networking, fibre, fibreoptic, data, broadband data, broadband internet

Better Broadband Means Better Prices & Better Customer Service

networking, fibre, fibreoptic, data, broadband data, broadband internetHow have you been treated by your broadband provider recently? Are you happy with the bills and customer service you receive? A lot of people aren’t, and with good reason.

Not long ago Sky revealed that it would be increasing the cost of some of their packages, including broadband, pay TV and phone contracts from April to May this year. EE, BT and Virgin are all raising prices in March, using the Consumer Price Index as a justification.

How Does The Consumer Price Index Work?

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) take an imaginary “basket of goods” which statisticians and economists believe everybody wants and uses more or less every day, and compares the cost of each item against one another and the income of the British Public. The outcome of this number-crunching gives us a handy way to judge inflation, how much a pound is worth in spending power today compared with how much it had last year, five years, or even ten years ago, and how much spending power it has against other currencies, such as the dollar or euro.

Things are added to the CPI Basket of Goods as they become essential to our lives, and get left out as our tastes change. As well as things you would find in a literal shopping basket it also contains a raft of other items and costs, including bedroom furniture, rent, and one of the most recent additions: broadband internet. Read more

Our Finishing Touches Turn D-I-Y Into D-I-WOW!

home entertainment, barn conversion, home office, work from home, wifi extenders, mesh networkWhile Covid has kept millions of people at home with nothing to do DIY projects all over the country have finally been completed. Stuck at home, entertainment has been at a premium. With no reason to put all those niggling little jobs off, and all the time that could never be found before shelves have been going up, doors touched up and re-hung, bedrooms painted and bathrooms re-grouted. And then there are the people who like to get their teeth stuck into the big jobs!

A marvellous example of ‘finally getting around-to-it’ is this exceptional outhouse we recently tricked out with home entertainment, internet & TV in Wonersh, a beautiful little village not far from Guildford in Surrey.

Creating Workspaces You Want To Enjoy Spending Spare Time In

The homeowners wanted a space where they could ‘break out’ when they got sick of being trapped indoors, but with all the access to modern technology that we’ve all become used to. It’s a space to relax, and to work, but it also needs to be secure. A perfect scenario for for Briant Communications! Read more

Switching Over To Fibre? Myths & Realities

Ofcom suggest that as many as 94% of British homes could take advantage of fibre broadband, however, only 45% of us have taken advantage of superfast internet. What are the advantages of switching from cable to fibre optic data transfer, and what are the stumbling blocks preventing people from taking up fibre?

A recent Which? survey found that 41% of internet users said they weren’t considering moving over to fibre because they were currently happy with the speeds they were getting. 20% said they didn’t use the internet enough to make it worth while changing provider or switching their contract.

While it’s true that the average speed currently provided via metal cable, around 12Mbps, is quite sufficient for browsing, using social media and streaming a movie, as data use increases both in individual homes and generally throughout the population, those speeds won’t be sustainable with the current infrastructure and won’t be sufficient for the average homeowner.

As media continues to be delivered by Earth based technology (cable & transmitter to antenna) the metal cable infrastructure cannot keep up with the amount of data which needs to be delivered as we continue to increasingly inhabit the internet. As our demand for more data, delivered more reliably increases every year the current infrastructure will increasingly find it hard to cope. However, fibre is more than capable of taking over and delivering what is required. Read more

I Feel The Need, The Need For Data Speed

We all know the adage that noting is assured but death and taxes. Today we can add washing up and the frustration you feel when your home entertainment such as TV and surfing is interrupted by slow data speeds and adverts. Since we can’t help you live longer and I don’t really like washing up, let’s look at your IT speed. It won’t fend off death but faster data does mean that you’ll spend less time waiting for pages to load, files to transfer and movies to buffer. With all that time freed up, it’s like adding time to your life, which is nearly the same.

A few years ago it was also found that we, as TV viewers, waste a year of our lives surfing channels looking for something to watch. Whether that’s avoiding adverts or actively looking for something to watch foregoing the EPG and looking at what’s being broadcast in real time, that’s a lot of time that you could win back. Read more

Unlimited Data Means Students And Renters Can Get All The Benefits Of The Smart Home Revolution Too

smart devices, connected devicesA short while ago Three.co.uk started offering a HomeFi wireless home router which delivers unlimited 4G to 32 devices for £22.00 per month. I had to check that was correct, as compared to other providers unlimited internet access for more than 30 phones, laptops, smart speakers, CCTV and alarms seems phenomenally good value. I was assured by the sales assistant that yes, it really was unlimited and, as he signed me up he checked all the ‘unlimited’ boxes on the form, which made me phenomenally happy!

