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Belfast Plots 1Gbps Ultra-Fast Broadband Network

samzenpus posted more than 2 years ago | from the getting-connected dept.

The Internet 54

twoheadedboy writes "Belfast is going to get ultra-fast broadband, as plans for a 1Gbps network get going. Belfast's City Council has been guaranteed £6m of the UK government's £100m Urban Broadband Fund, but could receive up to £13.7m if the Government approves its plans. The city plans to get the network up and running in three years, which will make it one of the best-connected cities in the world."

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So (0, Troll)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39595633)

You can step down to the pub for a pint (or twelve), then browse around to see if anyone's blowing up protestants using flash mobs that night.

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595683)

WhatWasThatICouldn'tHearYouWithAllThisInternetRushingPastDamnThisIsFast

Re:So (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595713)

Like thats impossible with todays network.

Re:So (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595943)

Ignorant asshole - is that what you call humor?

Re:So (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595969)

Since liquids have been banned, only dry humour has survived.

Re:So (1, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39595971)

Idiot.

Re:So (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39597375)

What? Too soon?

Re:So (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39597593)

No, just the same tired bullshit idiots with no idea have been spewing in some form or another for decades. It's not even funny, and I like crass, insensitive humour as much as the next rapist.

Re:So (1)

Chas (5144) | more than 2 years ago | (#39599335)

As someone who lost family during the Troubles and had relatives injuried by attacks as late as the 70's, while I may be an idiot, I'm not someone with no idea.

If you don't like the humor. That's fine. Not your cup of tea.

Re:So (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39629535)

You sure were talking like someone with no idea, my apologies.

I don't get it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595703)

Will consumers be able to transmit/receive a data throughput of 1 Gb/s?

Re:I don't get it (1)

kthreadd (1558445) | more than 2 years ago | (#39595771)

Yes as far as I understand it.

Re:I don't get it (2)

dadioflex (854298) | more than 2 years ago | (#39596325)

Will consumers be able to transmit/receive a data throughput of 1 Gb/s?

Yes, but not on Sundays if the DUP have anything to do with it. FWIW I wouldn't trust our politicians to do anything but piss away the money. Mainly though I do wonder what the "problem" is. I'm on a low internet speed through Virgin Media of 20Mb, which I could upgrade to 60Mb for free but I just can't see the point (need to change the router - the hassle isn't worth it). The Internet speeds in Belfast seem fine, but the culchies are still using hairy string and baked bean tins - throw some money their way.

Re:I don't get it (1)

timeOday (582209) | more than 2 years ago | (#39598487)

This will probably never happen, but I would like to see increased bandwidth allow the Internet to go back to being more decentralized. Simplified ways for people to host their own Internet presence instead of having facebook, gmail, and skype. It has all become too centralized. If we all had enough bandwidth to spare, who even needs the cellphone infrastructure and $100/mo+ bills? Give people an easy way to share their wifi and internet link (without exposing their LAN) so we aren't paying the cell co's for data plans anymore.

Re:I don't get it (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39607049)

I'd much rather just use my choice of shared hosting providers. That's decentralized enough for me. I don't want to have to leave a computer connected to the internet 24/7, nor do I want to have to worry about ensuring it doesn't have security problems. Let the pros deal with that. Granted there are some pretty shady hosting services in the race-to-the-bottom world we live in, but there are some reputable hosting companies out there. I'm all for cheap, free, ubiquitous internet, but hosting your own web presence is probably something you shouldn't bother with out of your house.

Re:I don't get it (1)

AmiMoJo (196126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39607683)

Will consumers be able to transmit/receive a data throughput of 1 Gb/s?

From a single site with a single download? Probably not, but if there are a few people in a household who all want bandwidth (streaming HD video, uploading to YouTube, downloading some torrents...) then they could get close. Part of it will be services that just don't exist yet because the broadband to support them isn't there, e.g. streaming 3D Bluray quality movies or cloud storage that feels as fast as local files.

Hope it works out (2)

TribesPlaying-iuSioN (548280) | more than 2 years ago | (#39595793)

Seems like all of Belgium's neighbours are developing plans to roll out FTTx .
Meanwhile we're stuck in the dark ages and this country's telecom duopoly (Belgacom & Telenet) can't seem to care.

On one hand we have the semi-nationalised Belgacom, earning money on the network they were able to roll out using taxpayer's money.
They recently decided investing in FTTH is too soon, preferring to look into revitalizing DSL technology to support marginally higher speeds (50 MBit instead of 20).
Smaller providers resell their service with somewhat better pricing and conditions, but they are not big enough to make a dent.

