Key Post: smart telecom broadband

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podgeandrodge

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smart

Yep, heard the same thing when I rang them, "Join our telephone service now and you hopefully should get broadband by June or July" - so that means a few months of big bills before the savings (potential savings) kick in. Wait and Watch approach methinks.
 

ClubMan

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Re: smart

Yeah - the more I read the more doubtful I became. I still haven't clicked on that "confirm details/order" link that they emailed to me. Looks like one of those offers that may seem too good to be true. I'll gladly eat my words if I'm wrong. I wonder if it's some sort of "land grab" at the market by a company under pressure?
 

ClubMan

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Re: smart

Thanks for the link ninsaga. Seems that the telcos (not just Smart) are certainly bring their experience of obfuscating descriptions of services/charges to the broadband market too.. :\
 
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Tonka

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Its a bet

If it works it will be great for all of us. If not you can cancel any time it suits you.

They will not be live outside Dublin until the autumn ...thats what I heard. They will concentrate on greater Dublin till then.
 
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fatherdougalmaguire

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Re: Its a bet

Surely this is a case for the ASA once all 100,000 people try to access the web on a single 2MB connection :) :)

Seriously, though, has anyone seen this congestion-based sharing mentioned in any of their advertising blurb?
 

ClubMan

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Re: Its a bet

If it works it will be great for all of us. If not you can cancel any time it suits you.

Yeah - but in the meantime (while you wait for the service to become available and then evaluate it) you must take their voice service which may not be as competitive as, say, UTV Talk for certain call use profiles.

Seriously, though, has anyone seen this congestion-based sharing mentioned in any of their advertising blurb?

All I've seen is that quote from the SBPost and it doesn't really make any sense to me:
“The difference is that a contention ratio is planned into the network,” said Connolly. “Whereas congestion just happens. If the service becomes congested, it could be the DSLAM, the internet in general, or a website.”
 
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Tonka

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The Contention thing occurs in every Network , but be se!!!!

Eircom are installing DSL into OLD exchanges with legacy copper and fibre and microwave backhaul to Dubline, sometimes all three of those.

I know people who can not get ISDN because their exchange cannot handle it, thats 128k of bandwidth .

A lot of Eircom exchanges only have 8 Mbits of backhaul altogether. Many bigger ones have 34 Mbit fibres and the really big ones have 155mbit fibres .

Smart are installing 2.5GBPS = 2500Mbit fibres in their exchanges so the first 1000 x 2Mbit customers on each exchanges will not be contended anyway. Their base level backhaul will be far higher than what Eircom may have in place in the same time . Of all the carriers in ireland they should have the least contention problems overall.

Thats not to say that Smart may not try to shoehorn all their customers on a 100Mbit circuit across the Atlantic but the network within Ireland will be less contended than Eircoms sometimes way less so. If they thy the chapo solution across the Atlantic then ALL their customers will know about it as they will all be affected equally.

Eircom have hardly any 2.5Gbps stuff or higher . In many places you cannot get ISDN because they have no capacity for it in the exchange.

The story is a red herring sponsored by Eircom.

MY main concern about LLU is that Smart have not said if Voicemail is included in the €35 as you Will[i/] be disconnected from Eircom Voicemail but you MAY have to pay a very high premium for Smart Voicemail in its place. Mrs T would kill me if there was no Voicemail, its an obsessive compulsion thing with her. :)

Their tariffs and service for telephones have not been published although I am not too worried about some of them like local and national for example. They can charge what they like for 1850 and 15xxxx numbers too.

They are keeping really really quiet about that stuff. There is nothing on their website at all .

Therefore I did not sign until last week and thats because cancelling is a doddle according to their T and C s

 

ClubMan

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Re: The Contention thing occurs in every Network , but be se

Smart are installing 2.5GBPS = 2500Mbit fibres in their exchanges so the first 1000 x 2Mbit customers on each exchanges will not be contended anyway. Their base level backhaul will be far higher than what Eircom may have in place in the same time . Of all the carriers in ireland they should have the least contention problems overall.

Be that as it may it is sort of meaningless unless Smart (and other service providers of course!) give some details about how they handle contention/congestion and what sort of (worst case) bandwidth and service level agreement they guarantee etc. "Better than eircom" means nothing really.

For example, Irish Broadband seem to have a great (non landline based wireless and backbone) system in place on paper but in the two (business) situations in which I have used it (512Kbps and more recently 3Mbps Breeze setup) it has not performed to expectations - both in terms of exhibiting asymmetric rather than symmetric behaviour (i.e. higher download versus upload speed), wildly variable throughput, a few outages and poor technical support when things went wrong. As a result of these experiences I would be inclined to consider IBB for non-critical home use but definitely not for critical business use.
 
