Broadband access technologies in the uk

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1. Broadband Access Technologies in the UK

Integrated Services Digital Network (ISDN)

  • Initially works like Dialup by connecting via a standard copper based telephone line.
  • ISDN is almost digital and can send information at speeds of up to 64Kbps downstream and upstream.
  • Speed can be increased to 128Kbps, but has to use a second channel via an additional telephone line call ‘bonding'.

Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL)

  • Splits telephone line into separate voice and data channels can make phone call and use the Internet at the same time.
  • Technology provides high-bandwidth (broadband) information to homes and small businesses using copper telephone lines.
  • Able to deliver speeds at up to 8Mbps.
  • Shorter lines provide faster connections.
  • Technology is cheap, fast and reliable.
  • ADSL is "best efforts" broadband services, which means that the bandwidth is shared between many users and can be highly variable, especially over long distances.


  • Technology able to provide download speeds at up to 24Mbps and upload speed at up to 1.4Mbps.
  • Supports port bonding.
  • Links several lines together for faster speeds.
  • ADSL2 is "best efforts" broadband services, which means that the bandwidth is shared between many users and can be highly variable - especially over long distances.


  • Very High Bit-rate Digital Subscriber Line.
  • Able to provide up to 50Mbps or more than 50Mbps downstream over lines of 300 meters in length and up to 12Mbps upstream.
  • VDSL can be use as an extension for fibre optic (Fibre-To-T-The-Cabinet) networks.
  • VDSL handling the "last mile" into homes and businesses over existing copper wire based lines.

Broadband Cable

  • Uses robust fibre either optic or coaxial cabling to connect with consumers.
  • Can carry larger amounts of data than a POTS.
  • Enables to deliver Internet, television and phone services over a single connection.
  • Broadband services can reach 100Mbps or higher in the future.
  • Networks install by fibre to a node and then deliver connection to homes via copper or coaxial wire.

Broadband Wireless

  • Use specific frequencies of the radio spectrum to transmit signals through the air.
  • Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11) domestic technology. Wi-Fi 802.11a (2Mbps) - Frequency: 2.4GHz or 5GHz. Wi-Fi 802.11b (11Mbps) - Frequency: 2.4GHz. Wi-Fi 802.11g (54Mbps) - Frequency: 2.4GHz. Wi-Fi 802.11n (100Mbps to 600Mbps) - Frequency: 2.4GHz or 5GHz.
  • Performance can be vary over distance and as it passes through solid structures.

Mobile Broadband

  • Use mobile phone radio spectrum to deliver Internet access almost anywhere.
  • Can be use through a mobile phone, USB Modem, Dongle or PCMCIA data card.
  • Mobile broadband can be delivered from 2G to 3G, with the highest speed currently possible in the UK being 7.2Mbps.

Broadband Satellite

  • Effectively small autonomous space stations can be placed in orbit around the planet and used as specialised wireless transceivers to relay information between different points on the ground.
  • high altitude above the Earth gives excellent coverage, especially useful in remote areas.
  • Performance is quite variable due to signals to go from the Earth to the satellite and back again (high latency).
  • Satellite is costly or confusing to consumers and works in one of two different ways.

One-Way: This is the cheaper option sees the satellite ONLY handling downstream (download) data by allowing to dial in via normal land based ISP to handle the upstream (upload) requests for data.

Two-Way: more expensive two-way option, the satellite handles everything, no need for an additional Internet connection.

Broadcasting Networks Television

  • Digital Satellite (BSkyB).
  • Digital Cable (Virgin Media).
  • IPTV.
  • High Definition Services.
  • Terrestrial TV.
  • TV over DSL or TV over Broadband


  • Available on satellite, terrestrial TV and via Internet.
  • FM Radio.
  • DAB.

2. A number of constraints on broadband performance like distance from premises to the exchange, congestion on ISPs networks and the general internet, and home wiring, combine to make actual speeds significantly lower than” headline speeds”.

