* Posts by Richard Thomas

4 publicly visible posts • joined 13 Aug 2007

How the BBC plans to save your ISP

Richard Thomas

How do the French manage it?

I live in a small village near Calais, and it's quite rural - the village has about 1500 inhabitants, and the ISP I'm with (www.free.fr) has recently rolled out ADSL2+ to the village. After they installed that, we get a 5mbps down and 1mbps up IP connection, unlimited phone calls to the EU, and crucially in the context of this article, about 200 TV channels. No sign of FTTH or anything like that - just normal, fast ADSL. I suppose the only difference is that it's the ISPs that provide this service, not the broadcasters (though some have VoD services with certain providers)

Eurostar inaugurates UK high-speed track

Richard Thomas

To Glasgow via Manchester

Why the trains don't go beyond London is a mystery - Eurostar even built special shorter trains to cope with the shorter platforms in the UK. Sadly these special 'North of London' trains are now being used to run shuttle services between Lille and Paris, due to the massive demand on that route. Apparently these trains are only being leased by SNCF, so Eurostar could get their hands on them pretty quickly if they decided to run a North of London service. 'Nightstar' sleeper trains were also built, but these never saw service as they appeared just at the same time as EasyJet and Ryanair did, so they were sold to Canada.

Another question you might want to ask is why you can't catch Eurostar from Ashford to London - I can get onto the London->Paris Eurostar at Calais, and I can do the return journey, but I can't get onto the Paris->London train at Ashford.

People asking about the time it took the UK to build HS1 might be interested to know that planning permission is a lot easier for the government to get in France than in the UK, and that the French on the whole are much more into megaprojects than the UK (see the Milau viaduct and the Pont de Normandie for good examples - I would think that had the UK government been building those, the solutions would have been very different).

Power gadget set to cut electricity bills

Richard Thomas

Why not run levels for the home?

Why not develop sockets where you can set a run level. Fridges and freezers would have a low run level, and TVs would have a high run level.

When you go out, you change the run level for the house accordingly - just like UNIX :o) Your TV is powered off completely, but the freezer remains on...

ISPs hijack BBC in tiered services push

Richard Thomas

They can do it in France...

I don't see why the ISPs are still kicking up a fuss about this kind of thing in the UK - I live in France, and they're quite happily streaming at least 30 channels to FreeBoxes (an ADSL modem which has a remote and a Scart socket on the back for your TV) - http://adsl.free.fr/tv/ - and I'm not aware of any fair use limits/restrictions on P2P-traffic either.