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Broadband News

January 3, 2011

BT Race to Infinity winners announced

by Darren Allan
BT has announced the winners of its Race to Infinity, the voting competition which ran over the last three months of 2010 to determine which five UK towns would receive fibre broadband. And in fact, BT has decided to up the number of exchanges to be guaranteed fibre by early 2012 to six, such was the high level of votes cast ...

January 2, 2011

Liverpool to trial 200Mbs powerline broadband

by Brian Turner
It has been announced that Liverpool will trial 200Mbs broadband access for 1,000 homes in the city via powerline technology. One of the big ideas a few years ago was that it could be possible to receive broadband at superfast speeds using existing power cables. Broadband signals would effectively ride the electricity grid at different wavelengths to electricity signals, allowing for instant ...

December 15, 2010

Scots break into leading pack in Race to Infinity

by Darren Allan
A Scottish town has managed to break into the pack of front runners in BT's Race to Infinity, with only two weeks remaining in the voting competition. The Race to Infinity will see BT hook up the top five exchanges who have voted for super-fast broadband to come to their community, by early 2012 ...

December 13, 2010

Government’s broadband budget doubted by BSG

by Darren Allan
The government's plans to attempt to haul the UK's broadband infrastructure up to be the best in Europe by 2015 has come under fire from the BSG (Broadband Stakeholder Group). The BCS Chartered Institute for IT reports that the BSG has serious doubts about whether the government can muster the necessary funds, particularly in the current climate of cuts and austerity. CEO ...

December 9, 2010

LTE mobile broadband trial kicks off in Wales

by Darren Allan
Arqiva and Alcatel-Lucent have announced that they are to trial LTE mobile broadband in Wales. The idea is to deliver high speed (up to 50Mbps) broadband to rural communities or so-called UK “not-spots”, using the 800MHz spectrum freed up by the switch to digital TV. The trial will take place in West Wales, the Preseli Mountains to be precise, a typical location ...

December 8, 2010

Virgin Media switches on 100Mbps super-fast fibre

by Darren Allan
Virgin Media has flicked the switch to officially turn on its next-gen broadband. The 100Mbps fibre service (10Mbps upstream) is now available in four places across the UK: Colchester, Barry, Farnborough and Heckmondwike. So if you live in one of these four locations, you can surf like Speedy Gonzales (the star of Virgin's super-fast broadband advertising campaign). Although it will, of course, ...

Older folks are driving UK broadband take-up

by Darren Allan
It seems that silver surfers are a major force in driving the take-up of broadband in the UK. That's according to new research released by Ofcom, which shows that broadband take-up in the UK grew by 3% from 2009 overall. However, amongst 65 to 74-year-olds it rose by far more, 9%, and over 75s saw almost as much growth with 8%. Mind you, ...

December 7, 2010

Government plans digital hub in every community

by Darren Allan
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has published Britain's Super-fast Broadband Future report, in which the government lays out its plans to get broadband motoring in this country by 2015. The proposals contained within the document include the placing of a digital hub within reach of every community in the UK by the end of the current Parliament. The government will subsidise the ...

December 6, 2010

BT names front runners in the Race to Infinity

by Darren Allan
Ready for another update on which towns across the UK are currently leading BT's Race to Infinity scheme? If you've forgotten, this particular race began at the start of October, with folks voting for their home exchange to be hooked up to next-gen fibre. The top five exchanges are guaranteed to get super-fast broadband by early 2012 at the very latest. At ...

OECD places UK 5th in broadband penetration

by Darren Allan
The UK has been doing fairly poorly in many recent broadband rankings, although the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development's (OECD) latest study isn't one of them. In statistics for June 2010, across the 31 OECD member countries, there were 295 million fixed broadband connections in total. That's up from 283 million in December of last year. The UK came fifth with ...

Government aims for super-fast broadband for 90% of UK by 2015

by Darren Allan
In an upcoming speech, Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt is expected to announce a target for the UK to become one of the leading broadband powers in Europe. This is something the government has mentioned before, although now Hunt is expected to state that between 85 and 90% of the country will be hooked up to fibre by the year 2015. Most places ...

December 3, 2010

BT announces Gigabit fibre broadband trial

by Darren Allan
BT has announced that it will include up to 40 rural market towns in the next phase of its deployment of super-fast broadband, but something truly lightning fast is going to be trialled in Kesgrave, Suffolk. Namely, 1Gbps fibre-to-the-premise, a chunky pipe to rival some of the fastest in the world, with 1Gb/s download speeds, and a whacking 400Mb/s upload. ...

