Posted: Tuesday, May 14th, 2013
BT’s latest move forward in the deployment of infrastructure to underpin high-speed connections is Fibre to the Premises on Demand (FTTPoD). Unlike BT’s current FTTP offering, where fibre is run along pylons directly to the house, FTTPoD uses existing FTTC infrastructure as much as possible. Fibre optic cable is laid up to cabinets that are FTTC enabled in order to reach speeds of up to 330 Mb/s down and 30 Mb/s up. A pilot has already been launched, with results to follow shortly.
If this services was easily accessible to the general public, FTTPoD could be a big step towards competing with the likes of Hong Kong and South Korea in terms of average speeds. However, the number of the general population that will be able to access this service may be limited. FTTPoD runs off BT’s existing FTTC cabinets, which are still out of reach of large sections of the country, and in many areas may never be rolled out. BT has generally targeted highly populated residential areas for this infrastructure, leaving business areas out of reach. FTTPoD also cannot be installed into multi-tenanted premises, which further shows that this is not designed as a business service.
From what information we currently have available, the on-demand product will have a high install cost, but without contention or uptime guarantees normally associated with EAD services. This will raise interesting questions on how this service will be marketed – will home users be prepared to pay hundreds for the install in order to get speeds that arguably are not required by the majority? Will small business owners jump at the chance to access speeds previously only available through leased lines or bonded FTTC. While the install costs may well fall in line with the work that needs to be carried out, FTTPoD is offering BT a chance to begin the replacement last-mile copper lines with cheaper, faster and easier to manage fibre optic cable. No doubt over the next few decades copper will be phased out and fibre will be the main choice for last-mile connectivity, so this is a chance for BT customers to foot the bill for them.
While the lack of contention guarantees and SLAs will put off businesses that are more reliant on their connectivity, this technology could be very appealing to prosumers and start ups. It will be interesting to see if BT’s restrictions will impede businesses putting this to use once it is roll out across the country.
Posted in |
Posted: Friday, February 15th, 2013
A recent BBC report has unveiled car manufactures plans to have all new vehicles connected to the web within the next few years. In fact Intel, which will invest £64million over the next five years in the ‘connected cars’ claims that is already the third fastest growing technological device after phones and tablets.
The introduction of smart technologies into vehicles could herald a new era of app laden dashboards; providing useful information on anything from the price of petrol at local garages, to the nearest free parking space. Interestingly enough this technology isn’t new as McLaren pioneered it over a decade ago with their F1 road car which could be connected to a mobile phone to provide data about the car back to headquarters in Woking.
Now though social media and entertainment would be placed in new vehicles; with specialist voice commands allowing drivers to check and update Facebook and Twitter without touching a button. BMW already have some of this functionality available in their cars.
Exciting stuff, but will ‘connected cars’ have grave consequences for road safety – as drivers are exposed to more distractions? Research suggests that a high number of road accidents are caused by drivers using their mobile phones at the wheel (according to the National Safety Council about 25 per cent in the US ) so the introduction of technology which stops us from taking our eyes of the road – should actually have a positive impact on safety.
‘Connected cars’ are just the latest example of how the internet is changing and how new connectivity solutions like 4G and 3G will affect how we work, live and play.
Posted in |
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.
Posted in |
Posted: Thursday, December 20th, 2012
Fluidata are delighted to announce that we have completed a £2.5 million upgrade on our network on time and on budget. After months of work and planning, it’s fantastic to have concluded this project and we can now start to deliver the benefits of the new network to our clients.
Well the network now operates a hybrid core of Juniper MX and Cisco ASR hardware; providing a switching and routing platform capable of supporting 100 Gb/s wavelengths with true MPLS/VPLS support.
The network now also spans 10 UK data centres and supports 16 carriers – allowing us to offer an unrivalled choice of services to both our direct and wholesale clients. With our network expected to expand to incorporate more carriers in 2013 we a building a platform unique in the industry in its capacity and diversity. Already a number of PWAN customers have been migrated onto the new platform and new fibre services are making the most of the multipoint to multipoint functionality.
