Ofcom today published their annual Communications Market Report which as usual is packed full of figures and data on the state of play in television, radio, telecoms, internet content and postal sectors. Most of the headline have focused on the number of selfies we are taking and the realisation that smartphones are now the most popular device for getting online.
“Productivity is the challenge of our time??? – that is the stark opening of the Government’s ‘Fixing the Foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’ which is billed as the second half of the Budget. The plan outlines the scale of the challenge facing the UK and sets out specific measures in order to overcome it, including practical measures that should help implement its goal for a “world-class digital infrastructure in every part of the UK???.
Consumers’ purchasing choices are driven by quality of experience, choice and transparency of traffic management, reports BERECMatthew Evans
The Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC), have published and adopted a timely report on net neutrality and which traffic management policies influence consumer’s purchasing decisions. The headline finding is that consumers unsurprisingly tend to favour packages that align with Open Internet principles*and that as long as “there is transparency, and consumers are able easily to switch provider, such services seem likely to predominate???. This supports the BSG’s view, backed by the UK Government and Ofcom, that transparency and effective competition are the best guarantors of the Open Internet.
The main motivations for people to connect to the internet are: shopping (the UK ranks first in the EU for E-commerce), finding a job, connecting socially, and engaging with Government services… so nothing too important then!
The ever increasing importance of the internet – and the increasing cost, either to the individual or the State, of being offline has led to an expectation that everybody is or should be online. However, a research report recently published by Plum Consulting (and commissioned by EE) estimates that around 7.4 million people are still offline. 86% of which are aged over 55.
BSG Comment – Reaping the benefits of the digital revolution – HoL Digital Committee’s recommendations to the next Governmentsamiragazzane
The House of Lords Digital Skills Committee published today a report entitled “Make or Break: the UK’s Digital Future???. It outlines the digital revolution that is taking place and states that the UK is at risk of being left behind. The Committee calls on the next Government to take a more ambitious approach in the development and delivery of digital policies.
Recent weeks have seen a lot of debate in Whitehall and Westminster around what should be the minimum download/upload speeds that premises and households can access. This raises a number of important questions as to what exactly we mean when we say that broadband is ‘essential’, ‘the fourth utility’ or even ‘a fundamental right’.
So 2015’s bigger, louder and better (?) Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas has closed. From afar it looked as though this year was more about the direction and theme of the tech industry – with more 4K/Ultra High Definition televisions and an explosion in ‘connected’ devices appearing to be the main two– rather than about one device winning through.
On the matter of net neutrality (FT Editorial Obama is only half right about net neutrality et al) I express strong support for the view that the solution lies in creating “a genuinely competitive market for internet access???.
In today’s connected society consumers increasingly need, and require, access to digital services wherever they are. We therefore welcomes the Government’s intention to improve mobile coverage, but caution against making rushed changes to networks that form part of our critical national infrastructure.
Our CEO Pamela Learmonth was amongst a number of industry experts for the Broadband Genie and PC Advisor Home Broadband Survey 2014.
On Monday, Plusnet, Virgin Media, Sky and Gigaclear were announced as the winners of the 2014 Home Broadband Survey, an examination of the state of UK broadband carried out by comparison site BroadbandGenie.co.uk and technology magazine PCAdvisor.co.uk. (more…)
Another new year, another Consumer Electronics Show, where Las Vegas plays host to the latest developments in consumer technology. There’s been plenty of coverage on the weird and the wonderful in the press, but at the BSG we’ve been interested to note a growing conversation about bandwidth needs for the cutting edge products poised to dominate the market.
UHDTV or 4K video streaming has been a notable highlight. Firstly, Google showcased their low-bandwidth 4K YouTube streaming called VP9, and have been working closely with a range of the big electronics firms and device manufacturers on its implementation. Netflix also took to the stage to promote its 4K services, with CEO Reed Hastings stating will require 15Mb/s of bandwidth compressed using HEVC. Interestingly, Broadcom also announced 5G Wi-Fi chips for tripling bandwidth in wireless home networking. (more…)
The main new funding announcement from yesterday’s National Infrastructure Plan was the opening of a £10 million competitive fund in 2014 to market test innovative solutions, delivering superfast broadband services to the most difficult to reach areas of the UK. The BSG welcomes this fund; an intelligent blend of different technologies (including fixed, mobile and other solutions) will be crucial in reaching the government’s ambition for 99% access to superfast broadband by 2018. (more…)
New data was released last week in the European Commission’s latest E-Communications Household Survey, which contains the results of questions put to consumers in member states on areas ranging from the quality and different types of telephone and internet access, penetration of communication service packages, sensitivity to connection speed, affordability and the transparency of communication service pricing.
The headline on bundling is that 45% of EU households purchase a bundle of communication services, a proportion that has risen continuously over the last few years, with the Internet the service which is most likely to be purchased as part of a bundle. Bulgaria (+13) and Luxembourg (+13) saw the greatest increases in bundle purchases. Making up that 45% figure includes triple-play penetration at 16% and quad-play at 3%. (more…)
Whilst yesterday’s Spending Round had scant mention of broadband, this morning’s Investing in Britain’s Future publication on Infrastructure from the Treasury shed further light on the Government’s vision for broadband post-2015.
In his speech to parliament, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said he wanted UK communities to be better connected. This was reflected in £250m funds for fixed superfast broadband, targeted to cover 95% of the population by 2017 (building on the Government’s current target of 90% by 2015). This £250m comes as part of the £300m that had been previously been allocated for broadband from the TV licence fee in the period 2015-2017 (with the remaining £50m remaining uncommitted).