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Awards Win

Broadway Partners takes home the INCA Technical Innovation Award

It was all smiles from our CEO Michael Armitage when Broadway Partners scooped the award for Technical Innovation at the inaugural INCA awards in London on Monday 5th November, for our pioneering work with TV White Space to help provide superfast broadband to hard-to-connect rural areas.

The INCA Awards have been launched to celebrate the UK’s most innovative and inspirational alternative network providers (altnets) currently operating in the UK. Eight awards were presented in total, recognising the leaders in the field of Technical Innovation, Commercial Innovation, Urban Impact, Rural Impact, Best Community Project and Best Public Sector Project. There was also a special award for the Outstanding Contribution to the sector


Five ISPs Express Interest in Delivering 10Mbps UK Broadband USO

Ofcom has revealed that only BT(Openreach), KCOM, Hyperoptic, Quickline and Broadway Partners have expressed a formal interest in becoming suppliers for the new Universal Service Obligation (USO), which from 2020 will make it possible for anybody in a slow speed area to request a broadband speed of at least 10Mbps.

The USO is largely expected to focus on catering for the final 1-2% of homes and businesses across the United Kingdom, which effectively reflects those that are unlikely to be served by a “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) network come 2020 (i.e. this is estimated to be somewhere around 600,000 premises in 2020 or 900,000 if measured today).

Read more from ISPreview here.


Broadway Broadband

Advertised broadband speeds ‘lowered by 41%’ following ASA ruling

Following recent changes to advertising rules the majority of broadband providers have been forced to cut the headline speeds they advertise, according to research by Which?.

An analysis of the biggest broadband providers has found that, since new rules were introduced by the Committees of Advertising Practice in May, 11 major suppliers have had to cut the advertised speed of some of their deals – with the cheapest deals dropping by 41%.

BT, EE, John Lewis Broadband, Plusnet, Sky, Zen Internet, Post Office, SSE, TalkTalk, and Utility Warehouse previously advertised their standard (ADSL) broadband deals as ‘up to 17Mbps’. The new advertised speed is now more than a third lower at 10Mbps or 11Mbps.

Previously, suppliers were able to advertise broadband deals which claimed ‘up-to’ speeds that only one in 10 customers would ever reach. But the new advertising rules mean that at least half of customers must now be able to get an advertised average speed, even during peak times (8-10pm).

Read more from Future Scot here.


New TV White Space Radio Put Through Their Paces

Broadway is pleased to report a further successful trial of the next generation of TV WhiteSpace (TVWS) radio. Using equipment supplied by US company HuWoMobility, and working with UK spectrum database services provider Nominet, Broadway has demonstrated consistent download speeds of more than 50Mbps, across wooded and hilly terrain that would defeat conventional radios.

Previous first generation TVWS radios made use of single 8MHz radio channels and delivered broadband download speeds of 15-20 Mbps – more than adequate for normal web surfing and video streaming needs, and a huge jump in capability from the sub-1Mbps service that was often all that was previously available.

The latest generation of radios has been developed to meet the need for even more bandwidth and even higher download speeds, brought about by ever more sophisticated digital devices, and by the proliferation of those devices in homes.

By aggregating three radio channels, or 24MHz of spectrum, the new ‘tri-channel’ radios have substantially increased their effective throughput. With expected future use of ‘massive mimo’ aerials, and with further refinement of signal processing software, manufacturers are confidently anticipating 100Mbps download speeds, putting the technology on a par with conventional fibre-based ‘ultrafast’ services.

This development is particularly important from a public policy perspective. First, the speeds being achieved by these latest radios comfortably exceed the 30Mbps download requirements of the Next Generation Access (NGA) rules, thereby potentially qualifying the technology under European State aid rules as a legitimate tool for the delivery of universal superfast broadband.

And second, the success of these trials provides powerful vindication of the UK Government’s pioneering decision to allow spectrum-sharing in the TV WhiteSpace frequency band. The implications of this decision will continue to stretch far and wide – massively improving the commercial case for delivering broadband connectivity in sparsely populated rural areas, as well as laying the ground rules for the sharing of spectrum across multiple frequency bands – a pre-condition of a successful migration to 5G services.

Broadway’s participation in the DCMS-supported 5GRIT (5G Rural Integrated Testbed) pilot trials, alongside Quickline and Kings College, London, amongst others, is aimed precisely to test the limits of current spectrum-sharing techniques, and to develop the commercial and business case for large-scale deployment of rural networks.

Michael Armitage, Chairman of Broadway, said: “People need to be connected, wherever they are, in town or country, at home or at work, and TV WhiteSpace is an important part of the mix of technologies that can guarantee that digital connectivity is available to fully 100% of the population. The latest trial results vindicate our faith in the technology, and we look forward to rapid deployment of next generation radios across our networks in Scotland and Wales”.

Heng Pan, CEO of HuWoMobility, said: “Our next generation radio technology is delivering high speed broadband in highly challenging terrain that would leave conventional line-of-sight radio struggling. There is almost nowhere that TV WhiteSpace cannot go, and we are thrilled to be able to help communities stay connected”.

Broadway Broadband - News

Rural residents hang up on mobile banking, regulator finds

Consumers in rural areas of the UK are far less likely to use their smartphones for banking than their urban counterparts, a survey says.

The findings, from the UK’s financial regulator, are set to reignite the debate over bank branch closures – particularly in rural locations.

However, its report also suggests that those in rural areas are more satisfied with their financial circumstances.

The Financial Conduct Authority also exposed a north-south savings divide.

The data comes from a renewed assessment of a survey of 13,000 people’s financial lives by the FCA.

Read more from BBC News here.