Then there's Telenet which owns the cable market on the Flemish side of the country. They started advertising "Faster than light" 100/5 Mb/s connections to customers, but were forced to retract this ad due to false advertising because 1) It's not faster then light 2) Their product FibetNet is not actually FTTH but fiber to the neighbourhood and then distributed across DOCSIS 3.0 modems.

Bottom line: neither company has any financial intrest in rolling out FTTH, citing high costs and low potential returns. They seem to think their current products are more than fast enough for today's online applications and that technology firms don't need to invest in new technologies to remain in business.

Years ago a plan was hatched by politician Vincent Van Quickenborne called SuperFastBelgium. It aimed to promote fiber rollout with financial incentives to companies. Nothing ever happened. I wrote an e-mail to that politician's cabinet asking what happened and if there had been any meetings with industry leaders as promised. I only got a political bullshit answer, nothing concrete at all. (Never voting for you!)

So it is with a tear in my eye that I read this article and hope that one day, people in charge here wake up and actually get off their asses to do something for a change. Because I want my 1 Gbps FTTH!!!

Re:Hope it works out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595823)

What is so wrong with FTTC (Fibre to the Cabinet)?
I have this and get 40Mbits down/1.5Mbits up.
It is often faster then my Office Network for downloads (All out internet traffic is routed out via Geneva(wtf???))

If I wanted FTTH I could get it provided I pay to get the bit of fibre from the cabinet laid to my house. At the moment for most people this is uneconomical. It means digging up TWO Roads and the planners won't allow wires to be strung overhead.
In time and when the POTS Company has to start replacing the copper between the home and the cabinet then an awful lot of people willl get FTTH pretty quickly.
The nearest cable is at the bottom of the hill. They won't (for the same reason that FTTH is out) provide us with it despite the sales droids saying 'Yes you are on our network'.

For the moment and for most people, FTTC is fine. But there will always be some people who demand the earth.

Re:Hope it works out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39596991)

Uplink speed is fairly important when working from home. 100/100 is acceptable. 20/1 is not.

Re:Hope it works out (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39601725)

how did we ever manage on Dial-Up 28.8Kbits then?

1.5Mbits is plenty fine for me.

Re:Hope it works out (2)

Ihmhi (1206036) | more than 2 years ago | (#39595955)

Not that I live in a more rural area, but when "Internet" for some people is a Satellite link, over a mobile phone, or over a telephone line... I don't think it's really right to say you're living the Dark Ages. Middle Ages, maybe.

Meanwhile, Swedes get the Renaissance and South Korea gets the Enlightenment...

Re:Hope it works out (2)

RicktheBrick (588466) | more than 2 years ago | (#39596737)

I can only guess how the internet works. For instance when I download from /., I am sure that I am not the only one that is doing it so I would think that I would get only a few milliseconds of downloading and that would repeat until my download is complete. When the speed increases I would think that my download time would decrease since there would be more data in each of time allotments I get. But as always when the speed increases each server is just given more users to serve and therefore have to reduce everyone time allotments so that in the end the user does not see any increase in speed. I know when downloading more than 100 million bytes of data, I never get close to my rated speed. If I get over a million bit per second I am impressed and I supposedly get 12 million bit per second. The internet is like trying to get through the check out at a big box store. If I go at a slow time there is just less workers working so the time is about the same as if I went there at a busy time since there will be more workers than.

Re:Hope it works out (1)

CastrTroy (595695) | more than 2 years ago | (#39599125)

Not only that, but they can't start sending at 1 Gbps because most likely the other end couldn't handle it, and start dropping packets anyway. So they start sending slow, and have to figure out when packets are dropped to figure out which speed is the appropriate to send at, so that the file goes as fast as possible without going too fast, and having packets dropped. Most likely by the time most web files are done, they won't have even gotten up to full speed on a 1 Gbps line. Also, what is the point of 1 Gbps? In terms of networks, it's not really that fast, I mean, we've had gigabit network cards for decades. On the other end of the spectrum, most people don't even need 1 Gbps. You could easily stream HD video over 10 Mbps line. My cable company offers 75 Mbps. That's more than enough to watch 3 or 4 HD streams at once. Unless you are running a business or doing research out of your home, the current methods of delivering data to you home are already more than fast enough. Most home users are perfectly happy with something around 10 Mbps. I wouldn't mind a gigabit connection, but can't think of what use it would be to me over a 10 mbit connection.

