Broadband News

UK Broadband News –

Ofcom Survey Shows Broadband Gap Closing Between Scots and Rest of UK

Filed under Broadband News

A recent survey from the regulator Ofcom shows that the number of households in Scotland has risen from 6l% last year to 68%. This figure also includes the use of mobile broadband.

Howwerer the figures for online connections in Scotland were 13 % points behind the 74 %  UK figure of last year. This has now increased to 76 % for the UK and the gap has closed to an 8% gap for the Scots who are now in a similar position to the people of Wales and Northern Ireland.

Glasgow has been unusually slow to adapt to broadband. 50% of households were connected last year and that figure has now risen to 60% . This may be partly due to poverty levels in Glasgow but there seems  to be lower levels of uptake in all age groups and levels of income.

It was reported that Vicki Nash Ofcom Director for Scotland has suggested that the low uptake in Scotland may be due to cost and lack of skills. There also seems to be a lack of incentive from friends and family to get connected. Ms Nash said ” It’s good news that we’re closing the gap- for consumers realising the benefits of tecchnology. If public services are available online then it is important that people can access them ”.

Survey results from accross the UK show that the use of mobile texting has replaced convential phone calls or face to face meetings as the most frequent way for adults to keep in touch.


The Most Complained about Provider Is Talk Talk

Filed under Broadband News

According to new figures from Ofcom Talk Talk is the most complained about broadband service provider in the UK.

Talk Talk had 0.56 complaints per 1000 customers during January and March compaired to Sky’s broadband service which attracted the fewest complaints. They received 0.15 ccomplaints per 1000 customers.

Unfortunately Talk Talk was also at the bottom of the table in the Landline Market with 0.72 complaints per 1000 customers. Virgin Media was the top with 0.16 per 1000 customers. Talk Talk and Virgin Media have finished bottom and top of the landline complaints league for the sixth consecutive quarter.

The good news is that  Sky has reduced complaints for every consecutive quarter without fail and Virgin Media has been able to keep complaints to a minimum .

Talk Talk still seems to be struggling following the buyout of older providers but they are beginning to make some headway.

Governments broadband plans face a funding shortfall.

Filed under Broadband News

A recent report by the London School of Econmics says that the Governments targets for broadband are unlikely to be met. There is expected to be a £1.1 bn funding gap.

The Government wants 100% access to fast broadband services and 90% access to superfast broadband by 2015. However the cost of meeting the targets will be £2.4 bn but funding from public sources for broadband only amounts to £1.3bn according to the report. Ths leaves a shortfall of £1.1 bn.

The report, which was sponsored by customer management software company Convergys, says that the government target of 100% coverage of basic broadband should be met but it is not clear how the targets for fast and superfast broadband will be met. Basic broadband will give speeds of up to 2Mbps, fast broadband speeds of 2Mbps to 24Mbps and superfast broadband speeds in excess of 24 Mbps.

A spokesperson for the Department of Culture, Media and Sport has denied that the targets will be missed. He was reported as saying,” We are confident of completing the roll-out by 2015. All local authorities except 2 met the governments timeline by submitting their initial broadband plans on time.”

The Uk comes 17th in a global ranking of broadband penetration. We are behind France, Belgium and The Netherlands but we are just ahead of Germany, Canada and the US. However we are ranked 31 st for fibre- based services.

Lancashire Villages Are Digging Their Own Broadband Trenches.

Filed under Broadband News

The villages of  Lancashire are so fed up with  their slow download broadband speeds that they have all come together to dig a 40 mile trench to lay their own broadband line.  

The residents of Wray, Arkholme, Melling, Wennington, Tatham, Roeburndale, Over Wyresdale and Quermore are hoping to raise £1.86 million to finance the scheme and have already got £300,000 in the bank. So far 200 people have bought shares in the broadband scheme which is know as B4RN or BARN.( Broadband for the Rural North)

The maximum number of shares anyone can hold is 20,000. Quite a few investers have gone for £1,500 worth of shares and in return for their investment they will get a free broadband connection, which would normally cost £150 , plus 12 months free subscription. ( normally £30 per month).

There is much work to be done and the trench diggers , who work for free , can claim £1.50 worth of shares for every metre of trench they dig. They hope to lay 40 miles of fibre- optic cable across the hillside and supply 1,400 homes with internet speeds of 1 GB per second, which will be roughly 10 times faster than their current speeds. It is hoped that the first phase will be completed this summer although it will take more than a year for the whole area to be broadband enabled. This all depends on the residents being able to raise the rest of the money needed. 

Anyone interested in learning more about the BARN scheme should visit

John Lewis to Offer Broadband Service

Filed under Broadband News

The retailer John Lewis has announced that they are to offer broadband services to their many customers.

There will be a Standard broadband option costing £11.00 per month plus line rental and calls from £13.50 per month which includes up to 16Mb speed and a 20GB monthly usage. There is also an Unlimited broadband option costing £18.00 per month plus line rental and calls from £13.50 per month with speeds of up to 16Mb and unlimited monthly usage.

Waitrose and Greenbee customers can upgrade to these offers. There  is also a 38Mb speed with 100 GB monthly usage fibre broadband option.

