Skip Navigation


UK internet economy driven by our online spending habits
Thursday 11 December 2014 10:23:18 by Andrew Ferguson

Ofcom has the responsibility of tracking the European Broadband Scorecard that is being used to track whether the promises of successive Culture Ministers are being achieved and while we are certain there will be those that disagree there is some compelling supporting the notion that the internet economy in the UK is one of the strongest in the world.

With average online spending per consumer in the UK reaching £2,000 per for goods it is clear that internet shopping and bargain hunting is a major use of broadband, for comparison the next highest spend was Australia at £1,356 per head per year. This spending habit also leads to the online world commanding 40% of the advertising spend.

How UK broadband and voice prices compare to Europe

Price is an area where the UK public seem to be very sensitive, with people switching providers over 5% changes in their monthly telecom/broadband bills. So it is interesting to see the above chart putting the UK close to the top, and it should be highlighted that the tables include the voice element costs and do not include the promotional offers that of late have seen promotions where you do not pay the standard price at all during the minimum term.

The coverage of superfast broadband i.e. 30 Mbps and faster services being ahead of France, Germany, Italy and Spain will be something that pleases the politicians but we know that if you look at higher speeds the picture does start to change, particularly in the cities where many more apartment blocks have Fibre to the Building and 100 Mbps may be the minimum speed available.

Of course the current levels of superfast coverage are not the end goal, a stepping and controlled budget approach is the current path towards the eventual goal of everyone with a 30 Mbps connection in 2020. The rural/urban divide is a battle of wills that has existed since the first settlements were created and while rural broadband speeds do not match urban, they appear to be tracking with a lag of around a year and most importantly we are also seeing the lower quartile speeds increasing.

The debate over whether a higher speed goal should have been set will continue but raises the intriguing question that if a 100 Mbps minimum had been set to future proof connectivity for more than a couple of years would the roll-out have been possible at the same speed? And if not what would those waiting even longer have had to say about the delays.

Comments

Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
As highlighted in Ofcom's report this week & research done by BBFix over the last yr, and as people like me have been saying for years, areas where fixes are needed the most are invariably left the longest. 10Mbps is currently acceptable it seems so why give more to areas already above this, leaving others at under 2Mbps?
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
As always,it boils down to where to roll out first & in the interests of being top of the coverage league tables it's rolled out to the areas that least need it. Give the 100Mbps min to those on low speeds first. The others have sufficient speed to tide them over well enough until rollout reaches them.
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/research/technology-research/2014/performance-eval.pdf

Summary: Increase in experience is minimal after 10Mbps, whereas the experience deteriorates rapidly below that.

Conclusion: Spend money on the bad areas first rather than concentrating on attaining speeds above 10Mbps. The technology used will ensure future proofing for the "next step", i.e. FTTP or FTTPoD via FTTC.
Posted by WWWombat about 1 year ago
@csimon
Right approach, if that is your major goal. It is nice to see that my LA is focussing on that 10Mbps level for making best use of the SEP funds.

BT's commercial goal for NGA was to be within budget ... and that naturally follows the inside-out approach that coincidentally means those with fast speeds get offered the next thing first.

LA's goals for BDUK have been budget-focussed: to get service to the maximum number of people possible. That tends to mean the denser areas, which follows an inside-out pattern too.

I don't think being top of a league table came into it.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Wombat
In Surrey the BD UK contract hit all locations filling in and jumping commercial Cabs and the (Availibity ) to get better speeds has risen thus pulling customers out of the 2--10 band if they wish to buy the service. There are many commercial Cabs not open yet .
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
@WWWombat - I was using the league table thing to indicate the approach of getting the biggest coverage as soon as possible regardless of need rather than focussing the efforts on where it's needed the most.

