Having broadband access at home can make the difference between pupils attaining an A or a D at GCSE, a study has suggested.
The most recent UK Internet Access report from the Office for National Statistics reveals a clear link between academic success and access to the web at home.
Adults educated to degree level are far more likely to live in a wired home and spend time online than those with no formal qualifications, the survey found. Only 56% of adults without qualifications have home internet access.
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Posted by Ellie on August 29th 2008 in Broadband
Official statistics have revealed that record numbers of households in the UK have broadband connections.
According to a study by the Office for National Statistics, 56% of British households have a broadband subscription, up on 51% last year. Altogether, 65% of households in the UK have internet access, with the majority using broadband rather than dial-up. The survey found that men were more likely to surf the internet than women, with 75% of men logging on regularly compared to 66% of women. Although the number of pensioners using the internet has risen considerably over the last few years, over-65′s are the age-group lest likely to use the web. In fact 70% said that they have never used the internet.
Pensioners’ lobby groups have said that this is indicative of the way in which elderly people have been left behind in the digital age. David Sinclair, head of policy at Help the Aged, said that elderly people especially needed access to the internet during the current credit crisis in order to shop around for cheaper deals on electricity, gas and food. “Exclusion from modern society is increasingly less about being able to get to the library and more about being able to access the rivers of information flowing in and out of British homes each day,” he said. “If you cannot access these rivers you cannot take part.”
“This is not only about getting cheap car insurance online. It is about equality in the marketplace. We know internet access can mean a difference of hundreds of pounds over the year from deals on utility bills, food to all other manner of other goods. In a time when costs are rising should we not allow the poorest among us a chance to keep afloat?”
Posted by Ellie on August 27th 2008 in Broadband, Switching
Leading online FPS multiplayer hosts Enemy Down have just announced their first ever “Eurokreig” Counter Strike Source tournament, which sees teams of CSS sharpshooters from all over Europe take part in a 7-week long regional league ladder, which then culminates in a further 5 weeks of tournament-style knockout play to whittle down the l33te5t of teh l33t, who will walk away with a grand total prize of €5,000 (just under £4,000).
Teams are initially broken down into 8 regional groups, which are as follows:
• Group 1 – Finland and Sweden
• Group 2 – Norway and Denmark
• Group 3 – France
• Group 4 – Germany
• Group 5 – Belgium & Netherlands
• Group 6 – Eastern Europe and Italy
• Group 7 – Spain and Portugal
• Group 8 – United Kingdom
Eurokreig is expected to begin sometime at the end of the month.
Posted by Tom on August 26th 2008 in Be Broadband, Broadband
Vodafone will be piloting its new mobile broadband service in Reading, Berkshire. The mobile phone giant, whose global headquarters are based in near-by Newbury, will be trialling its super-fast mobile internet service in six locations across the UK. The service is targeted at businesspeople and those on the move. A USB dongle connects your laptop to the internet.
The new service, already available in parts of London and at major airports, can achieve broadband speeds comparable to those of a fixed-line connection. According to Vodafone, the new service brings customers download speeds of up to 14 times faster and upload speeds up to 22 times faster than a standard 3G connection.
Alec Howard, head of PC connectivity at Vodafone UK, said: “As we invest significantly in rolling out improved speed and capacity, mobile broadband can not only help grease the wheels of industry in Reading but is also ideal for students and new home owners.
With our predictable pricing and seamless quick set up, there has never been a better time to be with Vodafone.”
Posted by Ellie on August 26th 2008 in Mobile Broadband, Next Gen Broadband, Vodafone
As well as taking home two gold medals for his record-breaking 100m and 200m sprint in the current Beijing Olympics, Jamaican runner Usain Bolt will be looking forward to a pretty packet as Virgin Media have snapped him up for their latest ad campaign.
The world’s fastest man, Bolt is to become the face of Virgin Media’s superfast broadband service. The company, which is due to launch an ultra-fast 50Mbps broadband service which it claims is almost double the speed of those of rival ISPs, are considering calling the new product “Boltband”.
Ashley Stockwell, head of Virgin Media’s marketing operation said “Our new 50Mb service will deliver even faster lightning broadband speeds, which is why we feel that Usain will be the perfect ambassador for our campaign.”
After his amazing 100m victory, Bolt, aged 22, went on to smash the 200m world record yesterday in a nail-biting race that saw the second and third-place runners disqualified. He made the sprint in just 19.30 seconds, 0.02 seconds faster than the American Michael Johnson’s word record that had stood since the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Virgin Media has used a number of celebrities in the past to promote its products and services. Kill Bill actress Uma Thurman fronted its £20 million campaign to rebrand NTL as Virgin Media, while Samuel L. Jackson and Ruby Wax have also appeared in adverts for the company.
Posted by Ellie on August 21st 2008 in Broadband, Next Gen Broadband, Virgin Media
The ISP Be Broadband and gaming website Enemy Down have announced the launch of a new gaming service. Called ‘Be Mixes’, the system allows players of first person shooter Counter Strike to join a lobby and play in matches with other gamers.