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sluice44

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Re: The Contention thing occurs in every Network , but be se

Be that as it may it is sort of meaningless unless Smart (and other service providers of course!) give some details about how they handle contention/congestion and what sort of (worst case) bandwidth and service level agreement they guarantee etc. "Better than eircom" means nothing really.
Be careful what you ask for.

Garfield Connolly, a Smart Telecom programme manager, is answering these sort of questions over on boards.ie.

Re contention ratios, he said, "Smart don’t provide details on contention ratios? Must be a huge cover up? No conspiracy theory here, sorry. Contention ratios exist in legacy networks to manage scant resources. Engineering contention back into our network would actually take more time and effort and just isn’t worth it. If you are interested, I have a brief explanation of the difference between the two types of network below. A) Contended network. Let’s say an ISP offers 1MB at 20:1 contention and has 100 customers in an exchange. In the contended network that looks like: 20 customers: 1MB 20 customers: 1MB 20 customers: 1MB 20 customers: 1MB 20 customers: 1MB Total 100 customers: 5MB Now let’s say that the first 80 customers are on holidays, not using their Internet connection. The last 20 customers still only have access to their 1MB, even though there is another 4MB there. Because of the highly (restrictively) granular nature of the network, customers can’t benefit from the aggragate capacity available at the exchange. Make sense? B) So what about a not contended network? If the above ISP didn’t run a contended network it would like this: 100 customers: 5MB Is that the same? No, because each user can use any available, under utilised capacity. As you’re reading this, you may not be downloading any other information. The nature of usage on the Internet is stop-start. So when you’re reading this, the capacity can be re-used. Of course, in this context, if 100 users are using 5MB, that will have the same effect on the individual user as 20 users using 1MB. So how is Smart different? We commit to running an actively managed, uncongested network. On occasion, if everyone is online at the same time (unlikely), for sure you may experience congestion. That congestion point may be the DSLAM, it may be the Internet in general, or it could be the website you are trying to get to. So we don’t contend the network. Nor do we say that the network is uncontended (i.e. a Committed Information Rate CIR). The network is NOT contended. This type of network is easier to manage and our customers benefit from the aggragate capacity available in each exchange. NB. The DSLAMs are connected to a 2.5G backbone, with GigE interfaces. Upgrading the capacity is about as simple as it gets, it’s down to the network management system, just a 3 minute job.


Someone has summarised his replies here
 

ClubMan

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Re: The Contention thing occurs in every Network , but be se

So we don’t contend the network.

This doesn't seem to be true. Even if they operate things at a coarser granularity (e.g. 5MB for 100 customers rather than 5 x 1MB for each 20 customers) the service still is contended as far as I can see. Pooling bandwidth in this way looks logical but it makes no difference to the worst case scenario (i.e. all users looking for their maximum bandwidth at the same time). Of course it may make a big difference in the avearge case scenario whatever that might be.

Apart from that, anybody else also a bit dubious about the "free line rental for life" offer for the first 100,000 customers or whatever it is?
 
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fatherdougalmaguire

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Re: The Contention thing occurs in every Network , but be se

I think that's where the compulsory uptake of their telephony service comes into play. Because they take up the connection at the exchange with their own equipment, maybe there's a reduced wholesale line rental for companies doing this rather than using Eircom's equipment lock, stock and barrel (from customer premises all the way to the switch).
 

ClubMan

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43,866
Re: The Contention thing occurs in every Network , but be se

Yes - I appreciate that but even so the infrastructure will cost them something so one would expect them to charge some sort of line rental to cover these fixed assets and their maintenance. Surely subsidising 100,000 customers with "free" line rental could be hard to sustain long term?
 
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Sherib

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Re: Who is the Smartest of them all?

I am in a quandary. Have been offered a second free trial of Eircom’s Broadband. The trial wasn’t due to end until Thursday but was terminated today by accident. To make amends Customer Care made this offer but I have to decide by tomorrow. I was all set to sign up with utv, which could take up to three weeks whereas Eircom will be reinstated sooner if I agree.

I know I would loose out on utv’s free calls and Eircom’s B’band is about €10/ month more expensive. However, Eircom have a once of charge of €65.50 for Fixed IP while utv charge €5/month forever. Apart from that, there isn’t much between them as the cap is unlikely to affect me.

There’s just one Q remaining. In utv’s small print they will charge €99 setup fee when you sign up for the contract after the free trial. I’m not sure if Eircom charge a similar fee when their trial ends. That could be the deciding factor. A possible plus for Eircom is that they will sell a wireless router to existing B’band customers for €50. No mention of that with utv. Is there anyone out there who would lean towards Eircom in view of this turnabout? I could still cancel before the end of the trial.

I've read the links to Sunday Bus Post and it seems to me they're all trying to 'outsmart' each other. The race is far from run it would appear. Would I be smart if I keep my options open for another two months?

8)
 

ClubMan

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43,866
Re: Who is the Smartest of them all?

Have been offered a second free trial of Eircom’s Broadband.