As a proud inhabitant of Chattanooga, TN (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595853)

1 GPS is enough for anybody. Having a public-owned utility providing the connectivity has been great. I wouldn't trade it for the world.

I will, however, willingly part with our mayor and congressman. If you are interested in worthless scum of the earth, please reply with where we can send them. Tar and features will be provided with our compliments.

Re:As a proud inhabitant of Chattanooga, TN (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39596277)

I will, however, willingly part with our mayor and congressman. If you are interested in worthless scum of the earth, please reply with where we can send them. Tar and features will be provided with our compliments.

We may have a deal... provided the tar is in large enough quantities (which I doubt - it starts freezing here and I hear the oil prices are quite high in your world).

Yours,

Satan

Re:As a proud inhabitant of Chattanooga, TN (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39599481)

1 GPS is enough for anybody.

Maybe that is true today but what about tomorrow?

Re:As a proud inhabitant of Chattanooga, TN (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39602459)

1 GPS is enough for anybody.

... must resist the... urge...

640 KB should... be... enough... for anybody

Couldn't resist. Sorry.

In before the "zomfg thats too much speed" (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595875)

6 minutes download time for a 50 GB Bluray. Aww yeah!

I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595881)

If the Ulster were to be part of the Republic of Ireland right now, would they be getting £13.7 million just for upgrading their broadband?
Oh and I don't care if it is green or orange. I only care if it is fast.

Re:I wonder... (2)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39595983)

1/3 of Ulster is in the Republic. Ulster is not synonymous with the North.

Re:I wonder... (2)

FrostedWheat (172733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39596159)

What'll really bake his noodle later on is that the most northerly point in Ireland is in the south...

Re:I wonder... (1)

dave420 (699308) | more than 2 years ago | (#39597569)

Let's take it slowly so as to not cause some sort of aneurysm :)

Not uncommon in Sweden (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39595917)

My parents can get 1Gbit/s for $90/month in their house, as did I in my last appartment. And we are a much less densely populated country.

AND DLOAD ALL THAT SWEDEN HAS CREATED IN 1 MIN !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39596079)

Not much comes from there but dark, cold winters. You'd think if they could, they'd have moved down south !!

Re:Not uncommon in Sweden (1)

Goateee (1415809) | more than 2 years ago | (#39596727)

Have had it in my last few apartments as well in sweden. 60$/month atm.

In related news... (4, Funny)

game kid (805301) | more than 2 years ago | (#39595925)

...government renames Northern Ireland capital Belreallyfast, as Irish linguists protest.

Chasing higher speeds is pointless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39596087)

What utility is there in speeds beyond the 10-20Mbps required for video streaming?

Re:Chasing higher speeds is pointless (1)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39596229)

What utility is there in speeds beyond the 10-20Mbps required for video streaming?

Video streaming for the entire family, each one a different movie? (considering pron 3D, 1Gbps may not be enough).

Running a Tor node? Mirroring of TPB.ie?

Re:Chasing higher speeds is pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39596557)

Yeah, it is all cool and stuff until they slap data cap on you.

Re:Chasing higher speeds is pointless (1)

jo_ham (604554) | more than 2 years ago | (#39597309)

Why would they do that? This isn't the United States you know.

I have a 50Mb connection right now with no caps. It's perfect for a multiple-occupancy household.

Re:Chasing higher speeds is pointless (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39596491)

One word: Bluray.
4Mbps youtube-ish/xboxlive-ish 1080p = pure crap

But of course, there are always people like you who can't think any usage for a bandwidth higher than "broadband" (128 Kbps+). Go back to your dial up, you'll be happy there. And you can stream your videos at 14400bps with Realmedia in a resolution of 180x120 :)))

For me, give me a motherloving 100 PetaBps line and I'll know how to use it.

On the 100th anniversary... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39596187)

It's unsinkable!

Rural (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39597373)

And BT leave residents in Darragh Cross who live 12 miles from the Capital with a 1meg connection. The Rural Divide Widens!

Why we do not have this in the US... (1)

cdrguru (88047) | more than 2 years ago | (#39598375)

If the US had a municipality with an extra $6 million, or if the federal government could dole out an extra $6 million all it would take is the local government using their eminent domain rights to condemm whatever property they wanted to build the network. They could rip commercial wires down from poles and replace them with their own to get this done. There really is no limit to what could be done with this, if a government decided to do this.

