/ Technology

Can broadband keep up with our binge-watching habits?

Orange is the new black on a mobile device

According to Ofcom, more and more people are enjoying on demand TV thanks to the availability of superfast broadband. But are you missing out on the latest episode of Game of Thrones because of your poor internet connection?

We’re apparently a nation of binge-viewers, according to Ofcom’s new research, with 40 million of us (or eight in ten adults) now watching TV episodes back to back.

When the new season of Orange is the New Black came out on Netflix this summer, I promised myself to watch it sparingly. 48 hours later, I’d finished it.

There is something incredibly moreish about having access to multiple episodes of your favourite show, and I think we’re starting to see this influence the way in which shows are written and produced. Late 90s / early 00s favourite The West Wing had 22 episodes in each season nearing about 1000 minutes of viewing time per season. Shows are much less likely to be produced in this format anymore because the way we watch them is different.

Digital changes

The Communications Markets Report 2017, released annually and out today, unleashes some interesting observations about the way we view and use technology in our lives. It’s no surprise that this is constantly evolving and that we are in many ways becoming more dependent on our devices.

Ofcom cites the trends in instant entertainment as being partly due to the availability of faster home internet speeds.

But as we continue to uncover, there are stark differences between good and bad broadband for millions of people. So is there a danger of people missing out on spectacular TV entertainment that should be available at their fingertips?

Take our speed test

Ownership of internet-enabled devices is on the rise according to today’s Ofcom report. Nearly four in ten under 55s now own an internet enabled smart TV which explains the increase in ‘binge-watching’ habits, but if you can’t get a decent connection then are you going to start missing out as culture starts to lean more towards this style of watching your favourite shows?

Your views

So, do you have internet-enabled devices in your home? Is bad broadband impacting your ability to keep up with your favourite shows?

Does your internet connection restrict your TV watching habits?

No (74%, 111 Votes)

Yes (26%, 40 Votes)

Total Voters: 151

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Comments
Member

Just another reason why the government should fund FTTP connections throughout the UK. It’s rapidly become an essential service.

Member

As the internet on demand TV companies are the ones making faster broadband necessary, I think they should be the ones funding FTTP.

Amazon have just bought the UK rights to ATP tennis for £10 million a year. Do Amazon and Netflix pay anything towards the internet platform they use to peddle their products?

Member

Its nearer than you think Alfa- due to HMG “open house ” policy ( anything goes ) Amazon is thinking of launching services here using BT/Virgin Media lines and severely under cutting them to establish a hold on the market . The USA are too wise to let them run rampart there so its UK/Germany first. I would not be surprised if they tried to buy BT (eventually ) with I am sure HMG approval as its an American company not British and you can take it as read they wont be supplying services the the Highlands of Scotland /Welsh valley,s etc only high profit areas . As you are in Edinburgh Alfa I think you will be okay for Z Amazon . Google has started up a company called FIBER (Google ) in the USA and tried to “negotiate with London broadband provider City Fibre – talks broke down ( I dont blame City Fibre ) . So , lookout for a complete take-over by the USA of British entertainment in the future , happily I will be dead ( cant stand US “hero ” films /US ruling the world films etc ) .

Member

It was announced on 30 July that BT had offered to deliver broadband to at least 10 Mbps to anywhere in the UK no matter how remote at a cost of £600 million. The culture secretary is considering whether to accept this offer and drop the Universal Service Obligation. Different technologies will be employed according to location to ensure comprehensive coverage.

Member

I should have mentioned that the £600 million is the cost to BT, not a government contribution. BT’s payback would come from the traffic it carries so perhaps they are either going to charge the content providers more for the services they carry [which will be reflected in the bundle prices], or going to charge subscribers more for broadband. This is all rather opaque at the moment.

Edit: You read it here first!

Member

As I and others have said the entertainment companies should be making a significant contribution to the cost of providing decent broadband services.

The internet service providers should be charging according to both download speed and usage so that they can contribute to the cost of improving services. Heavy users of broadband can mean slower speeds for other users, and this problem is likely to grow. Energy companies don’t generally offer unlimited electricity and gas, I suggest that unlimited broadband tariffs are phased out. One benefit of charging according to usage is that those who are low users because they don’t use video etc. can benefit from a fast service at an affordable price.

