BBC Archives — Page 2 of 3


The UK’s first “fibre town” could go online in the autumn, delivering speeds of about 100Mbps (megabits per second) to consumers’ homes. Fibre firm H2O provides super-fast broadband via the sewers and either Bournemouth, Northampton or Dundee will be offered the service first. For consumers, super-fast net connections could create a range of new applications including on-demand high definition (HD) TV, DVD quality film downloads in minutes, online video messaging, CCTV home surveillance and HD gaming services. Read the full story in BBC here.
In an interview with the BBC, Nigeria’s education minister questioned the need for laptops in poorly equipped schools. Dr Igwe Aja-Nwachuku said: “What is the sense of introducing One Laptop per Child when they don’t have seats to sit down and learn; when they don’t have uniforms to go to school in, where they don’t have facilities?” “We are more interested in laying a very solid foundation for quality education which will be efficient, effective, accessible and affordable.” Read full story in BBC
Broadband industry leaders are to meet ministers to discuss how to stop the UK dropping into the internet “slow lane”. More than half of all UK homes now have a broadband connection, at an average speed of four megabits a second (Mbps). But the broadband summit will hear other countries are moving more quickly to build ultra-fast networks that can deliver speeds of as much as 100 Mbps. Ministers say ultra-fast broadband will be a key to helping UK businesses “innovate, grow and create wealth”. Read the full story in BBC
The victims of cyclone in Bangladesh are poorest among the poor. Their views about effective warning system “lacks credibility” to the concerned bodies.But it is a real bad news when the merchant mariners have slammed Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) for suddenly raising the cyclone’s severity within an hour. It clearly demonstrates the BMD’s professional incompetence. Reuters provides the chilling details.
A single European Union-wide telecoms market could be in place from 2010 after the European Commission set out plans to increase competition. Under the new plans, a regional watchdog would be created and former monopolies could be forced to split up their network and services operations. The planned changes are designed to offer consumers cheaper broadband services and phone calls from fixed line and mobile handsets, the Commission also argues. It claims that consumers are currently losing out because in many member countries, including Poland, Italy and Germany, the former state telecoms monopolies still dominate, particularly in the broadband market. The proposals will now be debated in the European Parliament.

Brits texting like crazy

Posted on November 5, 2007  /  0 Comments

Asian evidence says the best explanation for the take up of texting is the ratio of price of a voice call to cost of a text.   Is this also the explanation for the UK? BBC NEWS | Technology | Britons sending 1bn texts weekly Britons are now sending more than one billion text messages per week according to the latest figures from the Mobile Data Association (MDA). The figure is 25% higher than a year ago and is set to shatter forecasts for how many text messages have been sent to and from handsets this year. That weekly total is the same as the number sent during the whole of 1999.

Mobile system promises free calls

Posted on September 12, 2007  /  0 Comments

BBC News| Technology Swedish company TerraNet has developed the idea using peer-to-peer technology that enables users to speak on its handsets without the need for a mobile phone base station. The technology is designed for remote areas of the countryside or desert where base stations are unfeasible. … The TerraNet technology works using handsets adapted to work as peers that can route data or calls for other phones in the network. The handsets also serve as nodes between other handsets, extending the reach of the entire system. Each handset has an effective range of about one kilometre.

Mobiles for the ‘world’s poorest’

Posted on September 11, 2007  /  0 Comments

BBC News | Technology As part of a UN programme to tackle poverty in rural Africa, 79 villages across 10 African countries will be hooked up to cellular networks. It is hoped that the connections will help improve healthcare and education, as well as boosting the local economy. A 2005 study showed that an increase of 10 mobile phones per 100 people could increase GDP growth by 0.6%. “This is a technology that is remarkably empowering, especially for remote areas where the ability to communicate is vital,” Dr Jeffery Sachs, Special Advisor to the United Nations Secretary-General, told the BBC News website.
BBC NEWS | Science/Nature | Tsunami concern for Bay of Bengal Now, Phil Cummins, lead author on the Nature paper and a geologist at Geoscience Australia, believes this is not the case.He said: “I reviewed the geological literature and found the evidence for a lack of tectonic activity along the Myanmar coast was not compelling.” Historical evidence Recent GPS data, he said, suggested that the plate boundary was at sea in this area, hidden below thick layers of sediment.

