Wales beats Cymru 6-1

Yesterday saw the first .wales and .cymru tranche of domains go live on the ever-expanding internet.

Compared to some we expect these domains to be of minority interest and .wales will likely far outstrip .cymru.

According to the 2011 Census the ONS report that of the 3.1 million population nearly 2/3 (66%) regard themselves as being Welsh. Welsh language speakers number some 562,000 (19%) of the resident population of 2.9 million.

Logically therefore we might expect the Wales / Cymru registrations to be about 4/1.

On a very quick look around yesterdays arrivals we spotted the following!

.wales .cymru
Assembly (redirect)
Bloc Bloc (redirect)
DailyPost (redirect) DailyPost (redirect)
Gwalia Gwalia (redirect)
Thinkorchard Thinkorchard
Walesonline (redirect) Walesonline (redirect)
WRU (redirect)


So, on the way we count, that looks like at this very early stage, 6/1 with the winner being The Orchard Media & Events Group

There also seem to be a few technical teething problems with this first tranche!

Whilst talking about Wales we were interested to see that recently uSwitch reckoned that, in country terms, they had the fastest broadband speeds in the UK at 5am being 22.5Mbps but that they also had the slowest speed come 9pm of 11.6Mbps. Hmmmmm

Will you pass your DQ test?

Ofcom  in connection with the publication today of the eleventh edition of its Communications Market Report (CMR) has included both the results of its research into the Digital Quotient of our population as well as a somewhat shortened test so that you can quickly (3 minutes they claim) come up with your own level.


It consists of 18 questions with a maximum score of about 144 we reckon but to achieve that you will have to use a Smartwatch a 3D printer and glasses!

The overall average at 100 we reckon converts to a percentage of just under 70% and the “with it” 14-15 year olds just under 80%. Everybody passes with even the 75+’s scoring 55%.

We may return to the full UK report at a later stage to comment on some of its 429 pages and the consistently colourful charts

Report links:

Our Top life changers are Broadband and the Internet

This is according to a new survey carried out by Hotpoint in connection with the launch of their Home IQ promotion which attempts to assess how smart your home is, mainly it has to be said in an appliance sense!

The survey was of 2,000 British adults and we found it noteworthy that 30% of the life changers were of  a technology nature (using our wide definition).

Of the 9 life changers 5 (56%) relate to devices led somewhat surprisingly not by the ubiquitous iPhone but by the iPad. Somewhat surprisingly the Blackberry also features.

Hotpoint offer to make an assessment of your Home’s IQ  if you are prepared to accept the challenge!

Here’s Hotpoints video with Suzi Perry which explains it all!


Another 4 for O3b

Yesterday O3b Networks (Other 3 billion), the satellite internet provider, launched another 4 satellites from Arianespace’s French Guiana’s spaceport on flight VS0.courtesy of a Soyuz 2 rocket. These 4 will now go through a period of in-orbit testing before being fully integrated into the O3b network.

We reckon that following the initial launch, just over a year ago, this brings their total to 8. Their next launch is due in early 2015 and we will report back thereafter.

It does look to us as if this venture, already backed, to the extent of over $1.3 billion ( we wonder if they will  aim at $3 billion for symmetry reasons) is commercially sound and could  well be used by Google (who are an investor) in furtherance of their extra terrestrial activities.

We’ll leave you with one of their launch/ promotional videos

Satellites and Drones and White Spaces

… are possibly the 21st Century version of Trains and Boats and Planes!

Many articles are appearing following the Wall Street Journals exclusive on Google possibly spending $1 billion on satellites to compliment Project Loon. O3B Networks are also allegedly involved.

At the other end of the spectrum so as to speak the Microsoft 4Africa Initiative have been undertaking, comparatively quietly, a project in Kenya aimed at bringing the internet to millions at minimal cost by utilising the spare unused frequencies between broadcast channels (white space).

Bringing the internet to all often concentrates on Africa (and its 58 countries), with its land mass where the internet is unavailable to many. In the overall numbers game Africa’s total population is circa 1.1 billion of which nearly 40% live in South Africa Egypt and Nigeria which have at least some internet structure and availability.

As we have mentioned before nearly 2/3 of the unconnected world are in Asia.

We’ll leave you with Microsoft’s video about their Kenyan venture.


Europe, highest world internet usage Russia highest world mobile-cellular subscriptions

The ITU (international Telecoms Union) yesterday published their World in 2014 ICT Facts & Figures report (pdf).

Their press release and the associated headline comments mainly concentrated on the 3 billion worldwide numbers with internet access and the 7 billion mobile-cellular subscriptions which they estimate will exist by the end of the year.  