Be Broadband will also be running tournaments, leagues and events for some of the most popular First Person Shooter games as part of the service, which is available to Be customers.
“Online gaming can be a fantastic experience, with great players having closely fought matches on fast servers. But very often the reality is far from this, with half empty servers lagging, along with abusive or disruptive players. Even if you do find a good mixing server with plenty of players, some people will be joining then leaving three rounds later and ruining everyone’s day,” said Oli White, head of marketing at Be Broadband.
“A lot of Be members are gamers and we believe that secure, fast and free game servers should be available to all and, coupled with our excellent broadband service, this brand new ‘Mixes’ system will give Be members the gaming experience they want.”
Posted by Ellie on August 21st 2008 in Be Broadband, Broadband
BT has conducted research that found that internet-savvy consumers are increasingly using their mobile broadband enabled smartphones to check prices and product reviews on the go.
BT customers who had used the their ToGo smartphone over the last three months were interviewed as part of the survey. The ToGo phone is available to customers who sign up to BT’s “Broadband Anywhere” internet service, which encompasses both mobile internet and a home internet service.
The survey found that almost half of those on the move were browsing for goods or services, and a third were comparing prices and reading product reviews. The most popular type of website was search engines, with 71% of customers visiting them regularly, followed by news sites (66%). Other popular websites included travel, entertainment, sport and price comparison sites. 20% of consumers said that they now spend less time online at work, and more time surfing the net on the move.
The findings correspond with a recent Ofcom report which highlighted a surge in the number of dongles and data cards sold, and concluded that a number of people were switching from fixed-line ISPs to mobile broadband.
“The days of the internet being something for the home are over,” said BT Futurologist Ian Neild. “For a growing number of savvy shoppers, the online and in-store worlds have now merged. Retailers should take advantage of the fact that customers may now have access to the Internet whilst in-store and, for example, use their wi-fi connections to deliver expert advice via a store intranet channel.”
Posted by Ellie on August 20th 2008 in Broadband, BT Broadband, Mobile Broadband, Next Gen Broadband
A study by the telecoms regulator, Ofcom, has found that the copper wiring network currently used in the UK could deliver speeds of up to 50Mbps if exploited to its full potential. In an investigation into Britain’s current broadband network, Ofcom wanted to test whether it would be capable of delivering the higher speeds that ISP customers are demanding.
In theory, copper wires could still achieve speeds of up to 50Mbps if an upstream modem is hosted in the exchange. However, in practice actual speeds would probably be far lower, as the quality of copper wiring varies considerably between households.
The latest findings could throw a spanner in the works when it comes to BT‘s grand plan, announced in July of this year, to install a £1.5 billion fibre-optic network across the UK, if the telecoms company agrees with the findings. Virgin has also expressed interest in investing in the network. A number in the industry fear that Ofcom’s findings could severely delay investment in a fibre-optic network, meaning that Britain would lag behind the rest of Europe, and certainly Asia, when it comes to ultra high-speed broadband.
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Posted by Ellie on August 20th 2008 in Broadband, BT Broadband, Switching, Virgin Media
Orange has become the latest ISP to offer a free laptop with its mobile broadband package.
As of Saturday, customers who sign up to the Internet Everywhere mobile broadband package from Orange will be able to claim a free Asus EEE laptop 900 16GB – a crossover between the hugely popular 900 and 901 netbooks – which has a compact 8.9″ screen, 16GB of solid-state storage and weighs less than 1kg.
However, the “free” laptop comes with so many strings attached that you may prefer to wait till you can afford to buy one outright. The Orange deal commits you to paying £25 a month for two years, giving you 3GB of data each month, 300 texts on the EEE and a free 3G HSDPA modem. This is £10 a month more than their standalone package, and the contract lasts 6 months longer. That means you’re paying a total of £600 over the two years. A hefty sum considering the Asus Eee laptops start from only £179.99 in shops.
The figures may add up if you are considering opting for Orange Broadband anyway. However, for 3G internet on the move, the iPhone may well be a better investment.
Posted by Ellie on August 19th 2008 in Mobile Broadband, Orange Broadband
Traditional ISPs are having to fight harder than ever to retain their customers as more and more of us are switching to mobile broadband.
According to the recent YouGov Dongle Track Report the increasing popularity of mobile broadband could pose a serious threat to Internet Service Providers offering fixed-line connections. The survey found that one in eight mobile broadband subscribers have either abandoned their fixed line ISP or opted for a mobile internet service instead of a traditional ISP. A further 5% of those subscribing to both fixed-line and mobile broadband are planning on dropping their ISP service within the coming year. The mobile networks – Orange, Vodafone, O2, 3 and T-Mobile all offer a mobile broadband service.
According to YouGov “With increasing numbers of households dispensing with their landlines (13% according to Ofcom) accessing the Internet through the mobile phone network is a viable option especially for the young and mobile.”
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Posted by Ellie on August 19th 2008 in 3 Mobile Broadband, AOL, Broadband, BT Broadband, Carphone Warehouse, Mobile Broadband, Next Gen Broadband, O2 Broadband, Orange Broadband, T-Mobile, TalkTalk, Tiscali, Vodafone
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