Broadband News

UK Broadband News – broadband-test.co.uk

What is Superfast Broadband?

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Superband broadband is a term used to describe a broadband connection that has speeds of 25 Mbps or above. If you wish to download music, play games online and stream your favourite shows simultaneously these are the sort of speeds that you will need.

Superfast broadband uses the latest innovation which is fibre optic technology and is supplied by a growing number of internet companies including Talk Talk, Sky,Virgin Media and Plusnet.

Anyone who uses broadband to download high definition movies or music and would like to stream shows via BBC iplayer  really does need fibre optic broadband. However if you only use the internet to check e-mails ,shop online and surf the web there is no need to spend too much money on high speed broadband.

60% of UK households are now able to receive fibre optic broadband and the market is becoming more competitive as providers try to attract more customers.

There are lots of good deals around . Compare the speeds available, the home phone packages and the monthly cost before you make a decision about which supplier to opt for. Don’t forget to check out the set up and equipment costs too as some suppliers offer this free of charge.

12,000 Homes In Plymouth To Have Superfast Broadband

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Bt engineers are to connect a further 12,000 homes and businesses in Devonport, Plymouth to superfast fibre broadband in the next few weeks.  This will take the number of users with access to high speed broadband in the Plymouth area upto about 76,000.

Plymstock and St Budeaux also hope to be upgraded next year. By the end of 2013 more than 1.4 million premises will benefit from BT’s £2.5 billion Openreach fibre broadband roll out programme.

Jon Reynolds , Bt South West Regional Director was reported as saying,” Research suggests that within 15 years fibre broadband could bolster the economy of a typical town by £143 million and create 225 jobs, 140 start-up businesses and 1000 more homeworkers. We are keen to work with the public sector to extend fibre broadband  to the parts of the country that are harder to reach. Our ambition doesn’t stop with our commercial roll-out.”

Tudor Evans leader of Plumouth City Council, responded by saying ” It is increasingly important for areas to have access to the highest broadband speeds possible, particularly for business as it is another way of developing and reaching new customers. It is also important for potential investers interested in relocating here.”

High speed fibre broadband enables a user to download a HD movie in less than 10 minutes and download a music album in less than 10 minutes.

BT will announce further locations to benefit from its fibre broadband roll-out in the near fujture.

The Fastest and Slowest Broadband Speeds in the UK

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According to a recent study taken by uSwitch  there is a huge gap between the fastest and slowest  broadband speeds  in urban and rural Britain.

Lincolnshire has three of the slowest streets for broadband in the UK.  Cromarty Road in  Stamford Lincolnshire actually has the slowest broadband speed of all . The worst in Britain. Local residents measured their average connection speeds of 0.1.32 megabits per second. This against the national average of 9 megabits per second.

The fastest broadband speeds in Britain are enjoyed by residents of Willowfield , which is a 1960′s council estate  in Telford.  Average speeds of more than 70 megabits per second were recorded on a price comparison site. Trinity View also in Telford boasted average speeds of 63 megabits per second.

Willowfield residents would take 2 minutes 49 seconds to download a two hour film compared to Comarty Road taking 25 hours 15 mins to download the same film.

Bt have disputed the figures saying that they are very misleading. A spokesperson was reported as saying ”The cabinet serving Cromarty Road , which they have identified as Britains slowest street, has in actual fact been enabled for fibre broadband for more than a year now and so local residents can enjoy high speed broadband”.

The figures which were calculated by uSwitch were based on at least 30 speed tests for each street over a 6 month period.

The Government has a target of 90 % of homes and businesses in Britain to have access to at least 20 megabits per second by 2015.

 

 

‘Camourflage’ for Broadband Street Cabinets

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G overnment Culture spokesperson Viscount Younger of Leckie  has been reported as saying that the new broadband street cabinets that are being installed  on our streets will be sited very discreetly.

He said ”There are plans afoot to camourflage these street containers. They will not be on every street. They will be on occasional streets , sited very discreetly.”

He was also reported as saying that in same cases the overhead cabling necessary for super fast broadband could be sited inside church steeples.

The cabinets are bigger than usual and  can be sited on public land without planning permission.

Former Culture Minister Lord Howarth of Newport said the Government was allowing the installation of ”bulky and intrusive equipment” without thought for the local environment. Viscount Younger responded by saying that Councils could oppose the cabinets in ” exceptional circumstances”.

The Governement is investing £68O million in superfast broadband. The aim is to offer speeds of at least 24 Mbps to at least 90% of the UK within 3 years.

 

Free Youview Box for new BT Broadband Users

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From the 26th of October all new BT Infinity broadband users will be offered a free Humax DTR-T1000 Youview set-top box.

There is however a £49 activation charge and a £6.95 delivery charge. In order to take advantage of the offer any new customer will have to commit to a 12 month contract with Infinity. This will be £9 per month for the first three months  and then increasing to  £18 per month there after. There is also a line rental fee of  £10.75 per month.

Anyone subscribing to Infinity will have access to more than 100 digital TV and radio channels, with 7 day catch up TV for BBC 1 &2 , ITV, channel 4 and channel 5. They will also be able to view on- demand content from Now TV , ITV player, BBC iPlayer, Demand 5, Milkshake and 4OD  .