We thought the European lead in internet usage and the Russian Commonwealth (CIS) heading mobile-cellular subscriptions were noteworthy as were the broadband speed by countries comparisons where we’ve asterisked the ones we found most interesting but couldn’t locate India!

Click to enlarge

Global sub-sea connectivity

A rather fascinating map, sponsored by Huawei Marine Ndetworks, from TeleGeography (a division of Primemetrica Inc) caught our eye (or I). It is an interactive and  regularly updated graphic of the sub-sea cables around the world

According to TeleGeography’s research Director Alan Mauldin in an interview with CNN “… for international communications, over 99% is delivered by undersea cables.” “75% of faults are due to external aggression — the majority through human activity such as fishing, and ship’s anchors. There are also geological factors such as sub-sea earthquakes and landslides, shifting tectonic plates and typhoons.

During the 2011 tsunami in Japan about half of their cables had outages, but the operators were able to reroute capacity to other routes, so Japan held up very well.”

There’s another graphic an interactive global internet exchange map   which warrants some attention. They also have a more limited 2014 version  compiled with the support of Mobily which has been used as the backdrop for the full interview between Alan Maudlin & CNN .

We’ll leave you with Trinity Aniumation’s video of the sub-sea cable laying process from which we borrowed our header graphic.

Combining 19th and 21st century technologies

Geo Networks   have linked up another customer from Enfield to Docklands using their impressive fibre system which uses London’s Victorian sewage system. According to Thames Water this allegedly measures some 67,000 miles in total.

Whilst this sounds incredulous the London Subterranea  graphic can be explored in much more detail at source and you begin to grasp the enormity of that network.

Click to explore the detail

Computer Weekly have some underground shots which are worth viewing.

It’s a bit dated (2008) but Geo’s video explains all!

Four Satellites for Over three billion

Yesterday from French Guiana’s space station the first 4 satellites of the O3b Networks project were placed in orbit aboard a Russian Soyuz ST-B launch vehicle by Arianespace  and are now successfully in orbit over the equator some 8,000 kilometres or so above the earth.

The programme is an ambitious one in “… providing billions of people across Africa, Latin America, The Middle East, Asia and The Pacific access to fast and affordable internet for the first time.”

“The O3b system will combine the global reach of satellite with the speed of a fiber-optic network providing billions of consumers and businesses in nearly 180 countries with low-cost, high-speed, low latency Internet and mobile connectivity.”

 “Customers witnessing the launch included Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines, O3b’s first Maritime customer, Telecom Cook Islands, who will receive the first commercial signals across the network this summer and Maju Nusa, soon to roll out a state of the art 3G backhaul network in Malaysia built on O3b’s low latency capacity.”

 The map shows the projected coverage when 8 or possibly more satellites are in place.

Nine gateway locations exist and the most spectacular scenery surrounds the Greek Teleport.


We thought this video of their progress was impressive (especially some of the animation).

We’ll leave you with the launch video which also impressed us it’s mainly in English after a French introduction!

O3b Networks’ investors include SES, Google, Liberty Global, HSBC Principal Investments, Northbridge Venture Partners, Allen & Company, Development Bank of Southern Africa, Sofina, Satya Capital and Luxempart.

Google goes Looney

Well, sort of. They are setting up Project Loon. If it succeeds it could  provide internet access potentially globally but primarily to developing – mainly Southern Hemisphere countries where current access is at best limited and even when available is often unaffordable.

The concept is Balloon Powered Internet for Everyone which may lead to a “network in the sky”. The balloons operate well above the cloud at about 20 kilometres in the stratosphere. Airplanes they reckon by & large operate at up to 10 km which is about 33,000 feet which sounds about right.

The balloons are about 15 metres in diameter and solar powered. The methodology, in our words, is that the network in the sky consists of the balloons communicating with one another and ground receiving internet antenna and ground stations which connect to local internet providers. The onboard radios are high band width and filter out any other irrelevant signals. “Mission Control” monitors and controls the balloons using the more predictable winds in the stratosphere.

Their video explains it in more detail;

Click to enlarge

Last week they set up/off a pilot launch/release  in the Christchurch/Canterbury area of New Zealand involving 30 balloons (the greatest number so far) and 50 ground testers. The BBC have some footage.

“Over time, we’d like to set up pilots in countries at the same latitude as New Zealand. We also want to find partners for the next phase of our project—we can’t wait to hear feedback and ideas from people who’ve been working for far longer than we have on this enormous problem of providing Internet access to rural and remote areas.”

New Zealands latitude is about 35ºS – 47ºS and here’s a site where you can check out your coordinates.

You can follow the projects progress on Google+

Source: Primarily Google Blogpost