broadband Engineer

Superfast Broadband: Pat on the Back for BT #FTTC

It’s fast moving this new web based world of ours. Some of it is faster moving than others.  This morning I woke up to the news (in the twitter stream – thanks to @ruskin147) that BT was looking to pull forward the rollout plans for “superfast” broadband. To do this the company is taking on an additional 520 engineers and bringing forward £300m of spend.

Competition is great. Clearly Virgin, with its 100Mbps service, is forcing the pace here. BT is saying that by 2014 it will be serving two thirds of the population with download speeds of 70 – 100Mbps.

I realise that I have occasionally been known to be a critic of those responsible for our national broadband infrastructure. On this occasion I’m going to hold back and say to BT:  Well done. This is a good decision. Keep it coming.

Business internet

UK drops to 25th in league table of internet connection speeds, 15th in Europe – Akamai @edvaizey

Flicking, as one does, through the Akamai State of the Internet Report for Q2 2011 I note that the average internet connection speed for the UK in the second quarter was 5Mbps1.

The good news is that this is up 9% from the previous quarter and 28% year on year.

Unfortunately the bad news is that the UK is not keeping pace with its competitors. I last looked at these stats in January 2011. In Q3 2010 the UK was placed 17th globally for average internet connection speed with 11 European countries ahead of us.

In Q2’11 we are down to 25th globally with 15 other European countries ahead of us. 14 European countries had a higher year on year growth than the UK.

Now I’m sure someone from DCMS2 will come out of the woodwork with some other indicators that show how the UK is going  to have the best  superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015. I don’t think we really need to spend time arguing this one. Perhaps someone could just explain to me how we are going to do it. The Akamai stats suggest that we are going backwards not forwards.

1 I know I’m a couple of weeks late with this one but I was all at sea when the report came out and I’ve only just read it. Also I’m not sure how many commentators have really looked at the relative progress within Europe – from what I can see they have mainly chosen to comment on the gap between advertised speeds and reality.

2 Department of Culture Media and Sports – responsible for “the internet” within government.

broadband Business

Akamai Reports UK 17th for Average Internet Connection Speed Despite Being 6th Highest User #deappg

Akamai is the world’s largest Content Delivery Network employing 73,000 servers around the globe to deliver its customers’ content. Timico hosts an Akamai box in London.

The trends in traffic patterns flowing through the Akamai network are therefore very much representative of what is happening elsewhere on the internet. It was Akamai that showed us that 23% of the world’s internet usage was coming from the UK during England’s afternoon match in last year’s football world cup.

The Akamai State of The Internet Report states that in Q3 2010 over 533 million unique IP addresses connected to the Akamai network, a 20% growth over the same quarter a year ago. Of these 21.6 million were in the UK. For reference Germany has 31.5 and France just under 23m. Looking at the UK’s global competitors the USA led the pack with 141m, China 63m and Japan 37.5m. By this token the UK creeps in as sixth largest user of the internet.

Looking at the average connection speed the story is different. South Korea leads with 14Mbps, followed by Hong Kong (9.2) and then Japan (8.5). In fact there are 16 countries whose average broadband speed, according to Akamai are faster than the UK including 11 of them in Europe.

The message here is obvious. Whilst the UK seems to occupy a significant place in the rankings for internet usage (which is good) its lowly position in respect of average connection speed is somewhat of an embarrassment.

PC link to the report is included above – you need to register but it is a good 31 page read if you are into this sort of thing.

Business internet media

UK is 21.3% of Global internet traffic during England v Slovenia #worldcup match says Akamai

Global content delivery network Akamai is showing its UK traffic today as 21.3% of the global internet traffic.  Whilst it isn’t true to extrapolate this to say that the UK represents 21.3% of all global internet traffic today it is a reasonable indicator as to the UK share of overall usage.

This is certainly being seen at Timico where our streaming traffic is up 357% which is even higher than yesterday’s reported budget watching traffic.  This was itself a record 309% increase. Twitter is struggling this afternoon and the live football stream from the BBC on my 100Mbps connection is not great so – now you know why.

Photo below is a screenshot showing global network hotspots.

Global Akamai network hotspot map during the world cup match between England and Slovenia
Global Akamai network hotspot map during the world cup match between England and Slovenia