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Guernsey UK Network Upgrade Doubles Broadband ISP Speeds

Posted: 18th Mar, 2010 By: MarkJ
Cable and Wireless GuernseyThose living on the islands of Guernsey, Alderney and Sark look set to benefit after Cable & Wireless Guernsey (C&WG) announced a major broadband network upgrade to its Bailiwick’s wholesale operations. Broadband users on the islands can initially expect speeds to double, with even faster performance to follow.

From 1st May customers of all local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) could get up to double the broadband speed for the same price. All 2Mbps residential broadband lines will be enhanced to 'up to' 4Mbps and all 4Mbps lines will be upgraded to 'up to' 8Mbps. We note that the 8Mbps service will not be upgraded until the next stage of the programme but the current wholesale price of 8Mbps is to be reduced by 37%.

Paul Taylor, Cable & Wireless Guernsey’s Marketing Director, commented:

"This is the next step in our company’s ongoing network upgrade programme that will propel Guernsey broadband toward ADSL2+ technology and an era of faster speeds. Broadband speeds will double on 1st May, but this is just a precursor to further speed increases that we expect to launch later this year.

Our priority has been to deliver a quality broadband service, to the maximum number of people, over a strong, resilient network. A higher proportion of our population can receive broadband than in the UK – a fact that we are particularly proud of."

C&W last upgraded Guernsey’s broadband network in 2008 from 1Mbps to 2Mbps and has been busy rolling out new street boxes (MSAN's) closer to population centres. Sadly some 5% of households will not be within reach of the improved network and no timetable has been set to resolve this problem.

Russell Sharman, Cable & Wireless’ Chief Technology Officer, commented:

"Some homes do struggle to get maximum broadband speeds due to the distance from an exchange, or due to the wiring in the house. It’s for these reasons that not all lines will achieve the full headline speed of 4Mbps or 8Mbps; the service is an ‘up to’ service, being the maximum speed that the line can achieve. 54% of broadband issues that are reported to us are due to the end-users’ internal wiring. We do everything possible to work with householders to help them improve their speeds."

Residents will no doubt be pleased at the news and C&W claims to be investing more than £1 million per year into its access network for ongoing network maintenance and upgrades. However it is still many years behind mainland UK, where up to 8Mbps ADSL based broadband products have been common for quite a few years.
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