Industry news

BT announces voluntary agreement to legally separate from Openreach

Ending a long period of negotiations with Ofcom, BT announced today its voluntary agreement to legally separate from Openreach. Ofcom confirmed that “it will no longer need to impose these changes through regulation” as initially proposed last year and welcomed BT’s decision. This is a significant reform for the BT Group as Openreach will now become a distinct company with its own staff, brand and Board which will be able to make independent decisions on strategic investments affecting other telecoms providers.

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Rail passengers are willing to pay a higher fare to access the internet during their commute

The Department for Transport (DfT) yesterday released a study exploring how rail users value and use mobile connectivity on trains. It also shows evidence that passengers are willing to pay up to 17% more on rail fares above existing ticket price for improved connectivity on mobile and internet network access.

This study follows the 2015 Government consultation on improving mobile communications for UK rail passengers, as well as the Coalition Government’s pledge to roll out free Wifi on trains across England and Wales from 2017. The report finds that some groups of passengers would be willing to accept the costs of improvements to connectivity on trains, saving costs for the government and industry. (more…)

BT to Invest Billions More into Fibre, 4G and Customer Service

BT’s has today announced that its Openreach and EE businesses will spend around six billion pounds between them over the next three years, in the first phase of a plan to extend superfast broadband and 4G coverage beyond 95% of the UK by 2020.

The announcement focuses on services, coverage and capacity with the latter receiving the most press coverage. As well as confirming their ambition of supplying 12 million premises with ultrafast broadband, BT announced that at least two million of those to be connected with Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology. (more…)

Deploying infrastructure is hard – lessons from the MIP

The Government’s much trumpeted* £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project (MIP) will close later this month. It has only succeeded in deploying around 60 mobile masts in mobile not-spots at a total cost of under £10m. For those living or commuting through those areas, then the new mobile coverage from all four operators is no doubt eagerly received. But given the project was originally scheduled to deliver between 550-600 sites, there is no doubt it has fallen short of its original goals.

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Universal coverage and a USO

Getting as many people online and enjoying the benefits of that the internet can bring is an incredibly complex task involving digital skills, attitude and awareness among others. But in many ways the first step is ensuring that the underlying connectivity is available to them. In this light the Government’s desire to make sure that every home and business can have access to fast broadband by the end of this Parliament” is to be welcomed.

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BSG supports the Broadband World Forum, 20-22 October 2015

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The Broadband Stakeholder Group is pleased to continue its partnership with the Broadband World Forum, which will take place in London this October. This year, Richard Hooper, Chair of the BSG and Matthew Evans, CEO of the BSG will be speaking at the event.

The Broadband World Forum is one of the world’s largest telecoms, media & technology events with over 300 cross-industry speakers and 35 conference sessions to attend.

With attendees including the who’s who of global C-suite fixed, wireless and cable operators, OTTs and genuine market disruptors, national and international governments and the world’s leading solution providers, BBWF is an entire ecosystem event that excites and identifies how the latest technologies and trends from across our industry will impact the future of global communications.

Over 300 visionary speakers create one of the world’s most comprehensive and operator led conference programs, 100′s of which together with interactive exhibitions showcasing 250+ solutions providers, new product launches, live inter-operability demonstrations, NFV proof of concepts and facilitated networking zones makes BBWF a yearly must-attend event that provides unrivalled connections.

More information is available here: http://broadbandworldforum.com/

 

Ofcom Communications Report: Selfies, devices and 4G

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.

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Ofcom completes Phase 1 of its Digital Communications Review – now comes the hard bit…

Ofcom today published its discussion document on the challenges facing the UK’s telecommunications sector over the next decade, marking the completion of the first phase of the Digital Communications Review that it kicked off in March. The key aim of the review is to ensure that the UK’s citizens and businesses are well served by high-quality, widely available telecoms services.

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Ofcom’s action plan for broadband services for SMEs

Ofcom yesterday launched an action plan for improving the broadband services that are available to the UK’s small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Whilst they found that the vast majority of SMEs are satisfied with the communications and are well catered for, they did discover a significant minority who had less favourable experiences. Ofcom highlighted four issues that they feel need more attention; the availability of superfast broadband, a concentrated retail market structure, concerns around quality of service, and SMEs struggling to navigate the market.

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