Late night Speedtest (part 2)


Another late night Speedtest. Upload speeds are very consistent, approaching the advertised 5 Mbps. However download speeds still appear to be lower than the full 40 Mbps, the maximum actual throughput is more like 34 Mbps on a fully synced line.

Interestingly, and this could be a bug, says this connection is “Slower than 57% of GG”. How this is possible, I don’t know? I can only assume that the reason is leased line customers with much faster connections doing a lot of testing recently.

On another note, this September we are approaching the 2nd anniversary of Sure’s VDSL service launch. Fingers crossed for some sort of upgrade announcement! After all, when LTE launches next year, it wouldn’t ‘seem’ right for their VDSL to offer the same speeds as the 4G mobile network.

JT Fibre coming to Guernsey?

Over the past year, many Guernsey residents may have noticed the roadworks caused by JT (Jersey Telecom) on the island, for example around the Rohais area and now currently into the Castel area. On the States roadworks website (, JT have been regularly appearing with the reason listed as “Improving the JT network”. One can only assume that this is for the process of laying Fibre optic cabling underneath the road.

Now it seems on JT’s Guernsey website that they have announced they plan to connect “Schools and Government buildings” in 2014, and then in the future to connect “one third of residential customers to a Fibre service”. I assume this 1/3 only applies to those premises that the Fibre has been laid next to, and not 1/3 of the entire island.

The prospect of JT further expanding their FTTH network on Guernsey is an exciting one. Currently there is a near-monopoly on fixed broadband access in Guernsey, since all DSL lines are effectively run by Sure. Whilst JT appear to offer their own DSL on Guernsey, it is in fact just a re-sell of the existing Sure service.

By having an entirely separate JT fibre network on island, it will hopefully force Sure into action to provide their own FTTH services or at least an improved FTTC service. Any form of competition in this area is definitely welcome to consumers.

A while back I posted on the blog that Sure planned to increase their VDSL speeds in 2014 to “up to 100Mbps”. However whilst ‘Superfast’ customers received an upload speed bump to 5Mbps, there were no download speed upgrades. I can only assume that Sure are focusing on expanding their FTTC (or MSAN) reach before increasing headline speeds. After all, speeds greater than 40Mbps will only be reached if customers live within 100’s of meters of an exchange or cabinet.

Whilst it may appear that Sure have ‘caught up’ with the UK, the fact is that many customers in UK city areas can get 150Mbps cable with Virgin Media and 80Mbps FTTC with BT. Additionally wireless broadband in the form of 4G LTE is now widely available in many cities, which is still not at all available in Guernsey.

It now leaves the question as to how quickly JT will start to connect residential customers to their FTTH service, and what Sure will do to combat JT’s advance.

Sure Superfast Broadband: Upload speeds increased

Sure Guernsey appear to have silently increased the upload speeds for the Superfast and Superfast Pro broadband products.

The upload speed that the line is now synchronised at is 5 Mbps, up from the existing 2 Mbps. Actual throughput using was recorded at around 3.5-3.8 Mbps upload speed**.

This is a significant improvement in upload speeds, and very much needed in today’s online world of remote & cloud computing.

There is still no word from Sure about the supposed 100 Mbps upgrade that I found in their news section earlier this year, but we will just have to wait and see if anything is delivered.

It is possible that the upgraded upload speeds are simply a precursor to further upgrades later this year, but then why not release your new faster internet product at the same time as increasing the upload speeds, in order to have more impact?

**Edit: This is not entirely accurate. I generally now receive at least 4 Mbps upload, if not slightly more.

Sure promises “100Mbits” by end of year in Guernsey

So I was reading through some of the new sections on Sure’s website today, since the sale of Sure to Batelco from Cable and Wireless.

I noticed that in their news section, there was an interview from Sure’s CEO Eddie Saints, and in one part he said that:

[we] aim of making Superfast Broadband accessible to all Bailiwick properties at speeds up to 100Mb/s by the end of this year at greater coverage and lower pricing compared with our competing jurisdictions.

So this looks like some sort of confirmation (or at least plans ) of 100Mbps internet by the end of 2013.

Now I am not certain if Sure will be rolling out a FTTH network like in Jersey, or if they will simply continue to roll out their VDSL2 network over copper as they have been doing currently.

Copper cable, using VDSL2, is not particularly future proof for the next 20 years  and beyond. Whereas JT have already taken the plunge and created an island wide FTTH network which will be able to cope with speeds in excess of 1Gbps, Guernsey’s VDSL2 and copper network is simply incapable of speeds this fast. In fact, the current technical maximum (assuming you are next to the street cabinet) is about 200Mbps for VDSL2. These speeds drop significantly the further you are from a street cabinet. Additionally, the connection will be more susceptible to noise and interference on a copper cable, compared to a fibre optic cable.

Whilst I applaud Sure’s continued work in delivering high speed internet to Guernsey (and who can forget the dark days of 1Mbps ADSL), I think that if Sure isn’t planning to go down the FTTH route then they are being a bit short sighted. In the distant future when internet bandwidth is abundant and Jersey are offering 10Gbps fibre to every home, with almost just a flick of the switch required, Sure will look back and wish they had deployed fibre to every home rather than just the street cabinet.

[Of course, deploying FTTC does mean that the fibre connection is closer to homes, and they could use this in the future to deploy FTTH from the cabinet connections, but arguably the most difficult bit is the last xx metres into peoples individual properties]