Re:Launching Satellite Broadband

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 delivering ‘Genuine SuperFast Broadband’ in Flintshire

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.

BT Exchange Upgrades

BT announces its ‘forward looking plan’ to deploy “advanced copper” ADSL2+ broadband service (Wholesale Broadband Connect).

This means that customers served by the following exchanges in Wales will receive speeds of up to 20-24Mbps by Spring 2013 (although timescales are subject to change).

Abergavenny
Ammanford
Bow Street
Caerleon
Caernarfon
Carmarthen
Crickhowell
Cross Hands
Glynneath
Gorseinon
Haverfordwest
Holyhead
Knighton
Llandudno
Llanelli
Llanidloes
Llanrwst
Llantwit Major
Mayals
Mold
Ogmore Valley
Pontardulais
Pwllheli
Radyr
Senghennydd
Tenby
Tynygongl
Tywyn
Usk
Welshpool

If you are served by one of these exchanges or want to discuss faster broadband in your area, please do contact us at info@disconnectedwales.com

Better Broadband for Rural Wales

Better quality broadband, lower prices and faster speeds could be on the way for thousands of Broadband customers in Rural Wales.

More than 600,000 homes and businesses across Wales stand to benefit from todays OFCOM ruling to BT Wholesale to reduce its Wholesale charges by 12% to Service Providers in OFCOM Market 1 areas.

The so-called  ‘Market 1’ areas are areas where BT Wholesale is the only provider in town.  For Wales this stretches to 48% of the nation. In these areas customers are usually served with ADSL Max products which provide download speeds up to a maximum8Mbps, with customers receiving typically 1.5-3.5Mbps.

The regulator hopes its decision will encourage BT to invest in the latest ADSL2 technology which provides download speeds of up to 24Mbps, however its ruling increases the pressure on BT’s costs and retail competition.

Whilst BT argue, that there’s nothing new in today’s order, since these proposals that were widely reported on earlier this year.  One thing is for sure; thousands of broadband customers throughout the Principality could stand to gain with more choice and the possibility of flexible pricing to attract their custom to marketing savvy service providers in Rural Wales.

The Universal Service Commitment in Wales

Broadband Delivery UK BDUK have been very active of late with spending announcements for North Yorkshire, Cumbria and Wales.  However they’ve now decided to postpone what was previously described as a “pitifully unambitious” target of providing its 2Mbps ‘Universal Service Commitment’ for all by 2012 until 2015.

In November 2010 Ed Vaisey (Head of BDUK) stated that we are now at a “Tipping Point in relation to the online world” which reinforced Lord Carters belief that “it’s crucial we ensure that rural communities aren’t left behind as the rest of the country enjoys the benefits of a 21st Century Digital Britain“.

These statements echo the widely held belief illustrated in the Digital Britain Report which stated that we’re “moving conferring advantage on those who have it to conferring active disadvantage on those who are without”.

Therefore if the  Welsh Government’s vision of vision of making Wales “one of the best places in the world to live, to work and to thrive”  is to be believed, this a moment of great opportunity for WG to deliver infrastructure and broadcast positive rhetoric of success in Wales

Thank you for your submissions

Thank you to all of you for your submissions ahead of our hearing with the Welsh Affairs Select Committee.

Special thanks to Langorse Activity Centre for highlighting their challenges accessing greater bandwidth to support their IT infrastructure.  I’m sorry we didn’t get chance to highlight your experience along with other examples of businesses throughout Rural Wales facing similar obstacles.

To view the committee enquiry with ourselves, NFU, CLA,Virgin Media, BT & Fibrespeed click here

Welsh Affairs

We’re privileged to have been invited to give evidence to the ‘Broadband in Wales Inquiry’ which is been conducted by Welsh Affairs Select Committee in the Westminster Parliament on 5th July.

Do you have have feelings around the following points?

  1. Why increasing Broadband should be prioritized
  2. What are the particular issues that face Wales
  3. Why is Broadband take-up lower in Wales
  4. Can Government do more to promote the benefits to business
  5. Are Government plans for super-fast Broadband adequate
  6. What can be done to eradicate Broadband Not Spots
  7. What’s your experience of Mobile Broadband Coverage
  8. How do you feel about alternative solutions such as satellite,  for the delivery of your broadband

We value your thoughts, so please do get in touch either by emailing abby@disconnectedwales.com or phone 07764 236353

Broadband in Rural Wales

Disconnected Wales exists to enable people and communities in Rural Wales to function effectively in a digitally connected world.

Our goal is to deliver a level playing field for consumers and businesses in Rural Wales so that we can all enjoy parity in costs, speed and service for our Internet connectivity and super fast broadband.

The pace of change with technology presents a problem for towns, villages and communities in Rural Wales as there is a poor business case for the incumbent telecommunications companies to deliver Next Generation Broadband Services to almost 2/3s of the Wales given the nature of our geography.  The Welsh Government are currently in the process of procuring ‘ a super-fast broadband, however this will still require small rural communities to find individual creative solutions in order to get connected.

Instead of being left behind on the wrong side of the so called ‘Digital Divide’ we aim to do something about it.  So Disconnected Wales seeks to raise awareness of the problem and support local communities to do something about this issue by;

  • Empowering communities through local projects
  • Enable local community campaigns by providing the tools required for success
  • Educate the young, the busy and the wise about the benefits of broadband and the latest digital tools
  • Stimulate Enterprise

We’re passionate about our future in Rural Wales.  We live here and we want to make a difference.

If you’d like to discuss your situation and your interest in Disconnected Wales, please contact Abby Hanson on 07764 236353 or email abby@disconnectedwales.com