miércoles, 1 de febrero de 2017

The UK, a broadband kingdom?

Broadband Society is evolving in the UK, one of the principal markets in the international framework. We analyse it in collaboration with Gerard Mulvihill. We can still recall the days prior to broadband when dial-up connection was the means by which we accessed the Internet. Dial-up speeds were pain staking slow and came with the added inconvenience of not being able to utilise ones landline whilst on the Internet.

The rolling out of broadband in 2000 saw the dial up connection being replaced by broadband which is termed by Ofcom.org.co.uk as “a way of connecting to the Internet that allows information to be carried at high speed to your personal computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, smart TV or other web-enabled device”, changing the way we work, shop and play in an instant. It opened up a whole new world of streaming songs and movies and skyping loved ones abroad.

While, the primary function of broadband was the same as the dial up connection, the Cable, DSL and Fibre connection enabled faster browsing and download speeds. 512 Kbps was the maximum speed on offer at the outset and an apparent reluctance on the part of Britons to revert to broadband meant that by 2001 just nine per cent of UK homes had installed broadband.
In accordance with figures released by Oftel, that number rose to fifteen percent in 2003 at which time over half of homes in the UK  had access to the internet after the introduction of two megabyte broadband.
2008 brought with it the introduction of 50 Mbps broadband by Virgin Media, a move which saw a major spike of an extra 1.5m broadband installation that year, influenced greatly by the continued growth in popularity of social media sites including Facebook and Twitter. The increased popularity of YouTube broadcast to stream videos and music was another factor. The Ofcom 2016 report shows that Virgin Media still leads the way when it comes to download speeds of cable and Fibre to the Cabinet (FTTC) packages over a 24-hour period with up to 50.5 Mbps.
At the time of its introduction in the early 00’s, broadband was extremely expensive and only offered by a handful of providers however, it is now offer but over sixteen providers, resulting in more competitive prices. Many such providers are TV and phone Networks including BT and Vodafone and Sky.  In fact, the UK’s Communication network is owned by a subsidiary of BT, Openreach and companies like Sky pay to access all the cables and wires.
Unsurprisingly the speeds available are far faster than in the early days and a survey carried out by Ofcom in 2016 showed that the average broadband speed enjoyed by UK homes to be 28.9 Mbps. That figured signalled a 21.93% increase in download speed from the 22.8 Mbps average in 2015.
Since its launch broadband has evolved hugely and the introduction of 4G mobile and Fibre Optic broadband to replace 3G and ADSL is testament to that – providing faster mobile broadband to users.
That said, surprising as it may be, many places such as the town of Stay Little in mid Wales still remain without broadband. That is despite the introduction of the broadband delivery UK programme which aims to deliver superfast broadband connectivity to 95% of the UK by 2017/2018 and the introduction of “a right to broadband” under the digital economy bill.
The right to broadband however only carries with it a 10 Mbps minimum, at the same time that many of the world’s leading cities are endeavouring to roll out broadband with a speed of 10 Gbps, a thousand times quicker than that of mid Wales. As can be seen in this video, such a lack of connectivity is having a negative impact on business with owners struggling perform basic tasks such as the sending of emails to clients. Such a stark contrast in the bandwidth available in various areas, that is defined by life as “the volume of information per unit of time that a transmission medium (like an internet connection) can handle” has led to a “digital divide” between rural and urban areas.
Similar to the majority of countries, the fastest broadband speeds in the UK are reserved for locations served with a cable network or fibre-optic connection. While most superfast broad bands on the market today are advertised as fibre, they are not all the same. Fibre broadband refers to the use of a super-fast optical fibre cable to carry data required by your internet connection.
There are three main types of fibre optic broadband available in the UK today which we will discuss in more detail below as described by Broadbandlodon.com.
1) FTTP or Fibre To fast The Premises refers to the fibre line running directly into your home, while it is seen by many experts as the way forward in terms of broad, it is expensive as a fibre optic cable has to be laid to the property. It speed can be up to 1000 megabits per second in commercial terms (1024 Mbps technologically).
2) FTTC – Fibre to the Cabinet uses your telephone wire to connect your home to the fibre cabinet. No new cables are required however, the fastest speed is currently about 80 megabits per second.
3) CABLE BROADBAND – Is generally the fastest broadband available. A copper wire is used as an alternative to a phone line to connect your home to the telecom provider’s fibre infrastructure. A new copper wire has to be laid to your property, thus, is generally restricted to urban area.
There are a number of contributory factors that determine the speed of ones broadband, including whether or not you live in a rural or urban location. The type of broadband you use is another seemingly obvious contributor while Broadband is consistently faster in cities and larger towns, regardless of connection type. Your distance from the telephone exchange will also impact on the speed and quality of your connection, while living in an ADSL only area will also restrict your connection.
As has been the case since the initial development of broadband its advancement is showing no signs of stopping and the Governments 5G network plan is already being accessed with a brand new 5G mobile network emulator located in the south of England that can be accessed through digital hubs in Basingstoke, Farnborough, Guildford and Woking. There small and medium Enterprises will have the opportunity to work with 5G applications prior to the networks rollout in 2020.

We analyze international broadband reality in this blog, in Research Group about Digital Journalism and Marketing and Broadband and in Research Group on Innovative Monetization Systems of Digital Journalism, Marketing and Tourism (SIMPED), from CECABLE Escola Universitària Mediterrani of UdG, UPF and Blanquerna-URL, in Twitter (@CECABLEresearch), Google+, in the group of LinkedIn, in the page of LinkedIn, in the group of Facebook, in Instagram (CECABLE), in Pinterest and in this blog. We will go in deep in the XXII Cable and Broadband Catalonia Congress (4-5 April, 22@, UPF). Go ahead! 

20 comentarios:

  1. Interesante análisis sobre el Reino Unido, donde se evoluciona como en España y también hay retos por lograr.

  2. Very interesting! I don't know if there will be a broadband Brexit!

  3. The case of the UK is interesting. They began with satellite TV and now they try to expand fiber optics. Thanks for following it!

  4. Thank you very much! We will follow this case and other international cases in the next days.

  5. The United Kingdom is a country with a lot of broadband.

  6. The deployment of broadband is very intensive in the UK.