UK government re-announces broadband plan – for the third time

In what some have observed as being a desperate bid for positive headlines, the sitting UK government has re-announced the same broadband investment plan as it has twice before.

The £400 million Digital Infrastructure Investment fund was mooted in the run-up to the Autumn Statement in late November last year, before it was officially announced by the Chancellor Philip Hammond.

Following a further commitment in the Spring Budget, headlines provided further positive coverage despite...

By Ryan Daws, 03 July 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Government, Industry.

Verizon pushes support for One Touch Make Ready fibre proposal

Verizon is outlining its support for ‘One Touch Make Ready’, a proposal which will enable quicker deployment of fiber by scotching red tape associated with pole attachment.

The proposal has already been trialled out in a handful of US metros with not all parties happy, to say the least; both Comcast and AT&T sued Metro Nashville when the law was passed late last year.

Current timeframes for processing pole attachment requests can take several months. A new ‘attacher’ has to contact...

By James Bourne, 19 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Fiber Optic, Operators.

The first certified Gfast products have been announced

The first six certified Gfast products have been announced by the Broadband Forum and UNH-IOL.

Gfast is exciting due to its use of existing copper wiring and potential to substantially increase speeds for consumers without the high infrastructure costs which generally accompanies major network upgrades. National broadband operator Openreach has now deployed Gfast to over 100,000 UK homes and businesses as part of a large-scale pilot in 20 locations.

“Interoperable standardized Gfast...

By Ryan Daws, 13 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, G.fast, Industry, Infrastructure.

Tech firms relying on telcos for connectivity not value added services, says ABI Research

ABI Research has conducted a survey to find out preferences of technology implementers using B2B technologies – and found 55% of respondents preferred to use telcos only for connectivity purposes.

Dimitris Mavrakis, Research Director at ABI Research, said: "The connectivity market is, and will, remain, profitable for many telcos worldwide, but our survey indicates that there is some interest by technology implementers in more than pure connectivity. This is what we refer to as Connectivity+."

31% of...

By Telecoms, 08 June 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Operators.

Virgin Media claims its broadband has delivered a £1.4 billion boost to the UK

Liberty Global, owners of Virgin Media, claims their investment in UK broadband has delivered a “total social benefit” of over £1 billion.

The figure includes the company’s investment in higher broadband speeds, competitive pricing, and the improved productivity it has enabled between 2013 and 2017. Rather than a made up figure, the data comes from an Oxera Consulting report.

“Liberty Global’s significant investment in the reach and capability...

By Ryan Daws, 30 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Consumers, Industry.

Three entices consumers to ditch slow ADSL connections for 4G broadband

Hutchison-owned mobile operator Three is hoping to entice UK consumers stuck on slow ADSL connections to make the switch to 4G mobile broadband.

4G speeds are often faster than old connections using home telephone lines which some consumers are still forced to use. Some of these locations are now covered by a 4G signal, and Three is hoping to attract business from these underserved communities with a new plan.

Larger households may find the limit too restrictive.

The...

By Ryan Daws, 23 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Consumers, LTE, Mobile.

Google adds three partners to CSquared for faster, more reliable African broadband

Google has formed a four-way partnership to invest $100 million in a wholesale broadband infrastructure project which aims to bring fast and reliable internet access to cities across Africa.

The new ‘CSquared’ partnership extends Google’s existing Project Link programme which the web giant introduced to the Ugandan capital of Kampala back in 2013 to provide local internet...

By Ryan Daws, 16 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Africa, Broadband, Connectivity, Infrastructure, Networks.

BT ordered to compensate rivals £22 million interest after overcharging for backhaul Ethernet services

BT has been ordered to dig into its pockets for the second time after a tribunal decided that interest was due on the original settlement amount in a case where the company was found to have overcharged rivals for backhaul Ethernet services.

First brought forward in December 2012, Ofcom ruled BT overcharged its rivals £95m for the five years between 2006 and 2011 – and will pay the excess back to Cable & Wireless Worldwide (now Vodafone), Sky, TalkTalk, Verizon, and Virgin Media.

The...

By Ryan Daws, 05 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Infrastructure, Networks, Operators, Regulation.

Broadband Forum and SDN/NFV Industry to jointly setup Open Broadband Laboratory Asia

The Broadband Forum and SDN/NFV Industry have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to jointly establish an Open Broadband Laboratory Asia (OBLA) and promote the development of network transformation and cloud evolution at the recent China SDN/NFV Conference in Beijing.

Open Broadband Labs are a collaborative resource for the integration, staging and testing of open source, commercial software, standards-based and vendor implementations where suppliers, integrators and operators can work together on new...

By Telecoms, 05 May 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Networks, NFV, Regulation, SDN.

Call for 30 Mbps minimum broadband speed is scrapped ahead of the general election

Ahead of this year’s snap general election, the House of Lords has decided to scrap its demand for a minimum broadband speed of 30 Mbps to be a part of the government’s Digital Economy Bill.

The decision is a result of the Conservative government rushing policies through parliament as part of the “wash up” process that is typical ahead of a general election. Unfinished bills cannot be carried over from one parliament to the next, which means the current government is reliant...

By Ryan Daws, 26 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Infrastructure, Networks.

Canada aims to boost net neutrality with new framework

A newly designed framework which prevents telecom providers from engaging in ‘harmful’ zero-rating has been issued by the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC).

