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Wednesday, 1 October 2008

My ISP and ADSL2+ (part 5)

It has to be said. Here in Kingston-upon-Hull (Hull) ISP's are something of a rarity. Even more of a rarity is that we have one, ONE, ISP offering ADSL services. So, when I get emails from people outside of the ISP servicing area saying "Switch ISP's if your own is so bad" I have to question their knowledge of U.K. telecommunication history. Okay, not many are interested and even fewer even know we have our own telephone network totally autonomous from BT.

There are many people here that would love to have a choice of both telephone provider and of ADSL provider. That number is growing all the time as more and more people become aware of what ISP's offering services outside of this area offer. Some have gone so far as to initiate contact we some ISP's outside of this area in an effort to persuade them to setup camp in Hull all to no avail as KC have steadfastly stifled the market to ensure their foothold in local territory stays that way.

KC, of course, resolutely denies this and has said on numerous occasions that their prices for wholesale broadband is competitive with those of BT. While the actual cost of purchasing such IS comparable to BT the provision of such services is not. But, say KC, these are details that are looked at on a per customer basis. Not that that makes any difference to actual costings. So, we have the situation  where the local incumbent telephony company openly invites outside ISP's to come into the city any ISP looking into such says that the local incumbent telephony provider has things locked up price wise so they will not come here.

There is a company supposedly offering fibre services to businesses but I know of no business here, large or small, that has taken up such an offering. No doubt cost of installation is the main barrier to penetration.

Our incumbent ISP had better pull its finger out. Customers are getting evermore wise to how things work and here ADSL2+ while offering fantastic line stability (until it rains then all bets are off) has SLOWED DOWN the vast majority of peoples speeds. That's correct. ADSL2+ which was hailed as the faster of the ADSL technologies has proven itself to be a duck egg for the vast majority of people here. I have serious doubts that they can fix the slow sync/throughput speeds so what are they to do? First, they have to admit that ADSL2+ is a waste of time on their aging network copper lines. Second, they must ring forward whatever plans they have for fibre installs. Third, they must ensure those fibre installs are right up to peoples houses (so called FTTH). Fourth they must ensure that throughput speeds on FFTH lines are at least 50MB and preferably 100MB or better.

Failure to heed any of those will eventually lead to one of two things. One, the Karoo ISP will disapear as a going concern. Two, others WILL come here and offer comparable or better fibre connections.

My own patience with KC/Karoo has worn very thin indeed and I am now actively speaking with ISP representatives outside of the Hull area with a view to having them setup camp in the city or as one of them told me "so that we can provide you with the technologies you will need but you and your partners will be the front end for us".

We will see in the coming year where this leads to. I, however, will be doing everything within my capabilties to make sure it happens. The ISP's I have spoken with hold all the cards so if they get weak knees about such plans there is little, right now, I can do about it.

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