· For DSL broadband, the maximum line speed available is constrained by the length of the copper wire connection between the premises and the local telephone exchange, with speeds slowing down as the length of the line increases. For all broadband connections, speeds are constrained by contention in the ISPs own network this is a particular problem during peak periods as multiple users put demand on backhaul networks.

  • The length, and quality, of line between house and the exchange. On average, consumers living in urban areas receive speeds 15% faster than those in rural areas, largely because of distance. The closer you are to the exchange, the faster your internet.
  • Poor wiring and interference within the home can severely impact performance. In June 2009, BT launched an initiative to address this by offering the BT Broadband Accelerator (a filter which consumers install into their phone socket in order to reduce electrical interference from telephone-extension wiring) free of charge (save postage and packing) to all customers where BT believes performance can be improved.
  • Congestion on the wider internet causes individual web sites and applications to slow down.
  • Consumer equipment performance, in particular computers and routers, can affect speeds received.

Other possible reasons might be effect the “Headline Speed”

Traffic management

Provider slows down the connection because it prefers one kind of traffic over another for example streaming video over downloading, or excessive use such as downloading too many large files.

Time of the day

The time of day like peak times can slow speeds, especially if the provider has a lot of users locally.

Different types of traffic have a different priority at all times on our network, with time-sensitive applications such as gaming and VoIP having the highest priority.

Peer-to-Peer applications provide extensive networks for sharing files. These networks provide an impressive amount of popular music, movies, videos, games, books, and applications for quick downloading. For the Internet community, the opportunity allows them to share files with anyone, anywhere, at anytime. However, worldwide availability for downloading files affects network security and performance. Peer-to- Peer traffic can consume vast amounts of bandwidth, which multiplies with installed Spyware and adware running in the background. Because it can hold vast amounts of bandwidth and can also provide easy network traffic.

3. Different services and application can be better provision in best-effort IP network by implementing Integrated Services (Intserv), Differentiated Services (Diffserv) or integrated and differentiated services both together.


IntServ is a QoS mechanism proposed by the IETF [1] that is characterized by resource reservation.

  • Focus on per-flow QoS. Support specific applications such as video streaming. Based on mathematical guarantees.
  • In addition to the traditional best-effort service, the IntServ architecture proposes two more classes of service; Guaranteed Service (GS) and Controlled-Load Service (CLS).
  • Guaranteed Service(GS)
  • Targets hard real-time applications.
  • User specifies traffic characteristics and a service requirement.
  • Requires admission control at each of the routers.
  • Can mathematically guarantee bandwidth, delay, and jitter.
  • Controlled-Load Service(CLS)
  • Targets applications that can adapt to network conditions within a certain performance window.
  • User specifies traffic characteristics and bandwidth.
  • Requires admission control at each of the routers.
  • Guarantee not as strong as with the guaranteed service.e.g. Measurement-based admission control.
  • Many concerns: Complexity, Scalability, Business model, charging.

In order for the applications to communicate their QoS requirements to nodes along the transit path, a signalling mechanism is required. The IETF IntServ Working Group recommends Resource Reservation Protocol (RSVP) [2] as the signalling protocol to reserve resources. The main function of RSVP is to provide QoS requests on behalf of the application traffic to all routers along the transit path and to maintain the state information in the routers for each data flow [2].


Due to the difficulties encountered in implementing and deploying the IntServ/RSVP architecture, another QoS mechanism known as DiffServ has been proposed [3].

Intended to address the following difficulties with Intserv and RSVP;

Scalability: maintaining states by routers in high speed networks is difficult due to the very large number of flows

Flexible Service Models: Intserv has only two classes want to provide more qualitative service classes; want to provide ‘relative' service distinction.

Simpler signaling: (than RSVP) many applications and users may only want to specify a more qualitative notion of service

The Diffserv architecture achieves its scaling properties by defining a small number of different packet forwarding treatments known as Per-Hop Behaviours (PHB) [4].

Diffserv defines architecture and a set of forwarding behaviors. It is up to the service providers to define and implement end-to-end services on top of this architecture. Offers a more flexible service model; different providers can offer different service. One of the main motivations for Diffserv is scalability. Keep the core of the network simple. Focus of Diffserv is on supporting QoS for flow aggregates.

IntServ over DiffServ

QoS developments have combined both integrated and differentiated services together into a new architecture for an end-to-end service provision [10]. The strength of IntServ is its ability to provide a per-flow QoS guarantee, while it lacks the issue of scalability at its core routers. On the other hand Diffserv enables scalability across large networks but may not be able to support a per-flow QoS guarantee. So, with the new combined architecture it is possible to maintain a scalable QoS service guarantee at the network core using Diffserv, while implementing IntServ at the network edge in order to support a per-flow QoS guarantee [5].

The cause of inadequacy on error limits in the underlying models used to predict network performance in IP-based network with reference to the heterogeneous network.

Queueing Model is based on Poisson process and exponential probability. Poisson process models random events can be a customer arrival, a request for action from a web server, or the completion of the actions requested of a web server as emanating from a memoryless process. The length of time interval from the current time to the occurrence of the next event does not depend upon the time of occurrence of the last event. In the Poisson probability distribution, the observer records the number of events that occur in a time interval of fixed length. In the (negative) exponential probability distribution, the observer records the length of the time interval between consecutive events. In both, the underlying physical process is memory less. But Poisson approximation is no longer holds true for some traffic, some traffic is long range dependent and they no longer memoryless.

Queueing theory able to model all real-world situations exactly but it is mathematically restrictive. This restriction rises because the underlying assumptions of the theory do not always hold in the real world. The complexity of production lines with product specific characteristics cannot be handled with mathematical models anymore.

4. Interim Report page no 20

“There are already the early signs of congestion in first generation broadband, particularly for video use in peak times. This is most noticeable in the shared parts of the fixed networks (in access and backhaul). BT's 21st Century Network programme will play a part in upgrading the network, but it is still reasonable to expect that congestion will become more acute as more people make increasing use of high-bandwidth applications. It will also be particularly acute in small town and rural areas [6], not served by cable and who already have much lower average speeds than dense urban areas.”

Interim Report page 24

“A soft version of this model was successfully deployed by BT in the later stages of the roll out of first generation broadband to more rural communities [7]. It has also been successfully deployed by organisations like the Community Broadband Network.”

Interim Report againpage 24

“Alston Fibremoor

Alston Cybermoor is a localised community project in Cumbria which aims to provide a fibre-to-the-home network in the most sparsely-populated parish in England. A local project to obtain first-generation broadband led to the creation of Cybermoor, among the first community-run broadband projects in the UK. Cybermoor is now looking to maintain their pioneering position by investigating the opportunities for fibre-optic technologies. By taking an intelligent approach to network design, financing and harnessing the power of the local community to drive take-up, Cybermoor can become Fibremoor at a cost well below usual estimates for such rural locations [8].”

Interim Report page 54

“But if by 2012 we have a society where 50 per cent of the population has very high speed broadband, 40 per cent has first generation broadband but little prospect of market-led upgrade to next generation broadband, and up to ten per cent of homes are still in not-spots [9], not-a-lot spots or not-at-all good spots, then the gulf in access and connectivity will appear starker than it is today.”

Interim Report page 57

“Additionally, these figures provide a reasonable proxy for overall broadband availability but they are not exact; the BT not-spots [10] will overlap in some areas with cable or mobile availability meaning that the true availability might be slightly different.”

Interim Report page 58

“Of course, there have already been steps taken in the UK - as highlighted above to close not-spots [11]. We intend to work closely with colleagues in the devolved administrations and the English Regional Development Agencies to ensure that their investment in broadband coverage works with our policies and public expenditure is not wasted or duplicated.”

Whilst the Government objective of 2Mbps is a stretch for the 3G technology the near universal roll out of some 3G networks will guarantee 1-1.5Mbps availability across a range of current broadband “not-spots; In this respect, a number of companies have argued that the so-called wireless white spaces [12] (interleaved spectrum) provide an opportunity for exciting new wireless services such as enhanced Wi-Fi in the UK. These have potential in rural areas to deliver broadband connectivity.

I would like to propose not only one but several option to provide universal broadband access to the rural area. First of all if the government would like to use the property they already have and wanted to utilize it to provide broadband to the rural area then i would say go for power line means BPL (broadband over power line). The fact that the electricity is all over the UK means not only the urban place it's also provided in the rural area. The commercialisation of Broadband Power Line could also be important from a competition perspective providing a second or third wire to the home in competition with digital subscriber line technology and cable modem technology. It also has the potential to be a shared technology, given its use in developing smart grids and monitoring consumption of electric power to share costs. Broadband Power Line also has unique features such as the possibility of in-home access for broadband from any power socket in the room without the need for further in-house wiring.

BPL (Broadband over Power Line)

  • The equipment needed to set up BPL in the home is cheaper on average than that of other broadband solutions such as DSL and cable modems.
  • The equipment uses existing power outlets in the home making it easier to set-up and there is no need for additional wiring or installations.
  • BPL transmits high frequency data signals through the same power cable network used in carrying electrical power to household/or business subscribers.
  • In order to provide data communication, the initial BPL systems coupled radio frequency (RF) data signals into the existing electric power lines. The high frequency data signals are transmitted through the same power lines that carry low frequency electricity to the household or business. This enables both signals to coexist on the same wire.
  • From the specific technological perspective, the basic idea of BPL technology is to modulate a radio signal with data and send it through power lines in a band of frequencies which are not used for supplying electricity.

The extra services that BPL could provide would also be a key element of a business model allowing BPL service providers to differentiate their quadruple play services from xDSL and cable modem service providers. The potential list of customer services can include the following:

  • Voice over Internet telephony.
  • Automated monitoring and control of end-use equipment, including demand response and load shedding.
  • Billing data and energy consumption data.
  • Real-time building security monitoring/reporting.
  • Automated inventory tracking of various goods such as fuel stocks.
  • Dynamic price information.
  • Video on demand.
  • Streaming audio.
  • Real-time, interconnected Internet-based games.
  • Transmission of data/telephone/fax without multiple fixed lines.
  • Triple play services; voice/data/video.
  • Quadruple play facilities; triple play services and home automation network.

Because of low speed, low functionality and high development cost, BPL technology was never seriously considered as a communication medium. This technology was implemented and still running by so many countries like Australia, Austria, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ice Land, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Nether Land, Spain, Sweden, UK, and several cities in United States[14]. So i would like to say if the government just wanted to provide universal broadband not the quality or the high speed broadband then they can go for BPL.

This Example will provide best solution for the investor .The demand for high capacity broadband is being driven by “always-on” services such as video-conferencing, high definition video streaming and interactive gaming. Broadband access in urban areas is already provided by passive optical networks (PON) and digital subscriber loop (DSL) technologies. However, the much higher cost of network deployment in rural areas has delayed broadband roll out. Different factors affect rural broadband access including the services, infrastructure, demography, and topology. Current broadband technologies for rural areas including low-speed broadband fixed wireless access and satellite networks do not provide enough capacity for the future. Therefore, there is a need to consider the deployment of PON, DSL, or high-speed wireless access in the rural environment to cater for the larger bandwidth requirement. Furthermore, there is strong lack in clarity in the literature on economic modelling of broadband access technologies for rural areas.

In Australia ARC Special Research Centre for Ultra-Broadband Information Networks (CUBIN) they have analysed the installation costs of PON, DSL-based FTTN and wireless access networks for a number of rural towns and one urban area in Australia. The networks are designed using real household and road locations. The economic modelling of these rural networks has revealed that for access rates greater than 20 Mbps, PON is the lowest-cost network irrespective of the population density. For 20 Mbps access, DSL-based FTTN is the lowest cost technology except at population densities lower than one household per square kilometre, where wireless becomes the cheapest solution [15].

The last one

In 2006, Intel, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), and the Vietnam Data Communication Company (VDC) formed a public-private partnership in a joint effort to introduce WiMAX (World Interoperability for Microwave Access), into Vietnam. This partnership included the delivery of broadband access to the remote village of Ta Van in Lào Cai province located in north-west Vietnam. The Ta Van project utilized the IPSTAR satellite network for linking the village to the Internet. Distribution throughout the village was accomplished via the deployment of a single

WiMAX base station and several remote subscriber stations (SS) located across Ta Van. In addition to

Internet access, the joint project included voice services through Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), complete with PSTN integration that allows for calls throughout the Lao Cai province. Lessons learned in this deployment also provide a model approach for rural areas what normally not spotted.

Figure: Wireless network architecture at Ta Van village, Vietnam

In the Ta Van network architecture, only four components needed to be installed outdoors at the base station location:

  1. A VSAT antenna.
  2. An omni-directional antenna.
  3. One Airspan MicroMAX base station.
  4. A Lightning protector.

The indoor components of the base station are deployed without the need for air-conditioning. It consisted of:

  1. The satellite user terminal.
  2. The indoor unit of the Airspan MicroMAX base station.
  3. An Edgewater Networks multi-function network appliance.

From that project, we can see that there were three major objectives: 1. Demonstrate the technology; 2.develop a cost model for effective sustainability; and 3. showcase the benefits of broadband Internet access to rural areas. After overcoming initial technical issues, the first and second objectives have been met with satisfaction. Not only has the technology proven to be robust, they have also demonstrated that it is possible to provide broadband Internet services to remote areas where only rudimentary infrastructure exists [16].

5. The social and Economic Benefits of Universal Broadband Access

We believe that Digital Participation can be defined as:

“Increasing the reach, breadth and depth of digital technology use across all sections of society, to maximise digital participation and the economic and social benefits it can bring.” Universal Broadband Access is an accelerator of economic and social development.

Social Benefits

Health Care

“Telemedicine” is one of the most compelling justifications for universal broadband. It will allow patients even in remote areas of the country to send information about their pulse, vision, blood pressure, blood oxygenation, temperature, glucose levels, and heart function in real time to physicians and medical staff in locations hundreds and thousands of miles away. Patients and providers can then conference via video over broadband to discuss the results. [17]

For those caring for an invalid, a relative with a condition such as Alzheimer's disease, or a person with a mental disability, universal broadband would allow them to monitor their loved ones from a remote location using a video camera attached to the Internet.

Here is one example of the possibilities of broadband revolutionizing health care comes from Japan, where pathologists currently use high-definition video and remote-controlled microscopes to examine tissue samples from patients living in areas without access to major hospitals. “Before, we did not have the richness of image detail,” says Shoji Matsuya, director of diagnostic pathology at Kanto Medical Centre in Tokyo.


Can facilitate distance learning programs for rural students like Queen Mary University of London student can learn and able to see the lecture, course materials etc without being in the class. With universal broadband access facility anybody can learn anything from anywhere and at whatever age they have its will be just a click away for them to make their home to a virtual university by that universal broadband, especially those who got difficulties (disable or got serious illness person) can access to the higher education.

Example-in June 2004, students at Southern Columbia High School in Catawissa, a town of 1700 in northern Pennsylvania, were connected to a simulated NASA centre at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia to participate in a simulated space mission. Utilizing broadband technology, a live link between the students and the simulated mission was established, enabling the students to conduct scientific experiments and solve mathematical problems in real time. [18]

Public Engagement and Participation

Now a day's democracy become one of the most important for the people and the country every try to share their view and to try to say something or try to bring up some issue, universal broadband will give the power to do so.

The “YouTube Debate” demonstrated on a nationwide stage what communities throughout the U.S. are doing on the local level: using the Internet to engage and serve their citizens, and encouraging them to participate in the political process. Indeed, as communities cut back on cable PEG channels, as Phoenix recently did, or push PEG channels into a more expensive and exclusive cable package, as happened to a million households in the Tampa Bay area, the Internet is taking on an increasing role and responsibility in engaging citizens in the affairs of their communities. Many communities now stream or archive their governmental meetings on the Internet. [19]


Today, the Internet and digital media tools enable citizens to create their own media content. Citizen blogs, podcasts, journalism, restaurant and movie reviews, YouTube videos that question candidates, documentaries, films, even shows that look a lot like television - creating all of that is now being done every day by who have broadband access to the Internet. In Joe Kraus the founder of JotSpot words “The old media model was: there is one source of truth. The new media model is: there are multiple sources of truth, and we will sort it out.

Recreation and Entertainment

It will allow you to watch/ listen the live TV/radio where ever you are.

Job Applications

Using the Internet allows job seekers to search effectively for employment, some of which is advertised only online. Web-based application systems have become much more simple and easy to use. And those who lives in rural area because universal broadband access they will also able to participate and take the facility.

Self Publishing

New content creation systems have enabled millions of people to distribute their work - the written word, audio, photo sharing and video material - to a global online audience.

Public Services

Public services will be easy to get from home by just a click away; citizens can apply for their passport, driving license, council tax etc. Almost half of the UK population today have used the Internet in the last year to access information about Government or local council services or completed a Government form or process online, according to Ofcom research. And 42% of people said that they had looked for information online about a Government or local council service, or used services such as paying their road tax or registering for Child Tax Credits online. Among people who have the Internet at home, 55% have used these services online.


Communication is one main reason that makes broadband grow that quickly and vastly for this broadband now become the part of social life in some countries the government make broadband access a legal right. The Internet offers access to a huge range of communication devices to us. These range from the very simple applications such as email in which we can communicate with people anywhere to instant messaging and VOIP which allow us to communicate with people around the world instantly and for free. All these systems have been augmented by social networking sites that allow us to keep in contact with old friends and new.

Economical Benefits

The network infrastructure supports all economic sectors, is crucial to the national and international exchange of goods and services, and acts as a main catalyst in changing economic interrelationships through rapid technological change and the proliferation of a range of new services. Current generation broadband has been shown to bring very significant benefits to consumers and businesses that are able to access it. For example, it can lead to productivity gains as businesses make use of electronic supply chains and can market themselves on the web, and it can allow employees to work more flexibly at home. Consumers can access online public services and be a part of new, online societies.

Online Shopping

There are significant benefits, both financial and social, that come from being able to shop online, getting the cheapest deal and saving time especially when using price comparison websites. Further important benefits are emerging for people with disabilities or those unable to venture out allowing them greater independence in their daily life.

Expand Business

With the help of universal broadband, you can expand your business to a wider market beyond your immediate area. You can reach to a bigger audience and explore markets far and wide. If your company has sent you to some far off remote area for some project, you can easily communicate with your counterparts in other parts of the world.

Online Banking

Including paying bills, allowing quick and easy payment methods, greater control over finances, a wider choice of savings products and access to international markets and share trading.

Use for Farmers

Broadband connection is also of use to farmers they can expand their business and they can communicate with to the other country or they can start online business by developing a website. They can access information regarding weather forecasts, crop prices and so on with the help of uninterrupted Internet facility. They also can benefited by Electronic livestock monitoring, Electronic animal health alerts, Rural Payments Agency strategy for greater customer self service on line,

Ensuring that lead policy departments understand that an infrastructure gap should not translate to a service quality, economic and social gap between rural and urban areas.


With the time limitation and advertising quotas so many small business could not go for advertising with universal broadband they can now easily advertise their own company and spared their business.


With this facility e-commerce will grow, more people who would like to do small business or they like to introduce their business. Community business can be start with this facility. As consumers, some 90% of our high street purchases are transacted by plastic which depends on wired and wireless communications to work. That is in addition to the £50bn of consumer purchases and sales through e-commerce that takes place wholly online.

Share Market

People from rural area can participate in a share market like the urban people.

Broadband connection has become a must-have in all areas of life. It enables book train tickets, access bank account, watch videos and TV programs online and so on. And the need for broadband connection is as important in urban areas as in rural areas. Lack of access to broadband internet hinders the growth and development of rural areas. As The Economist correctly notes, the crucial prerequisite for widespread citizen participation in this oncoming media revolution is universal, high speed, always-on access to the Internet. Without that access, Digital Divide will also be “News, Information, Culture, and Entertainment Divide.”