90% sounds like a big number. It sounds quite inclusive. But it actually indicates 'exclusion' when it comes to broadband as the government and providers keep promising to reach 90% of the nation:
It has been suggested that the digital divide in the UK is getting wider as investment in broadband networks is still being confined to urban areas. Mark Jackson from ISPreview has commented that major towns and cities are already moving on to super fast broadband speeds while those living in rural areas are struggling with speeds which are significantly slower or they have no service at all. He says that people in rural areas are still expected to pay the same for services which are much less than urban customers receive. He points out that providers have to pay more to get broadband services to rural areas and therefore need to charge more for them. This means that the private sector has little incentive to invest in rural areas - especially the last 10% of the UK's isolated homes.
Of course, that news makes the following press release information sound a little less exciting:
Sky has announced that it has reached 82% coverage of the UK with its Unlimited broadband service after the 2000th exchange opened in Wraysbury in Berkshire. Sky have said that they hope to extend this service to 90% of the UK by 2015. The SKY service has no monthly internet usage cap and they will not slow down speeds during peak hours. Lyssa MacGowan from Sky has said that they have invested £1 billion into their network over the last six years and believe that they offer service and value which is second to none.
Research released by Virgin Media has shown that workplaces in the UK could be devoid of desktop phones in five years as they are replaced by smartphones. The survey questioned senior IT executives and discovered that 65% believed that the traditional phone will be obsolete within half a decade. 62% said that PCs were also likely to be made redundant. Tony Grace from Virgin has commented that the way technology in changing is affecting the way that people work although it is pointed out that landline phones cannot go until there is a wireless connection to replace it. However this is already happening as offices are being fitted out with fibre optic networks during the building stage.
Ofcom has announced a new set of rules which are aimed at ensuring that UK broadband users receive better service from their providers when they make a complaint. The providers will now be expected that there will be a common set of compensation guidelines to ensure consistency when awarding compensation. In addition Ofcom looked into whether the complaints procedures offered by the Ombudsman Services: Communications and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Service were accessible, fair and effective. It was found that both schemes meet most to their criteria but there had been some inconsistent outcomes for some clients. They are now asking that it must be shown that customers are being treated fairly and that equal consideration is given to the word of the customer and the provider. † [last update: 29.08.12]
Related External Sources:
Ofcom aiming to improve consumer broadband outcomes - www.uswitch.com
Broadband digital divide is getting wider - www.uswitch.com
Landlines expected to disappear at work by 2017 - www.cable.co.uk
Sky unbundles 2,000th UK broadband exchange - www.cable.co.uk
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