Member

Exactly Ian- it is rapidly becoming an essential service. We can’t even get the basics here some days. The other day our speed was a breath taking 0.02mbps! TV on demand for us is currently a practical impossibility.

Member

At that rate you would be better on an old fashioned dial-up service.

Member

I don’t see why our taxes should be used give us faster broadband simply so we can watch more tv. The NHS, social care and welfare, schools are far more deserving causes for any spare tax we might have. I agree with alfa that the providers should fund this, if possible. Perhaps part of the subscription should go towards the cost.

Will we have a plea for free Sky TV next?

Member

“Will we have a plea for free Sky TV next?” Obviously that should be available via the NHS and/or DHSS for those who are unable or unwilling to pay for it themselves… 😉

Or perhaps we should nationalise it, so it can be made available at a fair price to all… 😉

Or (worst of all?), its owners and advertisers might adopt the YouTube model, fund it by advertising revenues, and make it freely available. (But free only as in free beer, but not as in free speech.)

Member

I may be wrong here, but I think prisons get free Sky TV but hospital patients pay exorbitant rates to watch TV.

Member

Of course, there are all sorts of reasons to have decent internet for all – online banking, switching energy suppliers, getting involved in this online community.

That doesn’t mean we can’t also discuss and debate the lighter things in life, like watching internet TV.

When you say providers, do you mean the internet providers? You might be interested in this: http://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/08/bt-to-bring-10mbps-broadband-to-99-of-the-uk-by-2020/

If you mean Netflix… there are some very interesting debates in relation to that around ‘net neutrality’ ie. the big companies that can afford to pay for the internet, get access to faster speeds for their services. This would create an imbalance, where websites etc that can’t afford it might have a worse service. It’s a big debate in the US at the moment, with thousands of people lobbying the FCC. There are obv pros and cons.

Member

Alfa: a small proportion of prisoners in the privately run jails are allowed to access Sky. It’s used as a reward system and, since we in the UK jail more of our population than almost any other country, I personally don’t have a problem with that sort of incentive. I suspect loss of liberty is sufficient punishment. Making them watch Sky – well, that possibly contravenes human rights. 🙂

Member

Patrick S – When we talk about the providers paying for faster broadband, in this context we are referring to the providers of the content [for example films, gambling, exclusive sports events, gaming] not the telecoms service providers or internet service providers except when they are also supplying content.

We pay for what we pull out of the internet and that is supposed to cover all its costs; there is an argument for making those who shove high capacity demand stuff into the internet pay for that privilege – without faster broadband these companies and the services they provide would not have existed yet they have made little or no contribution towards it.

Member

I was thinking of the content provider, not the ISP. If they make money out of people who watch their output – and advertisers – then maybe they should contribute to the cost of the internet infrastructure necessary. It is that structure that will allow customers to use and pay for their service.

Personally, the only use we make of the internet for TV is if we’ve missed a BBC programme that we’d like to have watched. mrs r then uses her ipad and apple tv box to entertain us. I could argue that excessive tv has blighted our society (for many anyway) taking people away from doing more constructive activities. I fall into that category – sometimes easy to watch a film than get out to cut the grass or go for a walk.

Member

Well put John.

Member

It’s an argument which almost certainly resonates with the Train companies. And haulage companies.

I suppose it comes down to whether there’s an argument to be made that the Government has an obligation to provide essential services. For years, through slavish adherence to the now largely discredited Friedman economic theories, we’ve privatised (IMV) far too many essential service providers. I still believe it’s abhorrent that the supply of water is privatised and the creeping privatisation of the NHS has been on the cards for years.

I believe it’s a government responsibility to provide basic infrastructure and services. We know too well the consequences of privatisation – we see them every day. Governmental provision is really the only safe way it can be done. BT’s offer to provide the service is simply because they know that under the USO they couldn’t wriggle out of it, yet we can guess how many appointments will be cancelled or jobs not done once it’s entirely voluntary.

Member

It’s 2017 and high time that we invest in providing proper fibre broadband (FTTP/FTTH) rather than continuing to spend money on slower and less reliable broadband dependent on copper phone lines (FTTC).

The considerable amount of money needed to roll out fibre broadband should come mainly from the companies that profit from entertainment services and the internet service providers, rather than our taxes, but is the government doing this?

Member

I was being mildly tongue in cheek with my intro post, but there’s no doubt that superfast has more uses other than watching TV.

