Google to get their fibre claws in to the UK

Article

Google Considers Bringing Google Fiber to UK | Broadband News and DSL Reports

Google aimed to build ultrafast broadband in Britain | The Telegraph (UK)

My Comments

Google are putting their fibre-optic next-generation broadband paws in to the UK market while trying to provide competitive Internet service in some US communities. It is seen to be their first foray in to the European market.

This is being achieved with them working with CityFibre, which may not be seen as adding extra competition in that market. Firstly, this is to be seen as a threat to BSkyB’s partnership and place themselves at loggerheads with a BSkyB / TalkTalk fibre-optic rollout which is passing 20,000 households in York.

But it is set to put more pressure on BT to deploy more next-generation broadband, especially as the British Internet press is complaining about BT Openreach taking a long time to roll out this service across the biggest Internet-service market outside the US. Google will also see this as a platform to run an HD-capable IPTV service which is ready for 4K UHDTV.

My question is whether Google could make further efforts in working as a competitive next-generation broadband provider for the British market, whether as a wholesale provider or as a retail provider. As well, could they be in a position to help with Scotland’s broadband goal if Scotland does go independent? Similarly, could they be able to put their claws in to other European areas like Spain, Germany and Italy with a goal to upset the applecart when it comes to competitive Internet service there.

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A UK developer now makes fibre broadband a key feature for their properties

Article

All New Berkeley UK Homes to be Fibre Optic Broadband Compatible | ISPReview.co.uk

From the horse’s mouth

Berkeley Group

Press Release

My Comments

Beautiful house

House developers could offer broadband readiness as a selling point

Especially in the UK, accessibility to next-generation broadband is being considered a key feature for a property. This has been underscored with Rightmove using this as something to assess a property or neighbourhood with when it comes to its saleability and could easily put a positive impression on its value.

Now Berkeley Group, a developer of premium residential properties in the UK, have released their business plan with the supply of fibre broadband to be part of the feature set for these developments. It is in response to a European Union directive that is requiring new buildings to be ready for high-speed broadband by 2016. In Europe, people are seeing broadband Internet service on the same level as water, electricity, fixed telephoy service and other utilities.

The big question I would have about these developments is whether they would be “wired for Ethernet” and whether this would reach most rooms in these homes? Similarly, would there be the ability for an average home-network wireless router to cover all of the premises with Wi-Fi signal using its own antennas (aerials)?

It is also in addition to a Britain-first strategy for marketing policy, a significant increase in apprenticeships, improved on-site safety as well as a desire to have customer satisfaction that beats Apple’s standards.

Personally, I would see residential building developers implement next-generation broadband and the connected home as a key differentiator with customers and property investors.

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Underriver to benefit from Gigabit broadband Internet courtesy of Gigaclear

Article

Gigaclear starts installation of its network for Underriver in Kent | ThinkBroadband

From the horse’s mouth

Gigaclear

Press Release

Product Page – Underriver

My Comments

Underriver, a small affluent village just on the southwest of Sevenoaks in Kent has now started working towards a fibre-based Gigabit next-generation broadband service courtesy of Gigaclear. Like other Gigaclear projects and similar projects, it is more about achieving a value-priced real broadband service to the small towns and villages around the UK.

There is a goal to have the service pass 2000 homes and businesses and is to provide a symmetrical Gigabit broadband service which would please a lot of small businesses, professionals working from home or intending to do so and people who have long-distance relationships. This is because the upload speed is as quick as the download speed which would satisfy cloud-computing needs, online storage, Web content creation, VoIP amongst other needs.

Of course, one of these “fibre-to-the-door” deployments is considered a value-added feature for a premises that is being sold or rented out at a later time. This was something I touched on when RightMove were adding this factor to what their customers were searching on when they were seeking out property to buy.

Who knows what other villages and small towns in the “Garden Of England” could duplicate what is happening up in Underriver?

