The UK in general is far behind other countries in terms of internet speeds. British Telecom make the decisions on where and when to upgrade or install new phone exchanges capable of delivering internet speeds that are considered reasonable for normal business use. Although there are many different internet providers, talk talk, plusnet etc, they are all effectively reselling BT and rely on them to make such decisions.
Virgin is the only company who have started to install an independent high speed internet infrastructure – and its much faster than BT Infinity – however this is not available in the New Forest.
The New Forest is an example of an area in the UK where business is being let down badly by the lack of reasonable internet speeds.
It’s a relief when we find that one of our business customers in the New Forest can upgrade their standard ADSL to what BT call “Infinity”. We could go into more detail here, but the most important difference between standard ADSL and BT Infinity – so called Fibre internet – is the upload speed not the download speed.
New Forest Business
Business in the new forest needs fast upload speeds so we can use cloud based backups, communicate with other offices to name a few examples. Sending email depends on your upload speed and if you are on a poor ADSL connection, you may find it takes up to 10 minutes to send just a high definition photograph. Design houses in the New Forest have to send large architectural drawings find it takes a long time, sometimes its just impossible.
New Forest Hotels & Restaurants
At a recent conference in Minstead (28th January 2015) Nicki Smith from the New Forest Hotels Group gave an interesting and invoking talk about the problems faced with slow internet speeds.
Guests expectations are not being met as they cannot provide a stable internet service.
Here is an excerpt from the presentation showing problems faced by The New Forest Hotel group at their 4 hotels.
Bartley Lodge Hotel, Beaulieu Hotel, Moorhill House Hotel, and Forest Lodge Hotel
1. Guests are seen wandering around the hotels searching for the best signal.
2. Families with children/teenagers try to use the Internet to keep them amused and can’t.
3. Guests try to FaceTime / Skype to keep in touch with home and find they can’t.
4. Corporate guests in particular expect uninterrupted access to the internet to check email and keep in touch with their office.
5. A business conference can be midway through a presentation/training and the Internet drops out.
6. Business Conference bookers expect to be able to access high speed internet to deliver presentations and video calls etc. New Forest Hotels are unable to provide this service and cannot accept the booking.
7. The end result is loss of business – the customer either just does not return, or worse they post a review on trip-advisor and put others off staying.
Internet Speeds & distance from Phone exchange
The location of your nearest phone exchange and how far it is from your home or business is the key factor in how fast your ADSL speed will be. If your nearest exchange has been upgraded to “fibre optic to cabinet” so called “BT Infinity” then things will be improved. Fibre optic broadband speed is also affected depending how far away from the fibre enabled cabinet. Your home or business will not get the fastest internet speed even on BT infinity if there aren’t enough cabinets nearby.