Distance learning, remote diagnosis, commerce, accountancy, communication, virtual reality, social interaction – thew list goes on and, as we know, any new technology with the potential of Superfast Broadband grows activities to use its potential in ways we might not be able to imagine just yet .

On a very simple level, it can bring families together in remarkable ways; as screen become ever larger (wall-size will soon be possible, and cheaply) families living apart will be able to be in the same room, albeit virtually. But the images will appear the same size as in reality.

In a sense this has become an indispensable aspect of modern life and, although there are those who find the telephone to be perfectly adequate, the next generations will come to accept instant and almost real-life communication to be the norm, bringing with it enhanced mental health, physical well-being, social participation and more that we can’t yet imagine.

This country invented the internet, invented the jet engine and invented the Maglev and each innovation was either given away or stolen (in the case of the jet engine) by the US or countries who were willing to invest. We’d never have a space programme on the planet without massive government investment, and the list of things that only governments can accomplish is enormous, or that we’ve backed away from.

Yes – we need a huge amount of investment in the NHS as well, but that’s what governments are for. We must stop assuming that governments have to run their finances the way anyone runs their house. They don’t.

Member

I agree that there are huge opportunities and I would like to see the UK known for technological research and innovation rather than manufacturing washing machines and heavy industry, where we don’t even stand a chance of competing.

Member

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/dec/20/netflix-paid-no-uk-corporation-tax-report-claims
Netflix paid no UK corporation tax last year….
Streaming service apparently generated £200m in revenue from UK……rapid expansion means overall it is making a loss
The company says it is in ‘expansion’ mode and is making overall losses on its international operation’

https://www.theguardian.com/business/2016/oct/13/netflix-uk-corporation-tax
Netflix paid less than £400,000 in UK corporation tax last year as the TV and movie streaming service revealed revenues of £36.5 million in the UK.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/09/03/starbucks-and-amazon-pay-less-tax-than-sausage-stands-says-austr/
Every Viennese cafe, every sausage stand pays more tax in Austria than a multinational corporation.

Netflix and Amazon seem to have bottomless pits of money in their quest for domination.

Healthy competition is one thing, annihilating the competition by getting sole rights to deliver sports and new series is another.

I am going to stick up for Sky here as it is the only medium we have for watching quality picture TV. Sky have invested heavily in a delivery platform – satellites, dishes, boxes, home installations and support.

Virgin have also invested heavily in laying cables for their delivery platform.

And along comes internet TV piggy-backing their wares onto a distribution network set up and paid for by others. The demand for their cheap (moneywise) programs is so great, that the tax-payer has to foot the bill to improve broadband across the country. And what do they pay for the privilege of destroying what was once my great TV viewing? Practically nothing.

The government need to stop these companies dominating our TV viewing fast. Do I want to watch TV on my 5” smart phone or a stuttery, grainy picture on my smart TV? NO. I want to watch quality HD on my 42”. What will be the point of Super HD and larger screen TVs if Sky and Virgin no longer exist?

The more strain put on broadband, even 100Mbps will be insufficient at the rate Amazon and Netflix are taking over. Duncan mentioned Amazon launching services on BT/Virgin. Should it be permitted when it will be at the expense of other platforms and all the jobs and infrastructure that go with them? With little overheads, they can afford to undercut the competition.

The government could make a start by banning any company having sole rights to media distribution like sports and TV series and give us the choice of how we want to watch it.

Member

To be fair to Amazon and Netflix, they both produce a lot of shows in UHD – four times sharper than 1080p HD – but I’d also point out that BBC and ITV have invested in some extremely high quality programming, with ITV certainly pulling off some of the best dramas anywhere. Foyles War, Midsomer series, Endeavour, Morse – all great stuff, so I’d add their names to the list of the best producers.

Netflix seems to show mainly older stuff and Sky – well, anything in which Murdoch has a sticky finger leaves me feeling distinctly uneasy. And they’ve only started producing their own shows comparatively recently.

But in the main I agree that competition has to be maintained.

Member

My eyes are not UHD-ready. They can barely discriminate between High and Standard definition such is the excellent picture quality on a good TV set. I realise it’s the austerity programme that’s driving these high-cost features and I mustn’t stand in its way.

Member

Quite agree John. Years ago we bought a Pioneer plasma tv – still going strong. We’ve switched between HD and standard to try to convince ourselves that it is significantly better. Not so. We are more than happy with the standard offering.