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Fibre broadband passing your business? What it means for you

Article

Guest blog: Fibre broadband: what does it mean for your business? | Go E-Sussex

My Comments

A situation may occur for your small business where fibre-optic next-generation broadband passes your office (including your home). This is due to efforts in place to head towards the concept of this technology being made available in most places through progressive rollouts by differing companies.

In some cases, the next-generation broadband rollouts are public-private efforts with national, state or local governments putting money towards the efforts as a way of investing in their constituencies. It is very similar to improving infrastructure like roads, rails or utilities in a neighbourhood to make it worth investing or doing business in that area.

How could this benefit my business?

Use of remote storage and cloud services

One obvious application us the increased use of off-premises computing services.  Typically these are in the form of remote storage and backup services like Dropbox or Box.com, often marketed as “cloud storage” services. Some of these services essentially function as an off-premises data-backup tool or they can simply work as an invitation-only file-exchange service, whether between you and business partners or simply as a way to shift files between your regular computer and your mobile devices while “on the road”.

For organisations with a Web presence, this will encompass uploading Web content as you maintain your Web page or even backing up that Web page.

Even if a business implements on-premises storage technology such as a NAS or server, there is also an increased desire for remote “on-the-road” access to these resources. Similarly, it could be feasible for a business with two or more locations to have the ability to shift data between these locations such as storing data that is worked on at home using a NAS or server at the shop or caching data between two shops.

Another key direction is to head towards cloud-computing where the software that performs business tasks is hosted remotely. This will typically have you work either with a Web page as the software’s user interface or you may be dealing with a lightweight “peripheral bridge” for industry-specific peripherals. In some cases, various programs such as some business-grade security programs implement cloud computing in order to offload some of the processing that would normally be required of the local computing system. This is being pitched as a way for small business to “think like big business” due to the low capital-equipment cost.

The next-generation broadband services can improve this kind of computing by reducing the time it takes to transfer the files and allows for silky-smooth cloud-computing operations.

IP Telecommunications

A very significant direction for business Internet use is IP-based telecommunications. This gives businesses some real capabilities through the saving on operational expenditure costs while also opening up some newer pathways that have been put out of small business’s reach.

One application is IP-based videocalls using Skype and Lync technology – totally real, not science-fiction anymore. These technologies have the ability to provide for video-based real-time teleconferencing even to high-quality visual displays and some of them even allow for multi-party videocalls. The next-generation broadband services can exploit this technology by permitting smooth reliable videocalls with the high-resolution video display.

Another IP-telecommunications application appealing to small business is the concept of the IP-based business telephone system. This can be facilitated with an on-premises IP-based PBX server that is linked to the outside world via an IP-based “trunk” or a hosted IP-telephony system which is ran simply as a service. The phones that sit on the desks are primarily IP-based extensions or legacy phones connected via analogue-telephone adaptor devices with DECT cordless phones linked up to an IP DECT base.  In some cases, a regular computer or a mobile device (smartphone or tablet) could run a “softphone” application which uses the device’s control surface and audio infrastructure to make it become an extension.

These appeal to businesses due to access to low telephony costs especially for long-distance calls or, for that matter, free calls between multiple business locations through the use of a tie-line that the business doesn’t need to rent.

The next-generation broadband can allow IP-based telecommunications to take place while data is being transferred or the Internet is being used without impeding data-transfer speed or voice / video call quality.

IP-based video surveillance

Shopkeepers and other small-business owners would find greater justification to install an IP-based video-surveillance system or upgrade an existing video-surveillance system to IP-based technology. This could allow, for example, one to watch over another location from one location or permit backup video recording of the footage at another location whether it be a storage provider that you rent space on or a NAS installed at home or another business location.

This also allows for use of newer cameras that implement higher-resolution sensors and support on-camera video analytics. The increased bandwidth means that more of the video footage from these cameras can be streamed at once to a remote location.

