The end of the line for fixed line broadband?

Dr Lobster*
Posts: 2013
Joined: Sat 30 Aug, 2003 20.14

Thu 12 Apr, 2012 10.03

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i'm setting up a laptop for a very nice lady (hence the pink theme, i prefer 70s earth tones) and i'm downloading and installing a few bits via my mobile phone's 3g connection via a wifi tether (i'm on 3)

as you can see, i'm getting 730 kb/sec download speed. that's faster than my Plusnet broadband connection at home. I'm also in the arse end of nowhere norfolk.

i hardy ever use the bt line in my house for phone calls, i really only have it for broadband. is the time coming now that the connection speeds of mobile broadband are as such that fixed line can be dispensed with entirely for most people?
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marksi
Posts: 1892
Joined: Wed 07 Jan, 2004 05.38
Location: Donaghadee

Thu 12 Apr, 2012 12.28

BT has informed me it can now offer me 76MB broadband on my fibre line. I'm not sure if that's necessary but it's certainly not available on the 2G mobile phone network here.

I would like to see the end of the requirement of paying £12 a month for a phone line I don't use in order to get a broadband connection.
Alexia
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Joined: Sat 01 Oct, 2005 17.50

Thu 12 Apr, 2012 15.02

marksi wrote:I would like to see the end of the requirement of paying £12 a month for a phone line I don't use in order to get a broadband connection.
Lobby to get your area cabled. I get (up to) 30MB for £17 a month no phone line required on my Virgin connection.
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marksi
Posts: 1892
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Location: Donaghadee

Thu 12 Apr, 2012 15.24

Alexia wrote:
marksi wrote:I would like to see the end of the requirement of paying £12 a month for a phone line I don't use in order to get a broadband connection.
Lobby to get your area cabled. I get (up to) 30MB for £17 a month no phone line required on my Virgin connection.
No mission. Virgin has no interest in extending to any towns here not already covered.

Plus, their TV picture quality is shite.
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DVB Cornwall
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Joined: Fri 24 Jun, 2005 21.42

Thu 12 Apr, 2012 15.41

It might be the end for very light users. For someone like me whose usage as recorded by BT as

At 23:59 on 11/04/2012 you had used 26.51 GB of your unlimited usage allowance.
Your average monthly usage is 80.29 GB.

Then mobile broadband is a non starter.
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Alexia
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Thu 12 Apr, 2012 15.47

Good point -- speed is one thing - capacity is another.
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lukey
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Thu 12 Apr, 2012 15.58

Definitely not. I don't really like that broadband is marketed on bandwidth, when really, after a certain point, increases in bandwidth offer such diminishing returns. Once you're past a few Mbps, latency is *everything*, except for HD video streaming and large file downloads (assuming of course the service is even able to saturate your pipe. oo-er etc.). Virgin is going to upgrade my connection from 30Mbps to 60, and I have no idea why. Unfortunately, I expect a big chunk of people think this means their Facebook pages will load twice as fast.

When it comes to mobile data though, I don't see it being a viable replacement for fixed-line broadband in the way mobiles have begun to supplant landline phones. Even though bandwidth over 3G is often sufficient, latency is still pretty awful.
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WillPS
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Thu 12 Apr, 2012 17.34

Sort of related - something called 'Digital Region' is now available in my flat. As I understand it, this was a partnership between a few councils in South Yorkshire to get a FTTC connection available to most homes. The speeds it offers are impressive and one of the service providers has even started offering an IPTV service (a non-starter here as the female demands Living).

I assumed this would work the same way as BT Infinity, as in you connect and your landline is attached to the cabinet rather than an exchange. It appears I'm wrong though - as all the ISPs seem to offer a VOIP phone solution rather than a proper landline. Does this mean when/if I connect there'll be a Virgin Media style installation squad?
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dosxuk
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Location: Sheffield

Fri 13 Apr, 2012 03.53

WillPS wrote:Sort of related - something called 'Digital Region' is now available in my flat. As I understand it, this was a partnership between a few councils in South Yorkshire to get a FTTC connection available to most homes. The speeds it offers are impressive and one of the service providers has even started offering an IPTV service (a non-starter here as the female demands Living).

I assumed this would work the same way as BT Infinity, as in you connect and your landline is attached to the cabinet rather than an exchange. It appears I'm wrong though - as all the ISPs seem to offer a VOIP phone solution rather than a proper landline. Does this mean when/if I connect there'll be a Virgin Media style installation squad?
Isn't Digital Region fibre-to-the-premisis? I know I can't get it, because despite being less than 50m from the nearest "access point", as they don't have any access rights with my landlord, they can't run their fibre to my house. Instead I'm stuck with the "free" laser internet via Ask4, or my phone line with ADSL, which despite being within 1/2 mile of the main exchange for Sheffield, can only cope with about 3MB download speeds.
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WillPS
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Fri 13 Apr, 2012 04.01

dosxuk wrote:
WillPS wrote:Sort of related - something called 'Digital Region' is now available in my flat. As I understand it, this was a partnership between a few councils in South Yorkshire to get a FTTC connection available to most homes. The speeds it offers are impressive and one of the service providers has even started offering an IPTV service (a non-starter here as the female demands Living).

I assumed this would work the same way as BT Infinity, as in you connect and your landline is attached to the cabinet rather than an exchange. It appears I'm wrong though - as all the ISPs seem to offer a VOIP phone solution rather than a proper landline. Does this mean when/if I connect there'll be a Virgin Media style installation squad?
Isn't Digital Region fibre-to-the-premisis? I know I can't get it, because despite being less than 50m from the nearest "access point", as they don't have any access rights with my landlord, they can't run their fibre to my house. Instead I'm stuck with the "free" laser internet via Ask4, or my phone line with ADSL, which despite being within 1/2 mile of the main exchange for Sheffield, can only cope with about 3MB download speeds.
You could well be right. That's a bummer, how do they cable to flats at all?

I show up in their postcode search but also live in a flat - there's a staircase shared between the nearest 6 flats. It was only built 5 or so years ago - there must be some sort of ducting provision of some sort? I'm pretty fed up with ADSL and was really hoping to move over when my contract with O2 is up.

EDIT: Just found this from Origin's website: http://support.origin-broadband.co.uk/K ... -equipment
EDIT2: and this http://www.digitalregionbroadband.co.uk ... t-is-fttc/
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cwathen
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Fri 13 Apr, 2012 21.15

i hardy ever use the bt line in my house for phone calls, i really only have it for broadband. is the time coming now that the connection speeds of mobile broadband are as such that fixed line can be dispensed with entirely for most people?
I wouldn't say that it would never happen, but it's certainly not going to happen soon. Although the technology to achieve high bandwidth through mobile connections exists, in practice it is not commonplace enough to cope with even current demands on bandwidth, let alone future ones.

My phone has great performance over 3G and performance over a tethered connection (for normal web browsing at least) feels pretty much the same as a conventional fixed connection, but all too often (particularly when I'm travelling by train which is when I'd most value mobile internet) it can't get a 3G signal and I'm knocked back down to 2G and a world where nothing except Opera Mini is usable on the phone and you can forget about trying to load real websites through a tethered connection.

Even where a good quality 3G connection exists, the infrastructure to deliver this kind of connection on any great scale simply isn't there, so mobile data is kept expensive in an attempt to reduce the strain on the infrastructure and keep serious internet use firmly away from mobile connections.

Until we reach the day when I can spend the evening on Youtube whilst a ton of stuff from Vuze downloads in the background without needing to take a second job to pay for it I don't see fixed connections going anywhere.
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