Member

How many people can watch TV in UHD? How many of them will be able to watch UHD when more and more people try to watch it in UHD?

Member

We have a 55″ Samsung, which purports to upscale 1080p hd to UHD. The difference on a very large screen is vivid. Sharper, brighter and more immersive. The contract between that and our 46″ ordinary HD set is stark.

Now, most bandwidth seems to be consumed by downloading as opposed to streaming, so multi0ple people watching shouldn’t have that much of an effect. The compression algorithms employed by the likes of Netflix can easily operate over a 3mbps line, so those with higher speeds may only notice a small slowing of traffic.

Member

Malcolm: the ony way to make a realistic comparison is to try the test on a brand new LED system. I guarantee you’ll see a stark difference.

The best Samsung sets are photographic quality. Quite incredible clarity and detail. And compression formats are becoming better all the time.

Member

I agree. I have seen the difference in quality on a modern TV, even though there is not much difference on my old TV. Pity about the sound quality of modern flat-screen TVs but at least there are ways of getting round this problem.

Member

We use a Pioneer amp with Tannoy, JBL and Cambridge Audio speakers. Keep the TV sound itself off.

Member

I accept that the difference might be more perceptible on a brand new TV – although our three year-old smart TV does not show much difference between HD and SD. Anyway, even if the difference was incredible, is it worth paying a lot of money to replace a decent quality picture? Maybe,if watching TV is a big part of your life and it beats other desirable expenditures.

Since the regional news programmes are not broadcast in HD we tend to keep the set tuned to the SD channels.

I think our smart TV is a 44″ model which I consider is too big for the room and too dominant. The room is about 16′ x 24′. Viewing is better now that I have installed a sound bar and sub-woofer but we now have to stand up to change channels because the receptor for the remote control signal is blocked by the sound bar. There is also a slight synchronicity problem. My mother never had these problems with her 9″ Murphy.

Member

I suspect your set is upscaling the SD images to HD, which is why the difference is only slight. Very cunning, these sets.

Our lounge is slightly larger that yours, John, but I would be happy to have a set three times the size. We do have a ceiling-mounted HD projector and a 10′ screen for seeing the really good films. But I do enjoy films. The best are gateways to another universe and I’m a very enthusiastic SfiFi devotee.

Member

Luckily we are able to go to the cinema very conveniently.

I actually prefer watching TV on one of the older models in other rooms.

Unlike Alfa, with the only drama we tend to watch on TV, we already know the ending because we’ve read the book or seen it before at the pictures. I have never ever seen a sci-fi or a horror movie – I get my thrills on a well-known conversational website.

Member

We could blame the manufacturers for making “improvements” that we only then find we “need”, to tempt us into buying the latest product (whilst our existing one works perfectly well). I am more than happy with the quality of the picture on my Pioneer, but am sure when it dies I’ll then buy the latest technology – and be more than happy with it. It does seem a shame that sound has been wrecked by making tvs ultra-slim, requiring yet more expenditure on sound equipment to make up the deficiency. My tv sits across a corner on a wooden unit, and has more than enough room to accommodate decent speakers.

Member

John – You might find the TV remote control works if you point it at the ceiling or a wall to reflect the signal.

Malcolm – The earlier flat-screen TVs had better sound quality but they were usually smaller than today’s offerings. In an early Conversation we were told that Which? had downgraded its test for sound quality thanks to flat-screen TVs.

Member

Thanks, Wavechange – I’ll try that.

Member

I have a confession to make. I binge watch TV shows.

Suits
House of Cards
Fringe
Game of Thrones (I’m way behind though as I no longer have Sky)
Orange is the new Black
Ru Paul

I can watch three episodes of an evening and get through a series in no time. What I dislike is when Netflix uses the old fashioned ‘release an episode’ once a week. I much prefer the House of Cards strategy of just putting them all up in one go. I do then burn out and not want to watch TV for weeks on end.

I wonder though whether this means we miss out on something – the social aspect of talking about the latest episode the day after. If everyone is at a different episode in a series, you can’t safely talk about it without spoiling it for others. Thoughts?

Member

I’m surprised you can do this without a microwave, Patrick. Unless…… 🙂

Member

We are what we watch. If I watched any of those programmes I certainly wouldn’t talk about it. There are some things we should keep to ourselves.