Working from home

If you work from home, whether to telecommute or to operate your business operation from home, you will find that the next-generation broadband service is important for you. This is more so if you are dealing with graphics, CAD or multimedia content or even using a VoIP or videocall service as your communications technology.

As well, you benefit from reduced Internet-service contention with other household members when you have the next-generation broadband service. This is because the increased bandwidth could allow you to do intense cloud-based work computing or a large file transfer while they do something like engage in a VoIP voice call or stream video content.

Offering your customers or guests public Wi-Fi Internet service

If you run a bar, café, hotel or similar venue, you could offer your customers or guests a public Internet service and not worry that this service will cramp your business Internet style. In some cases, you could handle more customers’ data-transfer needs at once  which would happen at “peak occupancy” or allow for them to engage in high-bandwidth applications like business data transfer, videocalls or enjoying online video content and have the best experience with these activities.

To the same extent, the public Wi-Fi Internet service is being seen by mobile telephony carriers as an “offload” service to increase their mobile network capacity. As well, some mobile carriers are even implementing femtocells which are mobile base stations that cover a small area like a home or business premises as a method of improving indoor mobile coverage in a particular premises or increasing mobile capacity in a popular location.

Is your small business’s network ready?

There are some things you would have to do to get your small business’s network ready for the next-generation-broadband service.

Your router

One would be to make sure you have a small-business router that is optimised for next-generation very-high-speed broadband. One critical feature it would need is to have an Internet (WAN) connection with Gigabit Ethernet. This would allow for use with an optical-network modem that provides for the high-speed throughput these networks provide. As well, having Gigabit Ethernet for each LAN Ethernet connector and 802.11n/ac dual-band Wi-Fi wireless where applicable would be considered important for the local network side of the equation.

Most of the current-issue high-end or “small-business-grade” routers would cut the mustard when it comes to having this kind of connectivity and this goal could be achieved with the current network-equipment replacement cycle.

Your network

As well, you would need to bring your Ethernet infrastructure to Gigabit standard while also evolving your Wi-Fi wireless infrastructure to 802.11n or 802.11ac standard with simultaneous dual-band operation i.e. N600 or better. A HomePlug segment that you operate in this network could be brought to HomePlug AV2 standard preferably due to higher throughput and improved robustness than HomePlug AV500 or HomePlug AV.

Wireless hotspots

Those of you who run a wireless hotspot or similar public-internet service which is managed by a special router dedicated to this task may have to evolve it to a component-based system so you can implement high-throughput networking technology.

Component-based hotspot systems use a wired hotspot router with Ethernet connections as the only network connections. Then you connect a VDSL2 modem, optical-network terminal or similar appropriate device to your hotspot router’s WAN / Internet port and a dedicated 802.11n access point with a standard of at least N300 for a 2.4GHz single-band unit or N600 for a simultaneous dual-band unit.  This is also a good time to make sure you have optimum public Wi-Fi coverage across your business premises.

You may also have to make sure that the system has improved quality-of-service support for multimedia-based tasks especially if you business happens to be a hotel or similar type. This is because a lot of people are increasingly using smartphones, tablets and ultraportable laptops to engage in Skype videocalls or stream video content from catch-up TV or video-on-demand services and poor quality-of-service severely ruins the user experience with these services.

Considering the full-fibre option

Another issue that can be worth considering for small-business fibre broadband is the “full-fibre” option in a fibre-copper setup. This is being offered by some UK next-generation broadband services and is also being offered In Australia as an option under the Coalition’s preferred fibre-copper National Broadband Network setups.

Here, the same service provider who would normally provide a fibre-copper service like fibre-to-the-cabinet / fibre-to-the-node would also provide a fibre-to-the-premises service as an extra-cost option. A small business could opt for these services especially if they are using cloud services a lot or uploading data to online storage frequently.

Even a business using a fibre-copper setup could look at the feasibility of the full-fibre option as a long-term goal as they make more use of the Internet. As well, this would be a valuable option for premises that are underserved by VDSL-based fibre-copper services. 

