It seems we are a nation of shop-keeper avoiders
I don't own a coat as I never leave the house!
UK shoppers order more stuff online than their European neighbours - and worry the least about how their personal data is used on social networking sites even though seven out of ten Brits admit having concerns about privacy. That's according to Ofcom's latest International Communications Market study, which also determined …
"That's according to Ofcom's latest International Communications Market study, which also determined that take-up in Blighty of broadband services with speeds of at least 25Mbit/s is lagging far behind other countries."
I'd love to have the choice of signing up to a 25Mb service. In fact, I'd even be happy with 2.5Mb (and I live in a city, not some back-of-beyond village- I'd probably get a better chance in the sticks...).
But while toothless Ofcom is busy carrying out Market Studies, BT and Virgin can pretty much get away with what they want, with the market essentially wrapped up between them (at least on the infrastructure/wholesale side)
Its a pretty meaningless figure. What percentage of UK households can realistically get 25mbps? Hell, what percentage can actually get 20mbps on plain old boring ADSL2+? Maybe we'd get those magic 40% uptake figures when everyone who wants super fast internet connections can actually get one.
Maybe I'm just bitter because I live in what is allegedly one of the tech business centres of the UK and am lucky to get 6mbps. Maybe things will pick up in 2013 once FTTC becomes available, but availability dates have a funny habit of receding into the future every time they get close.
I realised recently that, of about 8 things I needed to buy over the past month, 1 was found trailing around the shops, and I live in London close to Oxford Street. Basics like certain types of fairly ordinary light bulbs. The department stores have cut back or have signed up to sell only one manufacturer's product. Rather than waste my time in shops with poor stock, queuing, dealing with unhelpful staff who don't seem to correlate helpign customers with sales with wages, I now find I'm turning to the web for ordinary stuff I would not, at one time, have dreamed of having delivered. I sometimes pay a little more, ading in postage, but sometimes not, and I gain in having my time freed up.
...I don't charge the delivery lorry a toll for the use of my road, or a charge for parking in front of my house to deliver the goods. If I take my car to go shopping, I invariably get charged for parking now....I have to give the woman at the till my phone number, email address, inside leg measurment 'because the till asks for it'....I'll probably get caught in a traffic jam of irrate xmas shoppers who seem to think armageddon is'a'comin. Is it any wonder?
Paris, because I bought her on the internet too.
"UK shoppers order more stuff online than their European neighbours - ...
That's according to Ofcom's latest International Communications Market study, which also determined that take-up in Blighty of broadband services with speeds of at least 25Mbit/s is lagging far behind other countries."
Uh-huh... I've never yet needed 25Mb/s a do online shopping so "buying more stuff online" doesn't really mean "must have faster connection".
It's when you game online or own a PS3 and suddenly find you've got to download 100s of MBs worth of patches that you need a faster connection; not web surfing, or shopping, or even streaming music/video (as they're usually heavily compressed).
What, pray-tell, do we NEED 25M for?
That's a dual-layer Blu-ray every 30mins. Seriously, I'm a net junkie, online all but 10 hrs a day, and I cannot IMAGINE a use for that. At 2M I'm doing ok for almost all my tasks, 6M I'm happy as a clam for anything (that's a DL-DVD every 30 min).
There really comes a point where is a this type of technomasterbation is just silly.
When you have many devices, all bitching about updates, you have a half-meg connection and (if the download doesn't time out), the patches takes hours, then you'll understand the value of speed.
Or when you have kids who want to stream video and play online like their mates but can't.
2mb is fine if you're a little old lady, online shopping and picking up mail. Ofcom's demographic.
...to anyone who's tried shopping on the UK high street in the last 10 years.
Customer service is an oxymoron - sales staff don't have a clue about the products they're selling but can tell you all the options available for taking out extended warranty. If you ask them a question that can't be answered by looking at the back of the box or on the info card then you'll get one of two reactions; hurr derp or passive agressiveness as they simply repeat one of the few selling points they know like a politician asked a straight yes/no question.
It isn't always about price, sometimes I'll pay the same or slightly more online and wait for a delivery when I've had a particularly bad experience with the sales staff in some shops that are less preferable to a kick in the nuts. Currys/PC World, Best Buy, the worst offenders, I'm looking at you.
OTOH online retailers must compete on after-sales service. I'll similarly avoid cheaper online price where I've had delivery problems and poor communication. eBay/Paypal anyone?
So online or offline is not so important to me, service is. I'll recommend any online or offline shop where I've had good service even if the price is slightly higher. I'll go back too because I know I can count on the staff.
Retail managers take note!
As a computer support person, I visit many peoples homes and experience many different connections. It is the ISP that determines how much data you can download and your connection speed is hardly relevant.
I was downloading updates at a clients home with BT infinity the download speed was 7.2 kbps. I logged in to my PC at home with 3.9Mbps SKY connection and started the same download to my PC the speed was 401kbps. I then logged on to a friends PC with 6.1Mbps Talktalk connection the speed was 590kbps.
This was the same update from the Adobe.com website in each case.
Is BT infinity a fraud?
Thats all they can do. Being the obedient poodles of BT. (rascals, themselves).
