Posts tagged with cable-&-wireless - page 2

Cable & Wireless Guernsey network failure

So the phone lines here have been out now for well over an hour. ADSL is still working as is Guernsey-to-Guernsey mobiles but everything else is giving dead tones, no tones or “Network failure” messages.

So much for a single point of failure or resilient network. They currently boast;

Can you remember the last time your call didn’t connect or was cut off? We consistently maintain a success rate for call connectivity of over 99.99% which puts us amongst the world’s most reliable telecoms providers.

I can indeed – about 20 times today from 3pm onward…

Perhaps the government will realize what privatizing the telecommunications monopoly on which their entire banking industry relies on was just plain stupid.

In the mean time the web-sites of local media at BBC Guernsey, Islands FM, Channel TV and This Is Guernsey (Guernsey Press) are all offering absolutely no information whatsoever.

Maybe they are on dial-up.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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).