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SKY abandoning their satellite customers

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old mart10/10/2021 14:52:47
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It has just been confirmed that SKY will be ditching satellite for fibre optic. This is not exactly unforseen, but it will affect many people who live in the country and who are never likely to have a fast internet connection.

I changed to Virgin some time back as soon as their fibre was installed. This was not because I was not happy with the satellite tv that SKY provided, but because the old BT phone lines were slow and unreliable. In my area, Weston Super Mare, there is a second company, City fibre about to install another lot of fibre optic cabling, that seems like overkill to me, especially as there are many areas which do not have any at all.

 

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-58828822

Edited By old mart on 10/10/2021 14:58:16

JasonB10/10/2021 15:20:01
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I could not see where it said they were stopping use of satallite just adding the streaming?

I don't seem to have a problem watching GCN+, Redbull TV, Eurosport, etc on the 'puter without fibre either.

Ady110/10/2021 17:57:37
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sat has got to be the future because they cant wire up the whole world, which would be daft anyway

The interweb consumes vast amounts of energy and resources

Chris Crew10/10/2021 18:01:21
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145 forum posts

Who needs it? The best entertainment and educational programs are usually to be found in the workshop but for the occasional BBC Iplayer documentary or YouTube instructional video I find that BT copper is more than adequate, although I must admit I am located only a couple of hundred yards from the village exchange and FTTC cabinet, others may not be so fortunate.

Ian P10/10/2021 18:13:33
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I dont see any announcements of Sky giving up the satelite system, what I do see is Sky selling their own brand of smart TV

Ian P

Calum Galleitch10/10/2021 19:15:17
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Posted by Ady1 on 10/10/2021 17:57:37:

sat has got to be the future because they cant wire up the whole world, which would be daft anyway

The interweb consumes vast amounts of energy and resources

Satellite is ideal for broadcast, but less so for internet. My day job involves talking to a webcam all day, and it would be intolerable routed over satellite: you can't do much about the speed of light.

Dave Halford10/10/2021 19:16:35
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It wouldn't be news without a dash of jeopardy.

Bazyle10/10/2021 20:17:04
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You only need 3Mbps for Standard definition TV, Netflix et al can use less if they detect your connection is poor. HD maybe 8Mbps, UHD maybe 16Mbps. Fibre isn't necessary for the individual customer, only for aggregation of multiple customers. Latency and dropped packets due to noise are more significant in practice.

John Haine10/10/2021 22:00:38
4259 forum posts
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The copper network is degrading and sooner or later will need to be replaced. Fibre is significantly more reliable and cheaper both to deploy and operate. It also provides much bigger bandwidth right to the edge (i.e. your "phone" socket). Even in rural areas Openreach and some competing operators are busy rolling out fibre to premises, helped by subsidy (after all much of the copper network was built by subsidising it from expensive "long distance" calls which in actual cost terms were cheap). Radio spectrum, whether terrestrial or satellite, should be ideally kept for applications which need to be wireless. It's hard to justify still some hundreds of MHz of UHF spectrum being reserved for broadcasting when the same programmes could be delivered by the "telecoms" network alongside two-way fixed gigabit Internet. Sky's satellites were relatively cheap for them to acquire but eventually will need replacing so if a fibre fixed network is being rolled out much better for them to use it.

Bill Phinn10/10/2021 22:21:04
598 forum posts
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Can anyone tell me what sort of digging there has to be at a minimum to a front garden in order to lay a fibreoptic cable? I've been deterred from choosing fibreoptic until now because of the mess Virgin (or rather their contractors) wanted to make of my front garden in springtime with all my bulbs just coming into flower.

They were turned away at the scene, though wouldn't have turned up at all if Virgin had notified them, as they should have, that the customer had cancelled the contract four days before the scheduled visit.

John Olsen11/10/2021 05:52:24
1215 forum posts
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I don't know how they are installing fibre in the UK, but here in NZ it only required two small holes on my property, one right by the house where the fibre comes out of the ground, and one in the lawn area where they were making a turn. Both about a foot square. The fibre was put into the ground using a machine to thrust from one end, and one of the guys used a detector device so that he could tell where it was going and correct the angle from the thruster machine. So no real disturbance to any of the garden, not that ours is especially fancy, but there are trees and shrubs. It would be 30 or 40 metres from the front fence to where the fibre enters the house.

Satellite was good for getting connected (Internationally) back in the day, but has some limitations. There are only so many spots in the geostationary orbit, and the delay is long enough that you don't want a double hop. The bandwidth is limited by the range of frequencies that pass through the atmosphere easily. The delay is not so much of a problem for TV, but can be for Internet connections. So hence lots of long distance optical fibres have been and are being laid, since you can get plenty of bandwidth, and increasing the number of fibres in a cable does not greatly add to the cost of the installation. This is also why there is interest in constellations of low orbit satellites, since it pretty much eliminates the delay, at the cost of requiring handover between satellites at frequent intervals.

For local connections, fibre has a lot of advantages, not least bandwidth but also being less prone to getting stolen and less problem with corrosion.

John

David George 111/10/2021 07:12:58
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The BBC will in the near future get rid of transmitters to aerials and expect all viewers to use the broad band network instead saving billions of pounds in maintenance and renewal costs. Progress?

David

John Haine11/10/2021 07:14:31
4259 forum posts
251 photos
Posted by Bill Phinn on 10/10/2021 22:21:04:

Can anyone tell me what sort of digging there has to be at a minimum to a front garden in order to lay a fibreoptic cable? I've been deterred from choosing fibreoptic until now because of the mess Virgin (or rather their contractors) wanted to make of my front garden in springtime with all my bulbs just coming into flower.

