Double Standards

For weeks now, we’ve been seeing very poor subjective performance from Tooway’s satellite service. When measured, we’re seeing a large discrepancy between what Tooway’s own speed tester shows and what we get from decent speed checkers such as Speedof.me.

Firstly, how things look when everything is working properly: note that there’s relatively little discrepancy between the figures given by Tooway and Speedof.me.

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 16.15.22

Screen Shot 2014-01-12 at 16.16.32

So far, so good. Now look at what’s typical of we’re getting at the moment, in particular the vast gap between the performance results from the two testers. Of course, the subjective experience matches the figures given by the speedof.me tests.

Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 22.13.07 Screen Shot 2014-08-13 at 22.15.32

If we charitably assume for the moment that the Tooway test service runs from a node on the Tooway terrestrial network, whilst Speedof.me is, like all end-users, working outside that network on the wider internet, then it’s clear that there is a major routing or peering performance issue with Tooway’s connections to the outside world.

To date, Avonline’s tech support has been at its usual ineffectual level. But I’ll keep trying and see if I can get anything remotely useful  out of them.

Glacial Progress…

Continuing from last month’s update on attempts to bring the communications available to the three villages area into roughly the same century as the outside world, there’s a little good news and a whole lot of no news: Firstly, with BT awarded government funding under the Step Change 2015 programme to bring a minimum of 2Mb/s to 80% of the rural population, they have announced that they can deliver that level to 93.5% of us. That, whilst it would help a number of the “no-band” areas in the Trossachs, is unlikely make much difference in our area. The way in which BT will deliver this is also unlikely to be future proof in the local area and will deliver a maximum performance that falls far short of current ‘normal’ broadband, let alone the capacity that  that online services are starting to assume as normal and for which they are designing their next generation of services. In effect, if you’re not a urban dweller with fibre cables in your street, you effectively become classed as the ‘rural poor’ and, by definition, don’t matter. 
Continue reading

Step Change 2015

This should be good news. But may not be. The Scottish government and, locally, Stirling Council recently announced the results of their £264M Step Change procurement for “superfast” (the quotes are intentional irony) broadband  to 85% of homes and businesses across Scotland by 2015, rising to around 95% by the end of 2017.  But guess where appears to be in the remaining 15%?

Continue reading

Broadband in Balquhidder

The lack of effective broadband provision in the local area has been an issue since early Celtic times: engravings on local standing stones indicate regular sacrifices of proto-human network executives to propitiate the gods of connectivity. Little has changed since and multiple attempts have been since made to improve the state of local communications, given just how critical effective broadband is to economic and social development and the sustainability of rural communities.

Continue reading