* Posts by Chris Collins

17 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Oct 2007

UK to rely on mobile operators for universal broadband

Chris Collins
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BT pulling out?

This is the first stage of what I feel of BT pulling out of low populated areas, what might happen is mobile companies start services so the governments 2 meg USO is met, then BT can pull out so they pull out and BT then have less unprofiteable areas and can compete with LLU/cable better. This USO also removes BT's obligation to provide everyone with voice services so will change BT's behaviour I expect. I agree that its a big copout for BT as well, but BT have the government in their pocket this is clear now.

Blundering workmen cut major Docklands fibre

Chris Collins

over reliance on london docklands

I agree with the concerns on the over reliance of that location for out internet transit, something like 90% of isps are based there and pretty much all the mainstream uk websites, just about all uk internet transit is routed around that area. To some it may seem fine as london is the capital but if that location was to be bombed tommorow we would be up s*** creek connectivity wise.

If you look at germany as a comparison they have major POP's in all their major cities, frankfurt, berlin, hamburg etc. with datacentres scattered around the country. Planned datacentres in sheffield and peterbrough cant come soon enough but we also need some serious major transit laid down so we have other major POP's outside london and manchester.

How many tier 1's have fibre going through a POP outside london in the uk?

BBC website suits slapped for cash splurge

Chris Collins

bbc needs to get to grips and be back in the real world

Daniel said it all, the fact they managed to spend over 100 million pounds on a website and still do a bad job of it is appalling, they clearly have no sense of getting value for money because they know the money will keep coming through compulsary payments. The bbc is funded wrong for the following reasons.

1 - It is unfair on the low paid.

2 - It is unfair on those who would not choose to use the bbc if they had the choice of not paying for it.

3 - it is unfair on competing channels.

As for comparing uk to usa tv, most of my favourite all time shows are american, buffy, angel, lost, 24, rome (part bbc), prison break. Whilst here its all soaps and reality tv.

Dixons admits 'it's even worse than you thought'

Chris Collins

my story to tell and why I think they failing.

I went into a store 3 times in one day with a friend, the 1st time to get a freeserve cd as they had them in store, the 2nd time to browse and the 3rd time to buy a monitor. This was back in the late 90s. Well the 3rd time we went in my friend noticed a security guard following us around and mentioned it to me I told him he was been paranoid. We found a guy standing near the monitors at the back of the store and I told him which one I wanted and we waited whilst he got it from the stock room. By the time he came out the security guard had 3 of his buddies next to him and all 4 were staring at us and I started to think my friend wasnt been paranoid. The guy with our monitor immediatly turned to them and said its ok there is no problem now and they walked off so presumably they were for us, the monitor was £400. My friend then told the guy well he can give me a free extended warranty for the embarassement and he agreed without arguing at all so got a free 5 year warranty on it. A young guy then walked with us to the till as he was moving the monitor for us on a trolley and he told us how the week before the security removed a new member of staff and that they were been really paranoid at the time. The guy who we asked for the monitor was actually the store manager. Because of us getting the free warranty I have no idea if they would have attempted to sell me one or not. I have been to pcworld probably 10 times or so mostly during the late 90s for browsing or to buy a game, the most recent time was on a sunday when I needed a graphics card that day. I agree with the others pc world is only good now probably for emergency purchases, when I brought that monitor online shopping was far from common.

As for their failures although the staff are badly trained I wouldnt put that as their main reason for failure remember that the vast majority of people dont know what things like motherboards are.

For the same reason as places like woolworths, during the course of the year they making very little money and still paying staff to man their stores all year round and then a rush at christmas makes the rest of the year bearable. But the rise of online shopping has marked the death for these stores. The reason they been able to pay people to man empty stores all year round is because of the huge markups for the stuff they do manage to sell. I have heard when you see something on sale it is still sold at a profit and the normal price is a huge markup to cover all the wasteful overheads. Personally I think the only way they can turn their fortune around is to downsize, the days of large stores like that are history as online is now king, they should concentrate now on components that have high failure rates and computer repairs, because its that kind of thing that people wont necessairly go online for. I expect selling software has been hit by computer piracy as well.

BT: 'We did not let anyone down over Phorm... it was not illegal'

Chris Collins

corrupt BBC but thumbs up to C4

The bbc interview was poor but it didnt surprise me they are in bed with the government and it turns out my MP who is a ex cabinet member is on the BT board so it was probably soft deliberatly, channel4 were much better but BT stood firm.

