News: Updated, 7th November 2019

I will post news about telecommunications that would be interesting to Falkland Island consumers or businesses. If there are any updates on a particular piece of news, I’ll add them. Please send news that you think is interesting. Thank you!

OpenFalklands public presentation on Thursday 28th November

I’m pleased to announce a public presentation given by myself at the Chamber of Commerce. It starts promptly at 5 p.m. on Thursday 28th November. The presentation is called ‘Falkland Islands Internet; some thoughts’. I plan to talk about a number of subjects discussed on OpenFalklands over the last ten months and maybe some that are not! Come along if […] Read More

October and November 2019 Falkland Islands broadband service performance issues, Update #8.

Update #8: 10th November 2019 Sadly, it looks like there are still ongoing issues with the Falkland Islands Internet service after receiving several emails and social media messages yesterday about unreliable connections to some web sites. This is a classic symptom of the instability of Internet routing paths caused by connectivity dropouts or DDoS attacks. Whatever the cause(s), it is […] Read More

.FK ccTLD DNS lack of topological and server diversity (Update #11)

Update #11: 23rd October 2019 Following communication with the Falkland Island Regulator, I am pleased to be able to announce that the work required to add diversity to the ,FK ccTLD is well underway by Sure. There has been a recent delay because the decision was taken to undertake this work simultaneously with the increase in satellite capacity that is […] Read More

FITV report about Falkland Islands satellite capacity doubling in December 2019

In October 2019 the Falkland Islands TV channel published a report on the proposed December 2019 FIG-financed doubling of satellite capacity to 400Mbit/s. Kyle Knappett and Caroline Scott of FITV This is that report by FITV’s reporter, Tom Stockting.   Full details of this increase can be found in the Falkland Islands Government Executive Council (EXCO) paper 133/19P: Broadband Provision […] Read More

Let’s talk on Falkland Islands Radio during Communications Week in March 2019

Back now in what now seems the dim and distant past, during Communications Week in March 2019, Jason Lewis hosted a Let’s Talk interview on Falkland Islands Radio Service (FIRS) with individuals talking about telecommunications on the Falkland Islands. These individuals participating were: Roger Spink, MLA responsible for telecommunications portfolio. And the consultants: Richard Womersley, Director, Spectrum Consulting at LStelcom […] Read More

The curious case of 4G TV interference

This post is concerned with a particular issue arising from the introduction of the 4G mobile phone service in the Falkland Islands in 2018. 4G was introduced with great fanfare as it was a principle Key Performance Indicator (KPI) of the exclusive telecommunications licence issued by the government. The 4G upgrade was undoubtedly a significant engineering task as it was […] Read More

Falkland Islands’ Regulator’s QoS Direction: Part 2 – Discussion

On July 1st 2019, the Falkland Islands’ Communications Regulator issued a “Direction to Sure Falkland Islands, No 2019/01a Quality of Service” which requires Sure Falkland Islands to provide data on broadband Quality of Service (QoS), i.e. the performance of the island’s broadband services. All points discussed apply to both fixed and mobile data network performance Quality of Service (QoS) testing. […] Read More

Falkland Islands’ Regulator’s QoS Direction, Part 1 – what is it?

On July 1st 2019, the Falkland Islands’ Communications Regulator issued a “Direction to Sure Falkland Islands, No 2019/01a Quality of Service” which requires Sure Falkland Islands to provide data on broadband Quality of Service (QoS) in the form of download speeds of the island’s broadband services using ETSI specifications. To do justice to this important subject, I have split the […] Read More

Roaming with your phone – in the dark?

Update: 12th June 2019 In regard to the footnote, the old Roaming Partner list has now been deleted from the Sure Falkland Island’s web server. I have written about Falkland Islands’ mobile services in my posts about the issues concerning overseas’ SMS texts, Two-Factor Authentication and the background to the new 4G service. In this post, I’d like to focus […] Read More

The carry-on about data carry-over

I’ve seen many Facebook posts and heard many comments made over the years expressing the desire for Sure Falkland Islands to offer data ‘Carry-Over’ or ‘Roll-Over’ of unused monthly broadband usage quotas rather than expiring. Nobody likes losing something they’ve paid for. With the high cost of broadband services, this could be an appropriate option to implement on the Falkland […] Read More

A peek under the bonnet of the Falkland Islands’ 4G service: Part 2, Falkland Islands 4G

Update: 30th May 2019 Batelco signed the original Agreement with Star Solutions to install 4G LTE in the South Atlantic islands in March 2015. I wrote about the history of 4G LTE in Part 1 of this post – A peek under the bonnet of the Falkland Islands’ 4G service: Part 1, 4G history. and I would advise looking at […] Read More

A peek under the bonnet of the Falkland Islands’ 4G service: Part 1, 4G history.

Although consumers generally only care about whether their mobile phones work and that they get a ‘signal’ when they want to make a call, I thought it might be interesting to take a small look under the bonnet of the Falkland Islands’ new 4G service. It’s a little bit of an acronym hell in there but there are only a […] Read More

Is the reported Sure complaints data adequate for a monopoly environment?

