Tag Archives: BT

BT: No More Subsidies for Sky and TalkTalk

BT have asked communications regulator Ofcom, to stop subsidising the price of wholesale broadband to Sky and TalkTalk.

At the moment, BT subsidise Sky and TalkTalk for Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) which allows them to install their own equipment in BT exchanges. BT believes that the imposed subsidies have benefited Sky and TalkTalk by £623 million over the last nine years. BT also refers to a report from Plum Consulting which suggests that this figure could increase to over £1 billion if the subsidies remain in place for a further six years which was originally planned.

The subsidies were initially imposed by Ofcom to create a competitive broadband market which it has now done. BT’s share of the retail broadband market currently sites at 31% and therefore, they now believe that the subsidies should stop ahead of schedule as their aim has been achieved. It is largely regarded by many that Ofcom has successfully created one of the most competitive broadband markets in the world.

John Petter who is the BT Consumer CEO believes that companies such as Sky and TalkTalk are now more than capable of standing on their two own feet and that it is now time that they are on a level playing field in this highly competitive market.

Petter stated, “TalkTalk and Sky have enjoyed subsidies for the best part of a decade but it is time for that to end. Both are successful companies and both are more than capable of standing on their own two feet. It is particularly unfair that BT has to give Sky a commercial leg up when they consistently refuse to provide us with fair access to their own services.”

Petter added, “Ofcom should be given credit for driving competition deeper into the network but that success needs to be reflected in current regulation. We know that Ofcom want to tackle this distortion but we want them to act now given this is a highly dynamic and competitive market. All we are asking for is a level playing field where prices reflect costs and consumers benefit as a result.”

TalkTalk have already issued a statement of their thoughts towards such demands from BT and claim that BT want the subsidies to end so that consumers and businesses have to pay more for broadband and therefore increase their profits.

A TalkTalk spokesperson stated, “The people who have benefited from Ofcom’s regulation are consumers. What BT are actually calling for is for consumers and businesses to pay more for broadband, and for that money to go straight into BT’s pockets.”

The spokesperson added, “Ofcom should be proud of how their approach to regulation has led to the UK having one of the most competitive markets in the world and they must keep it that way. We urge Ofcom to ignore this self-serving request.”

BSkyB has also issued a statement in response to BTs claims in which they have reminded everyone that firms such as themselves are investing money to help improve the broadband network and that any changes need to be implemented at a slow rate.

In a statement, BskyB stated, “We have already invested more than £1bn in our broadband network to create more choice and competition for consumers, and which has helped drive down prices for millions. We’ve been able to do this thanks to certainty over the regulatory framework against which our investments are made. It’s this very principle of regulatory certainly that BT itself argues for when making investments of its own.”

BSkyB added, “If regulatory charges are to change, this should happen gradually over time as Ofcom proposes. In any event, we believe that Openreach’s customers are currently paying too much based on inappropriate costs being loaded onto its customers, which hits UK consumers in the pocket.”

Record Breaking Pipe from BT and Alcatel-Lucent

BT and Alcatel-Lucent have announced that they have developed a link that is able to transmit data at an incredible 1.4Tb per second.  The existing fibre link between BT Tower in London and Ipswich is 255 miles in length using seven 200Gbps channels transmitting through an “alien superchannel”.  The data was being transmitted through the 400Gbps Photonic Services Engine (PSE), Alcatel-Lucent’s 1830 Photonic Service Switch (PSS).

The significance of this latest achievement is that there none of the infrastructure used between London and Ipswich was designed specifically for this test.  By changing the gaps between the transmissions from 50GHz to 35GHz, using a technology known as Flexible Grid – or FlexGrid – they have managed to increase speeds by up to 42.5% above standard networks.

This will allow BT to provide faster broadband to it’s customers without having to change the expensive part of their network, the underground fibre.

“This outstanding achievement demonstrates that BT can easily introduce new features and technologies across our core network, maximizing the efficiency of our existing infrastructure” says Neil J. McRae, chief network architect at BT.

“Working with Alcatel-Lucent on this trial has been highly productive in demonstrating the viability of an alien wavelength approach”.  It may be some time before these speeds reach the consumer market, but BT has been reassured when its £2bn commercial roll-out is completed by the End of Spring 2014, there will be ways of significantly improving speeds without going underground.

UK Broadband Users Paying Over the Odds

A recent survey that was conducted by the Guardian has revealed that many broadband users in the UK are receiving speeds that are more than 40% slower than that they are paying for.

The survey that was conducted by the Guardian attracted more than 3,000 participants where the user conducted a speed test and provided some information such as which broadband provider they are using, the speed that their broadband provider say they are receiving and the actual results from their speed test. This survey was conducted as the Guardian wanted to create an up to date map of Britain which distinguishes the difference between advertised speeds and speeds received.

