Q&A: What was the first broadband connection in the UK?

December 9th, 2013 Filed under: Cheapest Broadband — Internet BroadBand Author

It’s time for another question/answer. I know a lot of you like these so here we go. This one comes from who asks us:

Does anyone know any of these: when the connection was installed? How fast it was? What ISP provided the connection? Who was the lucky customer? How much did it cost? By “broadband”, I mean probably at least 512kbps, not dial-up or an ISDN line (does anyone still use those?)

Answer: The history of broadband evolution shapes today’s market. Hence why we’re touching on it here.Significant migration of domestic internet connectivity from dialup to broadband started in year 2000 here in the UK.For the business user at that time, high speed internet connections were expensive dedicated leased lines that typically were the domain of larger businesses that had big budgets to spend on connectivity.Broadband options had been around since the late nineties with a few cable operators offering cost effective high speed connections. However, the options for small businesses and homes at the time were fairly limited with only sporadic availability of broadband connections. Getting a high speed connection at that time was a lottery of geographic location (i.e. one had to be within a particular catchment area of a Cable Company [CableCo]).Everything changed in late 2000 when British Telecom (BT) came to the market with its generic DSL products.Rather than BT retaining exclusive retail rights for DSL, it opened up a wholesale channel programme allowing Internet Service Providers (ISP)s to resell BT generic DSL products.There were (and still are) are two product types offered by BT wholesale:-DataStream IPStream The channel programme meant that BT could leverage sales and support of its broadband products via its reseller partners. This approach has proved to a highly effective means of matching the demand for broadband with the supply in the UK marketplace.BT have created DSL broadband as almost a tangible “commodity” whereby it is the producer / supplier and between it and the end customer is a supply chain. The model was (and still is):- Producer(BT) -> Wholesaler(BT) -> Retailer(ISP) -> Consumer.Evolution of Broadband ServicesCommercial and technical issues have changed the market in the last few years.As wholesale bandwidth has become cheaper due to technological advances, the prices for provision of DSL bandwidth have also fallen.With Local Loop Unbundling (LLU) now in full swing, ISPs are now free to install their own equipment in local BT infrastructure. With this new freedom, higher DSL speeds of up to 24Mbps are possible. Availability of these LLU based services is currently sporadic and mainly around large cities and towns.Source: http://www.broadband-help.com/articles/consumer/broadband_providers_in_the_UK/

Tagged:Computer Networking

Q&A – Can someone explain how companies charge for broadband usage and diff between dsl and cable?

December 8th, 2013 Filed under: Broadband Problems — Internet BroadBand Author

Many of you might be asking this same question so I’m posting with the answer here. Enjoy. The question is from chicklad

I pretty much undestand the concept of broadband but how are you charges according to how much you use? Is it determined by how much you download or how often you are surfing the web, watching movies, playing games? etc Would dsl be used in cases were people want no interference with the phoneline? Does cable allow you internet access and cable tv?

Answer: DSL service shares bandwidth amongst ALL users connected to the same DSLAM. Cable shares bandwidth amongst ALL users connected to the same CMTS.DSL’s advantage?The dedicated circuit prevents other users from affecting your connection to any significant degree. (In most cases.)Cable’s advantage?Generally cable can support higher bandwidth rates, and can usually provide service to a larger area than 18,000 wire-feet, DSL’s limit.Cable modems are typically faster for downloads than most if not all DSL lines, when the cable infrastructure is new or well maintained. One of the most common complaints seen in our cable forums is that of increased latency and other problems as more subscribers in a given area come on line. Additionally, cable has a few other disadvantages when compared to DSL.The first disadvantage is that cable is an RF network — this means that it is vulnerable to transient problems “within the network” from RF interference. Since cable is a shared media, there is a possibility that performance may degrade over time as additional households plug in, connect additional devices (videos, game machines etc.) to the TV lines.A cable company may react slowly to decreases in performance if it reacts at all, as they never sell access by speed, or promise consistent speed or latency.Another of the disadvantages of cable over DSL is the upstream (return path). Cable companies are using a very narrow band for return signalling, and this is positioned below all the space allocated for TV channels. This band is prone to RF interference and is very limited in capacity. Upstream transmissions may therefore compete with others in the area, get delayed (suffer high latency) due to noise fighting techniques, and cable TOS (Terms Of Service) typically prohibit any kind of constant upstream use. Internet use is shifting away from central servers broadcasting to many individuals and some interesting peer to peer applications are appearing (games, voice and video applications, communal libraries). These applications need a strong upstream channel.In summary, cable modems are currently good value and strong competition for residential casual use, often available more cheaply and far faster than their ADSL competition. However, DSL is probably the more future-proof system, offering digital direct from the internet infrastructure. If your DSL ISP is on the ball, your performance in either direction will not be different from peak hour to early morning, and DSL lines are available for a wide variety of purposes, both business and residential.———————————–The average speed of a DSL download is 1.0 – 1.5Mbps. That’s megabytes per second – about 20 times as fast as the fastest dial-up connection. This is fast, but consider Cable, which can give you up to 2 – 3Mbps. Thus, at least for downloading, cable can give you almost twice the speed of DSL – that’s impressive. On the upload side, however, cable and DSL are pretty evenly matched. They both provide about 100Kbps – 400Kbps. It seems that cable has won this battle. What about Price and Quality of Service?There is more to discuss here besides the speed of the connections. Take price for one. Cable and DSL connections are both going to be more expensive than dial-up. But, DSL seems to be the cheaper of the two at the moment. You can get a good DSL internet connection for about $35 – $45 per month. Cable modem will cost you about $45 or $50 (this price may be included in a cable TV package). These prices, however, are really close and they change almost from month to month. DSL is nice because you can talk on the phone and be online at the same time. In addition, business-level DSL service provides guaranteed data rates, so your connection speed is never a surprise. On the other hand, DSL speed tends to decrease the further you are away from the data center, and it is typically not as widely available as Cable. Cable speeds are not dependent on distance from the data center, and is occasionally cheaper than DSL when included in a cable TV rate. A cable modem, however, may require costly professional installation, and there may exists some limitations on downloads and uploads. All of these factors should be taken into consideration when choosing either broadband service.

Tagged:Computer Networking