This just proves to me BT is arrogant and feel they invincible they have millions of customers and probably will only lose a few thousand at the most which is nothing for them, they wont care as long as the profits from phorm exceed losses from customers leaving, all BT care about is profits and they are one of the worst corporates for it with vey low morals.

I tracerouted sysip.net and ntp.sysip.net interestingly they ended up on servers using godaddys domain name [] and gw.godaddy.com []. But since its in america the impact on customers should be noticeable. In addition to the implications already posted such as modifying websites, forum posts, and loss of privacy, accessing a website now has potentially an extra 200ms added to it in response time as its customer to isp to phorm (in usa) to the website back to phorm (in usa) back to customer in fact it could well hit 400ms extra if its a uk or eu site. I remember been on ntl which had proxy servers and things got slow at times web browsing and all they were doing is basic proxying whilst this actually does more processing and modifies pages.

Its illegal but BT wont care they will not be prosecuted for it, corporates the size of BT are genuinly immune to breaking the law and its also probably aiding the government since I think after this phorm has been running a few years they will crank it up to start web censorship etc.

I also curious at the figures they say 36000, if it means 36000 at any time and they had rotating dynamic ips that means its a lot more than 36000, if its total 36000 it then means BT are lying about they dont know who was affected as they had the ability to tally it up.

Why I downgraded from Vista to XP

Chris Collins

not apple vs apple

I am not a great fan of vista, I still use xp on my main desktop pc but you are compareing a many months old installation to a fresh install so the fresh install would have been faster even if it was a fresh vista.

My main gripes with vista are the gui changes and driver issues.

On bootup it uses more memory but funny enough after I load all apps its memory usage vs xp is superior the apps themselves use less ram especially internet explorer.

vista has faster networking, handles dual core better, has better 64bit support, and is more secure assuming you leave uac and windows defender enabled. It has several downsides of course such as poorer graphics performance which leads to poorer gaming performance, the removal of certian hardware sound support mainly affecting creative soundcards, gui changes that make it harder to use the gui hidden menu bars etc., worser theming (in my opinion), the inability to manually tweak certian network settings.

When I installed SP1 I actually noticed vista become a bit more sluggish which did surprise me as there was supposed to be performance boosting patches in it.

So vista remains on my testing pc only.

Gartner says offshore work is booming

Chris Collins
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BT offshored website

How many have noticed BTs online billing site is in asia?

I checked it out when I was getting timeouts and general slow response from it.

Disgusting they cant even host their own billing site in the UK.

Ofcom tells BT to buck up on unbundling

Chris Collins
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ofcom good for consumers?

ofcom seems to rate its success on the retail pricing of broadband, number of competitors in market and how often consumers are changing providers. This isnt providing a stable situation where prices can be raised to pay for investment in better quality services.

Counterfeit Vista rate half that of XP

Chris Collins
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gui is a nightmare

Dale is right, vista does have problems with networking bad drivers etc. But the thing that annoys me the most is MS changing the gui so menus are hidden, run is hidden, everything needs more clicks for example in xp I double click my lan icon is systray and I then have my lan properties window, this dont work in vista and have to dive into the now bloated control panel in vista, in xp display control panel has all the display stuff in tabs in vista its all seperate panels. The window explorer I liked in xp, in vista it took me 40 mins to figure out how to get the status bar to show as I couldnt get to the menu bar and then another 20 mins to set options like show hidden files etc. Superfetch makes the hd thrash for ages and ages on a machine with 2 gig of ram and no apps loaded, windows firewall was blocking microsoft update so I had to disable it O_o, a vista lan beta driver. I have to use was ran in xp2 compatability mode as vista auto determined it to be a xp sp2 app which then made it install the xp driver O-o so I had to force compatability service to disabled, I had to install telnet manually which is a basic function in xp. Playing mp3s in wmp uses about 4x the resource as xp and they keep stuttering this I found out is due to drm. Thats all I can remember for now :)

Ofcom and EU face off for high speed broadband row

Chris Collins

What if???

What would happen in this scenario.

Ofcom made to tell the wholesale telco provider BT that they have 2 choices.

1 - Start a local loop upgrade program.

2 - Relinquish their telco licence. (if there is such a thing), in other words stop selling telco services in this country and lose their billions of profits easy year.