Member

He didn’t mention Dad’s Army.

Member

Never took to that.

Member

The only time we binge-watched a series was when the Sky box was on the blink and was about to be replaced.

I hated it. It meant we didn’t have a few months in which to enjoy one of our favourite series. It lost any suspense to the next episode.

We record quite a few episodes before watching a series. Occasionally we might watch two episodes together, but generally wait nearly a week and mix them up with other series we have recorded. Recently we were down to recording about 5 programmes a week but had plenty of other recorded material to watch.

Member

I tend to forget what happened the week before on the week-a-show series 🙂 But I think TV viewers are split between those who enjoy suspense and those who want to know how it all pans out beforehand. I suppose it’s the difference between enjoying the process or enjoying the results.

I like to have several of a series available – like you, Alfa – but we don’t watch them all in one go. I just like knowing we can, I suppose.

Member

I forgot The Good Wife and Damages (with Glen Close) – both excellent legal dramas, as is Suits.

@johnward – I shall presume that was sarcasm in your tone then, as I’d gladly defend each of them! 🙂

Member

Fringe was excellent. We really wanted to watch Game of Thrones, but gave up in the first episode as we don’t like every other word being the F*** word.

Member

Possibly, Patrick.

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*reminder: write mean things about John Ward in my diary* I’m joking of course 🙂

Member

Fringe was superb.

Member

Three Fringe fans!

Member

I’m not a great TV enthusiast and have one TV and five unused TV points. Most of my viewing is done on a laptop in bed. I disposed of the bedroom TV and DVD player when iPlayer became available and I had a reliable broadband service.

Member

Costs have been posted as to what it will cost BT(Openreach ) to install- FTTP I have found BT,s OFFICIAL website where ACTUAL costs are shown and those are the LATEST figures NOT old ones , they are costed in distance from the exchange and classed Band A /B /etc , Band A being UP TO 200Metres from the exchange -£350 /400M-£1000/ 600M-£1750 rising to Bang G – over £6000 . At 2000M + you must apply for terms . Now if say its the 5 % who have 1Mbps broadband -calculate the cost as the price at the above rate escalation would cost INDIVIDUALLY up to £10,000 that means EACH . Now think on are you still sure its only going to cost BT £600Million ?? not using my simple calculations.. There are over 20 million residential landlines in the UK so NOT counting the millions of business lines that equates to roughly 1 Million users who are in the around £10,000 cost to BT to install FTTP X 1.000,000= well you work it out. Even if my calculations are well out we certainly aren’t talking of a measly £600 Million we are talking £Billions ! exactly as I have been saying for months. I have the official Openreach figures stored on my PC as to cost of Fibre on Demand ( individual costs ) granted if a whole area is done it could cut costs BUT , you know we are NOT talking of large numbers of populations but of INDIVIDUAL farms/ cottages/ holiday homes/ up mountains/ down valley,s / over rivers / through forests etc. I am trying to be down to earth here so my perennial question is Who PAYS ??

Member

Duncan: it’s not BT providing the superfast broadband: it’s Openreach. If you provide the URL I’ll be able to show you the discrepancy, but the simple fact that is rural superfast is far, far cheaper to provide than urban because the infrastructure is already there.

I nobbled an Openreach supervisor some months ago who admitted that bringing superfast from the exchange to us in nowhere was a relatively low-cost process, since all it required was the fibreoptic cabling and the time to hang it from the existing poles. That’s one reason why your figures are not accurate.

But fibre optic cabling will, in the not too far distant future, become an essential part of life. There is no reason the government could not fund the installation, possibly through a tax-payer owned subsidiary. Sell off of BT was stupid and short sighted, anyway.

Member

BT have offered to do it using Openreach and have said it will cost £600 million. I presume if they have made a mistake they will pay for it.

What something costs to do and what the company charges a customer to have it done are not always in alignment.

Member

Ian – Duncan has pointed out some of the additional costs in replacing copper cables (often underground rather than on poles) with fibre. One cost that I can relate to is the cost of access where contractors have to go onto private land. It does not seem to matter that the landowner will be one of those who benefits from fast broadband.

Member

I suspect underground is a different proposition, but here the poles are all easily accessible, with no need to dig or go down conduits.

In terms of private land charity with which I’m involved has several Electricity poles on its land and the charity does quite nicely out of the wayleave payments.

