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Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

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Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

I was having a conversation with a few people recently about broadband providers in the UK and a few were saying they felt that a lot of the technology for the way broadband is delivered is a little behind in the UK and it got me thinking about it quite a lot.

Apart from Virgin Media (who are not the best experience) all the ISP's provide their internet through landline connections which as we know we have a ton of problems with such as disconnections, speeds etc. and I really do feel this whole landline way of delivering our internet isn't really great because no matter which ISP you're with you get the same problems and it is hard to find a good decent ISP without having a lot of hassle.

Now don't get me wrong with any technology you're going to have issue's and problems but I have found that with broadband specifically it's way more than it should be no matter who you're with so I was wondering what you guys thought?

Obviously I know and understand ground jobs take time and thousands to do but I was just wondering in regards to this as I'm sure before long we'll be advancing from this as technology improves and the whole landline way of delivering will be gone.

I do often wonder if there's ever any plans for the broadband industry to improve on the way they deliver their bandwidth as this landline thing does feel a little outdated to a lot of people it seems.

What do you guys think Smiley 

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)


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Aspiring Legend
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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

Well I certainly had no end of problems when my broadband came via the landline, but since going over to FTTP I've had no issues at all with speed or disconnections. Add to that, broadband can as we all know also be delivered via a Satellite so...

Is the problem that for the majority of subscribers their data is being delivered using an infrastructure that was laid down years ago and is no longer fit for purpose. Well it would seem so when compared to others countries and unfortunately, as a result of being in front as it were, we are now paying the price by racing to keep up.

Are we getting there there? I like to think so. 😉

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

What is FTTP you've moved over to mean? (I'm not the most technical lol).

I didn't know broadband could be delivered by satellite though? That said surely the way Virgin Media deliver their broadband is better than the way others do with the landlines that break, get interference and all that stuff.

Don't get me wrong, Plusnet and most of the ISP's are a million times better than Virgin Media (I had a nightmare with them) but that is one thing they do seem to be more solid in.

It would be interesting to see how it develops over time too, I was reading something earlier about BT Openreach doing something so that Sky could offer their new Ultra Fast connection they've just gone live with but it's only available to like 1% of the country or something due to BT delaying the work.

I'm sure you know what I mean but I was reading about it earlier and it just made me feel how great that is that they're actually expanding things although I think through the same method but broadband is the thing we seem to have the most trouble with here on a whole (with any ISP which is why I say about it being a problem), a few people mentioned it to me recently and brought it up about how we're behind, I'll try find one of the quotes Smiley

"internet is rubbish in the UK any way you look at it with 60-70 being "superfast", average in the US being about 90"

There was some more but I'm on my phone so it's hard to find them at the moment but yeah Smiley

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

The UK's always been a bit behind when it comes to telephony, in the US, they had electronic tone-dialling phones in the 60s, while we still had rotary dials & mechanical exchanges until the 80s when the GPO broke off the phone system into BT and things started changing, but they took too long to change, and we're still lagging behind...

 

I know people over in Canada who have FTTP (Fibre to the Premises) connections that are at Gigabit speeds, which compared to the UK is light years ahead, but due to monopoly control over the landline infrastructure, we're held by the short & curlies of Openreach & their shareholders wanting profit, not investment...

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

That's really interesting and also a shame how we don't keep up too, specially as technology is advancing we are needing these things to run the latest technology.

So the FTTP thing is that what Virgin Media use or is that something different?
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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

I don't know about what VM uses today, they may use fibre to the premises for new installations, but for many years they've been reliant upon ever-aging copper coaxial cables (the same as what you'd use for a TV aerial or satellite dish, just a bit thicker) for delivering their broadband on top of the television signals, these in most places have been in place as early as the 1980s when cable co's set up small town-wide systems, which ultimately ended up merging together over the years...

 

I wouldn't go back to cable offerings even if they were free though, the down speeds may be fast, but the upload speeds are hopeless, usually up to around 2-3Mbps, which when it comes to online gaming and streaming to Twitch or Youtube, it's just guaranteed to fail as there's just not enough bandwidth for it...