Except, within a week of doing so such a city would be sued out of existance. Sorry, but municipalities do not get to run roughshod over commercial businesses in the US. Nor do they get to compete on the basis of offering services for tax dollars that other commercial entities have to charge their users for. Also, pretty much any use of eminent domain these days is going to result in a court fight if it deprives any individual or commercial entity of real property rights. The old days where a county could build a road through a bunch of existing homes is pretty much gone and has been for quite a while. And after the last public court fight over eminent domain rights, nobody is going to want to push the envelope much at all.

Another problem is geographic boundaries. If you want to offer fiber service to one part of a town and not another you better be awfully sure of yourself. And have lots of data to back up the decision. Because if there are minorities living in the part that you were not planning on serving, they will likely sue. Heck, people will sue no matter what because they aren't being served in the manner they think they should be. It doesn't matter that you might only have two customers that would pay for the service in that area - not offering it is not an option.

And people wonder all the time why this stuff is so complicated.

Learn from Stockholm (2)

Slyswede (945801) | more than 2 years ago | (#39598511)

One of the best ways to go about this is to use the same approach as Stockholm, where we've had "ultra-fast" 1Gbps broadband for quite a few years now.

The city has founded and funded a city owned company with the sole purpose of putting fiber in the ground to every part of the city. The company then allows any ISP to rent space in the fiber, ensuring fair competion in the internet connectivity marketplace. Since the company has easier access to city decision makers whenever they need to dig up a street it is possible to coordinate the work and put more cable in the ground at a faster pace.

Since the company gets good revenue from the ISPs the city only had to use taxpayer money for the initial part of the network and has now regained that investment.

Everyone wins and the internet gets better!

Unused Bandwidth (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39599159)

What happens to my unused bandwidth, anyways? I get 150GB/Month and do not even come close to exceeding that. So why does life call for faster internet in the first place?

Re:Unused Bandwidth (1)

Githaron (2462596) | more than 2 years ago | (#39599549)

So why does life call for faster internet in the first place?

To get your current data faster and to enable technologies that will eventually use that bandwidth.

Lafayette LA already has 1Gb! (1)

Dr_Ish (639005) | more than 2 years ago | (#39599215)

This is all very nice, but here in Lafayette, Louisiana, we just got 1 Gb service up and running. See http://www.theadvertiser.com/article/20120406/NEWS01/204060326 [theadvertiser.com] . This is part of the joy of a city owned ISP. The big commercial providers are pissed, but we customers love it!

Scotland (1)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39599307)

I'm really sick of hearing how all these places in the UK other than Scotland are getting their fair share of this broadband money - 1GBps networks being rolled out - London's 100mb planned networks already assured of upgrades. Every other English city seems bet getting 100mb networks; right down to the smallest village - but yet, in Scotland, most places barely even have 1mb lines; my sister barely gets 20 kbps and she lives less than 15 miles from a city of 100, 000 people. we don't all live in Glasgow you know. I, and most of the country, will be voting YES come the referendum in 2014. Let's see your NHS and fibre optic dreams stay afloat when we take back our North Sea gold. :)

Re:Scotland (1)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39602753)

Out of curiosity, do we have a plan to take back the "North Sea gold" and did it ever cross our minds whether oil/gas companies really have "nationalities" at all? As a resident of Scotland I often hear oil as an argument for "yes", but I wonder if that flies in the face of trade agreements.

Re:Scotland (1)

GigaBurglar (2465952) | more than 2 years ago | (#39611367)

That will obviously be part of the negotiation but - rationale being my sole assumption here - the tax will flow into our coffers.

Re:Scotland (1)

BlueScreenO'Life (1813666) | more than 2 years ago | (#39619081)

That could be achieved with devolution of tax powers. Decentralized taxes are known to work well in federal countries. Independence can be seen as overkill for that purpose.

Waste of money (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39599773)

An the money will be wasted on fat cats and various other BT like companies.

What they will also do is go yay great, fast internet, then place a huge CAP on it meaning you cannot download your purchases from Steam or on-line Video rentals streaming etc.

6m for that? Won't be enough, you can be sure they will ask for more money or it will fail and them saying "we never got enough funding so the project is ended".

One thing for sure, Stormont is fat and greedy. Look at all their family members working for their ministers and submitting expenses.

Northern Ireland is a BANANA REPUBLIC.

Some countries already consider it old. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39617883)

Yay, let's focus on the West and forget about the East just because well, it's the East, nothing ever good happen n the East right?
  Well, while the network in Belfast might be up and running in three years, there is already a fully functioning COUNTRY-WIDE 1Gbps high speed internet in Romania. Cities such as Bucharest and Cluj-Napoca already have such connections FOR OVER A YEARS. Welcome to the future... in 4 years Belfast?

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