I think the likely outcome would be BT would moan and groan bit then get on with the investment because they know although in the short term it would hurt they would still in the long term be making billions and billions of profit.

The shareholders will all be thinking there is no business case due to no short term payback but this type of investment is a long term investment and should be viewed as such, they all sitting waiting for a killer application to create the type of demand that would generate a high takeup in a short time its a catch 22 as the killer application cannot exist until the technology is available to utilise it.

Ofcom's 0870 rip-off reforms stumble at the final hurdle

Chris Collins

Toothless regulator

The problem is ofcom itself they are too busy trying to protect the profits of who they regulate by allowing a way for them to opt-out.

Proper regulation would be forcing 0845 and 0870 to be rated as premium numbers and/or allowing these to be inclusive in free call allowances. They have done neither. Another solution would be to force companies to have 01xxx or 02xxx numbers but again ofcom are just regulating for even playing fields between companies rather then for the consumer directly.

Ofcom: no comeback for TV on analogue spectrum

Chris Collins

upsetting the bandwagon

I think this is more about trying to keep the current broadband climate how it is because there is the situation of high BT central costs for isps and something like IPTV is what could cause the demand needed for BT to start upgrading the local loop which creates a regulation problem for ofcom.

Digital Switchover: town to lose BBC 2 tomorrow

Chris Collins


For those who think sky is drivvle there is some of us who like the channels and I like that niche channels exist, a channel doesnt have to have millions of viewers to be worth having.

I also am a avid sky sports fan.

I do agree with the points tho regarding freesat having a poorer line up then freeview although it does have some channels freeview doesnt.

By the way freeview signal here is aweful we are bang on the edge of 2 different transmittor ranges.

BBC spreads free Wi-Fi Cloud over iPlayer delay

Chris Collins


Iplayer is a dissapointment, the bbc did trial opening their archives up the old grange hills etc. but I guess they have changed their minds, if this happened I finally would have felt I was getting value for money for my tv licence.

Instead as others have pointed out its more a catch up service rather then proper VOD eg. you cant decide you suddenly want to watch the entire first season of waterloo road as its more then 2 weeks old. Not only that technically its a trojan it automatically starts the p2p service which will use all your upstream bandwidth as it pleases, no scheduling, no monitoring, no control.

AOL axes another 2,000 jobs

Chris Collins

they had their upsides

I have criticised AOL myself mainly due to the bloatware software but remember a few things.

AOL were just about the only dialup isp that had no cutoffs on their unmetered dialup package and still do I think.

On broadband they were also one of the last few to have unlimited with no traffic shaping on BTs ipstream network so they defenitly had their advantages.

Only Sky can save digital TV

Chris Collins

its not all trash on sky

Sky get a lot of subscribers based on sports, football primarily. when paying for skysports the mixes are cheap in comparison so I expect people just get them added on.

Sky one content is mainly .us but the .us content like prison break and 24 to some people is much more enoyable then things like casualty and the bill.

The other channels even stuff like uk gold with its repeats does interest some people including myself and it was great watching the classic knightmare show on challenge again.

For the uk channels channel4 is easily the best.

ISP bosses told to get real on broadband speeds

Chris Collins

Ref: demand

I can understand the need for payback to BT this is where ofcom has failed. They are a regulator for competition and all they have been concentrating on is increasing competition (in limited cheery picked areas) and keeping the retail price point low this environment stifles investment. At the same time there has been only consumer protection when there is pressure from the press. Eveidence of the competition regulation is in the the isps been allowed to advertise unlimited services they not providing its been allowed because they nearly all doing it, someone like zen who offer 50 gig of unshaped traffic get out marketed by BT who offer a unlimited shaped service with a hidden 40gig limit aka FUP. This is also why the USO has remained rooted at 28kbit all this time because there is no regulator protecting the consumer only to enforce competition. To the poster who mentioned reselling BT wholesale services making them presentable again bang on right, openreach dont need to worry about poor performing lines because they not accountable to the customer using the line another ofcom failure making openreach wholesale access only.

Finally on the subject of demand for fiber, the vast majority of the population to be blunt do not understand the technology they do not understand they are not getting what they think they paying for this is why isps consider them happy customers satisfied with what they got. Who would wager on the situation not changing if there was a prime time program on bbc educating the population on how broadband works, how its provided and sold in this country and the limits of the technology providing it. The situation would change overnight.