The least they can do is ensure we get decent advertised speeds. Rather than moan about lack of high speed uptake, and faff around with figures and percentages.
How about cracking a whip at all the ISPs ?
A poll of actual speeds we get will conifrm that all of UK gets only about one-third of the advertised speeds (under ADSL).
WHAT A CON!
UK watchdogs under the banner of the Digital Regulation Cooperation Forum (DRCF) have called for views on the benefits and risks of how sites and apps use algorithms.
While "algorithm" can be defined as a strict set of rules to be followed by a computer in calculations, the term has become a boogeyman as lawmakers grapple with the revelation that they are involved in every digital service we use today.
Whether that's which video to watch next on YouTube, which film you might enjoy on Netflix, who turns up in your Twitter feed, search autosuggestions, and what you might like to buy on Amazon – the algorithm governs them all and much more.
TalkTalk has once again topped UK communications regulator Ofcom's complaint charts.
Ofcom has collated whinges from consumers about landline, fixed broadband, pay-monthly mobile and pay-TV services.
The figures the regulator publishes are relative to the size of a provider's customer base and its latest set of numbers make for interesting reading since they cover the period (April to June 2021) during which the UK began to ease lockdown restrictions.
Ofcom has slapped two small telcos, Guaranteed Telecom and Met Technologies, with a financial penalty for switching the home phone services of more than 100 people without their knowledge or consent.
The businesses used a particularly aggressive style of mis-selling – slamming – to transfer customers to their services without permission, an investigation by the UK's comms regulator found.
Some 110 customers in total were slammed by the companies in 2019 (43 by Guaranteed Telecom and 67 by Met Technologies). A "sizeable proportion" of them included elderly or vulnerable members of the public, Ofcom says.
Grotty, soaked in urine, and plastered with escort ads if the windows haven't already been kicked in – the public phone box is a British institution on its last legs. And yet comms regulator Ofcom has a plan in place to protect the endangered species.
BT has been tolling the bell for copper phone lines for some time now, but upgrading payphones to digital too would require significant investment. So the telco is choosing which should stay and which should go.
Ofcom has noted that in the year to May 2020, 150,000 calls were made to emergency services from phone boxes, 25,000 to kids' counselling service Childline, and 20,000 to the Samaritans support line for those in emotional distress, so it's clear payphones still fulfil a need.
TalkTalk – the Salford-based telco which has more than four million broadband customers – has been ticked off by the UK's Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) following nine separate complaints about misleading ads.
The initial objections centre on two ads – on TV and via email - that ran early in 2020 which talked about a 24-month broadband offer that was "fixed until 2022" or promised "no mid-contract rises."
The ASA intervened when the complainants reported that the price of their broadband packages was to "increase during the fixed contract period" despite the assurances made in the ad.
UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has kicked off a consultation process regarding licence applications for non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) systems such as Starlink and OneWeb.
The consultation period lasts until 20 September, and the agency has said it will not be processing any applications for NGSO licences until the deadline passes.
The changes hint at the Wild West of NGSO. Ofcom wants to include a check that systems can coexist "without degrading consumer services." A check that granting a licence won't restrict competition is also on the wish list as well as publishing applications and giving a period for comment from stakeholders.
NSFW UK comms regulator Ofcom has taken the unusual step of employing survey company Ipsos MORI to swear 186 times at 368 different members of the public and record what they thought about it.
The survey was the latest in a series of four-yearly polls used to discover how the public react to different words and how the understanding of what is and isn't perceived as foul language changes over time.
Ofcom uses the information gained to better understand complaints and monitor what language is being used before and after the UK's 9pm broadcasting watershed.
Ofcom is to get a new full-time CTO this autumn in Sachin Jogia, who has spent the last nine years at Amazon and is currently GM of the Alexa Smart Home product management and business teams.
Jogia will take up the position behind a shiny new desk in October, roughly two years after Mansoor Hanif left the role at the UK comms regulator for a new job at NEOM, an eco-friendly smart city in the Middle East.
In addition to Alexa Smart Home International duties at Amazon, Jogia was previously global head of product management for sponsored display ads and head of product management for the Media Group.
Ofcom should take a more active role in ensuring the UK's telecommunications providers do not become over-reliant on products from a small number of suppliers.
Or so claims a a new report [PDF] from the Telecoms Diversification Taskforce (TDT), which has urged Government to instruct the British comms watchdog to treat diversification as a "strategic priority."
Although the Ofcom has traditionally governed the telecoms sector with respect to pricing, competition, and spectrum access, it has historically been less concerned with the underlying hardware used by providers. That may change, if the TDT is listened to.
The three most important words in any estate agent's lexicon are: "Location, location, location." The same is true for the UK's mobile carriers, who have just spent £23m to get their choice positions for their recent spectrum purchases.
Dubbed the "assignment phase," this comparatively modest spendathon has followed Ofcom's latest 5G spectrum auction, where the UK's four carriers forked out a combined £1.35bn on access to the lucrative 700MHz and 3.6-3.8GHz airwaves for 20 years.
The assignment phase allowed carriers to place a monetary sum on where they want their new holdings, and how much they value avoiding spectrum fragmentation.
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