With the recent launch of Ka-band satellites by Avanti’s & Eutelstat and their PR campaign about to leave the launch pad, do these events have the potential to change the consumer broadband market and help Government achieve their broadband targets.
Avanti argue that Ka-band provides higher capacity and lower end user pricing. However will it be successful in Wales, given the rural landscape, previous customer experience and industry scepticism about Satellite’s ability to deliver quality of service?
Although Avanti plans to upgrade its equipment to provide a faster more efficient service, the industry and customers who have witnessed & experienced poor service in the past will still take some convincing. As for businesses in Wales, satellite technology still has some work to do around reliable upload to the Internet, which is an area that has been highlighted as a key driver for businesses to change broadband supplier.
BT is delivering Fibre to the Premises (FTTP) in Flintshire as of Spring 2012. Which will mean that homes and businesses in Saltney will become the first in Wales to have access FTTP broadband speeds of in excess 110 Mbps
The super-fast service will be offered in six UK locations, including communities served by South Chester telephone exchange, by the end of the month. Some homes and businesses in Saltney as well as Lache, Heronbridge and Handbridge will be among the communities to benefit.
Ann Beynon, BT director for Wales states that: “Today is a significant step in the UK’s broadband journey and it is great to see this corner of North Wales playing a leading role in the development of this exciting technology. These developments will transform broadband speeds across the country and propel the UK up the broadband league tables.”
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey agrees highlighting that BT’s announcement is significant since “improving the UK’s broadband infrastructure will help our high-tech, digital industries grow.
We welcome BT’s announcement because for vast sways of the population and businesses in Wales, reliable, fast and cost effective broadband is a real issue. However whilst today’s announcement is to be applauded, communities and businesses across the Principality need to proactively engage with their Service Providers and the Welsh Government to highlight their plight if they are not stranded on the wrong side of the Digital Divide.