The Fastest Broadband provider was one of the awards to be decided at the annual uSwitch.com broadband awards that took place on the 23rd January.
The uSwitch Broadband Awards 2014 took place at Café De Paris in London and there were 12 awards up for grabs. The top award of Best Broadband Provider went to Virgin Media and they also got awarded the Fastest Broadband and Best Customer Rated Broadband awards too. It will be a nice feather in their cap going into 2014 having the Fastest Broadband accolade to flash in BT’s face if they want as the 2 rival companies go head to head with their fibre optic networks.
The list of awards and who won them were as follows:
- Best Broadband Provider: Virgin Media
- Best Value Home Broadband: Plusnet
- Best Broadband Innovation: BT
- Best TV Streaming Service: Sky
- Best Customer Benefits: Sky
- Best TV Provider: Sky
- Best Customer Service: Plusnet
- Best Broadband, TV & Home Phone: Sky
- Best Broadband & Home Phone: BT
- Fastest Broadband: Virgin Media
- Fastest Mobile Broadband: EE
- Best Customer Rated Broadband: Virgin Media
What is good to see is that Plusnet (owned by BT) still keep coming up well in these types of awards and scooping the Best Value Home Broadband plus the Best Customer Service awards really helps boost the profile of the “smaller” broadband providers out there.
The awards were voted for by 3,000 broadband customers, plus a panel of experts along with data gathered by uSwitch such as speed test results.
BT and Alcatel-Lucent have announced that they have achieved the fastest real-world fibre broadband speed test of 1.4TB/s.
This figure of 1.4TB/s is believed to be the fastest speed test result ever achieved in commercial grade hardware in a real-world environment and in real terms to us everyday folk it would mean that 44 uncompressed HD films could be transmitted in just 1 second!
We must apologise to those reading this who are still stuck in the slow lane when it comes to internet connections as the thought of 1.4TB connections must be a bit sickening. Just to help compare the difference, a 1.4Tb speed is the same as 1468006 Megabytes, now bear in mind many internet users have to currently make do with a 5 Megabyte connection or less!
To achieve this record a new “flexible grid” infrastructure called Flexgrid which varies the gaps between transmission channels was used. How it works is by increasing the density of channels on the fibre which helped achieve a 42.5% greater transmission efficiency than is currently achieved by todays networks. This shows that there will be a huge scope for increasing the speed of fibre optic networks in the future by using this technology and could mean that new or more fibre optic cables won’t need to be laid as bandwidth demand grows.
The record test was done between BT’s Tower in London and BT’s Adstral Park, this is where BT has their research campus in Suffolk which uses a 410Km fibre link between the 2 locations.
Chief Network Architect at BT, Neil McRae, said:
“Investing for the future is core to BT’s strategy and this outstanding achievement demonstrates that BT can easily introduce new features and technologies across our core network maximizing the efficiency of our existing infrastructure. Working with Alcatel-Lucent on this trial has been highly productive in demonstrating the viability of an alien wavelength approach.”
Superfast broadband is now available to 100,000 homes and businesses in Wales as part of the “Superfast Cymru Project” that is aiming to have 96% coverage of Wales with superfast broadband by the end of 2015.
Originally the target had been for the 100,000 target to have been reached by the end of 2013, however this target is only just over a week behind target so wasn’t too bad a prediction and target.
£57m has been put into the Superfast Cymru Project by the UK Government, it is the Welsh version of the Broadband Delivery Project for the UK (BDUK) which is to help fund the roll out of superfast broadband to areas that BT & Virgin Media themselves don’t class as financially viable to do so by themselves.
Some of the places in Wales that are already connected to the faster broadband include: Blaenau Ffestiniog, Criccieth, Fairbourne, Harlech, Llanberis, Penygroes, Penrhyndeudraeth and Tywyn in the north, and Brynmawr, Clydach and Rhiwderin in the south.
Culture Secretary, Maria Miller, said:
“It’s brilliant news that more than 100,000 Welsh homes and businesses are already gaining real social and commercial advantages as a result of the nationwide rollout.
The contribution that the Governments’ delivery of superfast broadband by 2017 will make to the economic growth of the nation cannot be underestimated.”
Dave Jones, the Wales Secretary, said:
“Today’s announcement marks a significant leap forward in our efforts to ensure Wales has a broadband network fit for the digital age.
Thanks to the investment made into Wales’ digital infrastructure by this Government, we are well on our way to achieving a truly remarkable transformation in broadband provision in Wales.”
Virgin Media are to increase their top fibre optic broadband speed to an ultrafast 152Mb and make it double what is widely available on BT’s fibre optic network. It is little surprise that Virgin Media chose 152Mb to up their … Continue reading
None of the 50 biggest UK towns or cities are superfast for broadband according to the latest speed test research done by uSwitch.
uSwitch collected 1.4 million broadband speed test results between April & September this year that were done by consumers and compiled the data along with their locations to find the results for the 50 biggest UK towns & cities. The town that came closest to being “superfast” was Telford which recorded an average broadband speed of 23Mb, this is still short of the government’s benchmark of 24Mb for a broadband connection to be classed as superfast.