Existing BT customers can take advantage of this offer for £49 plus the £6.95 delivery charge. Viewers in an area not covered by BT’s fibre to the cabinet network can also take advantage of the offer by signing up to BT’s basic TV service Vision Essential plus one of its broadband packages.

A BT spokesperson has been reported as saying that BT expects many consumers to take advantage of this ”fantastic offer”.

However subscribing to Youview will not give you access to BSkyB’s Sky Sports channels unless you are using BT’s Vision + box which comes with the viewing card slot needed to view the sports channels.

 

ISPs Will Be Able to Install Broadband Fibre Cabinets In Any Street

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The new Sectretary of State for media , culture and sport  Maria Miller has announced that, as from next spring, it is hoped that Internet Service Providers will be allowed to build fibre cabinets for superfast broadband in any street without permission from the relevant council.

There will be exceptions such as sites of scientific interest and areas protected due to wildlife but in most cases it looks as though no permission will be needed.

Most UK businesses are more than happy with the news.

A BT spokesman was reported as saying,” BT is already rolling out fibre broadband at a record pace but there are a variety of issues that can sometimes slow us down and cause fraustation for consumers and businesses keen to get fibre broadband. We are pleased that the government acknowledges those barriers and that they share our ambitiions that as many people as possible can benefit from the high-speed fibre revolution”.

However local government are said to be upset by the new legislation as they feel that their thoughts and plans are being ignored. It is thought that people will be upset about being unable to oppose the erection of broadband boxes which can be eyesores. Some councils have hampered progress with superfast broadband in the past. Haringley council forced BT to move cabinets in Muswell Hill after residents complained that they ruined the landscape. There have been similar problems between BT and Kensington and Chelsea.

Maria Miller beleives that ”Superfast broadband is vital to secure our country’s future to kick start economic growth and create jobs”. Her intention is to sweed away any red tape.

The legislation has yet to be passed.

 

 

Doncaster Council to Borrow £6.26 for Broadband Scheme

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Doncaster Council has been given the go-ahead to borrow £6.26 to help fund the controversial South Yorkshire Digital Region project. The loan was approved at a recent meeting on the Council.

Simon Wikes , Dircetor of Finance was reported as saying in  a recent report. ” Until the process has been completed it is impossible to quantify with any certainty what the final cost will be . The council is in regular contact with Digital Region Ltd at board and officer level, to monitor the process and help to minimise the costs incurred and funded by the council. The level of available council reserves is insufficent to absorb these costs.”

Until a planned  agreement with a broadband operator is agreed this loan is necessary to keep the scheme going. Final tenders from broadband suppliers are due in October and the operation is hoped to be trensferred to the successful bidder in late December.

The project was launched in 2010 to give homes,businesses and schools access to superfast broadband.

The Governement to Miss Broadband Target

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It has been reported that due to unfortunate delays in the procurement process the Government is likely to miss one of this years important targets in its plans to rollout superfast broadband accross the UK.

The report in the Financial Times said that the timetable for local authorities has suffered a setback of at least 3 months due to a delay in talks about state aid from the EU.

The website of the Department of culture, Media and Sports has confirmed the three month delay. It showed that 30 of the 45 local authorities in the Uk has not started the procurement process, which will delay the rollout to at least early 2013.  The procurements should be completed by December but this is now unlikely.

A spokesperson was reported to have said.” We are working on completing the procurements as rapidly as possible on the basis that the process started three months later than originally planned”.

It is feared that the digital divide could widen and not meet the governments targets. However the governement has stated that it continues to be commited  to its target of bringing superfast broadband to 90% of the UK by 2015.

 

 

O2 Compensation

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O2 customers who were unable to use their network earlier this month are to be offered compensation. Millions will be offered discounts on their bills.

Almost a third of its 23 million customers were unable to use their phones to send texts ,make calls or browse the internet for 24 hours.

Customers will be refunded 01% of their July bill in their September statement. Pay as you go customers will receive 10% extra on their first top up in September. Some Tesco mobile customers who were also affected will also receive the same offer.

All O2 customers ,even those not affected , will receive a £10 voucher to use in O2 stores.

Cost of Fixed Deals increase for Mobile Phone Users.

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The consumer group Which has found that 70% of customers on fixed contracts did not realise that network providers could increase prices during their fixed deal term.

Mobile phone providers are making £90 million a year simply by using a loophole which allows them to increase the cost of a fixed rate deal for customers on a contract.. Operators claim that their terms and conditions allow them to increase prices in line with inflation even if a customer is halfway through an existing contract.

The latest mobile provider to increase prices this way was 3. Last week 3.6% was added to the monthly cost of a fixed price tariff. This will have affected more than 1 million customers.  Vodafone,Orange and T-Mobile have also increased prices in a similar move affecting over 10.5 million customers.The increase for 3 customers will affect anyone who signed up before March 8. Anyone who signed up after that date or who are sim only or pay as you go will not be affected.

It is worth trying to negiotiate a better deal from your provider or pay a lesser charge. O will allow those who pay over £40 per month to pay the remainder of their contract with a 20% discount.

Ofcom will be investigating the practice.