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I spy faster broadband on the horizon
Monday 24 September 2007 11:25:25 by Andrew Ferguson

The financial papers seem an odd place to keep finding out about potential improvements to the UK broadband map but with the need for backing from shareholders, convincing these people even before having a product to market is very important. Visit FT.com for the full article.

It appears there has been a thawing of hostility within BT to considering a fixed line broadband network that pushes fibre optic cable into peoples homes or at least to the cabinet. In the past objections have generally been based on the economic case rather than technical issues of it being possible.

"BT remains very interested in further expanding the speed of access for customers, whether that be through faster copper, fibre to the home, fibre to the cabinet"

Ian Livingston head of BT Retail

A mixture of fibre to the home for greenfield sites where there is no existing copper infrastructure and fibre to the cabinet utilising VDSL2 looks the most likely path. This has been mooted for sometime and was last mentioned back in July 2007. To some extent the presence of hardware in the 21st Century Network such as fibre MSAN's which can cope with a local loop that is both copper and fibre point towards local loop improvements in the future.

All of this talk of higher speeds depends on whether the regulators would allow the BT group to charge a sensible price to rivals for use of the network. The problem being that what is sensible to one party may not be sensible to another. One side potential side effect if we start serious moves to fibre networks is that local loop unbundling of the existing copper network may run out of steam and hit the buffers, the clever providers will utilise hardware that will be upgradeable to cope with this network change, others may find themselves being left behind.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Oh god no more fantasy talk that BT will fibre the country... pleeease.
As for that Ian Livingston bloke he could talk rubbish for England
Posted by gayboy-ds over 9 years ago
What angers me is that Engadget reported this weekend that BT could be possibly planning to buy Sprint in the USA. Surely they should invest here first!
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
They ought to invest where they get the best return. How much extra revenue would FTTH bring in compared to buying Sprint ? Having said that BT's track record on acquisitions isn't brilliant.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
OMG sometimes i worry about your Herdwick I know BT have brainwashed you but is it really to the extent that you think investing in an American company when BT here provide and have to maintain most of the entire phone network is a good thing, maybe i should just put money in a big envelope right now and sent to it an American comms company and just cut out the middle man entirely... sheesh!
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
Any PLC has a statutory duty to get good returns for its owners. If that means getting a good return in the States or China or wherever rather than no return from FTTH in the UK then that's the right thing to do. That'll be hard for a brainless ranting cretin to understand, but that's the way it is. Better for my pension fund to benefit from Sprint revenues than blow investment on speeding up piracy, pron and warez downloading in the UK.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
LOL oh i see now its whats best for you personally and not the users of Great Britain on a whole... Let me guess are you another BT share holder... It would explain a heck of a lot. As for "statutory duty to get good returns for its owners" what do you think they have been doing for the past 30 years, maybe you missed the bit where our phone and internet is ONE OF of the most expensive in Europe, or maybe you do realise that but others and my cash which we pay BT isnt big enough to fill your pockets.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I also assume from the "speeding up piracy, pron and warez downloading in the UK." You are obviously so blinkered that you dont think that goes on in the good old USA where sprint are. So its fine for them to invest over there on the oh so clean networks where everybody behaves, which isnt the HOME OF porn at all is it?? LMFAO you should write a book '101 ways to remain ignorant'. Intro I dont like pron thats why i support BT investing in internet in the USA LMFAO (over and over).
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 9 years ago
Sprint is not primarily a broadband provider in the US but a mobile provider (or wireless using US terms)

Love it or loathe it the BT Group has to please its major shareholders and money markets to it can obtain funding for large capital projects.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote "Sprint is not primarily a broadband provider in the US but a mobile provider (or wireless using US terms)"
I fail to see the differnce when herdwick himself says "Better for my pension fund to benefit from Sprint revenues than blow investment on speeding up piracy, pron and warez downloading in the UK." Maybe he thinks none of that occurs in the USA?
quote "Love it or loathe it the BT Group has to please its major shareholders"
I guess so... After all they sure as hell dont please there customers.
Posted by Osama_broadbandin over 9 years ago
Some people can't be pleased...
Posted by plesbit over 9 years ago
Carpetburn doesn't count as a person, more like line noise. The BT Group, like any other PLC, is a business concerned with getting the best for its shareholders. All these notions that it's somehow a charity which is going to put the good of mankind (particularly British mankind) before all else is just delusional.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Carpetburn doesn't count as a person"
LOL thats it when you cant argue with logic resort to insults.
quote"The BT Group, like any other PLC, is a business concerned with getting the best for its shareholders. All these notions that it's somehow a charity which is going to put the good of mankind (particularly British mankind) before all else is just delusional."
In that case maybe it needs tighter regulation from the Monopolies And Mergers Commission not that you know what that is.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Some BT fans and share holders may want to read... http://www.competition-commission.org.uk/rep_pub/reports/1986/fulltext/196c03.pdf as well as many other documents from that site. To prove the aim of the business is to provide the "UK" with services and also demonstrate that over the years profit increases have been generated and there is no reason other than greed and being cheap to do that they invest in any way in sprint. Then again this is BT and they have never gave a stuff about improving service in the UK have they.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
carpetburn I am sure many do agree with you but its as others have said, a typical UK exev is an accountant type of person and he/she will always put the shareholders short/medium term profit first over all else, its why you will rarely see investments that only have long term benefits without garuantuee of payback in this country. You are correct in that BT do have a responsibility in this country unfortenatly the requirements for meeting that responsibility are weak and is a fault of the regulators.
Posted by plesbit over 9 years ago
If the UK really wants a telco which is solely concerned with doing good deeds for the country then it needs one which is run by the government and not a shareholder accountable exec. But, based on other examples, do you really think such an organisation would do any better?
Posted by KarlAustin over 9 years ago
A govt. that under invested in BT for years and years before it was privatised, maybe not a shining example of govt. intervention.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"You are correct in that BT do have a responsibility in this country unfortenatly the requirements for meeting that responsibility are weak and is a fault of the regulators." And thats the nail hit right on the head and what it boils down to weak regulators afraid to get tough with BT and other companys.
@plesbit that wont work the gov. previously ran BT into the ground with no investment, and technically BT still have to answer to government anyway.
Posted by Kaufhof over 9 years ago
"technically BT still have to answer to government anyway" well that's right [though I would have said "ultimately"]. I guess they would say [and I would agree} that they have the worst of both worlds, being a public service whilst functioning as a company which has to keep the shareholders happy. Perhaps the two are incompatible. After all, who would buy shares in the NHS?
Posted by Flaco over 9 years ago
Oh yes, of course, let's keep the shareholders happy... Seven years ago I was working with national service providers in Italy, Spain and Portugal. I was staggered at how rapidly the LLU projects were pushed through. Fast forward two years and BT were still been obstructive (indeed, operating illegally). Toothless regulators aside, even Gordon Brown couldn't get them to play ball. The Japanese and Koreans can get 50-100mbps at home, but we're stuck with DSL dribbles. What do I care for money-grubbing shareholders? Invest in Britain. Better still, re-nationalize.
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