Posts tagged with broadband - page 2

State of the broadband

A few changes from the various players so a quick run-down.

While local ISPs could argue their bandwidth is limited they have no such excuse for charging 3x the price of a UK outfit for IP addresses as Newtel are doing in both islands.

Jersey Telecom

Announced broadband price reductions which affect their 512KB, 1MB and 2MB home services. Interesting to note that the contention ratio has gone up from 40:1 to 50:1.

  • 512KB @ £17.99
  • 1MB @ £24.99
  • 2MB @ £39.99

Newtel Solutions Jersey

No announcements yet on price reductions to follow JT but I’d be surprised if they don’t act soon. They have however dropped connection charges and are offering fixed IP’s for £15.99 a month.

  • 512KB @ £24.49 (£23.50 if paid annually)
  • 1MB @ £39.99 (£38.50 if paid annually)
  • 2MB @ £79.99 (£77.00 if paid annually)

C&W Guernsey

Put out a new broadband “Pay-as-You-Go” package that includes 500 minutes. After that it is 3p/minute until you reach the maximum monthly charge of £34.99. Still at 40:1 contention as far as I know, actual product guide has not been updated and still claims 512K alongside the contention. Still no announced plans to offer fixed IPs or 512KB/2MB services.

  • 1MB @ £26.99
  • 1MB “Pay-as-You-Go” @ £19.99-£34.99 (includes 500 minutes)

There has been debate over C&W’s offerings on the This Is Guernsey Forum. The C&W Gsy marketing manager Steve Eldrich addressed some of them.

Guernsey.Net/Newtel

Followed C&W Gsy with the double the bandwidth but are not quoting contention ratios for their home service anywhere I could find. Unlike C&W they are offering a fixed IP address at an extra whopping £15.99 a month. They are offering free install and rental until 1st January 2005.

  • 1MB @ £25.99 (£24.50 if paid annually)

Bulldog (C&W UK)

Prices have come down again with the 8MB unlimited package costing now a mere £29.50. They are also offering a fixed IP address for £4.99 a month.

  • 8MB @ £29.50

All the prices are per-month in GBP and do not include the additional monthly charge for a phone line and are unlimited usage unless specified.

[)amien

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

C&W Guernsey 1MBit ADSL

Wondering what happened to Cable & Wireless’ planned 1MBit ADSL upgraded service? Their web site has been very quiet so I emailed and got this response I thought I’d share;

Dear Customer

Earlier in June, we emailed you to explain our plans to increase the speed of most of our Broadband services – known as double bandwidth because, for example, the download speed will increase from 512kbit to 1Mbit for our basic service. This will give you an even better surfing experience and put us well ahead of other similar -sized locations in delivering customers a value for money Broadband service. Take a look at the list below to see how much better off you will be:

Monthly charge for unlimited 1Mbit service

C&W Guernsey £26.99 Jersey £44.99 Isle of Man £49.99

C&W Guernsey plans to go ahead with the necessary upgrade. However, in order to accommodate certain requirements of other local internet service providers, we have agreed to delay the upgrade which will now be completed on September 15th rather than in July as originally planned.

We are disappointed to have to inform you of the delays to this exciting project.

However, we have been reassured that there will be no further delay to our project and look forward to bringing you the extra benefits to your Broadband service.

Yours sincerely,

Caleb Zunino Product Manager – Internet Services Cable & Wireless Guernsey

I think they are trying to say that local ISPs Guernsey.Net and NewTel need to put additional bandwidth in to cope with their users being 1MBit as well (C&W provide the underlying ADSL to both ISPs as well as their own ISP connection too).

[)amien

Guernsey news

I’m still feeling a little ill but I guess the worst of it is past, poor Clarissa is still very unwell :(

I thought I’d cover some of the bits and pieces going on in Guernsey at the moment for a refreshing change…

1M ADSL upgrades

Cable & Wireless have announced they will be upgrading everybody’s 512KB to 1MB with no price change any time now.

My take is that they are under pressure to deliver a 1MB service and to also reduce the price of the 512KB. Rather than suffer big income losses with the price reduction of 512KB they first give everybody a “free upgrade” to 1MB and then quietly introduce a “cheaper 512KB service for casual users” a short time later that people will have to actually switch to that most people will never get round to.

C.I. Traders expands

C.I. Traders became Sandpiper CI a couple of years later

Tom Scott’s growing empire seems to be scaring more and more locals in both islands and with it’s acquisition of Safeway in Guernsey the Co-Op has apparently had to take on extra staff to cope with their increase in shoppers. Best Foods are also not part of the group and provide an excellent and often unusual selection. Personally I do most of my shopping there, failing that at Co-Op although I still stroll down to Safeway for their amazing hot roast chickens for £1.60, available in plain, BBQ or garlic varieties. There are other reasons to visit Safeway, after all they have the recycling banks there.

For those not up to speed, C.I. Traders currently controls Le Riche’s, Checkers, Island Shopper, The Wine Warehouse, Stampers, Riche Marques, Technology Store, Channel Publications, Marks & Spencers Jersey, Channel Rentals, Mango Jersey (possible closure due to high rent and poor sales), CI Finance, CIT Estates, Trade Saver, Phoenix Foods, Russell Meats, Warry’s, CI Bakery (Island Gold & Island Bake), Coat to Coast Catering, G Orange (Coca-Cola, Golden Wonder distribution), St. Pierre Park (casino in the works), Dix-Neuf, Green Acres Hotels, La Trelade Country House, Jackson’s Garage (dealer for almost every manufacturer). Lets not forget Admiral Park and the various building work still going on there.

Now, while it’s good to see business flourishing in the Channel Islands most islanders are worrying that it is reaching monopoly status. Besides the usual problems of lack of competition there is also the worry that if things go horribly wrong they’ll be nobody else left to pick up these businesses and we’ll be without a lot of stores. If you are interested head over to their web site and read through some of the shareholder reports to find out what’s going on and the future plans.

In the highly unlikely event this page ever gets to Mr Scott’s hands may I suggest that instead of acquiring any more already successful local brands he considers giving the islanders some things they don’t already have. Three immediate things spring to mind. 1. We don’t have a decent cinema (I keep getting told “plans are under way”) 2. Buying a DVD (If Woolworth’s don’t have it you’re stuffed. Blockbusters selection is tiny and Number 19’s DVD selection is a joke of overpriced unheard-of titles), 3. Fast food consists of Vlad’s lackluster empire.

News sources

If you want more Guernsey news check out This Is Guernsey (local press) or BBC Guernsey (local branch of national TV & radio), Channel TV (local TV) or even Island FM (local radio) if you can put up with the poorly conceived slow-scrolling news.

No RSS as yet, but I’m thinking of making a scraping tool to aggregate the headlines into a RSS feed from my site. Leave a comment if you’re interested.

[)amien