Tag: Wales

Wales to get going with the next-generation broadband


thinkbroadband :: Bangor starts the ball rolling for Superfast Wales

From the horse’s mouth

Superfast Cymru

My Comments

Wales is to be expecting a rollout of next-generation broadband, initially in the Bangor area. The article cited the establishment of fibre-to-the-cabinet infrastructure in Bangor’s High Street with one of the fibre-copper cabinets being deployed there. At the moment, the service isn’t active at that point but I would like to see the service come alive with customers connected to it very soon.

The next-generation service will be based on fibre-to-the-cabinet technology with the option of on-demand fibre-to-the-premises upgrade. Most likely the copper link would be based on VDSL2 technology. This is meant to lift the average broadband speed in Wales beyond 9Mbps.

There is GBP£425 million invested in this broadband project with the estimated rollout between now and end of 2015. There will be some focus on identified “Enterprise Zones” and “Local Growth Zones” where government wants to help stimulate economic activity or population growth.

Of course, like most rural-broadband or next-generation-broadband projects, there will be some public-sector investment. In this case, the funds will come from European Union, UK and Wales governments.

The question about rural broadband will be based on what kind of engineering conditions are needed to determine what kind of technology would be used to supply the broadband. In a lot of areas in the UK where there are estates with clusters of closely-located properties, they should look at using the FTTC technology to plant the cabinets in the estates and close to the houses rather than placing them outside the estates.

It is also worth knowing that BT are the infrastructure providers but there is importance being placed on people having their choice of retail Internet service from different retail Internet providers.

British Telecom to touch Scotland and Wales with fibre-optic technology


BT fibre rollout reaches Scotland, Wales • The Register

My Comments

British Telecom are now touching Scotland and Wales with their fibre-based next-generation-broadband services.

These will use a combination of fibre-to-the-cabinet and fibre-to-the-home deployment setups depending on the location. They wanted to have 34 exchanges in Scotland and 16 exchanges in Wales fibre-ready by 2012 with two thirds of UK premises passed by their fibre-optic network by 2014. This is part of their bid for the latest round of Broadband Delivery UK funding.

How I see it is that the upgrades are happening in the face of various local-focused rural-broadband-enrichment activity that is taking place through various parts of rural UK. In some cases, it could lead to the creation of competitive next-generation broadband like what is occurring in France where providers can compete on an infrastructure level.  It may then put BT “on notice” about the pricing and quality of their service as far as consumers and retail Internet providers are concerned due to the availability of this competing Internet infrastructure.

At least these kind of rollouts could then allow for vibrant competition in Internet service delivery in the UK.

Bringing Flintshire’s broadband ‘notspots’ up to standard


BBC News – Plan to tackle Flintshire’s broadband ‘notspots’ (VIDEO)

BBC News – Action to eliminate Flintshire broadband ‘notspots’

My Comments

Another area of Wales is being tackled when it comes to providing broadband Internet of a real standard. This area encompasses Caerwys communities, Talacre, Deeside industrial estate and Ysceiflog; which are in the Flintshire county. Here, local government, in the form of the Flintshire County Council, is behind the effort

This issue has been made real because of the business necessity of a proper broadband Internet service. An example that was cited in the articles was the Northop Hall Country House Hotel losing a GBP£70,000 conference contract because the broadband Internet service wasn’t up to standard for overseas guests who were doing international business at a conference. Here, proper broadband Internet is becoming an expected service for hotels and similar venues, especially if the hotel wants to be valued as a place for business conferences.

I have always made readers aware of the common limitations that occur with ADSL broadband Internet deployments in regional and rural areas when I have commented on broadband in the country.

In these setups, the telephone exchange that services these areas is equipped with the DSLAM which is the necessary equipment for the broadband service, but the cabling infrastructure between the exchange and the customer’s premises is long and commonly operating below par. The ADSL broadband Internet service works at its best when the consumer’s ADSL modem receives a strong signal from the DSLAM installed in the exchange; and long or derelict telecommunications-wiring infrastructure between these devices works against this goal.

As well, in some cases, the telco has used pair-gain wiring – a cheap and lazy telecommunications wiring method –  to connect an increased number of telephone services in an area with fewer wires. Such services wouldn’t work well with machine-to-machine communications and are totally incompatible with ADSL.

These situations can work against the provisioning of real broadband Internet in rural areas and whenever Internet is provided to these areas, it isn’t just putting the appropriate modems in the equipment rack in the exchange that needs to be considered. These deployments may have to include reassessing the wiring in the neighbourhood and, in some cases, doing necessary work on the wiring to enable people to subscribe to broadband Internet at a real bandwidth.

I just hope that telecommunications companies always keep tabs on the condition of the telephone wiring infrastructure in the country and do better research on providing a proper standard of broadband Internet service in the country.

BT rolling out real-standard broadband to Wales and Shropshire communities


BBC News – BT rolls out broadband to two Valleys towns

BBC News – Broadband for two rural market towns

My comments

I have previously covered efforts by companies like Rutland Telecom to have villages and small towns in the UK covered with proper-standard broadband. Examples of this include Rutland Telecom “lighting up” Lyddington in Leicestershire and Hambleton in Rutland as well as Vtesse lighting up Hatt and Higher Pill in Cornwall. Now, British Telecom, the UK equivalent of Telstra, have stepped up to the plate and started rolling out next-generation broadband in to various rural communities in the UK.

Examples of these include Pontcymmer and Baenganw near Bridgend in Wales as well as Oswestry in Shropshire and Stourport in Worcestershire. Infact, they are wanting to “wire up” properly more of the market towns in rural Wales like the whole of Bridgend,  Chepstow in Monmouthshire, Hengoed in Caerphilly, Llantrisant and Llantwit Fardre in Rondda Cynon Taf.

One of the aims stated by BT Openreach who manage the infrastructure and provide the service to retail providers was to reduce the numbers of people that left out of the broadband loop when they were talking of the Midlands deployments. Other quotes included the fact that this was not a rural issue but areas of some of the towns wore not receiving Internet service that wasn’t of proper expectations. This was also going to affect the use of broadband Internet service as a business tool.

What I had observed was that even in the tough economic times, broadband Internet service was being pushed to the same level of expectation as mains electricity or a telephone service. This can then allow for ideals like improved business knowledge as well as the ability to provide your goods  and services in a competitive manner.