Synopsis The Falkland Islands Communications Regulator has just issued a report in May 2019 entitled “A Report on Complaints to Sure Falkland Islands”. This report is a step in the right direction but is the data provided appropriate for a monopoly telecommunications environment as experienced in the Falkland Islands and is it what islanders actually want to see? Background Let’s […] Read More

“We have just sent a code to your mobile phone” Oh damn!

Synopsis It’s critical for Falkland Islanders to be able to fully participate in the world of on-line services which are now driven by concerns of security as never before. None of us can avoid this. Two-Step Authentication based on SMS texts lies at its heart. This maybe one of my shorter posts but it is right up there in importance. […] Read More

Do you have difficulty receiving or sending overseas SMS texts?

Summary I have been sending Short Messaging Service (SMS) texts to some Falklands Islands residents from the UK but the reply texts have not arrived back to my Vodafone smartphone. Update 11th May 2019 Looking at one or two Sure Falkland Islands monthly bills for April 2019, I see that the SMS texts that were sent to me in the […] Read More

Is your organisation hosting a website outside of the Falkland Islands that uses a .fk based URL? If so you had better read this!

Synopsis. This is a very technical post so it will only be of interest if you are involved in managing a website hosted OUTSIDE of the Falkland Islands that uses a .fk based domain. This includes www.falklands.gov.fk. If that is the case, when the Falkland Islands’ Internet is down (as it was on the 30th April 2019) then that site […] Read More

Falkland Islands’ Internet usage: Part 3, Forecasting future satellite capacity

I was pleased to see Household [Internet] User Habits survey on the Falkland Islands as an element of Communications Week in March 2019. However, the stated objective of the survey made me stop and think. “The results of this survey will contribute to calculating the international connectivity demands of the Falkland Islands providing a clearer picture of what a ‘typical […] Read More

Falkland Islands’ Internet usage: Part 1, the importance of objective data.

One of the activities of the Falkland Islands Communications Week was to inform the National Broadband Strategy (which I would like renamed the National Internet Strategy) using the Household User Habits Survey. According to the Falkland Islands Regulator’s web site: “This survey is gathering information on how consumers use the internet now, and aspirations for the future. The results of […] Read More

Ping testing a Falkland Islands Internet server (Updated 14th April 2019)

May 14th update Saint Helena and the Falkland Islands Face Simultaneous Outages. (14-05-19)”] On 30 April 2019, internet service in the Falkland Islands and Saint Helena suffered simultaneous outages. We often see large outages in islands or remote areas due to limited sources for internet connectivity and/or extreme weather events. In this case, Sure South Atlantic Ltd is only source […] Read More

The enigma of Falkland Islands’ broadband Contention Ratios

During the Falkland Islands Communications Week, it was mentioned that Sure needed to “look at broadband contention going forward” [or something close to that]. So what? you may say. The reason it’s important is that contention has a major impact on the Quality of Experience of using the Internet. It’s certainly nearly equal to the issue of increasing Satellite Capacity. […] Read More

Falkland Islands’ 2nd Annual Communications Meeting: Monday, 18th March 2019

I was pleased to see that FIG, Sure and the regulator have been holding public meetings to talk about and involve islanders in matters of Falkland Islands telecommunications. On Monday, 18th March 2019 in the Chamber of Commerce in Stanley, the session had three presenters from Sure South Atlantic, Falkland Islands Government (FIG) and the Communications Regulator. Here is an […] Read More

Falkland Islands’ satellite – spoilt for choice! Part 1, Intelsat EPIC.

There couldn’t be a better time to look at the up and coming possibilities of increasing satellite capacity (not to forget reducing latency) in the Falkland Islands. The satellite `industry is going through a mega-innovation period with the two big satellite companies developing and launching new satellite constellations. Indded, the industry structure going through major disruptive changes brought about by […] Read More

The enigma of monitoring the quality of the Falkland Islands’ broadband service – Part 2: Looking forwards.

In Part 1 of this post I talked about the history of monitoring the Quality of Experience of the Falkland Islands’ broadband service – The enigma of monitoring the quality of the Falkland Islands’ broadband service – Part 1: Looking backwards.In Part 2, I will look at the current status of monitoring and look forward to how this could be […] Read More

The enigma of the monthly Internet usage quota

In my last post on OpenFalklands I looked at the current status of Falkland Islands satellite capacity which dictates the quality of experience of using the Internet in the Falkland islands. Another factor that directly affects experience is the use of a monthly quota or allowance to cap the amount of Internet bytes that can be downloaded. I’d like to […] Read More

The enigma of Falkland Islands satellite capacity

In the previous two posts on OpenFalklands I focused SAEx submarine cable connectivity to St Helena as a successful St Helena Government program and the possibility  of a submarine cable to the Falkland Islands by extending a Chilean Fibra Optica Austral cable. It is fair to say that the latter is probably not achievable but who knows how things can […] Read More

St Helena’s submarine cable.

13th June 2019 update Of course, not all cable projects succeed. The South Atlantic Express (SAex), would be one of the first direct links between Africa and South America, and connect remote islands like St. Helena along the way. But SAex has struggled with funding and currently sits in limbo. Cinia and MegaFon hope to avoid a similar fate. Source: IEEE Spectrum 15th May […] Read More