The key findings that have so far been published by the newspaper have revealed that, “Customers are paying for an average of 12 megabits per second, but actually receiving 7Mbps, a gap of 42%.”

The response to the survey has also revealed that many participants have struggled with poor speeds when the weather has been bad. The newspaper claimed, “Readers complained of broadband blackspots in city centres, of exposed copper lines that fail in bad weather and of having to move businesses out of homes because of poor connections.”

The published result of the survey revealed that TalkTalk and Sky broadband users were receiving the slowest speeds from those advertised with an astonishing 60% difference. “TalkTalk and Sky customers reported a 60% shortfall, the widest gap between median advertised and actual services. TalkTalk subscribers had been promised an average speed of 8Mbps, but were receiving 5Mbps, and Sky customers were promised an average 12Mbps and received 4.8Mbps.”

At the other end of the scale, it was the BT broadband users who reported the best results with a 25% difference between advertised speeds and the speeds received. “BT’s customers fared best, paying for 8Mbps and receiving a quarter less at 6Mbps.”

From April, broadband suppliers can now only advertise up to speeds if at least 10% of their customers are receiving them. As a broadband company has to only ensure that a small percentage of their customers are receiving a certain speed, many customers are still being misled to believe that they are receiving a broadband speed that in reality much slower.

This survey has raised the awareness and importance to check the broadband speeds that you are receiving compared to those that you are paying for. So far, thousands of broadband users have now realised that they have been paying over the odds for a service which is nowhere near the standard that was offered.

The way forward is to conduct a speed test on an independent site and if the results show that you are not receiving an adequate percentage of the speed that you are paying for, contact your broadband supplier and find out if they have any procedures in place for this issue.

Will the BT race to infinity increase Online Backup Interest?

The BT ‘Race to Infinity’ is a new fibre optic broadband roll out that promises to deliver up to 40Mb fibre-to-the-cabinet (FTTC) internet to its customers around the UK, at no extra cost. BT has pledged that this service will reach over 10 million users by 2012, or more specifically for the start of the London Olympics. Of course fibre-optic broadband is not new, companies like Virgin Media having been offering their service for over 3 years, however their coverage is limited to ‘Virgin Media Areas’.

The widespread introduction of this high speed or ‘Next Generation Access’, could see more and more business look into the Online Backup market. This is due to a myth that you need ‘fast’ Internet connections to utilise an Online Backup solution. Whilst this is the case for many low tier products, enterprise offerings such as Asgira that use WAN optimisation techniques to ensure that large volumes of data can be protected over modest connections.

This myth, although false, has caused many companies to fail to even look into the Online Backup market. However, as the uptake of this high-speed Internet connection increases, it is expected that the interest in Online Backup and cloud solutions in general will also increase among the SMB market as their Internet connections increase in speed without the extra costs.

These extra demands in Online Backup, would then raises issues with software’s back end scalability, i.e. just how well will some service providers be able to cope with the increase in storage requirements? The ability to cope depends entirely on the software, backend hardware and the expertise of the company employees.

Could this high speed internet roll out spell the end for old fashioned, out of date and unreliable tape backup once and for all?

Consumers despair at BT Digital Vault failure

BT have been criticised by a group of their broadband customers because of recent issues affecting the Digital Vault backup service. After a recent service upgrade the new system has exhibited a number of instabilities. The result has been limited or no access to the Digital Vault for paying customers. This has made backing up or restoring essential files impossible for many.

The problems began in August when BT undertook an upgrade of the Digital Vault service, specifically the Auto Backup Manager, which according to a spokesperson for BT was ‘complex’. The 2.8.2 version of the Auto Backup Manager was upgraded to 3.01, but this new platform was soon found to be unstable by many users. BT engineers then rolled back the upgrade to the allegedly stable 2.8.2 version. Instability and only partial usability were still being experienced by some, even after the roll back. Continue reading

Our Customers

  • ATOS
  • Age UK
  • Alliance Pharma
  • Liverpool Football Club
  • CSC
  • Centrica
  • Citizens Advice
  • City of London
  • Fujitsu
  • Government Offices
  • HCL
  • LK Bennett
  • Lambretta Clothing
  • Leicester City
  • Lloyds Register
  • Logica
  • Meadowvale
  • National Farmers Union
  • Network Rail
  • PKR

Sales question? Need support? Start a chat session with one of our experts!

For support, call the 24-hour hotline:

UK: 0800 999 3600
US: 800-220-7013

Or, if you've been given a screen sharing code:

Existing customer?

Click below to login to our secure enterprise Portal and view the real-time status of your data protection.

Login to Portal