As recent figures show that only 0.1% of lines can actually receive 100MB of broadband, there are many ways to improve speeds in your home. Plugging your router in to the main phone socket rather than the back bedroom is a good start:
Broadband provider Talk Talk has suggested that simple home maintenance could be enough to improve download speeds for some customers. The provider believes that as many as half a million broadband users could be losing up to 4Mbs simply because their in-home set up is poor. Dan Dowham from Talk Talk has stated that changing wiring, routers and phone sockets could be enough to speed up Internet connections. He points out that good speeds could be entering the home, but the benefits are lost before they reach the devices. He suggests that broadband should be thought of in the same way as electricity and water and that it is possible to waste it.
The European Commission has released figures which show that just one out of every 1000 broadband lines in the UK is capable of 100mb or faster. The Digital Agenda Scoreboard rates the fastest services in the UK and in Europe and it seems that the UK is falling behind. Despite just one in a 1,000 lines being able to get 100Mb, 2 in 1,000 customers are paying for these speeds. This indicates that people are paying for something they are not receiving. The Commission has said that the UK has one of the smallest shares of lines with 100Mb plus capability. The EU average is 4 out of every 1,000. The UK lags behind when it comes to 30Mb services as well with 1.7% availability compared to 2.4% in Europe. Neelie Kroes from the Commission has stated that the lack of ambition and under investment is hurting Europe.
According to the communications minister Ed Vaizey, the delay in the UK getting 4G mobile is due to the providers and not Ofcom. Speaking at the Future Entertainment Summit in London this week, Vaizey suggested that bickering between the major providers is causing issues for the introduction of the technology. The main point of contention seems to be that Ofcom was backing the Everything Everywhere bid to go into 4G, which has sidelined other providers. Vaizey has estimated that 4G should happen in the UK in 2013/2014. He doesn't expect that the spectrum will be available until the end of next year and that if Ofcom does not take the time to do it right, they could be sued by the other providers causing more delays. Other concerns which may hinder progress are whether new spectrum use is likely to interfere with digital television reception. He expects this will not be a problem because plans are in place to prevent it. This is despite Freeview airing their concerns recently.
It is thought that huge telecoms conglomerate could be formed if the acquisition of Everything Everywhere and Virgin Media goes ahead as rumoured. The Sunday Times has suggested that private equity firms Apax and KKR are looking into the purchase of EE from the network operators chief executive. There are also rumours that Virgin Media may also become part of the deal. The aim is to create a telecoms firm which would rival Sky and BT. EE is currently owned by Duetsche Telekom and France Telecom and consists of the combined forces of T-Mobile and Orange. They have a customer base of 27 million. Virgin Media have had cashflow problems in the past but are currently valued at around £4 billion. † [last update: 20.06.12]
Related External Sources:
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