 

It's just a case of "This is what we've got, and that's all you'll get" when it comes to UK internet service, I'm quite happy with what I have here with PN, but there are days I wish the UK would keep up as we're lagging so far behind that it's getting to be embarrassing...

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

I hear you, have you seen the new Sky thing I mentioned with BT Openreach, I don't know if you're allowed to link articles here? (Are we allowed?)

But when I'm on PC tomorrow I'll show you what I found tonight about them launching it and BT Openreach delaying some upgrades hence why only a very very small part of the UK can get it.
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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

Well I guess all those 4 and 5g mobiles are using satellites, and I was hooking up folks to the internet via a dish some fifteen years ago. Still areas here in Wales where broadband via satellite is your only option.

I never realised Virgin once used the the old copper cable system, I always assumed they had always been a fibre only company. 

As for speed, as long as it suits my purpose which is primarily internet and television then no problem. If I was into gaming where two way speed is a far important then that would be something else, but I'm not... so it isn't. 😃

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

Virgin Media are not the only company supplying FTTP. We have CityFibre Gigabit installed along our road.

Vodaphone are the preferred supplier, that’s why I’m still with Plusnet....

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

So along with telephone boxes, are we also witnessing the demise of telegraph poles. Going to be a lot of very disappointed people and dogs.

No boxes for one, no poles for the other. 

Also more fibre less jobs as companies will not need the engineers to support it or the folks at the end of the line when we have a problem either - and much like those hundreds of GPO engineers and Sky dish installers.

Job done, job gone. 😞

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

@Minivanman 

So everyone will be inconvenienced then.

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

@agedgopher 

😂

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)


@Minivanman wrote:

Well I guess all those 4 and 5g mobiles are using satellites, and I was hooking up folks to the internet via a dish some fifteen years ago. Still areas here in Wales where broadband via satellite is your only option.

I never realised Virgin once used the the old copper cable system, I always assumed they had always been a fibre only company. 


 

Mobile phones & mobile broadband are all ground-based towers still, there's not enough satellite bandwidth to cover such vast speeds via current tech satellite telephony & data, and the satellite broadband services are between fixed-orbit position satellites, so can't really be used for a mobile device... 🙂

 

As for VM, they're an amalgamation of the majority, if not all of, the cable companies in the UK, from Nynex, NTL, Telewest, Diamond Cable, etc., all originally copper coax cable, and in the majority of those areas, still are (and breaking down as time goes by with VM not bothering to fix the problem, just telling customers to switch their hardware off and on again & call back later), coax is pretty decent for data transmission, but has problems with data going both ways, unlike twisted pair (aka POTS lines) which can handle decently fast speeds, assuming the providers could be bothered to implement it...

 

A lot of their advertising is a touch misleading, as a lot of their "Fibre optic" stuff is just Fibre to the Cabinet, much like with phoneline FTTC, where the fibre ends and goes through a converter to run over the coax cables, back when I lived in Lancashire I remember them sending out spam to say they'd upgraded us to fibreoptic, except it was still the old Nynex coax cables poking through the wall, but a new cabinet appeared next to the street cabinet, so, bit of a fib there... 😂

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Re: Is broadband technology behind in the UK? (general chat)

It's interesting ain't it and definitely interesting to see how it progresses too, I really do feel the whole telephone wire thing seems really dated, like it doesn't feel solid to me with the things I mentioned such as interference, breaks etc.. and of course with the things like what was mentioned earlier how we're well behind the US (and wherever else) it does make me wonder cause we seem to have always had pride in being on the ball with things but clearly when it comes to the internet we're not lol

The TV thing I think we just barely scrape it for consistency however we are slowly but surely going into 4K now and it won't be long until 4K is old news simply because of how fast technology progresses but the internet does not.

Like I get roughly around 30 - 35 mb (wired) with my Plusnet and where as it's more than sufficient for my TV you know it's kinda scraping it a little in regards to being a lot more solid if you get what I mean and with the whole way of everything running off the internet now from phones to PlayStation's to TV's, Amazon fire services and whatever else we are getting to the point where even our gas, toilet and electric will be running off it soon (ok a little exaggeration but you get my point haha).

Also, I''ll do a separate part here in regards to the Sky Ultrafast I was on about which was launched on Monday in very small area's so you can see.