Benchmarking broadband in the OECD

Posted on July 17, 2007  /  0 Comments

The OECD has published comparative data on broadband speeds and prices. This will help drive prices down and quality up. The rest of the countries need to develop their own benchmarks. BBC NEWS | Technology | Global broadband prices revealed According to the report, broadband prices for DSL connections across the 30 countries have fallen by 19% and increased in speed by 29% in the year to October 2006. Cable prices and speeds followed a similar trend.
For those who believed that privacy issues will take a long time come up in South Asia . . . The relevant definition is “the ability to control the boundary conditions of social interactions.” BBC NEWS | South Asia | India cell phone curbs welcomed Indian cellular phone companies and phone users have welcomed a government move to curb unsolicited calls and text messages from tele-marketers.
BBC NEWS | Technology | City wi-fi plans under scrutiny But as councils offer public wi-fi, questions are being asked about how much citizens will use them and how sustainable they are. City-wide wi-fi is the obvious next step from wi-fi hotspots, bringing them out of cafes and hotel lobbies to provide ubiquitous coverage in a town. But some analysts claim that few citizens are using public wi-fi while other call for more cautious rollouts. Companies such as BT and The Cloud are partnering with local governments in the UK to build city-wide wireless networks offering councils enhancements to public services and giving citizens the chance to connect to the web from wi-fi enabled devices. Powered by ScribeFire.

Municipal WiFi in London

Posted on April 23, 2007  /  0 Comments

Another municipal WiFi network, but this time, not for free. BBC NEWS | Technology | Switch on for Square Mile wi-fi But is there really that much demand for open-air surfing? After all, staring at a laptop screen in the sunshine is not a great experience – especially in an area where so many cafes have wi-fi access. The network’s backers think one of the big attractions will be the ability to use wi-fi enabled phones to make cheap calls using Skype or other internet telephony services. It’s hard to see why well-paid City workers would bother with the extra effort needed to make a wi-fi call – but the City of London Corporation believes it will prove attractive to migrant workers on construction sites.

India woos West with education

Posted on March 8, 2007  /  0 Comments

BBC News, Bangalore Long known for its outsourcing, India is now increasingly marketing itself as a destination for affordable education. From his bedroom in Bangalore, biology teacher Vishal Bhatnagar uses an electronic pen to highlight the main parts of the human endocrine system on the laptop screen in front of him. “What I’m trying to show you,” he says, speaking into a headset, “is that most of the chemicals in the body are poured into the blood to be effective.” One-on-one tuition Eight thousand kilometres (5,000 miles) away in London, student Veenesh Halai follows along, making notes and asking questions. They’ve been brought together by a high-speed internet connection and a growing global appetite for cheap, one-on-one tuition.
More on the Negroponte laptop. It has built-in wireless and a completely different interface. BBC NEWS | Technology | $100 laptop project launches 2007 The so-called XO machine is being pioneered by Nicholas Negroponte, who launched the project at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Media Lab in 2004. Test machines are expected to reach children in February as the project builds towards a more formal launch. Wireless networking Mr Negroponte told the Associated Press news agency that three more African countries might sign on in the next two weeks.

Indian Ocean tsunami warning

Posted on December 23, 2006  /  0 Comments

Indian Ocean tsunami warning system on slow track: Tsunami Warning Remains Elusive – Council on Foreign Relations The wave which swept so many away two years ago (BBC) has faded from memory in many parts of the world, even though as many as two million people remain in temporary shelters in parts of Indonesia, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives. But surely the less onerous task of setting up a skeletal tsunami warning network must be well along, right?Not quite. While enormous sums of aid flowed in for relief and reconstruction efforts, the less glamorous work of positioning seismic warning buoys around the rim of the Indian Ocean lags financially and organizationally. As this new Backgrounder explains, several piecemeal systems are up and running, but the goal of creating an Indian Ocean early-warning system to rival the ones run by the United States and Japan in the Pacific remains a long way from being reached (TIME).