Posts Tagged ‘Business’

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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IPv6: Do or Die!

Posted on Nov 25 2010 by Steve Lalonde | 3 Comments

Vint Cerf, vice-president of Google who is known to many as one of the ‘fathers of the Internet’, declared at a 6UK launch event held in London recently that the UK will run out of IPv4 addresses well before the end of 2011. He said “There’s no question we’re going to be out of address space by springtime of 2011 [and], with more devices than ever set to join the Internet, such as mobile devices and the ‘Internet of things’, IPv6 will be critical to the future of the Internet.”

Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

Steve Lalonde, Chief Technical Officer

Internet Protocol version six (IPv6) is an Internet Protocol that was developed back in the 1990’s and is the next generation of Internet Protocol version four (IPv4). Whilst IPv4 uses a 32-bit system, IPv6 uses a 128-bit hexadecimal address that has the potential to make available 2128 individual addresses, which is roughly 340 trillion, trillion, trillion. It is thought that by the middle of next year, only 5% of unallocated IPv4 addresses will remain, at which point the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA) will distribute the remaining addresses to the five Regional Internet Registries (RIRs).

Cerf continued by sharing his beliefs that the UK has run out of time to address the problem: “it continues to boggle my mind that the UK hasn’t taken this up as an issue. People will ask why their new smart devices don’t work. All the promise and potential of these devices will fail if the ISPs don’t grasp this.”

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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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USC survives spending review but who are we kidding?

Posted on Oct 22 2010 by Darren Farnden | 1 Comment

Earlier this week the much anticipated ‘spending review’ was unveiled and, as previously promised by Chancellor George Osbourne, the highly debated 2Mbps USC (Universal Service Commitment) remains unaffected. The 2Mbps USC was proposed by the previous Labour government initially to provide all UK households with a minimum 2Mbps Internet service by 2012. When the coalition government took power this deadline was extended to 2015 but there were fears that it may be compromised or even scrapped as part of the stringent spending cuts.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Whilst controversially only providing a minimum of 2Mbps, which many within the industry (including Entanet) have argued is far from fast enough to keep up with increasing demands and technological developments, at least it is a start for the ‘not spots’ of the UK. Therefore the industry was keen to see it protected. True to his word, Mr Osbourne appears to have done this. The USC will, as previously suspected, be funded by the remnants of the digital switchover fund and by the BBC license fee, and is forecasted to cost £530million over the next four years. It has also been confirmed that there will be no controversial broadband tax.

Whilst £530million may seem a lot there is ongoing concern that this forecast is wrong, with the previous Labour government expecting costs to reach £2-3billion.

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Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?

Posted on Oct 12 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Update: Net neutrality – is Ofcom too timid?

It seems net neutrality, the principle of treating all Internet traffic equally in order to provide a fair and equal service for all users, 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. The consultation was initiated to discuss Ofcom’s regulatory responsibilities and any future duties under the revised framework, along with a debate on why traffic management and net neutrality is important to both citizens and customers. The regulator’s reasoning behind its decision is 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.  Worryingly, Ofcom has made this announcement despite the fact that BT and the TalkTalk Group freely admitted they’d favour any video or content providers that want to make a ‘deal’ in their Ofcom responses.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Speaking at a Westminster eForum on net neutrality, International director of Ofcom, Alex Blowers, said “Ofcom is committed to dealing swiftly with problems as they emerge, but we are also committed to approaching issues in such a way as not to assume a problem before a problem has emerged.” Surely with BT and Talk Talk blatantly stating their intent in their consultation responses it would not be hard to ‘assume’ that this will become a problem in the near future.

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Poll: What do you think should be done about the advertising of broadband speeds?

Posted on Sep 09 2010 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | 2 Comments

It has recently been reported that ISPs are misleading their consumers on the real speeds of their broadband services. We would like to know what you think should be done about the advertising of broadband speeds. Therefore we have added a new poll to find out your thoughts. Remember you can also leave us a comment below.

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Google: From advocate to adversary?

Posted on Aug 24 2010 by Neil Watson | Comments Off on Google: From advocate to adversary?

The ongoing international debate over net neutrality has been thrown into the limelight once again. This time its news of an unlikely partnership between Google, the once vocal advocates of net neutrality, and Verizon.

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

Neil Watson, Head of Service Operations

News broke regarding a ‘deal’ between Google and Verizon which would see the two companies put together a proposal for the tackling of net neutrality in the US. At first glance the two titans appear to support net neutrality and agree with previous plans from the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) ensuring all providers are transparent about the management of their networks and prohibit discrimination against certain types of legal content.

“In providing broadband Internet access service, a provider would be prohibited from engaging in undue discrimination against any lawful Internet content, application, or service in a manner that causes meaningful harm to competition or to users. Prioritization of Internet traffic would be presumed inconsistent with the non-discrimination standard, but the presumption could be rebutted.”

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