Posted: Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
Last year we got involved in a project to bring high-speed broadband to a rural community in Hampshire as part of a number of trials to evaluate what technology could be used to serve a number of residents in a remote pocket of the country. Interestingly the villages of Little London and Smannell were a stone’s throw from a new housing development which was being served with a fibre to the premises (FTTP) product from Independent Fibre Networks Ltd making it a good location test with.
What was interesting with this project was the use of fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) for Little London and a wireless solution for Smannell ensuring that all the houses and local businesses were served. The use of multiple technologies meant we were able to maximise the budget while ensuring nobody was left out. This along with our Service Exchange Platform meant that the solution also delivered choice to the residents so they had a number of ISPs to choose from to deliver internet their home.
While the final speeds still aren’t near FTTP they are faster than most urban areas and a huge increase over their previous ADSL service. This film was done as part of a look into broadband in the UK and was shown this month on BBC South.
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Posted: Thursday, June 28th, 2012
Over the past few days a number of tube stations (including Kings Cross and Oxford Circus) across London have announced free Wifi access on their platforms. All it takes is a device which can connect to the internet and an email address to register with. It is expected that 80 underground stations will be able to provide the service in time for the upcoming Olympics and a further 40 by the end of the year. However, free access is only available for a limited time. The end of the Olympics will mark the end of free Wifi and from that point onwards only Virgin customers will be able to access the network without paying.
Virgin Media have been working with TFL to bring the tube stations up to date in time to fully showcase London as “Europe’s leading digital city”. It has been claimed that the speeds will be similar to that of 4G technology, however it is still unknown quite how well the network will cope with the huge levels of demand this novelty service will no doubt incur.
Public opinion on this matter is noticeably divided. There are those who see this as an inevitable outcome, a continuation of the modern advancement towards an increasingly digitalised society and something to be welcomed. However, there are others who question this development, concerned that this need for constant internet access is unhealthy and unnecessary.
Here at Fluidata, we champion any new innovations which are able to deliver faster speeds to places that have always been considered disadvantaged when it comes to internet connectivity. Here’s to the future of the internet – who knows what is waiting around the corner…
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Posted: Thursday, February 9th, 2012
169 days to go
Due to preparations for the Olympics this summer, Transport for London (TfL) are putting in place an embargo on all planned street work starting on 1st March 2012 that will prevent any road works on the key parts of the London Olympic Route Network (ORN). Restrictions will continue to affect us until they are fully lifted on 30th September. However, it is worth noting that beyond this date a backlog of work may exist, delaying installations further.
It is therefore important to ensure early action is taken to complete Fibre Ethernet Access orders for Optical and Ethernet based services that will:
1. Terminate on the core Olympic Route Network (core roads, sites, venues and the Main A501 Road)
2. May require some form of construction work (digs, test roding etc) on the Core Olympic Route Network
Therefore, fibre orders must be placed by the end of February at the very latest if you wish for your service to start before the Olympics.
A detailed map of the ORN route can be found on the following TFL map, where the London roads highlighted in Red and Blue are the ones affected:
(N.B. this map can be zoomed to give a road by road level of detail)
A further embargo on the rest of the ORN (and most other central London streets) will come into operation on 1st July, so those orders would need to be with Openreach by May. This will impact most streets within the north and south circular and some areas of Greater London.
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Posted: Sunday, February 14th, 2010
UK has dropped one place to 26th in global broadband race with an average download speed of 3.5Mbps according to the Akamai’s ‘The State of the Internet (Q3-2009)’ report with Sweden in 5th place from European countries and South Korea sitting pretty as the fastest broadband in the world with an average speed of 14.8Mbps.
Why such highly unflattering results then for a country with a reputation for technological advancement? Old cables are an obvious answer with all broadband providers except Virgin Media utislising BT’s antiquated cooper infrastructure; technology that’s performance is dictated by distance from telephone exchange to premises and by the quality of the ageing copper.
Of course there have been positive developments in recent year with the advent of LLU and the quicker services and technologies they’ve contributed. However there are still many blackspots on Britain’s digital landscape, particularly in rural areas where a higher proportion of premises find themselves far from the exchange and where the commercial benefits of network development are not deemed higher enough for the big telcos to warrant investing.
A Fibre optic network would help propel UK speeds up to the levels of their international counterparts, but as anyone will know who has ever look at purchasing fibre privately, it comes at a cost. In order to assist in funding the roll-out of faster broadband the government have proposed (under the Digital Britain report) a fifty pence monthly tax on fixed landlines with the hope of delivering the next generation of super-fast broadband within reach of 10m homes, or about 40% of the population by 2012.
Although the way in which the Government plans to fund broadband development may not be to everyone’s taste (particularly the 3m households that don’t use the internet!) it’s evident that something needs to be done to improve the ailing state of the internet in the UK. Government promises to deliver super fast broadband within a few years look ambitious, particularly when considering the painfully slow rollout of BT’s 21 CN. But at least improving speeds is a subject now higher up the political agenda and this could represent the beginning of Britain’s climb up the broadband rankings.
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