Home
 » Editorial Article, ISP News » 
Sponsored

Orbital Net (Vfast) Boss on 100Mbps Wireless Trial and Future Challenges

Monday, October 15th, 2018 (12:01 am) - Score 4,605
orbitalnet vfast broadband mast

6. The Government’s new Telecoms Infrastructure Review is said to be mulling the controversial old idea of adopting regional franchises, which it’s been claimed could be used to help boost the coverage of “full fibre” broadband, particularly in rural areas.

Under this idea densely populated towns and cities, where the commercial model is easier to make, would be bundled together with swathes of less profitable countryside.

The idea acknowledges that there could be “major hurdles”, such as around the risk of creating new local monopolies, as well as the unclear impact on existing networks (including at wholesale) and the risk of creating a more confusing market for consumers. What are your thoughts on this option?

NOTE: Since posing this question the Government’s review has been published, which largely rules out a regional franchise approach (details).

ANSWER:

Perhaps the government have looked at how well regional franchising is working for the rail industry? Seriously though, I can see there is a well-meaning intent behind the idea, of sharing the wealth from the urban areas to the rural, but in rural areas you can already see there are companies who are developing the market locally, and there isn’t much overlap – partly because the private equity companies behind them can see there’s not much sense in competing for the same customers when so much of the country has yet to be developed.

The real challenge will be the final 10% of truly hard-to-reach areas. PIA [Physical Infrastructure Access to Openreach’s cable ducts and poles] has a role to play here, so that other companies can step in where the incumbent decides it isn’t profitable for them to do so, but right now the incumbent will need some (legislative?) persuasion to open up PIA on reasonable terms.

7. The Government has proposed a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO), which should be introduced from 2020 and is likely to focus most of its efforts upon the final 2% of UK premises that won’t be covered by a superfast broadband network via the Broadband Delivery UK programme.

If you could design the USO, what criteria and timescale would you set to ensure that a good quality connection is constantly maintained to all those who request it and, perhaps most important of all, how would you fund it (the gov has decided on industry funding but they haven’t detailed this yet)?

ANSWER:

If you’re going to have a USO, why would you not make it FTTH? Peter Cochrane tells a good story of his time in BT and the development of FTTP in the 80s, just before the BT/Mercury duopoly, and how, by simple churn, most of BT’s customers would have been migrated to FTTH over the following thirty years. How different it would have been.

So yes, make FTTP USO but allow time to roll it out. Stop installing new copper, stop fixing copper faults with copper.

ISPreview Editor’s Note: A full fibre USO would require a complete re-think of the current regulation and industry funding approach. It would also be impossible to deliver by the existing deadline of 2020, since the country isn’t expected to have universal FTTP until 2033 and right now that’s only an unfunded aspiration. Cart before the horse.

8. Ofcom will introduce a new voluntary Automatic Compensation system from early 2019, which will force UK ISPs to compensate consumers (cash or bill credits) for a total loss of broadband connectivity (e.g. when an outage lasts longer than 2 working days). Compensation will also be paid for missed engineer appointments and delayed service installs / activations.

At present only the largest fixed line providers have signed-up to the scheme and smaller operators have not joined. What are your thoughts on the usefulness of this scheme and is it something you would consider joining, particularly given the different complexities of managing a wireless signal?

ANSWER:

Over 95% of our customers reported issues are resolved over the phone by our experienced first class support team, which means that only a small percent requiring an engineer visit. The extensive work we have put into our network over the past three years has included fail over and re-routing contingency planning. This work in combination with our local based engineers reduces the risk of any outage to our Network lasting longer than 2 working days. This proven reliable service gives our customers the confidence which is reflected in our trust Pilot reviews. This has meant we have not felt the need to introduce the voluntary Automatic Compensation system but would likely have no objection to a two day outage compensation timeframe.

A wireless network of course is more prone to “freak of nature” events however as we do not have to rely on third parties in order to resolve issue, we are more confident we can resolve issues quicker than a fibre break with repairs being outside of our direct control.

9. From 23rd May 2018 the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) has been requiring all broadband ISPs to advertise “average” speeds (the median measured at peak time) for their headline packages. Are you adopting this change and what are your thoughts on it (i.e. is their method a good approach)?

ANSWER:

We have a big problem in the industry with the perception of speed as being a determiner on quality. Broadband speeds are subject to contention and not a dedicated service. All ISPs often struggle for their customers to understand the huge impact by factors often inside the customers property which are outside of the ISPs control.

10. Finally, where do you expect vfast to be by 2025?

ANSWER:

We want to set our services apart from other ISPs. In today’s competitive environment, you would think that it would seem like a no-brainer for companies to focus on great customer service – especially when good customer service has become the norm. Great customer service means taking care of our customers from the time they meet us online, to the first sales call, to the experience of the after-care support we provide.

I envision by 2025, the vast majority of our customers will be on Gigabit capable connections and consumers will be less focused on the delivery mechanism but more focused on the service they receive, be that Fibre, Coax, Wireless or even over the electric lines.

We’d just like to thank Darren for taking the time out to answer our questions and for giving us some insight into the thinking of a modern wireless ISP in today’s fast evolving market.

Leave a Comment
0 Responses

Comments are closed.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: £50 Gift Card
  • Post Office £20.90 (*37.00)
    Avg. Speed 38Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £21.95
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited (FUP)
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2625)
  2. FTTP (2420)
  3. FTTC (1714)
  4. Building Digital UK (1654)
  5. Politics (1520)
  6. Openreach (1493)
  7. Business (1306)
  8. FTTH (1205)
  9. Statistics (1143)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1108)
  11. Fibre Optic (1010)
  12. Ofcom Regulation (964)
  13. 4G (957)
  14. Wireless Internet (956)
  15. Virgin Media (916)
  16. EE (634)
  17. Sky Broadband (627)
  18. TalkTalk (610)
  19. Vodafone (581)
  20. 3G (433)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact