What Ofcom have to say about UK Broadband

Further to my last post and in the interests of clarity fairness, see here what Ofcom have to say about UK Broadband as of 26/09/07

Click here

Here are the highlights

In general the picture for broadband take-up in the UK is good:

  • over ninety-nine per cent of the UK is connected to a broadband enabled exchange;
  • over half of UK households have taken up broadband;
  • almost three quarters have a choice of at least two broadband (ADSL and/or cable) network providers;
  • the average headline speed has doubled in a year to reach 4.6mb/s and
  • broadband prices have fallen by 9% in the last twelve months.

Of course I would have to be sceptical about this against the back drop of my own experience.
I need to discover how these statistics were arrived at. Does the term ‘average headline speed’ mean the average of the best performance achievable?????

I was also interested to read the following in the same report

Bandwidth demands are rising

Operators of the current copper-based networks and technologies have already upgraded their technology to deliver faster broadband speeds.

Consumer demand continues for the applications and services supported by these upgrades. To date, the networks have been able to meet this demand and offer sustained improvements.

However, the development and consumption of high speed services means that current generation networks will at some point be unable to deliver the very high speed broadband service that may be demanded by customers.

In the UK operators are considering how best to respond to the continuing growth in demand for bandwidth and the commercial case for significant investment in these new technologies. Ofcom’s consultation highlights how the market and infrastructure conditions in the UK are very different to those countries where investment in fibre has already been strong. The reasons include the relatively mature pay TV market in the UK, the high speeds of current broadband enabled by shorter distances from exchanges and the comparatively high population densities in countries where fibre is advancing fastest.

While the exact nature and timing of demand for very high speed broadband is uncertain, as is the nature of the services that will drive this demand, there is growing agreement that these networks could have profound effects for UK citizens and consumers and the economy.

Seems to confirm my own view that the current generation infrastructure does need to be upgraded to facilitate the delivery of future broadband technology and services.

Digital Forensics/Network Forenesics

I attended a meeting of the British Computer Society local branch in Aberdeen last evening. It was a well attended event with a speaker (Russell May) from a company from Pasadena. The company in question specialises in the production of Foresenic software for computers. This particular talk by Russell May concerned performing forensic investigations on a computer via the network. He described how it is possible to install a Servlet on the computer which communicates with a secure server and has the ability to send back information about the contents of the hard disc (including hidden files) and also the processes that the computer is running.

This is the ultimate in ‘Big Brother’ terms as it is now possible to perform forensic investigations without having physical access to the computer. Another point was made, it is possible using this technique to examine the content of encrypted disc volumes. This is because the computer is operational and the decryption keys are all available to the servlet process.

This is not likely to find its way on to domestic PC – but it does make you think! Supposing it did then there is nothing that we can consider to be private in the digital world.

A search on Google provides access quite a bit if information on this topic.