The UK has a massive, massive problem in the old infrastructure that is being propped up to support next-generation access. NGA implies that the access network is a next-generation technology, and in the UK’s interpretation of that it sort of is – we’re changing from ADSL2+ to VDSL2.
What we aren’t changing is the copper. We’re eliminating some of it by running some more fibre closer to people’s homes, but we’re not getting rid of the copper.
Copper has a limited lifespan. We’re already seeing this in some areas, both rural and urban. Especially where copper has been poorly installed or is waterlogged, 75+-year-old cables are not going to carry the UK into the next generation access era.Continue reading →
Those of you who know me will know I’m quite up for doing seemingly mad things if someone throws them at me and they involve some challenges of a technical nature. Back sometime in April, already planning to go along to BUCK – Europe’s largest brony convention, held in The Bridgewater Hall, Manchester, UK – I asked their staff if they needed any technical people to help out on the day. “No, but we need a technical manager” was the response. How could I say no?
Two weeks from the gig, and things are now settling down to the nitty-gritty of producing content for the live stream. The stream itself is fairly complex – four Sony PMW-200 cameras, two of them with Wevi HD-SDI senders, a Roland V-1600HD vision mixer and a boatload of computers feeding in video. Any decent multicam production needs a little bit of glamour in the form of lower thirds (the things that pop up to say who people are) and some title cards. Of course, this being a quite low-budget production we wanted to do this on a budget. Enter CasparCG, a superb open source playout system designed and developed by our friends at SVT, Sweden’s BBC equivalent. This is a bit of a rushed walkthrough of how I put some of the stuff together. Continue reading →
I’m a huge advocate for doing rural broadband right. Mainly because I live out in the sticks, but also because I believe in building infrastructure properly and doing things right. When it comes to digital infrastructure, rural communities have a problem – they’re not economically viable to maintain. So, first, an overview of the situation for small communities like mine.
BT put in basic service years ago to the entire country and are only now starting to look at upgrading areas outside of cities and larger towns, thanks to a large (£530 million£830 milion, after £300 million from the BBC license fee from 2015-17 got reallocated, grumble) handout from the government – under the auspices of Broadband Development UK. This pot of money is for connecting “90%” of the country at at least 2Mbps. Continue reading →