Posts Tagged ‘Government’

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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Poll: Have you adopted IPv6 yet?

Posted on Dec 02 2010 by Claire Dutton-Merrills | 6 Comments
Tags : ,
Categories : Government, IPv6

In our latest IPv6 article, we discussed recent comments made by Vint Cerf, known to many as one of the ‘fathers of the Internet’, that the UK will run out of IPv4 addresses well before the end of 2011. We would like to know what you think about the UK’s apparent reluctance to adopt IPv6. Therefore, we have added a new poll to gain your feedback about IPv6 up-take. As well as taking part in our poll, you can also provide further feedback by emailing IPv6@enta.net, or alternatively leave a comment below.

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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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DEA – Finally, time for some common sense!

Posted on Nov 11 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on DEA – Finally, time for some common sense!

Since the moment the DEA (Digital Economy Act) was passed, when it was hastily rushed through the ‘wash-up’ prior to the general election earlier this year, Entanet and other opposing bodies have been calling for a review. Yesterday the High Court finally announced that a judicial review has been granted.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

The leaders of the DEA opposition have undoubtedly been BT and TalkTalk who jointly requested this review through the courts, arguing the bill was passed without proper scrutiny. Throughout the process they have been supported by a number of ISPs and wholesale communications providers including Entanet, aswell as organisations such as the Open Rights Group (ORG). Commenting on yesterday’s announcement TalkTalk’s Executive Director, Andrew Heaney, said:

“We are very pleased that the Court has recognised that our concerns about the copyright infringement provisions in the Digital Economy Act should be considered in a full hearing. The Act was rushed through Parliament in the ‘wash-up’ with only 6% of MPs attending the brief debate and has very serious flaws.

The provisions to try to reduce illegal file sharing are unfair, won’t work and will potentially result in millions of innocent customers who have broken no law suffering and having their privacy invaded.

We look forward to the hearing to properly assess whether the Act is legal and justifiable and so ensure that all parties have certainty on the law before proceeding.”

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What exactly is superfast broadband?

Posted on Nov 09 2010 by Guest | Comments Off on What exactly is superfast broadband?

The definition of ‘superfast broadband’ continues to cause confusion amongst the industry and more importantly customers  as ISPs lay claim to providing ‘superfast’ services and various government bodies appear to be muddying the waters rather than providing clarification. We asked Editor in Chief of ISPreview.co.uk, Mark Jackson, for his opinion on what exactly constitutes superfast broadband.

So what is superfast broadband?

To most people “broadband” simply means “Internet access”, or perhaps even “faster Internet access”, yet as a descriptive term it’s relatively useless. You can’t define a new technology simply by saying it and its presence in ISP package titles certainly won’t help to describe how fast your expected Internet connection should be.

There was a time when the term broadband became synonymous with “fast Internet access”, albeit spoken in comparison to ancient dialup (narrowband) connections. Similarly most attempts to define the term ultimately remain highly subjective to the time period in which they were first penned, yet crucially what was fast then is slow today.

However an inability to define something so common place as broadband could have serious repercussions for future generations of “super-fast” (Next Generation Access) services, which the government is currently trying to plug as a solution for the country’s aging telecoms infrastructure. After all, just what is “superfast”?

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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: Irish ISP stands up to music firms

Posted on Oct 18 2010 by Darren Farnden | Comments Off on UPDATE: Irish ISP stands up to music firms

Back in May we discussed how Eircom, Ireland’s largest ISP, had been forced into agreeing to implement a 3 strikes policy to tackle illegal copyright infringement following legal action by the IRMA (Irish Recorded Music Association). At the time we were concerned that such a ruling would mean other Irish ISPs would soon be forced to follow suit. However news this week suggests the contrary.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

UPC, Ireland’s second largest ISP, has won its own battle against four major record companies, namely Warner Music, Universal Music, Sony BMG and EMI Records. The High Court in Dublin ruled “there was no precedent in Irish law to force ISPs to identify and disconnect people accused of illegally downloading copyrighted files” meaning UPC cannot be forced to take part in the system.

The current three strikes policy implemented by Eircom consists of an informal warning at the first stage, a stern warning letter at the second and then disconnection form the Internet for 7 days at the third stage. If the user persists then disconnection for one year may be applied.

However, in his ruling, Mr Justice Peter Charleton condemned piracy stating: “This not only undermines the [record companies’] business but ruins the ability of a generation of creative people in Ireland, and elsewhere, to establish a viable living. It is destructive of an important native industry.”

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Update: U2 – Stick to the Music!

Posted on Sep 06 2010 by Darren Farnden | 2 Comments

Back in January 2010, we criticised U2 front man Bono for warning all creative types to beware of the evils of the Internet and especially us greedy ISP types when it came to illegal file sharing.  We recommended Bono should stick to singing.

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

Darren Farnden, Head of Marketing

It would appear that U2’s manager, Paul McGuinness, didn’t read our opinion as he’s now thrown in his two cents worth of comment within the August issue of GQ magazine. In it he also slams ISPs for “decimating the music industry” and profiteering from online file sharing, whilst also being the cause of recorded music sales falling.

Like Bono, Mr. McGuinness believes illegal file sharing is the reason for ISPs’ increasing profit margins by suggesting “free content has helped fuel the vast profits of the technology and telecoms industries”.  However, as we stated in our original Opinion article ‘Bono – Stick to Singing’ (opinion.enta.net: Bono – Stick to singing), in reality broadband customers continue to demand the fastest broadband at the lowest price which squeezes ISPs’ margins. Those of us within the Internet industry will also know that it is actually more costly to support such infringers due to the extra bandwidth they consume. Our increasing revenues are more likely to be down to the innovative new technologies we deploy and the additional services we provide to add value to customers’ experience.

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