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European Comission push for blanket broadband coverage by 2010
Monday 29 September 2008 12:33:37 by John Hunt

The European Commission is looking into making broadband access a universal service obligation (USO) by 2010. This would mean that here in the UK, in the same way BT have to provide all households with a telephone service, they would also be required to do the same with a broadband connection. There will not be any specific requirements on technology used to provide services however. Currently around 36% of households in EU member states have broadband Internet access, and this has tripled since 2003, with an annual growth rate of around 20%.

"High-speed internet is the passport to the Information Society and an essential condition for economic growth. This is why it is this Commission's policy to make broadband internet for all Europeans happen by 2010."

Viviane Reding, EU Telecoms Commissioner

Currently, coverage in areas of Europe varies quite widely with Eastern Europe having a lower take up than Western Europe. The BBC reports Denmark, Luxembourg and Belgium have 100% availability of service if desired, although whether this comes at a higher cost using satellite or other technologies in some rural areas isn't clear. Increasing coverage to those harder to reach 'broadband not-spots' will always turn out to be ever more costly and whether providers will be able to reflect this by increased charges under a USO is yet to be seen.

Comments

Posted by timmay over 8 years ago
Is this really going to change anything? There is a very big difference between broadband coverage and coverage of decent fast and low cost broadband! What is classed as high speed these days anyway? 512k really can't be the definition of high-speed now can it!? In 2010 512k will be as useless as 56k is and has been for several years! SO my questions are what speed has to be provided and at what cost with how much usage?
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
..also will they go by synch speed, effective throughput or average bandwidth available per user on the backhaul?
Posted by dougk over 8 years ago
I think its a good step - as long as "broadband and high speed" is classified as 2MB and above.
If so it means that it will force BT to focus on the poorer areas of their network rather than the big towns who already have choice.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Great idea, about time the likes of BT were forced to give broadband to those that cant get it
Posted by radar over 8 years ago
"CARPETBURN :- Great idea, about time the likes of BT were forced to give broadband to those that cant get it"

Why should they? They are answerable to shareholders, If you were a shareholder, would you want to foot the expense out of your dividend?


Posted by rasczak over 8 years ago
And its about time that the LLU ISP used by Carpetburn was forced to give broadband to those who can't get their service as well.
Posted by shaunhw over 8 years ago
I think BT ought to be grateful to broadband. If it weren't for that, there might be no BT anymore for "voice" users are dumping their landline phones in droves, and just using mobile technology. I would have thought it would be in BT's long term interest to get the fastest speeds possible at the cheapest prices and keep their customers using wired based communication.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
shaunw has hit the nail on the head, adsl has kept BT millions of landline customers else they would be just using their mobile phones. This will make very little difference, if we include sattelite we then already have 100% coverage. The only possible difference is if a high minimum speed is applied, eg. 2mbit.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@shaunhw:You might be right. I've often wondered why BT bothered with such a comprehensive roll-out. Either it was altruism or else they predicted the rise of mobile telecoms.

Of course 'dumb luck' is another possibility but it's hard for most people to attribute that to such a successful company :)
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
"forced to give"? not that possible really...
DONT ASK ME how - you will have to ask BT!!

Just like many other big companies, (anyone remember when the ONLY computer company was IBM???) they get overconfident, and by the time they 'get over it' they have lost big time to smaller, more dynamic ones, that are much more daring with financial outlay...

- The only force big enough, will be to bribe BT with millions of billions of £££... Nah, thoght not, much better to start your own ISP with that....
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Yes, oh, how BT laughed, seeing the new LLU companies having problems getting going, years ago!!! now it's not so happy...:)

BT still falsely think their prices are good, kept up by 'brand loyalty', and YES, they also have lots of 'mobile internet' services...

And NO, they do not bother about providing cheap, fast speeds... they bother about getting as many people as possible, on the highest 'professional' rate'(its expensive, so it must be good) , and captured by the longest contract!!!!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
timmay - Uhm, excepting a few badly overflash;ed sites, browsing the net on a 512Kb, heck on ISDN, is smooth and useable in a way which 56k isn't.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Why should they? They are answerable to shareholders, If you were a shareholder, would you want to foot the expense out of your dividend?"

I assume you know what shares are and comprehend the value may rise as well as decline.... Thats the whole nature of having "shares" duh!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"And its about time that the LLU ISP used by Carpetburn was forced to give broadband to those who can't get their service as well."