It is also worth noting that when you have a “full-fibre” install to a premises, the sale or lease value can increase because of the availability of really high-speed broadband service at that location.

Conclusion

When fibre-based next-generation broadband passes your business, it would become a valuable business option to sign up to one of these services due to costs saved through the higher throughput available with these services. It also allows the business to “grow up” and adapt to increased data-throughput needs.

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NBN to consider FTTN in regional areas

Article

NBN Co ponders rural reversal | The Australian

My Comments

With the NBN considering moving regional areas to Fibre-to-the-node technology, we need to be aware of other similar developments taking place in UK and Germany where similar technology is being deployed for next-generation networks.

Here, we need to know of any deployment mistakes that have been made in these countries and are at risk of being made here. This includes connections that have or are likely to impede operation of the technology as well as catering to the changing landscape that will affect these areas, which is a fact as a town expands and farmland is subdivided for multiple housing projects. It is also why the concept of adaptability is very important when working on a next-generation broadband infrastructure

In the same context, the concept of adaptability  is important as a way to allow customers to buy increased broadband which I would say is important for professionals working from home or if the concept of “fibre to the basement” / “fibre to the building” is to be realised for subsequent multi-tenancy developments that occur in the neighbourhood.

What we need to be sure of for a next-generation broadband service is a competitive highly-adaptive system that can suit the way neighbourhoods change.

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Some more Oxfordshire villages gain real broadband

Artilcle

Gigaclear announces next batch of Oxfordshire villages to get Gigabit | ThinkBroadband

From the horse’s mouth

Gigaclear

Rollout page – Otmoor

Press Release – Otmoor

My Comments

Gigaclear, whom I have featured on this Website, are working hard and fast on enabling more of the Oxfordshire villages for real broadband. Here, the Otmoor community which is the latest to be targeted with this technology is being set up with fibre-to-the-premises “next-generation broadband” technology.

Here, this community has its wetland and grasslands as its assets being a nature reserve, most likely being of touristic value in some way. But Gigaclear had put the broadband rollout on the map without government assistance and having this become the full symmetric broadband courtesy of the fibre-optic technology.

When I read the ThinkBroadband article, there was a comment about Gigaclear focusing their efforts on the small upmarket Oxfordshire villages rather than the “real” rural areas in the UK. But the “real” rural areas could approach Gigaclear to cover them by visiting this page and not “giving up” with them if they are turned down. There is still the issue of high-speed Internet being of importance for professionals working from home along with small businesses where online competitiveness is still valued.

Of course, a question that may be always raised with these broadband rollouts is catering to the larger properties be they estates with a large house and a handful of cottages or smaller houses or simply small or large farms that are colocated to the villages. Issues that may be raise include whether a fibre rollout may be extended to a cluster of neighbouring large properties or not.

Similarly, if Gigaclear “conquered” a larger area of Oxfordshire or a similar area, could they be seen to be in a position of influence by providing the high-speed broadband for that area?

At least the Gigaclear effort is taking place to make sure that rural communities, which are also being seen as urban outposts or venues for “tree-changes”, as viable locations for proper Internet service.

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Google Fiber to touch more US cities–a boost for American Internet market competition

Article – From the horse’s mouth

Google

Exploring New Cities For Google Fiber

My Comments

After its success with Kansas City, Provo and Austin, Google is planning to hit nine more US cities with their fibre-optic broadband service. Here, I see this as an attempt to bring competition to Internet service in these communities in a situation where competition is dwindling due to the pending merger between Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

Even though most of the city fathers representing these communities are behind these projects, usually to see their communities grow economically, there are issues with state and federal authorities who have frustrated competitive activity like municipal Wi-Fi deployments. This is typically to protect incumbent cable and telephony companies against competitive service, but it allows these companies to treat their customers as second-class citizens by redlining good services away from certain communities or simply providing poor-value service to their customers.

