better connectivity is inevitably leaving older technologies to shrivel in its wake and we channel participants get to witness the gradual decay. In the spotlight at the moment is ISDN, the digital lines with multiple channels that allow more than one method of communication to take place simultaneously. Born in 1989, at a time before Internet access was publically available in the UK, it used to be the pinnacle of business connectivity – akin to the leased lines of today – but is now slated for the chopping block by BT Chief, Gavin Patterson. BT intends to stop selling ISDN by 2020 and shut it down completely by 2025 – meaning that the millions of businesses in the UK running their telephony over ISDN will soon need to find an alternative means to keep talking. (If you’re interested in the stats, Ofcom’s Market Data Update says that there were a total of 33.5 million UK PSTN lines and ISDN channels at the end of 2016, representing a year-on-year decrease of 211k (0.6%) and a decline of 74k (0.2%) compared to the previous quarter.)

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Meet the author – Paul North

Posted on Jun 13 2017 | Make a comment
Paul North

Paul North, Sales Manager

Our new Sales Manager, Paul North, is our next author to meet. Despite being relatively new to his current role and our Opinion blog, he is an Entanet veteran with over 10 years service across our technical support, provisioning and sales teams.

How long have you worked at Entanet?
I started at Entanet as a technical support agent in 2006 aged just 18. After a year or so in support I was seconded to Ethernet provisioning for a while before joining the sales team in October 2007. I became a solutions consultant in March 2010 and then Sales manager in July 2016, so I’ve gained a lot of industry (and company) knowledge and experience over the last 10 years.

What are your key responsibilities within the business and what are your areas of expertise?
I am currently responsible for our entire Ethernet and Wholesale DSL number. I manage our team of Sales Consultants and I assist them with customer meetings, conference calls and individual deals. I create promotions & strategies for the team and I also manage the commercial relationships with our key suppliers such as BT Wholesale, TalkTalk, Virgin & Vodafone.

My main product areas of expertise are layer 2 xDSL, Ethernet & MPLS.

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Guest Blog: Can ‘tech companies’ do more to eradicate ‘safe places’ online?

Posted on Jun 07 2017 | Make a comment
Jim Killock, Executive Director, ORG

Jim Killock, Executive Director, ORG

In the wake of the atrocious terror attacks that have targeted Manchester and London and affected the whole of the UK in recent weeks, the Prime Minister, Theresa May, has made various statements about the role she thinks ‘tech companies’ must play in tackling terrorism. Jim Killock, Executive Director of the Open Rights Group has kindly provided us with a guest blog discussing the PM’s recent comments and his concerns over the Government’s plans regarding encryption, censorship and their requirements on tech companies.

In the wake of the terrorist attacks at London Bridge, Theresa May has called for Internet companies to do more so that there are ‘no safe spaces’ for terrorists online.

We must remember that these attacks were not just brutal assaults on individuals but an attempt to undermine the freedom and liberty we enjoy in this country. While some politicians may instinctively search for ‘anything’ that can be done to prevent future attacks, our response must uphold our values and democratic way of life. A free and open Internet has transformed how we live, communicate and share information – and we should protect that just as we should protect the democratic processes that the terrorists want to disrupt.

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Automation vs the human touch – Which is better for smooth operations?

Posted on Jun 06 2017 | Make a comment
Paul North

Paul North, Sales Manager

It doesn’t seem to matter what you’re trying to achieve or which company or industry it involves, at some point in your interaction you’ll inevitably face an automated system of some description. Got a problem with an invoice, paying your car tax, ordering something from Amazon, submitting your gas meter readings, checking-in for your flight? All automated!

Whilst sometimes it’s just the automated phone system you need to go through before your call is directed to a customer service agent, or that the automated/online approach is optional rather than mandatory, more often than not nowadays the whole process can only be done online through websites, interfaces and automated email confirmations. But is a reliance on automation the best approach and will it eventually eradicate the human aspect, or will we always want/need that human touch too?

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It’s USOs all round in the party election manifestos

Posted on May 31 2017 | Make a comment

It’s election time again, and regardless of your personal political preferences, we thought a brief summary of what each of the major parties has to say about all things Internet related could be useful for our readers.

While we’re not endorsing any particular party in this article and are only reporting the details of each party’s published manifestos with regards to our industry, we found all the pledges to be  somewhat underwhelming. Unsurprisingly to most, as this is them essentially ‘selling themselves’ to the public they’ve clearly scooted over any details around funding or implementation and instead focused on headline-grabbing claims and pledges. Although, they too leave us somewhat flat.

Superfast broadband rollout pledges

A positive to take from this year’s campaign trail is that it’s good to see all three major political parties promising to ensure superfast broadband delivery to the whole of the UK in one form or another.

In summary, Labour has promised 30Mbps minimum by 2022 with hints of 300Mbps within 10 years, the Lib Dems made a similar promise of 30Mbps by 2022 but added a 6Mbps upload and unlimited usage cap with further 2Gbps fibre pledge and the Conservatives are already in the process of introducing their 10Mbps USO and completing their superfast broadband rollout.

However, it’s not anything new and exciting, is it? It’s all been discussed before. The Government recently threw out suggested amendments from the House of Lords to increase the current 10Mbps USO to 30Mbps due to funding and implementation concerns so how exactly do Labour and the Lib Dems plan to overcome these issues? Your guess is as good as ours! As for the Conservative manifesto, as we would expect with the existing Government, it’s just a confirmation of their existing strategies and plans – nothing particularly new there either.

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