I'm not sure if we're allowed to link articles so I'll paste instead

-------------------------------------- 

 

This is the info about the launch.

Sky UK’s New G.fast Ultrafast Broadband ISP Package is Live

UK ISP Sky Broadband (Comcast) has today officially made their new G.fast powered Ultrafast 1 (145Mbps) broadband and VoIP (SOGEA) phone packages available for both new and existing customers to order. Prices start from £39 per month and there’s a £39.95 one-off setup fee (we think it’s a free upgrade for existing customers).

The new G.fast based hybrid fibre plans were soft launched a couple of months ago but they’ve now become fully available to order. One catch here is that Openreach’s 330Mbps capable G.fast technology currently only covers around 10% of UK premises and future rollout plans beyond March 2020 are under review (here).

Curiously today’s announcement states that G.fast covers 2.5 million premises (i.e. we think they probably used the latest private Openreach data as the last / older public release was 2.2 million), although it then goes on to state that “thereafter, an estimated additional 390k households will be rolled out each quarter.” Except at present there are no agreed plans to rollout G.fast past March 2020 (pending review), so we think they might be factoring the future addition of FTTP. Either that or they know something new about Openreach’s G.fast future after March 2020 (unlikely since the review has only just started).

 

And this is the info about the Openreach work that was delayed or something.

Openreach Put the Brakes on Future UK G.fast Broadband Plans


Openreach (BT) has today informed ISPs that they are holding off giving any further guidance on future build plans for their hybrid fibre G.fast “ultrafast broadband” (100Mbps+) technology, which means that under the existing rollout they will only cover 2.73 million UK premises by March 2020.

The writing has been on the wall for awhile, not least since the last G.fast (ITU G.9700/9701) related rollout update was in November 2018 (here) and there have been no further updates (i.e. no new locations announced in 2019). The most recent coverage update confirmed that they had so far put the service within reach of 2,166,000 premises and the rollout pace was slowing (here).

What is G.fast? FTTP takes a high-capacity optical fibre cable all the way to your home, but in a G.fast setup the fibre only goes as far as your local PCP street cabinet and then runs to your home via an existing copper line. G.fast can make use of 106-212MHz of spectrum and thus delivers its best speeds for those within c.200-300 metres of a cabinet.
Under the original plan Openreach had intended to push the 330Mbps capable G.fast service to reach 10 million UK premises by the end of 2020 (March 2021 financial), although pressure from competitors, Ofcom and the Government’s move to prioritise “full fibre” networks has combined to encourage a greater focus toward much more desirable Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) lines.

In August 2018 this resulted in Openreach’s decision to revise down their G.fast rollout plan to just 5.7 million premises by March 2021 (here), while today’s decision means that no new locations are currently planned to be added to the build programme. As such they will continue to rollout until March 2020, when just 2.73m premises will have been covered.

openreach_q1_2019_20_network_coverage_and_takeup

 

Just to be clear, the G.fast rollout hasn’t yet stopped but any build plans beyond March 2020 are currently under review. A final decision on that review is expected to be communicated to ISPs by March 2020 but we’d be very surprised if that included a major expansion beyond the planned 2.73m premises (probably not to the previously expected 5.7m level).

As before the reason for all this stems from Openreach’s desire to focus on FTTP deployments and avoid overbuild, which is a positive. Lest we forget that last year’s move to scale-back the G.fast rollout was ultimately followed by the operator’s decision to raise their full fibre rollout to cover 4 million premises by March 2021 (up from 3m), including an ambition for 15 million by around 2025 (up from 10m) – here.

Admittedly we suspect that the mixed performance and limited take-up of the G.fast service itself, which only tends to be very good over shorter copper lines, probably hasn’t done much to help its future prospects. By comparison FTTP can easily handle multi-Gigabit or better speeds in the future and doesn’t suffer from the same reliability issues, plus take-up has been good.

The BT Group are currently in the process of restructuring and a lot of that focus has to do with raising money in order to fund their full fibre plans. Today’s predictable news very much plays into that effort.

 

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But even then it still seems like we're behind when you hear about the US and other places as this is like some premium internet where as in the US 90 is around standard lol

We need to sort it out lol