Now, this package isn’t designed for a small business running their entire internet service via this one little Huawei device. You could try to connect 32 computers all streaming movies all day all month, but it’s only a little box which works on a GSM network so the connection just isn’t built for for that kind of data usage, so ‘unlimited’ actually means ‘unlimited depending on the speed and quality of the phone reception you’re receiving’. But if you’re not able to consume huge amounts of data due to the limitations of the phone network, what is it good for? Read more

Choosing The Best Network Provider To Suit Your Needs

TV, tv channels, choosing TV providerThe way television is being delivered is leaping into the 21st century and choosing how you get your TV and broadband package is becoming ever more confusing.

Up until the 80s there was only really one way to get TV, and that was through your aerial. Once Sky came to Britain satellite TV has been becoming ever more popular, but the free analogue channels were still the way most of us received television. In the 2010s we saw the Digital Takeover, meaning that we need a Freeview box to watch hundreds of channels, or listen to dozens of radio stations.

Satellite and cable TV still offers many more options than the free to air services do. However, with the introduction of internet speeds so fast that it’s possible to watch, download and record more than one thing at the same time the way subscription based TV delivery is changing too. Sky, Virgin Media, BT and many others are all offering fast broadband which will let you not only watch and record TV, you can do all your online browsing, shopping, gaming and run your Smart Home network with it too. Which begs the question, which is best for you?

Trying to identify which is the best is like trying to guess the length of a piece of string. Every home’s needs are different, and so the best packages will be different too. For example Sky Q offers a basic subscription service (including all the channels currently available on Freeview) which you can expand buy buying additional ‘passes’. These allow you to access additional channels which are devoted to kids movies, sport, entertainment, history, and so on. BT has introductory offers on TV and broadband which include HDTV, superfast fibre, additional disks to eliminate WiFI blind spots and other hardware including Amazon Echo, Fitbits, and Samsung Galaxies. Read more

When Social Media Isn’t The Smart Answer For DIY Jobs

DIY smart devices, wireless, speakerBeing interested in all manner of smart home automation and IoT devices I’m naturally a member of several Facebook groups dedicated to the subject. Some are informative and worth staying with, some are a waste of time and better left rather than letting them annoy you unduly.

In one of these groups a question was asked by Danny: “So I was wondering anyone has done this or knows if it is possible. I use Google home across my house and I want to put approx 6 speakers in my ceiling and link them back to the Google home so the music plays through them. Does this involve taking the Google home apart and soldering new wires for the speakers ?

Now, I know social media is a great way to get tips, advice and help for a range of different DIY subjects, so I’m not criticising the original poster for that, but if you’re thinking of taking your electronic devices apart and soldering peripherals onto it, there’s a chance you might just void your warranty. Oh, and you might just add the risk of fire or electrocution if you’re an amateur permanently adding additional cable to your electronic devices. Read more

Is A Mesh Network Which Is Always Listening A Good Thing Or Bad?

We wrote previously on how a mesh network uses several routers to improve the overall WiFi coverage you’ll be able to get in your home, eliminating blind spots and making it possible to use a complete range of connected devices anywhere about the house no matter how bad reception had been in the past.

BT, along with their superfast fibre broadband, are offering additional routers they simply refer to as ‘discs’. Other ISPs let you add further routers and repeaters to your system, but don’t currently offer the extra hardware themselves.

But before you go out and buy a raft of routers to add to your home network to improve your WiFi coverage, take a look at what Amazon are doing with Alexa. Read more

Do You Know The Difference Between Your Smart, Connected, and IoT Devices?

smart home solutions, connected, iotWhile we bandy the words “Smart” and “connected” devices and “Internet of Things” around as if they were simply synonymous with one another, the truth is that while they’re closely related, the don’t in fact mean the same thing. So which is which and what’s what? Read on for a quick walk around the basics.

First of all, let’s look at Smart technology. Smart is actually an acronym for “Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology” meaning that you are able to control the devices by voice or app, and check back on them via the app on your phone or computer. If the device is battery operated it will let you know in advance when the power levels are getting low, and you can see other diagnostic data when you look at the settings or status data your Smart devices are feeding back to you. Read more

Something As Simple As Poor WiFi Could Knock A Fortune Off The Price Of Your Property

BT’s Modern Families ReportWiFi enabled tablet, coverage, improved service has found that 52% of families in the UK would be put off of living in a home with poor wifi. Unreliable reception, blackspots, and weak signal could therefore knock thousands of pounds off the value of your home when you come to sell it.

As anthropologist Amber Case said, “we’re all cyborgs now” and you can see the evidence of that in your own home every day. We’re all connected to our electronic devices and they become increasingly integral to our lives the longer we spend with them. Our dependent relationship becomes immediately and painfully evident if you ever have a wifi outage. It’s a viscerally unpleasant feeling to know you can’t just check on Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp or Twitter. And if you’re heavily reliant on IoT connected devices, Smart TV and Netflix, that unpleasant feeling is multiplied. Read more