The Surrey approach sounds interesting!
Posted by csimon about 1 year ago
I wonder if BDUK doing the small, needy areas first would actually have been cheaper? Do the 20% clawback clauses apply to individual cabinets? If so, consider a small village of 100 households with no terrestrial TV reception, 50% of them have broadband and under 2Mbps. They then get FTTC or FTTP. Are these people more likely to take up NGA than cabinets with 1000 people on all with 20Mbps connections? If so, the clawback clause may have kicked in sooner, maybe almost immediately, and the council would have effectively done it for free!
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Csimon
In the Surrey Area the BDUk contract hit the areas where the fibre was available first then the Cabs that where further away from the centre distribution OLD Group Switching AREA point max fibre 12 miles cable run this covered many EO lines and small Exchanges.
The only way to get the clawback in was to advertise as soon as the Cab was open this was actioned via Web Site every day of the week.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
@csimon

This might well be the case but the LA wont have the data to argue the case. If we take our village of 80 properties Ofcom says there are 15 connections . Without knowing that almost all the other 65 premises cannot receive ADSL this would look like a place with very low broadband demand and not one that is likely to give an 80-90% take up if superfast ever arrives here, as is actually the case.
Posted by baby_frogmella about 1 year ago
Hi Black
quote "from the centre distribution OLD Group Switching AREA point max fibre 12 miles cable run"
I admire your knowledge of D sides and E sides but what do you mean by this?
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Babe
The OLD Groupe Switching Area was Haslemere code (01428) this Exchange is where the fibre cables are terminated on line cards. From Haslemere the fibres are fanned out to the other CAB,s which are on other Exchanges picking up there Cabs the longest one is Frensham Exchange (01252) Cabs (see map). These fibres cover the Cabs that are positioned outside of an exchange which are taking the EO lines on that Exchanges. These fibre routes take FTTC plus FTTP,and fibre on demand.i did work for (EX BT ) on these routes.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Geranda
The LA will have the information for an area by using the Post Code (GPS) information and the Post Code of the Old Cab GPS position if on a Cab.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Babe
If you check on Thinkbroadband map from Haslemere exchange to Frensham via Hindhhead on the fibre route you will see the speeds are rising daily and spreading outwards as the Cabs are brought into service. These results have a delay in them as the data is dropped off at aprox 90 days. If you do not think I am correct please return I do not bite.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Babe
If I am correct this then transfers the customers into a differant Market.
See Sam Knows Haslemere Market 3 when the other exchanges are Market 1 and 2 please.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
@blackmamba

The LA will not have knowledge of which lines can get ADSL unless a) BT have that knowledge and b) BT choose to tell them.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Gerarda
The LA is not interest in customers who have ADSL as they are paying for the highest speed to the Post Code which is the shop window.As I have quoted before that Surreys Target is 15 meg by any ISP over its own network.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
@blackmamba
Please read my original post again.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Gerarda
Are all the properties ( 80 ) on just one Post Code and are they connected to a phone line also it's the responicibity for the LA to cover the area when they sign the contract. I would have thought that a FTTC would have been provided to this site. Is there a low WiFi connections to the Post Codes. I hope the customers have placed there speeds on Thinkbroadband maps. From your remarks it looks like there are no old Cabs involved and they could be EO.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) about 1 year ago
@Blackmamba you need to read carefully what Gerarda said, not what you think he said.

They are saying that people don't have broadband because its so slow that its not worth bothering. Wi-Fi as a connection technology is generally rare, apart from the coffee shop style hot-spots.

Ofcom and local authorities should know about this sorts of areas, but the issue is that with current targets 80 premises is easy to skip as lots of other areas with 150 on just one cabinet.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Andrews Staff
Thanks for your reply.
Gerarda has not given the location of the village or Exchange Area 80 Customers that are not taking up the service. BT planning would have the information and also the LA by the Post Codes plus you on Thinkbroadband Maps.
Posted by Blackmamba about 1 year ago
Hi Gerarda.
The new Openreach Web/page may help you it was opened yesterday.
Posted by gerarda about 1 year ago
help me with what?
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.