Adam Brown, the company’s Telecoms manager was reported as saying ,” John Lewis broadband gives customers an upfront and transparent price on a range of broadband and phone packages with no hidden terms and conditions, a simple 12 months contract with no hidden catches and the excellent customer service that we are renowned for .”

There is a freephone customer support service all day every day and no activation fee. A PC securuty package and a wireless router are included.

Broadband Deal agreed for Lancashire

Filed under Broadband News

 It has been announced that the first UK county to agree a broadband deal for rural areas is Lancashire. 

Funding will be provided by both the Governement and also by BT. The government wants to improve rural broadband  and all councils have been given until the end of April so sort out projects and get them up and running.

It has been estimated by Ofcom that 15% of homes in Lancashire have broadband speeds of less than 2Mbps. The Governement has set aside £530m to fund the whole of the country with speeds of at least 2 Mbps by 2015 and wouls also like to see 90% of businesses and homes with superfast broadband – ie 24 Mbps by 2015.   

It is generally thought that the drive to get broadband into rural areas is too slow and that councils have been unable to negociate deals with telecom companies because too little cash has been provided to help with this. Each county has been told how much money they can get although few counties have come up with viable projects in order to get started.

BT has started bidding to provide networks and plan to extend networks in Lancashire by the end of 2014.

 Lancashire council was reported as saying that the broadband project would boost the local economy by creating jobs for about 2500 people and that it would also protect about 1,200 jobs over the next few years.

50,000 Customers Leave Talk Talk

Filed under Broadband News

Talk Talk has reported that 50,000 customers defected in the three  months prior to December. This brings the total customers lost  to 170,000 since November 2010. They are now falling further behind their rivals BT and Sky.

However the companies share price increased by 9% after it raised its profit forecast.

Talk Talk’s total number of customers has now dropped to 4.08 million . Last year the company lost 25,000 subscribers in the same quarter  due to problems with Tiscali customers being migrated onto their billing system..Talk Talk was formed through mergers of Pipex, Tiscali and Carphone Warehouse. 62,000 Tiscali customers where incorrectly billed for services that they didnt receive and the company was fined by Ofcom.

In spite of all this Talk Talk are expecting an increase in earnings of 18 to 19% of revenue which is an improvement on the previous year.

Talk Talk have just announced that new customers will be able to make a decision whether or not to enforce parental controls before their new broadband account is activated. This may attract new customers wanting a say in what their children view on the internet.

Wi-Fi Service for London Underground

Filed under Broadband News

Virgin Media has reached and agreement with London Underground to introduce a Wi-Fi- service on 8O of the 217 underground stations by the summer. It is hoped that it will have reached 120 stations by the end of the summer. It is not clear whether it will be extended to all of the stations.

Commuters will be able to surf the net, check e-mails at stations which have Wi-Fi during their journeys and when the train has stopped in the station, but not when the train is travelling through a tunnel.

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, was reported as saying ”Its vital that we harness the massive opportunities stemming from the digital revolution , by creating a vibrant world class industry to attract investment and create jobs for Londerners. Millions of passengers will now be able to connect to their work, friends or access the latest news and travel information whilst on the move.”

The price of the scheme will confirmed later.

£15 a month extra for Talk Talk’s superfast broadband.

Filed under Broadband News

1.23 million Talk Talk customers will be able to have superfast 80 Mb broadband for and extra £15 per month from April.

At the moment Talk Talk offers speed of up to 40 Mbs but the company believes that the new faster speeds will benefit gamers and customers wishing to download films on the web.

The new package will cost £15 per month plus line rental and broadband package. Line renetal is currently £13.80 per month ( or £9.50 if yoyu are willing to pay upfront for 12 months.) Two packages are on offer . The Essential which is £3.25 per month, and comes with 40 GB downlaods and the Unlimited downloads package which costs £7.25 per month.

There will be a one off activation fee for the new 80Mb  service of £25. The high speed service will be using BT’s network. 

Anyone interested should visit Talk Talk’s website to register -

Broadband Speed for Virgin Media Will Double

Filed under Broadband News

Virgin Media will upgrade the speed of its broadband service from February. The speed will double for up to 4 million customers. The companies top speed will also increase from 100mbps to 120 mbps.

The upgrade is expected to be completed by mid 2013 and will cost the company £110 million. Virgin Media’s chief executive Neil Berkett was reported as saying ” The internet has become an integral part of our social, work and family lives, so we think our customers are going to love this ” ”We want to make sure that our consumers have access to the best value broadband service and that means a superfast connection. ”

In a statement, Prime Minister David Cameron said  ” I welcome this announcement from Virgin Media. It will provide a great boost for the economy and change the way many households, consumers and businesses use the internet. Rolling out superfast broadband across the country is a crutial part of our plan to upgrade the UK’s infrastructure and build a new and smarter economy.”

Customers currently signed up for 10mbps with Virgin will be upgraded to 20 mbps free of charge. Users currently on 20 mbps and 30 mbps will both be boostered to 60 mbps. Anyone on 50 mbps will be  increased to 100mbps and anyone on the current top speed of 100 mbps will find themselves on an amazing speed of 120mbps. Broadband usage limits will be doubled to accommodate the increased speed.

It is unlikely that customers will even notice the upgrades actually taking place and there will be no charge fro any of the work. However some customers who have old modems will need more up to date equipment which will also be free of charge.