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Is it too early to roll out true next generation broadband?
Monday 03 December 2007 10:21:35 by Andrew Ferguson

BBC News Online has a number of interesting broadband related pieces on its website currently. One item features a number of industry figures who feel that it may be premature to roll-out a next generation broadband network now.

Certainly during 2008 it is probably too early, but unless the issues of fair access to all providers and technology trials are resolved now once it comes to around 2010 we may find that we are a long way behind. Two years is not a long period of time if talking about planning a nationwide roll-out of something.

Online gaming is often cited as a reason for needing 50Mbps or faster connections, but it is often not the speed of the downloads that are an issue but the reduced latency that services with a good proportion of fibre in them can provide. Certainly a Virgin Media 50Mbps connection should perform for gamers the same as a Virgin Media 10Mbps connection.

The areas where true next generation broadband make the most sense are projects looking to connect people in broadband not-spots, if spending good money to get a basic broadband service it would be wise to future proof it and provide people with something that they will be happy to use for ten or more years. Another area widely ignored is the small business area, many small businesses are starting to embrace things like home working and if the company office can have an affordable fat connection this may inspire more companies to let people work from home, which can mean companies retain staff who would otherwise leave due to family commitments and help to reduce the number of commuter miles driven every week.

The hard fact seems to be that many of the benefits of a highly connected society will not appear on the bank balance of the company running the network, but overall could boost the economy and maybe make it easier to compete in a global market place. The size of the online economy can be seen in the fact that £5.6 billion is expected to be spent online during December 2007.

Comments

Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Quote"BBC News Online has a number of interesting broadband related pieces on its website currently. One item features a number of industry figures who feel that it may be premature to roll-out a next generation broadband network now."

That’s right you guessed it, those who think its too soon are BT and Ofcom… Like anyone needed to click the link to guess that.
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
Online gaming - is that the best reason so far for 50M?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 9 years ago
No, Somerset. Gaming is generally fairly low bandwidth, but it's highly sensitive to dropped packets and latency. i.e. service quality is critical, not headline speeds.

(So yes, it's crap to be a gamer in the UK these days..)
Posted by ceedee over 9 years ago
On the demand side, I'd be very interested to see Ofcom's figures, given the near-meteoric increase in both the popularity of consumer broadband and the use of bandwidth-hungry websites and applications.

My guess is that all the players will stall real investment in the hope of government financial inducements as the infrastructure croaks.

We're just the pawns at the end of the food chain...
Posted by Guzzo over 9 years ago
So gamers influence the planning of ADSL in the UK do they. What percentage are these characters of the paying public. No doubt a TINY minority so they will of course have the biggest voice.
Oh well another 2-5 years before we get 24mb ADSL2+ in London Area I suppose. Ooops sorry BE did tell me they could give me 2mb with their 24mb ADSL2+ connection. When asked how is it I already get 7.8mb daily with a standard ADSL connection they couldn't say. Perhaps the Technical suppport person I spoke to in Bulgaria was poorly trained in excuses.
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
Dawn_Falcon

Latency has not a lot to do with bandwidth. What latency does gaming need, don't say zero?
Posted by Gzero over 9 years ago
The real reason Gamers have a large say in bandwidth and quality of service is because they are usually sharing the connection hence the need for bandwidth during person A's gaming session when person B is watching youtube clips or bebo'ing for example?
Posted by adriandaz over 9 years ago
Somerset - as low as possible I guess :)

Guzzo - I wouldn't say a large say in things, but they usually are enthusiasts who are willing to pay more than the average user for a quality service, therefore are usually listened to. They don't expect the moon on a stick for 2P.
Posted by Jamiepw over 9 years ago
Basically it's BT that are controlling everything here, they have a crap network and this cannot support the high speeds, therefore they do not push the Apps that uses this high speed.

This country will not get out of the 'Dark ages' of broadband until the crap ADSL technology is replaced with a better Symmetrical high speed (50Mbps+) system.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
What i want to know from both BT and Ofcom is if there is no demand for faster and better services why is 21CN going ahead??........ Ah yeah thats right its another way for BT to make a fast buck rather than caring about the customer.
Posted by Jamiepw over 9 years ago
From what i have heard about 21CN, is that BT currently has 6 or 7 separate networks and 21CN will be a means of making them a single network, it will make the maintenance and running of the network a lot easier.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"it will make the maintenance and running of the network a lot easier."
Or in other words cost them less and allow them to make a fast buck like i said
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
same old excuses, no demand no ROI. Same people who dont want changes ofcom and BT.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
BT truely are a horrid, profit hoarding, dishonest company IMO and Ofcom are as much use as a chocolate fireguard. Come on the EU get over here and start interfering in their lazy ways i say.
Posted by Somerset over 9 years ago
So Carpetburn, what do you want? Remember BT, as was, asked Mrs Thatcher about putting fibre into every home.

Are BT's profits excessive considering the size of the company?

And why did the cable companies give up on expanding their areas?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote"Remember BT, as was, asked Mrs Thatcher about putting fibre into every home."
Did they?? were they public or privately owned back then?
quote"Are BT's profits excessive considering the size of the company?"
based on their constant new annoying TV ads and the rubbish they send you with your phone bill along with things like BTvision and BTshop, id say the answer to that is a YES.
quote"And why did the cable companies give up on expanding their areas?"
I know for a fact some areas they cant expand to because local councils wont let them dig holes.
Posted by chrysalis over 9 years ago
BTs profits are excessive but there is no such thing as excessive profits in the uk and I expect in any capitalist country which leads to more and more greed. Cable companies ran out of money but its believable that things may have been made diffilcult for them to expland ie. escalating digging up costs.
Posted by Kaufhof over 9 years ago
What do some posters want from BT? Should they simply abandon providing the network and hand it over to R. Branson or Northern Rock or some bright young "gamer"? Does anyone know what the Security Services think of the network and the management arrangements?
Posted by tetsuokin over 9 years ago
So when do we get to test this "supposed" 50Mb line then and i guess it will still depend on the rest of the web to catch up to be able to run the net at the full speed..

Posted by Flaco over 9 years ago
What's gaming got to do with the argument? Have TVoIP and BBC interactive services suddenly disappeared from the map?
Posted by Flaco over 9 years ago
Guzzo - I am on Be's 24Mb Unlimited and live just 150 yards away from the exchange, yet I can't get more than 16Mbps down. Nothing to do with Be, and everything to do with crappy BT infrastructure. You wouldn't be the first to find that an LLU supplier was unable to better BT's IPStream speeds. You should be asking BT that question instead.
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