Battle of Britain, ADSL upgrades, Skype and EU VAT

Battle of Britain

This week is the annual Battle of Britain week here in Guernsey and today sees highlight of the weeks events, the air display. Alas, I missed the a chunk of it but managed to catch the star attraction The Red Arrows. As always it was most impressive, dives banks and turns at low altitude while retaining perfect form in an number of geometric shapes. The weather was less impressed and the low cloud ceiling canceled out the various cross-overs we are normally treated to.

ADSL upgrades

Today sees the completion of Cable & Wireless Guernsey’s free ADSL upgrade from 512KB to 1MB. My parents and friends got theirs earlier but even mine was enhanced this morning. If yours is still running at 512KB give them a shout.

So how does it stack up against other uncapped residential plans?

  • C&W Guernsey 1150/280 £26.99
  • Jersey Telecom 512/256 £24.99, 1024/384 £44.95, 2048/384 £84.99
  • Manx Telecom 512 £29.23, 1024 £49.99, 2048 £89.99 (all include VAT)
  • C&W UK 8192 £29.50 (including VAT)
  • UK Online 512 £9.99, 1024 £14.99, 2048 £19.99, 8192 £29.99
  • Germany (various) 1024/128 €16.99, 2048/192 €19,99, 6016/576 €24.99 (all include VAT)
  • BellSouth USA 256/128 $24.95, 1500/256 $32.95, 3000/384 $42.95

So Guernsey is doing rather well in the island broadband pricing, but still rather abysmal compare to the UK, Europe and USA. I can’t quite figure out why the German providers give you so little upstream bandwidth. Maybe P2P is a big problem there. The US pricing looks poor because most of the providers hide their plans behind registration screens and don’t make it clear what you are getting.

Skype

I tried Skype last night to talk to Clarissa and it worked very well. Only once in an hour did it scramble Clarissa’s voice although mine apparently scrambled a few times. Sounds quality was very acceptable and it was letting me call her land line at €0.02 a minute using the SkypeOut feature.

EU VAT

A problem with Skype the moment is that they insist on charging Guernsey EU VAT mistakenly thinking we are part of the EU, when we are not.

Apple’s iTunes Music Store took a different approach to handling us CI’ers and just barred all GY? and JE? post-codes so we couldn’t buy tunes at all. You can bypass this check by putting your post-code in lower-case and accept the dreaded EU VAT for now – better than no tunes at all.

[)amien

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