Providers like to give incentives to sign up and Talk Talk are trying with free LoveFilm subscriptions. Of course, will the Scots be able to use it?:
The comparison site uSwitch has released a survey which indicates that broadband speeds in Scotland have actually fallen this year and many UK households are stuck with slow speeds. The average UK broadband speed has actually risen by 16% over the past year, according to their figures, but almost 30% of the UK still has speeds of less than 3Mb. 21% are still dealing with slow speeds of less than 2Mb which is considered to be the absolute basic speed. The results also showed that the average speed in Scottish cities has fallen. The top ten UK cities when it comes to broadband speeds include London, Belfast, Luton and Portsmouth, however Edinburgh, Bolton and Telford saw their speeds fall by more than 10%. Julia Stent from uSwitch has commented that bringing faster broadband to rural areas is too slow and that services such as YouView would only increase demand. She points out that there is a divide between the north of the UK and the south.
Ofcom have finally announced that they will be holding an auction for 4G spectrum this year in the hope that 4G services will be available from 2013. The spectrum available will be 800MHz and 2.6GHz spectrum for O2, Vodafone and Everything Everywhere and some reserved for a fourth unnamed party. It is thought this will be Three. It is hoped that there will be 99% coverage of the UK by 2017. Proposals can be submitted this year and the bidding process will take place in early 2013. It is thought that the service will be available to consumers by late next year. The question of whether everything everywhere will still be able to take advantage of their headstart in the 4G race has not been mentioned by Ofcom as this is still being disputed by other operators.
Broadband providers have signed up to a voluntary code of practice to show their support of an open Internet. Be, BT, BskyB, Giffgaff, O2, PlusNet, TalkTalk, Tesco and Three have all signed up to say that they will offer an Internet service which will not block or restrict certain services, although they may manage them at certain times. Virgin Media is one company which has failed to sign up along with Orange, T-mobile and Vodaphone. Virgin Media have said that they do not intend on discriminating when it comes to data, but they will not sign up to the code as it is written. They wanted something which was clearer for the industry to give consumers transparency. They believe the principles as they are set out encourage exploitation and they want to see more certainty. However they do agree with the concept of a free Internet.
TalkTalk have joined together with the film downloading service LoveFilm to offer a free 12 month subscription to anyone who buys their Plus package. This bundled service includes home phone and ADSL or fibre broadband. Lovefilm subscriptions usually cost £4.99 per month and allow customers to either borrow or download a certain number of films each month. They have more than 5,000 movies available which can be streamed to a variety of devices. This offer comes just one week after Sky's Now movie service launched and led to BT's move to offer their movie on demand service, BT Vision Essential for free for a limited time. The scheme appears to benefit both companies as Lovefilm is seeing intense competition from Netflix, while TalkTalk has been in decline for some time. † [last update: 25.07.12]
Related External Sources:
Ofcom announces 4G mobile broadband coming to UK in 2013. - www.broadbandgenie.co.uk
Broadbands north south divide - www.telegraph.co.uk
Broadband providers support open internet - www.which.co.uk
TalkTalk offers free LoveFilm for top tier broadband customers. - www.screendigest.com
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