Ofcom today published their initial conclusions from the Digital Communications Review that they kicked off last year. Whilst these are officially their interim findings, the direction of travel is relatively clear; over the next 10 years, the UK will move towards an increasingly all-fibre future, with widespread availability of competing fibre networks driving the take-up of ultrafast services underpinned by a USO. Against the background of convergence, Ofcom will do more to make it easier to compare quality of service across fixed, mobile and bundled offers. Openreach understandably lies at the heart of much of this and whilst BT will be sure to feel additional pain, Ofcom are not proposing full structural separation, yet.
Earlier this month, a survey by the Manufacturer’s Association (EEF) found that internet connectivity was increasingly central to manufacturer’s operations and that Britain’s success in leading the fourth industrial revolution relied on improvements to affordability and internet infrastructure. In a keynote speech at the EEF annual conference today, Business Secretary Sajid Javid announced the review of business broadband “to reduce the barriers to affordable, high-quality fibre-broadband???.
Analysys Mason today published a report comparing the UK’s fixed telecoms market to the five major European countries and several other leading digital countries. It found that the UK is currently ahead of its European competitors on measures such as average speed*, superfast broadband coverage and take-up and will soon be outperforming countries such as Japan and the USA.
BSG calls for continued focus on reducing costs to allow superfast connectivity to be made available to all business premises as quickly as possible
2nd September 2015. The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), the Government’s leading advisory group on broadband, today published a report on the current and future connectivity requirements of small businesses. The research found that whilst median downstream demand for small business premises will rise from 5Mbit/s in 2015 to 8.1Mbit/s in 2025 demand for the 95th percentile will rise from 12.9 Mbit/s to 41.1 Mbit/s.
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.
The Government released its latest report on the progress made by the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. Thanks to this, superfast broadband is now available to over 2.4 million premises in the UK (an increase of 500 000 more premises since December 2014). This, according to the report, equates to nearly 8000 premises covered per £million of BDUK expenditure.
The #Budget2015 had a few more nuggets about broadband and telecoms that previous statements with an ambition for ‘ultrafast’ broadband to nearly all premises and a new Universal Service Obligation for broadband. (more…)
In November last year, Three and EE announced an agreement with CityFibre to roll-out “dark-fibre??? backhaul connections for mobile masts in the city of Hull. I attended an event last Friday to hear about the progress made in the delivery of the initial phase of this project, the first of its kind in the UK.
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.
Today the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), launches the results of a detailed survey into the internet usage of 1000 micro-businesses (those with between 0-9 employees). The survey finds that although 87% of micro-businesses have an internet connection, older businesses – those in operation for more than five years – are less likely to be taking full advantage of the internet in growing their business. (more…)
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has published a report on the coverage and performance of broadband provision in the UK from the perspective of SMEs.
Much of the focus on improving access to the internet has been understandably focused on rural areas. However, research undertaken for Ofcom by Analysys Mason not only shows that slow broadband and Next Generation Access (NGA) availability affect a significant minority of households in urban areas – but that these households tend to be those on the lowest incomes.