November 30, 2010

Virgin Media brings cable to new Persimmon homes

by Darren Allan
Virgin Media has hooked up with construction firm Persimmon Homes in order to bring cable to new build houses. Selected Persimmon new builds – the firm throws up around 10,000 new homes in the UK each year – will come fully connected up to Virgin's fibre broadband, TV and telephone services. Show homes will showcase the benefits of the Virgin fibre set ...

Study shows Hong Kong is top for broadband, UK is 24th

by Darren Allan
A newly published report from broadband analysts Point Topic has ranked the world's broadband not on pure speed, but on a value for money basis. Point Topic's Broadband Tariff Benchmarks for Q3 2010 showed that Hong Kong offers the best value for money broadband in the world, with the study analysing the amount of money the consumer pays for a megabit ...

November 26, 2010

ISP’s accuse Ofcom of limiting rural broadband options

by Brian Turner
Recent UK Government’s plans for rural broadband roll-out are being jeopardised before they even begin. This is according to a number of smaller ISP's, complaining that Ofcom threatens to undermine rural broadband roll out due to a lack of coordination with government policy. The Government has previously said that it is committed to the roll-out of superfast broadband; in October it announced ...

BT lowers fibre broadband minimum to 5Mbps

by Darren Allan
BT Wholesale has announced that it is to lower the minimum threshold at which ISPs can resell its fibre-to-the-cabinet broadband lines. Previously, the minimum speed which an ISP could provide a fibre service to a customer with was 15Mbps, but now providers will be be able to offer an alternative service, allowing them to ...

November 23, 2010

Super-fast broadband coming to villages in Cornwall

by Darren Allan
There's some good news for the residents of eight villages in Cornwall, who are set to have the magic super-fast broadband wand waved over them. Stenalees, Leedstown, St Agnes, St Day, Chiverton Cross, Devoran, Portreath and Par are all down to receive access to up to 100Mbps fibre from BT. A mix of fibre-to-the-premises (100Mbps) and fibre-to-the-cabinet (40Mbps) services will be rolled ...

November 20, 2010

BT comes out swinging against Virgin’s broadband con campaign

by Darren Allan
This week, Virgin Media continued its offensive against misleading broadband advertising, with the start of a new website called Stop the Broadband Con. Virgin reckons that according to a survey ICM was commissioned to carry out, over 90% of respondents believed that “up to” broadband speeds were misleading, as the reality of such headline speeds is many broadband connections don't get ...

November 18, 2010

Plusnet to move call centre from South Africa to UK

by Darren Allan
Plusnet, the ISP owned by BT, has decided to move its call centre staff based in Durban, South Africa, to the UK. The move to the firm's HQ in Sheffield will create 150 jobs in the city, with a further 100 staff moving from Durban to Yorkshire, according to a report on ZDNet UK. Bob ...

Virgin Media slates broadband speed con merchants

by Darren Allan
Virgin Media has launched another salvo against misleading broadband advertising. The company has previously singled out bad practices in advertising when it commissioned a survey by ICM which showed that 90% of respondents believe that the way broadband is promoted is misleading. Specifically, it's the practice of advertising “up to” speeds that gets people's goat. While an ISP might advertise a speed ...

November 17, 2010

Kent village has UK’s slowest broadband

by Darren Allan
Mirror, mirror, on the wall, who has the slowest broadband of all? Farningham in Kent, apparently, is the place where the world wide web is stickiest in the UK. Residents are beset by treacle like surfing speeds of an average of just 1.3Mbps. The data was put together by Top10.com, PC Advisor reports, to highlight broadband blackspots across the UK. It was ...

November 16, 2010

BT reveals fibre race leaders

by Darren Allan
BT's Race to Infinity initiative kicked off at the start of October. If you've forgotten already, or missed this, the idea revolves around a website where people can vote for their exchange to be hooked up to next-gen fibre. The five exchanges across the UK which show the strongest level of demand will be guaranteed to get super-fast broadband (a mix ...

November 11, 2010

BT broadband figures impress, but fibre adoption slow

by Darren Allan
BT has unveiled its latest financials to the end of September, and the company has experienced a slight slump in overall revenue. Despite impressive broadband growth – the Press Association reports that over 250,000 customers were added by companies using BT's network, 50% more than last year – overall revenue dropped to £4.977 billion, a fall of 3%. The losses were due ...

November 1, 2010

BT hasn’t fully resolved broadband woes in the north?

by Darren Allan
The big broadband story this weekend was the major outage in northern England, Northern Ireland and Scotland which began on Friday night at around 7pm, triggered by a failure at BT's Edinburgh node. The fault was fixed for many people come Saturday, and this morning we relayed information from BT that the issue, which was thought to have affected 20,000 customers, ...

BT says major broadband fault ironed out

by Darren Allan
BT has issued a statement to say that the broadband fault which struck at the weekend has been completely resolved. The problem resulted in an estimated 20,000 UK households losing their broadband, starting on Friday night at 7pm. Areas affected included northern England and Northern Ireland, southern Scotland and the highlands and islands. It was ...