Zero-rating is a practice of selectively pricing certain apps and services by not counting them against a customer's data cap. The ruling strengthens Net Neutrality in the country, and will shape how Canadians use the Internet for years to come.

The digital rights group OpenMedia has welcomed the ruling, noting...

By Telecoms, 21 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, N America, Net Neutrality.

Research warns of price hikes for customers on basic broadband deals

A report from Citizens Advice, a UK network of independent charities, argues that people on the cheapest basic broadband deals are hit with an average price rise of £113 per year once their deal ends – with many unware they face an increase in cost.

The study found more than a third (35%) of broadband customers do not realise that they could face price hikes by staying on the same contract with their provider after their initial deal ends.

For customers who stay on the same contract for four years...

By Telecoms, 19 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Consumers.

Telecom operator Elisa completes trial of Nokia’s XGS-PON to improve broadband speed

Finnish-based telecom operator Elisa has completed a field trial of Nokia’s XGS-PON technology which improves broadband speed.

XGS-PON is the successor to XG-PON and the extra ‘S’ in the name stands for symmetrical. Whereas XG-PON delivers 10 Gb/s downstream and 2.5 Gb/s upstream (10/2.5G) using a single fixed wavelength in each direction, XGS-PON delivers 10 Gb/s in both directions and supports dual rate transmission.

“Utilisation of the new XGS-PON technology...

By Ryan Daws, 18 April 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Industry, Infrastructure, Networks.

Why operators need to take advantage of the nascent B2B2x market for differentiation

A new report from Arthur D. Little (ADL) outlines how the telecoms industry is set to become more diverse in the coming five years, with an opportunity afoot in B2B2x (business to business to x).

The report, titled ‘Major strategic choices ahead of telcos: Reconfiguring for value’ and which pulled together interviews from more than 100 executives globally, argues that revenues will stabilise, with a modest growth outlook for the majority of European countries. Yet the B2B2x market is slated by ADL...

By James Bourne, 05 April 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Networks, Operators.

Ofcom seeks cheaper broadband by increasing competition with lower wholesale prices

UK telecoms regulator Ofcom hopes new wholesale price cuts for superfast broadband services will lead to cheaper access for consumers.

The regulator will improve the wholesale pricing of high-speed services from national broadband network Openreach. New technology investments from BT, such as G.Fast, will not be capped at this point as Ofcom believes the caps elsewhere should be sufficient to protect competition and protect consumers from higher prices.

Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s...

By Ryan Daws, 31 March 2017, 1 comment. Categories: Broadband, Connectivity, Consumers, Networks, OpenFlow, Regulation.

Telecom providers could soon be free to sell your browsing history

A ruling which prevents telecoms providers from selling your browsing history is under threat and could be lifted following a Senate vote on Thursday.

Last year, the former chairman of the FCC, Tom Wheeler, proposed a ruling to prevent telecom providers from profiting by selling private data to third-parties. The ruling passed last October and it was praised by privacy and consumer advocates, but it’s already looking as if it will be retracted.

The resolution is being pushed by 22 Republican...

By Ryan Daws, 23 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Consumers, Industry, Privacy, Regulation.

Ofcom fines Plusnet £880,000 for billing over a thousand ex-customers

Plusnet has been fined £880,000 by UK telecoms regulator Ofcom for continuing to bill more than a thousand ex-customers after cancelling their contracts.

Remaining funds have been donated to a dozen local charities

The BT-owned company was found to have continued billing a group of customers for their cancelled landline or broadband services. Following an investigation, Ofcom ruled Plusnet broke a fundamental billing role and will be subject to a fine after the 1,025 customers were overcharged...

By Ryan Daws, 22 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Consumers, Operators, Regulation.

BT Openreach will use VR to recruit 1,500 telecom engineers

Openreach, the subsidiary of BT which manages the majority of the UK’s telecoms infrastructure, has today announced plans to recruit 1,500 new engineers using VR to provide training.

Virtual reality is becoming increasingly viewed as useful for training within the workplace, but it’s yet to be used on a large scale for recruitment. Openreach is exploring VR’s potential benefits for recruitment with an experience which allows interested applicants to use a headset to...

By Ryan Daws, 20 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Fiber Optic, Industry, Infrastructure, Networks.

Why BT’s Openreach separation is ‘tough but fair’ resolution with Ofcom

BT and Ofcom have reached an agreement to ensure Openreach will become a legally separate company, bringing to a conclusion one of the more protracted imbroglios around the UK’s broadband infrastructure.

The telecoms giant said that around 32,000 employees will transfer to the new Openreach Limited, which will have its own branding separate from the BT logo. Ofcom, the industry’s governing body, said BT had met its competition concerns.

As this publication reported

By James Bourne, 10 March 2017, 0 comments. Categories: Broadband, Infrastructure, Regulation.

Samsung and Arqiva will trial 5G in the UK this year

Samsung and Arqiva have announced plans to launch 5G trials focused on Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) in the UK during the second half of this year.

The companies decided on the UK as their starting point in Europe due to the country’s low broadband penetration and promising spectrum conditions. Samsung and Arqiva are hoping to demonstrate the potential for 5G to offer a compelling alternative to fibre.

“With advanced news of 5G trials already being made in the US and Korean...

By Ryan Daws, 24 February 2017, 0 comments. Categories: 5G, Broadband, Connectivity, Industry, Infrastructure, Networks.