Archive for the ‘Broadband’ Category

BT Rules Out Fibre Optic Roll Out

The news from DigiWorld 2006 is that BT consider ADSL2+ to meet ‘foreseeable needs’. Unlike its counterparts in the US and Japan, BT has no plans to deploy FTTH (Fibre To The Home) on a nationwide basis in the UK.

One of the things I’ve been blogging about on a regular basis is when will the UK get a really fast broadband service. I was hoping that really fast broadband would arrive as part of BTs 21CN technology. That doesn’t seem the case now.

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Next Generation Broadband Available In 2008

Further to my post on when will the UK broadband revolution will arrive, BT has now launched a web site where you can check when 21CN (21st Century Network) services will be available in your area.

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When Will The Broadband Revolution Arrive

Back in August I was blogging about whether the UK will ever get really fast broadband. At the moment most people in the UK can get ‘up to 8Mb download speeds’. I use that term lightly since the majority of us will never see speeds that quick due to contention and distance from the local exchange.

In fact the ‘up to 8Mb download speeds’ term has already got one UK ISP into hot water when Bulldog Broadband was reported to the Advertising Standards Authority in September for not making clear that the 8Mb download speeds would quickly degrade as you moved further away from the exchange.

I know that some people can enjoy the speeds of ADSL2+, such as the ‘Up to 16Mb’ service offered by ISP’s such as Bulldog Broadband, but only if you’re lucky enough to live sufficiently close to an exchange that has the ISP’s LLU kit installed. For a lot of us that isn’t the case, so what can we look forward to over the next few years…

Well there are some interesting ADSL rollouts in some European countries and parts of the USA using VDSL2 that seem to be well developed. You can read here for a detailed description of VDSL2. This new type of ADSL can offer speeds of up to 60Mbps on a copper line around 1Km in length. Again not many of us live this close to the exchange, but if combined with a fibre optic rollout from the BT exchange to the BT cabinets in the streets then it could be viable here. Of course, such technology like VDSL2 is many years away, so again the UK lags behind some of its fellow European countries. No change there 🙂

Of course, BT already has it’s 21CN vision of the future, which is currently being readied for a trial in the South Wales area. But how long have the majority of us got to wait?

I hope BT accelerates these trials so the UK is not always playing catch-up with other countries. That’s the perception I’ve got. Perhaps anyone living outside the UK can let me know how broadband speeds are developing where you are.

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Plug and Surf


If you’re baffled by setting up a home wireless network, or don’t want to flood your house with loads of wires, or maybe you’re worried about someone eavesdropping on your wireless network, then maybe the Solwise HomePlug Ethernet Turbo is for you.

This device enables you to create a network at home using the existing electricity mains wiring in your house. One of the sockets connects directly with your ADSL/cable router, this acts as the sender. The other socket plugs into any 3 pin socket in your house (it incorporates a standard RJ45 socket and includes a CAT5 cable). This enables another PC/game console in your house to connect to the existing ADSL connection.

Each device transmits up to 85Mbps which is significantly faster than the 802.11b standard of 11Mbps or 54Mbps of an 802.11g network. The devices come with a CDROM which allows you to configure the devices such as allowing you to apply passwords to each device to stop tampering, change the default network name, plus diagnostic software to look at stuff like MAC addresses, date last seen on network, etc.

ADSLguide also have an excellent review of the Solwise HomePlug Ethernet Turbo.

Looks like quite an interesting device 🙂

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Another Speedtest Site

If you fancy a more graphical feel to your broadband speed tests then try out this site.

You simply choose which server is closest to you and then watch the graphics. Have fun 🙂

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Zen Launch Lite Broadband Package

UK internet service provider (ISP) Zen Internet have recently launched a new broadband package aimed at people with low monthly usage. It’s charged at £17.99 for a 2GB cap with lots of additional features such as static IP. It’s exactly the same as their existing Zen 8000 Active package, just with a 2GB monthly cap.

I’m glad to see them launching this package. My monthly usage is fairly low so this new package will be ideal. I’m currently paying £24.99 for their Zen 8000 Active package so this will save me a bit each month.

Full details here:
Zen 8000 Lite 2GB cap

Zen have always charged a premium for their service. It’s not the cheapest out there, but their customer support is excellent and my MaxDSL connection is rock solid. I can see myself sticking with Zen for some time now.

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