But something needs to be done to assure competition on the Internet-service front and this may involve the US Department Of Justice rather than the Federal Communications Commission. It may involve prohibition of uncompetitive mergers or overriding anti-competitive state requirements in order to make sure that third-party Internet service providers can operate in more communities. It may even require a repetition of the 1980s court action that took place to break up “Ma Bell” to assure competition. Once we see more of Google Fiber in action and other Silicon Valley Internet companies work towards providing end-to-end Internet service, it could open up the idea of competition to the US market.

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Action Stations in Provo Utah for Google Fiber

Article

Google Fiber Installs In Provo | Broadband News & DSL Reports

My Comments

The work at the coalface has begin for Google Fiber’s deployment in Provo, Utah. In early October, the signing up has begun but yesterday (Tuesday 12 November 2013 (Western Hemisphere)), the work has started on connecting the very customers to this fibre-to-the-premises service.

What I see of this is that the incumbent telephone company and the cable company servicing this town will be squirming because the duopoly that they enjoyed in this town is being lost as a fibre-optic residential Internet service is being rolled out/ This is with a tariff chart being a symmetrical 1 Gbps for US$70 / month, a TV service with this 1 Gbps service for US$50 / month extra and a free 5/1 Mbps service for the installation cost of US$30. It also means that Provo could become a startup and “work-from-home” town due to the 1Gbps upload speeds offered by Google Fiber.

There have to be steps taken to keep the lively competition on foot so that the cost and quality of Internet service doesn’t deteriorate in the towns where competing Internet service exists.

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100 Megabit bandwidth available at La Réunion

Article – French language

Bientôt un débit de 100 Mbit/s à la Réunion – DegroupNews.com

My Comments

La Réunion has raised the bar for Internet-service value through that Département Outre Mer which is located near Madagascar. The cost of Internet was previously a sore point in that island with some pretty high prices in the order of €50-€60 for full triple-play as I previously touched on.

But Zeop have raised the bar by providing a 100 Megabit bandwidth fibre-optic service to all of their customers. But a good question to raise is how much are the residents and businesses going to fork out for this service. This is an attempt to raise the bandwidth at one of these DOM territories to what is expected at France’s mainland.

France could work harder to make all of the Départements Outre Mer be “axis points” for many international telecommunications services links, whether as “on-ramps” for submarine cables or as satellite uplinks. The local governments could work harder to improve local infrastructure as well as attract startup business in these territories making the whole of France the “switched-on” country.

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The competitive next-generation Internet market in France heats up further courtesy of Google

Article – French language

La fibre optique de Google pourrait arriver en France – DegroupNews.com

My Comments

Flag of FranceAs regular readers of HomeNetworking01.info know, I have been keeping tabs on the highly-competitive Internet market in mainland France a.k.a. L’Héxagone where the call for a triple play service is €25-30 for at least 20Mbps ADSL Internet service, heaps of television channels and all-you-can-eat telephone calling anywhere in France. This also is the same country with Free offering a fibre-optic next-generation broadband service with dedicated 1Gb bandwidth for €30 in some of the major cities.

Now Google, who have set the cat amongst the pigeons in Kansas City and are about to do so in some other US cities like Provo, Utah by offering fibre-optic next-generation broadband Internet service, are pitching to this highly-competitive market as their first foray outside the USA.

They are setting up registered offices in both France and Ireland and are lodging paperwork with ARCEP (France’s telecommunications regulator) to become a legitimate operator in that market. Of course, there is still a fair bit of worry about American businesses encroaching on French territory as the country claws back its industrial self but this could raise the bar further when it comes to the provision of the next-generation broadband in this lively market.

For Google, it may also be the time for them to rattle other European markets that don’t have the same lively competition as France, such as Spain and Italy. As long as we see them light the fire for competitive next-generation broadband Internet in Europe, they could then be seen of value there.

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