Member

Ian , it doesn’t matter how many telephone poles there are the cable still has to go underground to connect to the street cabinet . Installing a couple of span of drop-wire cable to a house isnt the same as installing reinforced fibre cable to the same house , especially as long runs are required for those country areas therefore a heavy cable lorry with a large drum of fibre cable has to be run out by a squad of installers PLUS the underground crew who have had the coarses in connecting fibre cable which is NOT as simple as copper cable I have watched them do it at one of BT,s schools. Talking about something isnt the same as doing its engineering work ask malcolm. Think about it thats EACH individual home in Britain no matter how far up a mountain or -over the sea to Skye !

Member

I watched the installation of ‘my’ fibre cable and the engineer explained what he was doing, including testing the quality of the link where two fibres were joined. He was not happy with the first attempt so redid it and pronounced that it it was a good connection. Very impressive.

Member

I appreciate there is ducting to the cabinet, Duncan. The point I was making is that in urban areas all the cabling has to be fed down ducting, whereas for us it’s only a few feet. To put it in perspective, Openreach are at the local cabinet every single week without exception. When I asked one of the techs why they were there so often he told me that it was because it was old, the cabinet was leaking and they needed to upgrade all the cabling.

In other words, it’s highly likely that the lorry and its drum would be making its way here, anyway, so they might as well rewire with FO cabling and install a new, hopefully watertight, cabinet which might then just save them money.

Member

Ian when you asked me to provide the URL with the info on cost of FTTP to Openreach (BT) for Fibre on Demand I found I was unable to access it on most browsers unless I used a special small private browsing browser meaning all tracking info is blocked including origin of person accessing it. If you access the same heading in any other of my browsers it does take you there but it withholds the pricing and the page layout is different , obviously dont want to make it easy to obtain .

Member

That’s fine, Duncan. I’ll be able to access it if you’d be kind enough to post it.

Member

God Ian dont tell me you have one of those old block connection cabinets I thought they were obsolete .Your right leaky as hell suffer from all sorts of faults -HLI/LI/Earthling /Battery contacts etc . That means, as you said, you have the old cables in place your right they would have to be replaced –bad news !

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Member

Thanks, Duncan; an excellent source of info and figures. Needed to use a VPN to get in, mind, but once in is very informative.

Member

Yes, Duncan; our cabinet is stamped ‘property of Queen Victoria” 🙂 The area in which we live is rocky, remote and really high up. The cabinet isn’t that far from the house, with just enough space for an OReach van to park while they’re eternally fixing things. Thing is, superfast would be invaluable to the hill farming community. During the Foot and Mouth outbreak all markets were stopped and the sales took place over the internet. Rustling’s a problem (as in cattle and sheep stealing – not wind in the bushes) and many farmers are starting to install remote cameras on their herd and flocks. These all work over t’internet.

Member

I was intrigued by your use of a VPN Ian I had one in Windows but its a bit of work for Linux and the good ones are the paid for ones . Just so you know (maybe you do ) did you say you didn’t bother about privacy ? . Apple+ Microsoft both collect personal data from users and both companies co-operate with law enforcement+intelligence agencies like the NSA, MS sells your data and both systems are closed sources meaning you wont see back-doors . Open VPN still requires a server to connect and that could be leaky . Dont use -itshidden/Security KISS /USAIP, unless of coarse you have made your own server ?. I managed to get round my ISP blocking informational + political websites when using Windows when I used some German DNS servers

Member

The VPN was necessary because the link you sent me required cookies, which you presumably have on your machine, but which I didn’t. But after a bit of fiddling, it worked perfectly.

Member

Just checked no cookies are stored on my PC for this version ,only for the session.

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Did you log in?

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Duncan, with regard to: “over the sea to Skye” it’s now “over the bridge to Skye” (at least for that specific island) 😉

Member

Duncan – thanks for the link.

From my neverware cloudready home edition d-i-y chromium book, I didn’t have to log in, or use a VPN to access it, but I did have to enable cookies.

All that having been said, the literal link posted by Duncan did not load correctly – but it did take me to the site where a drop down pricing menu was available.

I guess that gives the prices to customers – but not the actual costs to openreach.

Member

You mean “Bonnie Prince Charlie ” took the wrong route Derek ? No wonder he wasn’t caught they must have been waiting for him on the bridge with a road block

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Duncan, were BCP an archetypal scotsman, I’m sure he would not have wanted to pay the toll, but he probably didn’t have time to wait while SKAT dealt with that issue.