Another two months free? Sounds like a no brainer to me.

In utv’s small print they will charge €99 setup fee when you sign up for the contract after the free trial. I’m not sure if Eircom charge a similar fee when their trial ends.

According to eircom's website the normal installation charge of Eur 99.99 is waived for trial customers who take up a 12 month contract in month three.

Is there anyone out there who would lean towards Eircom in view of this turnabout?

If eircom's offering is more advantageous than alternative service providers in terms of cost and benefits then it would make sense to go with them. I've been using both UTV and eircom for 512Kbps/128Kbps ADSL recently and found them both fine so if one has the edge on cost/benefits I'd go for that one.

Would I be smart if I keep my options open for another two months?

I've heard rumours that customers can go from one provider's trial to another although I don't know what the order is other than you start with eircom if I recall correctly. No harm in chancing you arm! :)
 
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Sherib

Guest
Re: Who is the Smartest of them all?

Thanks a mill for that ClubMan. Dial-up is a real pain in the.................southern hemisphere. Grateful for all this expertise. Am enjoying reading you techos discuss the finer points even if most of it sails over my head. Tho' not as much as before. No fear of a swelled head. At least I can recognise when people know what they're talking about - not always the case. While I think of it, could that be the reason for your exasperation when you spoke to the technical people? They just didn't know. Only people who really know can admit when they're wrong!

I'm learning to chance my arm. Seems to me I could move from one to the other while they sort themselves. Am a firm believer that there's no free lunch. Neither ntl nor Smart are an option now anyway.

Thanks again.

8)
 

ClubMan

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43,866
Re: Who is the Smartest of them all?

Only people who really know can admit when they're wrong!

I like that! Too often in my field (basically software development in many different areas over the years) I have come across people who were too arrogant or embarrassed to face up to the fact that they or others were either wrong or talking shite. On the other hand, I have often found myself sheepishly asking what seem like stupid/obvious questions (sometimes dismissed as such too) only to find that they are not stupid at all and the emperor is inadequately clad after all while everybody turns a blind eye! I've had a few such incidents recently in the new company for whom I am working where everybody thinks that somebody else knows how (or even if!) certain technology/products are used only for it turn out that nobody does after all. Knowing and acknowledging the limits one one's own knowledge rather than attempting to spoof is a very valuable quality in this, and I'd imagine, other fields of endeavour. I suppose it's called honesty when you get down to brass tacks. :)
 
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Sherib

Guest
Re: Who is the Smartest of them all?

You're welcome. I coined an expression to describe such people -

they have the confidence of ignorance!

I even like that myself!

8)
 
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Tonka

Guest
Who is the Smartest of them all?

Smart have promised the discount rate to the first 100,000 signups. The signup system allowed people in remote areas to sign up for a long time. Therefore many of the first 100,000 will simply not qualify for the €35 product .

My estimate is that no more than 30,000 of the 100,000 signups will actually get this €35 package between refusals and recontracts and cannot provide a service issues.

Thereafter it seems that Smart will charge their customers €59 a month or €69 a month thereby fattening their margins and making something like a 'business case' for their product.

An equivalent product is basic UTV where you pay €24 line rental and then €30a month for 512k basic . Thats €54 as against €59 from Smart.

Nor will Smart be in any hurry to go to smaller exchanges even if they have this pretend trigger program on the go. I'd say they will unbundle 100 larger convenient (to them) exchanges over time , half in Greater Dublin. An article in the Times Business section said there are 1400 exchanges in total but 1300 exchanges , the smaller ones, will never have Smart BB or any other BB apart from Eircoms packages which are what most others resell anyway. I wish those with a chopice well but I live on one of the other 1300 exchanges and KNOW that Smart will never come out my way.

I am a bit 'in hope' here but the equipment they are using is not legacy crap like Eircom equipment and is easily capable of a largely uncontended system within Ireland in terms of backhaul to Dublin and the Inex.

Time will tell if they do not have enough international capacity but that is cheap in Dublin nowadays which is where they are based.

There is NO comparison with IBB who tend to use (MAX) 100-200Mbit wireless pipes between their masts and probably less than 100Mbit in some cases . Smart will have 2.5Gb pipes over fibre instead .

They can still oversell an exchange and have local problems though but poeple are forgetting the sheer scale of the fibre they are using and the fact that it is 10 times faster than (typically) the best Eircom fibre.

Nor is it complex or dog expensive to handle 100Gbits on a LAN anymore where all this stuff joins together.
 

ClubMan

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43,866
Re: Who is the Smartest of them all?

There is NO comparison with IBB who tend to use (MAX) 100-200Mbit wireless pipes between their masts and probably less than 100Mbit in some cases . Smart will have 2.5Gb pipes over fibre instead .

I wasn't drawing comparisons between them. I was just providing another illustration of how a service provider's system may look good on paper but not work great in practice.
 
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