October 30, 2010

BT broadband fault leaves thousands disconnected

by Darren Allan
Around 20,000 BT customers across the UK found themselves without broadband last night due to a fault on a node in the Edinburgh area. The Courier.co.uk reports that BT said the fault hit customers “largely in the southern Scotland and northern England area with some in the Northern Ireland area also affected.” Although the BBC ...

October 28, 2010

Virgin Media 100Mbps widens broadband divide

by Darren Allan
We've long talked about the broadband haves and have-nots, the former with access to super-fast next-gen broadband connections, and the latter in rural or out of the way areas, with access to speeds still akin to dial-up. Those who live in cities can be assured of being hooked up to next-gen, and the likes of Virgin Media's new 100Mbps service, which ...

BT says Virgin Media’s 100Mbps service too costly

by Darren Allan
Yesterday, Virgin Media announced the launch of pre-registration for its 100Mbps fibre service, which will begin rolling out in December. The first areas to receive the service will be London, the South East, and Yorkshire, who will benefit from 100Mbps download and 10Mbps upload speeds for the price of £45 per month (or £35 per month if you take it as ...

October 27, 2010

Virgin Media celebrates 100Mbps broadband with speedy taxis

by Darren Allan
The news came through this morning from Virgin Media that its 100Mbps fibre roll out would begin in December, with pre-registration going live today. And to celebrate this fact, Virgin claims it will be launching Londoners into the (super) fast lane tomorrow, by putting on a fleet of supercar taxis. The 100Mbps promotional taxi fleet will consist of a Porsche 997 Turbo ...

BT set to double number of apprenticeships

by Darren Allan
BT is going to double the number of its apprenticeships this year, with the extra manpower needed to help with the company's fibre roll out. According to a report in the Telegraph, last year BT received around 9,000 applications to become an apprentice with the company. This year, that number increased to 24,000, nearly treble the amount, all applying for just ...

Virgin Media 100Mbps broadband roll out launched

by Darren Allan
Virgin Media has announced the timetable for its 100Mbps ultra-fast broadband roll out, as expected. PM David Cameron had previously commented at the CBI conference that it would happen this week, and indeed Virgin has just launched a new ad campaign spearheaded by cartoon character Speedy Gonzales. Pre-registration for the service goes live today, and it will actually go on sale starting ...

October 25, 2010

Virgin Media to roll out 100Mbps broadband this week?

by Darren Allan
It seems that the roll out of Virgin Media's much awaited 100Mbps super-fast broadband service may start this week. PC Advisor reports that this is the case according to David Cameron, who hinted that the launch was coming at some point in the next four days in a speech at the annual conference of the CBI (Confederation of British Industry). Virgin won't ...

October 24, 2010

BSkyB bests BT to tune of 640,000 customers

by Darren Allan
BSkyB has announced some impressive figures for the last quarter, leaving BT in the dust when it came to picking up broadband and phone subscribers. According to a report in the Mirror.co.uk, BSkyB managed to sign up 640,000 more broadband and phone customers from July to the end of September. This comprised of 178,000 broadband ...

October 21, 2010

Virgin Media in cheesy super-fast broadband tactics

by Darren Allan
Virgin Media has gone all cheesy when it comes to promoting its super-fast broadband. Today in Covent Garden (that there London), the fibre maestros unveiled an advertising billboard made... entirely of cheese. Ten types of cheese, in fact – and you thought traditional advertising stunk. The billboard was 5m x 4m in size, weighed 110Kg, and took acclaimed “food artist” Prudence Staite ...

South Korea tops Akamai broadband averages with 17Mbps

by Darren Allan
Akamai has released its latest State of the Internet report for the second quarter of 2010. Unsurprisingly, South Korea remains king of connection speeds worldwide. The country has an average broadband connection speed of a staggering 17Mbps, which is up 47% year-on-year. That compares to the UK's average of 3.9Mbps, and a global average of 1.8Mbps. Hong Kong was in second place ...

Rural broadband ducks under government spending axe

by Darren Allan
There's some good news for those in more out of the way places which aren't hooked up to the broadband revolution. And it's the revelation that the UK's broadband roll out program won't be scrimped on by the £80 billion package of austerity measures the government announced yesterday. According to a BBC News report, the Beeb itself has pledged £300 million towards ...

October 20, 2010

BT reveals 110Mbps fibre plans

by Darren Allan
BT Openreach has revealed that it intends to bring a 110Mbps fibre service to the UK, starting from next spring. The fibre-to-the-home offering will boast 110Mbps downloads (with 20Mbps of that “prioritised”) and 15Mbps upload speeds to a limited number of exchanges (i.e. London and a few others). A BT spokesman told PC Pro: “You're going to get 100Mbits/sec, it's not an ...