Member

That link isnt as “direct ” as you think Ian just took me to a text list of general advice about Openreach.

Member

BT is the parent of Openreach , no divorce has taken place , I should know I am a BT pensioner and get the annual accounts of the GROUP (BT Group ) . John could you please provide the source of the £600 million to provide 100 % of the UK with FTTP ?

Member

This is where I read about it Duncan-
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40751449

You might also like to see this which Patrick Steen posted earlier today-
http://www.which.co.uk/news/2017/08/bt-to-bring-10mbps-broadband-to-99-of-the-uk-by-2020/

Openreach will remain a part of the BT Group but it operates as an arms-length organisation with its own board and corporate structure.

I am somewhat doubtful that ‘universal’ = 100% but that is what they are offering by 2022 [95% by 2020].

Member

Duncan: Openreach’s separation was under threat from Ofcom, and Openreach has now become a legally separate entity, with its own independent board. Now, I accept BT still own Openreach but Ofcom is keeping a close eye on things, especially with Sky and TalkTalk breathing down their necks, as it were.

Member

Ofcom is keeping a close eye so that BT is ground into the dirt , even that home of Capitalism the USA has refused to allow its telephone service to be completely open-house. , certainly not France . All this continual -get rid of BT propaganda issues from one source the USA as it wishes to take over UK telecommunications . I despise the fact that this country can be bought for a handful of not gold but worthless US $$$$ and yet this government trumpets itself as – sticking up for Britain – pure bull !! what left to sell of -??? BT I dont know how they have the nerve to say -we are British . The Donald , no matter how much people hate him at least is proud to be American and no problem with his birth certificate unlike his predecessor. You are either for your country or against it , no matter how much I criticize whats going on in Britain if push came to shove and we were about to get invaded just give me a rifle and I would defend the country. Saying one thing to the public and then deviously among their friends selling off Britain to America , well shot against a wall is too good

Member

Thanks for the info John always accept genuine new information but this is a guarantee of a minimum speed of 10Mbps at an outlay of £600Million for that speed —THAT !! I will agree with so actually we were at cross-purposes here . You were ahead of me there with this info John well done ! I don’t usually visit BBC sites as they employ trackers and when I access them its in text only.

Member

From the BBC website link posted by John:

10 worst constituencies for download speeds
Percentage of connections below 10 Mb/s

Ross, Skye and Lochaber, Scotland 65.6%
Na h-Eileanan an Iar, Scotland 63.7%
Argyll and Bute, Scotland 61.7%
Orkney and Shetland, Scotland 61.7%
Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Wales 58.2%
Montgomeryshire, Wales 58%
Kingston upon Hull East, Yorkshire and the Humber 56.8%
Ceredigion, Wales 55.1%
North Herefordshire, West Midlands 54.9%
Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross, Scotland 52.2%

I wonder how these figures were produced. How many users had the opportunity to have fibre broadband but chose to stick with a slower service, which would be cheaper?

Member
Member

Thanks Malcolm for reminding me of these resources. The Ofcom report states: “We also compare the performance of different home broadband packages, and find that while many consumers can receive better performance by switching to a different technology or upgrading to a product with a higher advertised speed…” I assume that the speeds refer to what customers achieve rather than what they could achieve by switching to fibre broadband if possible. In my previous home I stuck with standard copper broadband which gave me 7-8Mbps download because it was adequate and I saw no significant change in speed at certain times of day. Some of my neighbours moved to much faster fibre broadband and others remained on copper broadband.

I would have thought that the most useful comparison of different geographical areas would be to compile data based on consumers using the fastest connection available to them.

Member

All well and good Wavechange but as I and I think malcolm also said how do you make up a standard ? For a standard to work it has to be on an equal value basis you don’t have this here you have infinite variability due to the same infinite variations from distance to the cabinet — different indoor runs of cable ( resistance ) different means of internet connections , different modems , computers, amount of users – RF interference– mains induced interference –WI-Fi ( slower speed -up to 50 % – IE- thickness of walls ) congestion and even more variables try putting that the the British Standards Institute.

Member

I’m not referring to a standard, Duncan. I’m concerned that the published figures will look poor if some people are using copper broadband when fibre is available to them. I could be barking up the wrong tree.