Adrian Wooster’s Blog

Adrian Wooster is a widely respected consultant working with INCA on the development of technical and business process standards to support the emerging patchwork quilt. We have syndicated the content of his influential and widely read blog for the convenience of INCA members and site visitors. You can view Adrian's site at http://wooster.org.uk

Open is the best (only) policy

If I’m honest I’m a little tired of the whole open network debate – largely because I don’t think there is very much to debate.

It seems very odd to me that people who are happy to argue that their own networks should be closed and vertically integrated are often well informed about the European open access models and the US debates – that these great debates are basic human right but that they somehow don’t apply to their networks but should to everyone else’s.

Until recently it was certainly true that all but the very largest networks had little choice but to deliver their own internet services – but that was a market imperfection rather than a point of principle or commercial choice. That market flaw is easing – far from fixed but progress is being made – and it is no longer a necessity to restrict service choice.

Radio silence

It’s been very quiet on the blog front lately but hopefully I’ll find time to rectify that soon – I’m planning articles on a pile of subjects from for rural , -network interactions, and emerging applications but finding the time has been the biggest challenge.

WISPy Duplex – only half the truth

I overheard some wireless operators the other day talking about “25 Mbps duplex” and aligning it with superfast when they didn’t mean that at all. What they really meant was “12.5 Mbps in both directions added together to make 50 Mbps”  which is some way off being NGA, and does nothing to help the wireless industries case for being included in the EU’s NGA definition (only -based fixed-line services count at the moment).

I keep hearing this dubious use of language but exclusively from wireless operators and its at best very misleading.

If they are right, then I need to tell Intel to stop referring to my gigabit Ethernet card in my PC as 1000baseT and to start calling it 2000baseT.

Will Twitter get left behind?

I bumped into an old friend yesterday in the car park after an event and we got talking. It started over whether or not Google+ was becoming strategic or if it would head the way of Wave and Buzz, as another very interesting but temporary event on our horizon.

As we rambled, my friend said that he thought Google+ would outlive Twitter – it was more rounded and open. That’s a big statement but it got us thinking about the relationship various social media platforms have with their developer communities.

Twitter – a huge success with a very open API that enables developers to do a vast amount with very little effort but so far the focus seems to have been on creating a huge scrap yard full of also-ran replacements to TweetDeck.

Yet the combination of hashtags and friends could so easily have been shaped into “circles” with the right interface but no-one seems to have done it as part of their Twitter interface.

What’s actually going on?

It still surprises me that after 18 months there seems to be confusion in the twittersphere about what is actually happening in terms of deployment and the goal of the ’s policy.

There have been conversations which seem to jump from a position that to every home is the only real solution to suggesting they are being short-changed by some mythical with nothing in between.

Promising signs for UK broadband

During the week there has been disappointing from Akamai’s quarterly state of the internet report which shows the UK slipping further down the international league tables but hidden away elsewhere there has been better news (isn’t that always the same with good news?) – evidence of new entrants and innovation beginning the reach people.

@cyberdoyle (Chris Conder) has been running a Speed Wave on SpeedTest.net, capturing UK speeds and the leader board makes very interesting reading.

Twittering Geotypes – second byte

After my first tinker with collecting twitter location data, I re-ran the test to collect a much bigger sample – around a gigabyte of data over 24 hours this time – so I could rule out any variations by time. The first sample was only run over a morning, missing students that don’t get up until lunch time or party people who tweet only in the evening.

When adjusted for population, the most active group remains professional city areas – more than three times as active as any other ONS super group. All other groups were within a small variation of each other with little to suggest there is any group that might be significantly disadvantaged.

INCA – “Climbing Out of the Silos”

INCA today published a blog, “Climbing Out of the Silos“, which takes a look at the apparent disconnect between Government departments.

The article raises an interesting point – that the Government is intending to spend up to £1.5bn on communications for Smart Metering, while BDUK is leading a Government push to make the UK a leader.

It struck me as I wrote the figures down on a napkin that if the Smart Metering money were matched by the energy industry in much the same way the BDUK funds are, and the combined £3bn were used to secure a novel IRU-like contract with access providers then the investment could be used to significantly increase the investment in broadband by using the combined scale of two disparate programmes and two Government departments.

Twitter geopolicy – what types of areas tweet the most?

To dig further into the relatively small sample of data I collected on UK geo-tagged twitter activity, I matched it against the ONS geo-policy dataset – this classifies census super output areas* by the broad types of people that live there.

Far and away the most prolific areas are those classed as “Professional City Life” – three times more than any other area.

Next were “Multicultural City Life” and “Miscellaneous built-up areas” – each about the same level and 50% more “twitterous” than the trailing groups.

Finally the remaining groups, made up of “Disadvanataged urban communities“, “Urban fringe“, “Countryside“, and “White-collar urban” areas, were neck-and-neck at just 20% of the professionals.

Blackberry, Apple, outages, control and collaboration

Its been interesting to watch from afar the and stories this week.

When my last contract came up for renewal I looked around, asked the opinions of those around me and after long deliberation I still opted to renew with another Android phone.

Android isn’t as fast of slick as an iPhone but its nearly there; the battery life of most Android phones doesn’t match any Blackberry model; and the Market doesn’t offer as many apps as Apple (although its rare I can’t find what I need).

However, the consensus of opinion was clear – if I bought into the world view of RIM or Apple, that I liked their way of doing things, then Blackberry and iPhone handsets were great – in fact arguably better than anything else on the market. BUT if I didn’t, and I wanted to tailor the device to the way I work, choose what features I had and how they worked then neither was a good choice.