UK ISPA Interview with James Blessing - ISPreview
UK ISPA Interview with James Blessing
By: Mark Jackson - December 1st, 2009 : Page 1 -of- 4
"Satellite technology has uses but suffers from technical issues such as latency, it is a useful solution for fill in areas where there are really no alternatives"

ISPA LOGO The Internet Services Providers' Association (ISPA) was first established in 1995 and is today the UK's primary voluntary trade association for providers of Internet services. The ISPA’s primary job is to promote competition, self-regulation and the development of the Internet industry. Presently the organisation is home to more than 200 UK companies, giving it a significant voice in the industry.

Every ISP that becomes a part of the organisation must abide by its rules, which act as a kind of quality assurance for customers of related services. Surprisingly we’ve never actually interviewed the ISPA before and, given the importance of this year’s Digital Britain report, we thought it time to rectify that mistake.

To that end ISPreview has managed to interview James Blessing, a senior ISPA Council Member and Chair of their Broadband Subgroup. Blessing is also currently the MD of ISP and Network consultancy Garou Ltd., Board Member of UK ENUM Consortium, Product Director for Intimate Sessions Ltd., Co-Founder of the NetStart Platform Ltd. and Technical Advisor to eXstream Networks. Formally COO of Entanet International and Technical Support Manger for Zen Internet. To say he has some experience is an understatement.

1. This year’s Digital Britain report approved a pledge to make broadband speeds of at least 2Mbps available to everybody in the UK by 2012, though there is still much debate surrounding what technology should be used to deliver it.

In all likelihood the outcome will probably be a mix of limited land-line broadband coverage improvements, Mobile Broadband, Satellite technology and or Fixed Wireless Access (Wi-Fi / WiMAX) infrastructure. What are your thoughts on each of the proposed technology solutions?

ANSWER: The best thing that could happen is that there becomes a competitive landscape of national, regional and local networks providing a range of options, but the places that suffer from slow speed today tend to have issues that would make alternative solutions  just as difficult to deliver.

Mobile Broadband is a good solution for people on the move and in suburban areas but fails to deliver when you have either a very high density of subscribers or in rural locations where there are problems with backhaul.

Satellite technology has uses but suffers from technical issues such as latency, it is a useful solution for fill in areas where there are really no alternatives, but the planning regulations in some areas make installing it a difficult solution.

FWA does fix issues of last mile connectivity where terrains dictates that paths are longer than necessary but tend to suffer from limits of topology that can make the solution unreliable.

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