Its midway through 2015 and internet is BIG news on a global scale. From net neutrality in the States to the FTTH projects taking place across Europe, Asia and Africa and the latest initiative in London to deliver Fibre to the Basement, we are under no disillusion that the internet IS the 4th utility that is rapidly integrating itself into every aspect of our daily lives all around the world.
In January 2013, the then FCC Chairman, Julius Genachoski issued a ‘Gigabit City Challenge’ in America, calling for the 50 states to have at least one City with gigabit connectivity by 2015. Although 2 years later, they aren’t quite there, they do have 42 communities across 14 states operating on superfast infrastructures.
The UK is slowly following suite, with Peterborough labelled as the UK’s first Gigabit City earlier this year, the company behind the build, City Fibre, have now moved on to build gigabit infrastructures in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Coventry and York. Our government is fully committed to increasing the digital connectivity throughout the UK and when you read the reports offered by the FTTH Council and the positive impact that it has on GDP, it is easy to understand why. To put it in perspective, Stockholm saw a 1.8 Billion Euro return on its original investment and is established as a high-tech hub.
It is not unheard of for companies on business parks across the UK to operate on speeds as low as 1mb; with the current telecommunications giants holding a monopoly over the UK industry having priced themselves out of offering gigabit speeds when they can sell expensive leased lines to those suffering with speeds that often hinder their business functionality.
Much to the glee of many business owners along with domestic users, it was announced last week that Ofcom have put new rules in place to help those suffering with debilitating internet speeds. The new rulings will see customers being able to walk away from their supplier without penalties, if their minimum guaranteed line access speed (MGALS) isn’t met. The only stipulation is that the customer has given them reasonable opportunity to provide a solution.
Yusuf Yeganeh, Director of Microbyte Solutions told us, “Unreliable broadband is preventing businesses from being as profitable as they can be. We are in a digital revolution and the internet is an essential part of any business, and to most of us – our daily lives. We welcome the new Ofcom ruling; in many cases we are approached by businesses needing a functional solution but are deterred by the hefty fines that often come with leaving their current providers”.
The new ruling, along with the governments ‘Super Connected Cities’ initiative, means that superfast connectivity is a viable option for SMEs, start-ups and established businesses alike, resulting in a boost for our economy and putting the UK firmly on the tech map.