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Ofcom ponders future of fast net

50°
328w ago - Super-fast broadband could be delivered via the underground pipes of the UK's water and electricity companies, regulator Ofcom has said.

It is conducting a survey of the UK's ducting network to see its suitability for carrying fibre networks.

Some companies in the UK and France already offer fast broadband via the sewers.

Ofcom also wants to see the three million homes earmarked to be built in the UK by 2020, fibre-enabled.

Change perception

It has opened a consultation - which will run until June 25 - to see how best to regulate next-generation networks.

Critics have warned that the regulator is not doing enough and that the UK is in real danger of falling behind with the rollout of superfast broadband access.

"The fact that this is just a consultation is another indication that the UK is lagging behind," said Ian Fogg, an analyst with Jupiter Research.

In France, for example, there are already three operators providing superfast broadband to homes at speeds of between 50 and 100 megabits per second. One of these offers an IPTV service and Voice-over IP telephone line alongside its fibre service, for 29.99 euros per month.

In a speech delivered to the Institution of Engineering and Technology, Ofcom...
 

Net users 'want film downloads'

50°
347w ago - Net users in the UK have rated the ability to download DVD-quality films quickly as the service they most want from next-generation broadband.

In a survey conducted by Broadbandchoices.co.uk, users put it ahead of video calls, High Definition video downloads and home surveillance.

Some 18% said they downloaded films although it was the online activity they devoted the least time to. The most popular activities are still sufing and checking e-mail.

Some 61% rated "downloading DVD quality films in five minutes" as the most interesting application for future broadband services.

The survey was intended to get a feel from what consumers may want from next-generation broadband in the light of recent questions about how and when the UK should move to super-fast services.

However, there was uncertainty over how whether people would be prepared to pay extra for such services, with 60% responding either no or don't know.

The services people rated the most exciting drivers of next-generation broadband were the ones they spent the least time on currently.

"From our results it does appear a little contradictory that respondents rated 'watching TV' or downloading films as being the least amount of time spent on the internet in a week and yet when asked...
 

Data row hits mobile mast website

50°
356w ago - The future of a website which details all the mobile phone masts in the UK is in doubt following a row over divulging "commercially sensitive" information.

The Sitefinder website is maintained by media regulator Ofcom, following a request from the government in 2000.

But mobile firms stopped giving data to the site last year after Ofcom was told it must publish grid references of all the masts in a searchable database.
 

Ofcom looks to future of fast net

50°
357w ago - Regulator Ofcom has added its voice to the growing debate about how the UK should roll out super-fast broadband.

It has launched a consultation, running until December, to probe ways to keep UK net services up to speed with those of other nations.

Current broadband speeds have a natural limit which are unlikely to satisfy growing consumer demand for bandwidth.
 
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