We believe this upgrade provides us an improved fabric to support our existing and future requirements; the network is more scalable, more resilient and easier to manage. Furthermore, we’re genuinely excited by the enhanced MPLS and VPLS capabilities; which allow us to offer next generation WAN infrastructures at an affordable price point.
Posted in |
Posted: Thursday, November 29th, 2012
Digital Region have announced that it is carrying out a phased network upgrade in which they are upgrading the cards in certain exchanges. This will enable customers to potentially receive higher than the 70 Mb/s download that is currently achievable using FTTC technology.
This will differ per customer/copper connection as the usual copper caveats apply and it will all depend on what the individual line is capable of achieving at a stable sync rate. It will also only be achievable if the customer is served by an exchange that is part of the network upgrade.
This network upgrade will only impact existing/new connections at the higher end allowing the line to achieve higher speeds if capable. Digital Region is planning phase 1 of the network upgrade next month.
Posted in |
Posted: Monday, August 6th, 2012
At Fluidata we are always intrigued by the traffic surges we see on our business network during sporting events. We’ve been recording and sharing this information for a number of years now and knew that the Olympics was likely to take traffic levels on our network to an unprecedented level.
After we week one, we can now show just how popular the games have been across our network.
First up, overall traffic levels from last week.
And to put that into context. Compared with the weeks before …
The biggest surge in traffic came on Wednesday around 3pm, when we witnessed an astonishing 100% increase in traffic on normal levels. Bradley Wiggins’ time trail victory just happened to be taking place at that time.
Posted in |
Posted: Monday, July 30th, 2012
4G connectivity will be available to 98% of the UK by the end of 2013, it was revealed earlier this week.
The auction process for the frequencies has been protracted, but it’s now likely to come to a close at the beginning of next year; and the official rollout of the 4G network is expected to be completed by the middle of 2013. Whilst later than expected, it is a welcome development. 4G is a big step forward in the evolution of mobile technology, and major markets like the United States, Japan, Germany and Canada have already benefitted from the increased speeds it affords.
The multi million pound investments required to set up the network nationwide should enhance spending within the country, and also ensure that Britain does not fall any further behind in terms of technology improvements. The service should allow smart phone/tablet and mobile workers access HD quality video streaming services without being connected to a local Wi-Fi connection. It will be very interesting to see if the proposed auction of the frequencies will aid in the creation of fair competition amongst carriers – and also how ISP’s will adapt the technology to create products suitable for both business and home users.
Also fascinating to see, will be how the release of this new technology will affect the existing home and business broadband market. As an innovative technology company, Fluidata will be seeing how we can integrate 4G into our award winning Service Exchange Platform ( SEP) in hope of enhancing our product portfolio for both our direct customers and channel partners.
It’s great that this exciting technology is finally on the way, it’s certainly a case of better late than never.
Posted in |
Posted: Monday, July 9th, 2012
For the second year running we’ve witnessed huge surges in traffic on our network during Wimbledon matches. As you can see from the graph below, traffic began to climb significantly from midday Friday, which we assume is attributable to people tuning into coverage of Federer vs Djokovic Semi Final (match start time 1pm). By 14:30 our traffic was up over 1Gb/s from the same time the day before. This was an increase in traffic higher than we have witnessed for any sporting events over the last three years (a time which of course included both the World Cup of 2010 and Euro 2012).
Murray vs Tsonga actually proved less popular over our network; albeit traffic levels between 4 pm and 6pm were still higher than we would normally expect on a Friday. We suspect that many employees from the companies we support had flocked either home, or to the pub, to catch the Brit in action.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on these figures as a true British sporting summer welcomes the Olympics later this month.
Posted in |
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…
Posted in |
Posted: Monday, June 18th, 2012
As expected, Monday nights Euro 2012 football match between England and France led to a significant traffic surge across our network.
From 5pm onwards we generally see bandwidth on our graphing take a steady downward trajectory, instead we witnessed a steep increase at 5 pm followed by an even sharper decline at 7 pm when the game finished.
This is of course further evidence that corporate networks are being used for live streaming of sporting events. We’ll no doubt see more of this when the Olympics comes next month.
Posted in |