The only capital city with an average broadband speed above 20Mb was Belfast with 20.82Mb. Birmingham were in 6th spot and notched up 19.15Mb, a 67% increase on 2012, Manchester was 13th with 18.36Mb and recording a 44% increase on 2012, London was down in 26th spot recording 16.97Mb with 19% still receiving less than 3Mb broadband speeds.
The average for the whole of the UK’s top 50 towns and cities showed an average broadband speed of 14.5Mb, a 43% rise from 2012 when it was 10.1Mb, there was still however over a quarter (27%) of people connecting at less than 3Mb.
Leeds was the place to have the highest speed increase change on the previous year, in 2012 they had an average broadband speed of 9.88Mb, in 2013 this had risen by 87% to 18.50Mb and put them in 10th spot.
Telecoms expert at uSwitch, Marie-Louise Abretti, said:
“Urban speeds in the UK are around three times faster than rural speeds, but even download speeds in Britain’s 50 biggest cities still aren’t super-fast.
The Government’s blinkered focus on bringing super-fast connections to 95% of Britain by 2017 is all very well but, if they pull it off, it’s only half the battle won. If people don’t actually use super-fast broadband because it’s too expensive, or they don’t know they can get it, then what’s the point? Uptake will be heavily dependent on both price and awareness.“
Nearly three quarters of UK premises are now able to connect to superfast fibre optic broadband of 30Mb broadband speeds or above.
Ofcoms latest Infrastructure Report that was published last week and covered up to June 2013 showed that 73% of UK premises were able to get superfast broadband which is broadband speeds of 30Mb or faster, this was a rise of an extra 8% of premises from June 2012 where it was available to 65% of UK premises.
Take up of Superfast broadband has seen over double the amount of people connecting with it compared to a year ago. In June 2012 there were just 10% of premises that were connected with a superfast fibre broadband connection compared to June 2013 where it had risen to 22%. In real terms this equates to 2.1 million in 2012 and 4.8 million in 2013.
The increasing take up of fibre optic broadband will be one of the reasons that the UK managed to get into the top 10 countries for fastest average broadband speeds. With more users taking speed tests with fibre connections this will be raising the average UK broadband speed. We can only see this continuing on a upward trend while the fibre roll out continues and more and more people switch to it as better deals and offers become available.
Our ever increasing need for internet connections and always being able to stay connected can also be seen by the number of WiFi hotspots that are now available. There are now 34,000 WiFi hotspots in the UK, this is more than double the number available in 2012 when there was just 16,000.
The UK has entered into the top 10 countries globally for the average broadband speed available across the country.
In the latest Akamai “State Of The Internet” report the UK were ranked as the 10th fastest country for average broadband speeds with an average of 8.4Mb, globally the average broadband speed test result was 3.3Mb. Leading the way was South Korea who had an average broadband speed of 13.3Mb followed by Japan with 12Mb.
The UK has managed a very impressive 48% broadband speed rise on the same time last year and an 11% rise since the first quarter of the year.
Peak broadband average speeds saw the global average at 18.9Mb, with Hong Kong offering the fastest with 65.1Mb ahead of South Korea with 53.3Mb. The UK did not enter into the top 10 for this as yet but hopefully with a continued roll out and take up of fibre optic broadband in the UK then hopefully we will see the UK start to rise up the charts for broadband speed test results.
The difference between Bits & Bytes, their abbreviations and their equivalent values.
It includes, bit, byte, kilobit, kilobyte, Megabit, Megabyte, Gigabit, Gigabyte
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Keeping your router switched on all the time is advisable to help keep your broadband running at its fastest possible speed, this means that if getting the fastest broadband speed available to you is important then you should avoid turning your router off at night or when you have stopped using your internet each day.
The reason for this is that if you regularly turn off your router then it can make your connection appear to be disconnecting to your local exchange which in turn will then think that your line is not able to cope with faster broadband speeds as it is unstable and it will then lower the broadband speeds that are available to you.
Don’t worry if you have always been used to switching off your router and are worried that you won’t be able to get your maximum broadband speeds now as providing you start to leave your router on permanently then the maximum speeds should start to come back through to your line (this can take up to 3 days).
BT Broadband have been told to stop running an advert in it’s current form due to misleading broadband speed claims in it.
The advert claims that BT’s Infinity Broadband package was “8 x faster” than the national average, however BT only used the national average for ADSL broadband speeds and not the national average for all broadband (which includes Fibre optic broadband) and because of this the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) said the advert had to be stopped.
According to Ofcom’s broadband speed test results the average UK broadband speed is 12Mb which was from their March 2013 results, however these results were not available when BT made the advert and they used the speed test results from the November 2012 report but based the figures on ADSL broadband which showed an average speed of just 6Mb.
The outcome from the investigation by the ASA was that: “The ad must not appear again in its current form. We told BT to base their speed claims on the most up-to-date data and to present qualifications clearly in future.”