October 18, 2010

“Capacity crunch” will hit UK broadband soon

by Darren Allan
A researcher at the university of Southampton has painted a worrying picture of the future of broadband in the UK. David Richardson wrote a paper for the journal Science in which he discussed an upcoming “capacity crunch” which could severely hamper the future of the net in this country. With the increasing spread of broadband, and a greater amount of bandwidth intensive ...

UK up to 18th in Cisco broadband league

by Darren Allan
Networking expert Cisco has released the details of its third annual study of the state of broadband worldwide. The research used to compile the global rankings was put together by the Said Business School of Oxford university, and it covered some 72 countries and 239 cities. Overall, it found that 14 countries, almost one in five, were prepared for the Internet “applications ...

October 14, 2010

Ruling says BT must cut broadband wholesale prices

by Darren Allan
BT is being ordered to cut its broadband wholesale prices, the charges the company imposes on other providers to access its network, following a Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) ruling. The pricing scheme was looked into when TalkTalk and other ISPs claimed that BT's price controls (set by Ofcom) were too high, and had failed ...

October 8, 2010

BT drops London clanger in Race to Infinity table

by Darren Allan
BT has made a bit of a faux-pas with an email the company sent out detailing how things are going in the early stages of the Race to Infinity. If you missed the launch of BT's race campaign at the beginning of this week, it's a scheme where the public can vote on which places are next in line to receive ...

Virgin Media to use BT’s fibre network

by Darren Allan
As you may have read yesterday, BT has been prompted to open up its fibre network to rival ISPs by Ofcom. Rival providers will be able to use BT’s fibre infrastructure, such as underground ducts and over-land poles, which have been subsidised by the government in their construction. And it seems like Virgin Media ...

October 7, 2010

Ofcom decides BT must share fibre with rival ISPs

by Darren Allan
Ofcom has decided that BT is obliged to share its fibre network with other ISPs. Rival providers will be able to use BT's super-fast fibre network infrastructure, such as underground ducts and over-land poles, which have been substantially subsidised by the government in their construction. The move comes with Ofcom wanting to speed up the deployment of next-gen broadband, hoping to ensure ...

October 4, 2010

BT starts race for fibre broadband in the UK

by Darren Allan
BT has come up with a scheme to determine which exchanges are likely to next receive upgrades to fibre based broadband in the UK. The company wants to hear the people speak out, as it takes what it calls the “pulse” of the UK's broadband. Individuals will be able to put forward their desire to have next-gen broadband come to their community ...

October 2, 2010

Virgin Media announces boosted broadband upload speeds

by Darren Allan
Virgin Media has announced that it is providing a free upgrade for customers on its fibre broadband network. Upload speeds are set to be boosted considerably, doubling or even tripling in some cases. Those on the M and L broadband packages (10Mbps download) will have their upload speeds doubled from 512Kbps to 1Mbps (well, “up to 1Mbps”, of course). Those on the ...

September 17, 2010

Carrier pigeons faster than rural broadband

by Darren Allan
A publicity stunt was engineered yesterday to show that UK broadband still isn't up to scratch in some areas of the country. Tref Davies, Co-Founder of ISP Timico, organised the stunt which involved racing pigeons against a rather poor rural broadband connection. Not that the two mediums are really directly comparable – it's not exactly scientific methodology – but still, it's ...

September 13, 2010

Ofcom commissions mobile broadband study

by Darren Allan
Ofcom has organised an in-depth study of mobile broadband which will run from now until the end of the year. Analysis expert Epitiro is to undertake the job, which will examine the major networks in the UK: O2, T-Mobile, 3, ...

September 10, 2010

Ofcom considering making ISP switching easier

by Darren Allan
Ofcom has been busy researching again, this time in the field of broadband migration. And the watchdog's findings are that 45% of the people it questioned on the topic of switching their broadband provider said it was too much like hard work. Part of the issue here, Ofcom reckons, is that the switching process is made more problematic than it should be ...

September 7, 2010

O2 brings out new home broadband packages

by Darren Allan
O2 has taken the wraps off a new range of broadband packages aimed at the home user. The new packages are simply titled and branded, in an effort to keep things crystal clear for customers, which was something O2 was banging on about the other day (in a study which showed that UK consumers were wasting £700 million every year on ...

September 6, 2010

O2 says broadband users wasting millions on overkill packages

by Darren Allan
A survey commissioned by O2 has discovered that a large number of UK residents are wasting money on subscribing to a broadband package which is far faster than their actual needs demand. The research, which questioned 2,000 consumers on the topic of broadband, found that while the majority only went online to send emails and browse websites, they paid for faster ...