They were turned away at the scene, though wouldn't have turned up at all if Virgin had notified them, as they should have, that the customer had cancelled the contract four days before the scheduled visit.

Round here it's mainly overhead on phone poles.

John Haine11/10/2021 07:18:56
4259 forum posts
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Posted by David George 1 on 11/10/2021 07:12:58:

The BBC will in the near future get rid of transmitters to aerials and expect all viewers to use the broad band network instead saving billions of pounds in maintenance and renewal costs. Progress?

David

More to spend on programming? More appropriate use of spectrum. So yes, progress.

Anthony Kendall11/10/2021 08:42:21
114 forum posts
Posted by David George 1 on 11/10/2021 07:12:58:

The BBC will in the near future get rid of transmitters to aerials and expect all viewers to use the broad band network instead saving billions of pounds in maintenance and renewal costs. Progress? David

Who says?

Grindstone Cowboy11/10/2021 08:58:20
758 forum posts
60 photos
Posted by Anthony Kendall on 11/10/2021 08:42:21:
Posted by David George 1 on 11/10/2021 07:12:58:

The BBC will in the near future get rid of transmitters to aerials and expect all viewers to use the broad band network instead saving billions of pounds in maintenance and renewal costs. Progress? David

Who says?

Or, to put it another way, says who?

Circlip11/10/2021 09:31:41
1382 forum posts

Both systems have limitations, Cable, costs linked to "Maintaining existing service." As I am limited to one fibre cable provider, their charges for even a basic ISP became exorbitant. So, changed to someone who doesn't doesn't using the "National" wire system of which mine will "Never be converted to fibre." Still too expensive for 9mbps.

Ditched TV supply years ago in favour of Freeserve and Freesat But Sat suffers when it rains.

Used to be "Would you buy a car from this salesman?" The suppliers have joined the ranks of "Gypsies tramps and thieves."

Regards Ian.

Samsaranda11/10/2021 09:56:53
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Live in a village outside of Eastbourne, a cable company are installing cable throughout Eastbourne, I think the company is called Lightning, however there have been a constant stream of complaints about their work. The cable layers have dug up roads and pavements leaving behind an awful mess and the trenches are all topped of with lumpy tarmac, the trenches they have dug in the roads have left newly surfaced roads with uneven surfaces which will get worse with traffic and deteriorate further. It’s bad enough to get roads resurfaced these days with Councils so strapped for cash but to get a company come along and in my view vandalise the highway in such a way is totally unnecessary when BT have a network of cables already laid in ducting that could be shared. My personal view is that tv should remain on satellites and internet utilise the current infrastructure with upgrading where necessary. My view of Sky’s new tv project is like all Sky enterprises it is geared to massive profit for their shareholders and customer consideration is very low on their agenda, as always. Hopefully our village will be deemed too insignificant for them to vandalise with their cables. Dave W

John Haine11/10/2021 10:22:07
4259 forum posts
251 photos

Round here, most premises get their phone lines overhead, the same poles are used by Openreach when they roll out fibre. Another company, County Broadband, is also rolling out rural fibre in East Anglia again mainly overhead. Where they have put in underground, for example in a nearby village, they have done a very good job of reinstating the road.

Quite a number of rural communities have benefitted from Community Fibre Partnerships that attract government funding to help the capital investment. There is also Project Gigabit just starting to roll out fibre to other rural areas.

Part of our Parish got fibre a year ago as their broadband was awful and there was another government scheme to help in areas with very low bandwidth. They can now sign up for up to 900 Mbps, and the prices are exactly the same as in other parts of the country - also can get service from any of the existing broadband providers using the Openreach network. Fibre is coming.

SillyOldDuffer11/10/2021 10:23:06
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Posted by Anthony Kendall on 11/10/2021 08:42:21:
Posted by David George 1 on 11/10/2021 07:12:58:

The BBC will in the near future get rid of transmitters to aerials and expect all viewers to use the broad band network instead saving billions of pounds in maintenance and renewal costs. Progress? David

Who says?

Customers, loud and clear. Most customers don't want broadcast TV because programmes have to be watched at set times - the customer has to follow the schedules.

Recording is popular because it alleviates the scheduling problem. However, not all sweetness and light. The customer buys an extra box, studies the schedules, and has to set-up what's wanted for later consumption. Recorders have limitations: most can only capture two channels simultaneously and the owner has to make space by deleting old recordings. And the customer buys DVDs and another special box to watch them.

What most customers want is Video on Demand: programmes that can be watched at any time and in any order without having to wait for a broadcaster to schedule them. And most people today want to be able to watch TV on anything from a big fixed screen to a mobile phone. Some are also keen to watch high-definition services that cannot be transmitted by existing broadcast infrastructure without major upgrades, but can be accommodated by fibre-optic networks.

Terrestrial and satellite broadcasters are all losing customers and their outlook is bleak. In my family only one of the under 40s watches broadcast TV - eight others all stream programmes off the internet. If they want to binge watch an entire series in one sitting, they can. The move away from broadcast will continue, and at some point in the future, there won't be enough customers to justify providing it.

In similar vein, BT have announced the end of conventional analogue telephony, in 2025 (ISDN and PSTN). It's because replacing and maintaining the UK's ageing bandwidth-limited copper network exceeds the cost of replacing it with fibre-optics. And putting high-speed internet into every home opens the door to selling more services. It's also important for the ecomomy - failure to modernise UK telecoms has already damaged our business propects. There will be problems galore, but most customers will be delighted. As with moving from broadcast to video on demand, it's the majority who win, not the minority who are happy with what they have and just want to be left alone. That's me!

Dave

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