I agree....... maybe you could run along and persuade BT to let them into exchanges for FREE instead of paying BT a fee if you feel that strong you should have a LLU service
Posted by rasczak over 8 years ago
I ask you again Carpetburn, since you have never really answered before, will you let me have space in your offices, to run a business supplying the same services as yours, in direct competition to you, without any charges from you to me ?
If the answer in anything other than an unconditional yes then you cannot complain that LLUs are charged a fee to use the premises of BT. Whether the fees charged are commensurate to the service provided is a different discussion.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote" ask you again Carpetburn, since you have never really answered before, will you let me have space in your offices, to run a business supplying the same services as yours, in direct competition to you, without any charges from you to me ?"

NOPE and the reason....... Public cash didnt originally pay for my office unlike BTs exchanges, I also think you will find in some cases BT DO NOT own the land some exchanges are on....... Next........
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
If you dont want competition then i dont see your problem stay with BT and be happy with what you get
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Just to rant a bit more.......

I wonder seeing as you think LLU companies should pay BT to get into their exchanges, if BT which have had 2 exchanges robbed recently will re-imbuse those LLU companies for any LLU equipment nicked? After all if BT own the exchange they are responsible for whats inside it.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
To clarify what I *think* timmay was saying....
" In 2010 512k will be AS USELESS AS 56k " NOTE he was NOT saying it WILL be 56k...

in about two years time('cos they think that *everyone* has at least 4M BB), websites will start including even heavier content, like large embedded flash movies, using Adobes new flash 10, that will most likely be a real resource hog, on top of another real resource hog like Vista, that most will to run internet on..
- and of course a lot of the ISPs will be oversaturated, due to being oversold at a cheap price, so this will make it crawl, as said above...
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
comnut - That sort of bloat is simple bad design. Trying to say "oh but connections should support it" is an excuse for bad design.

The rule several web designer friends of mine work to is 3 seconds for the main page and 3 more seconds for images at a maximum on a 256Kbps connection.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
The sad fact is, most websites are badly designed - that is why they do not work properly on FF, safari, or opera....
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
- and I dont mean 'art design'... I mean they will pass the w3c validator at http://validator.w3.org ...
Even this site gets 2 errors... :/

Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
CB - 'I wonder seeing as you think LLU companies should pay BT to get into their exchanges, if BT which have had 2 exchanges robbed recently will re-imbuse those LLU companies for any LLU equipment nicked? After all if BT own the exchange they are responsible for whats inside it. '

More nonsense - LLU companies rent the space and are obviously responsible for the security and insurance of their kit. Again, what point are you making about owning the land? Try making all your comments sensible!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"More nonsense - LLU companies rent the space and are obviously responsible for the security and insurance of their kit."
Complete and utter dribble at least one of the exchanges that were robbed have an independant security firm responsible for security.... The LLU company have NO say on how their equipment is protected or who protects it... BT choose the security... BT charge LLU firms rent and a initial fee to use the exchange, NOW lets see em refund for any LLU kit that got pinched, obviously it wont happen.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
@dawn_falcon and comnut

Its not often i agree with comnut but he is 100% correct.

Content, bloat, poor design..... call it what you want continues to grow. Web pages are becoming more glossy and interactive and will use more bandwidth, in a few years 512k will be like having a 56k connection back in dial up days and trying to use a multimedia or heavy flash based website...basically useless
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
...

There's a fundermental difference between dialup and ISDN/DSL/Cable in the mimimum latency loop. 56k will allways "feel" much less responsive when web surfing.

And you're defending bad design. Plain and simple.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
CB - what does the contract between BT and LLU companies say?
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
Hmmm. The fact that public money once built a telephone exchange doesn't mean much to me. Anyone older than 40 can remember what the telephone network was like before BT. The improvements they wrought go a long way toward excusing some of their more 'shareholder oriented' strategies.

Quite frankly the PO didn't deserve to own any equipment, premises or land and I'm glad that a private company got control over them.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
For me the issue of who is responsible for faster BB is 'everyone'. Singling out one of the most successful private companies in the world as the sole culprit is crass stupidity.

I don't know what CARPETBURN's problem is with BT but I somethings like he ought to seek professional help for it. Private companies will always make decisions that non-shareholders have issues with. CB's hatred for BT seems to go beyond that and often does little to further any debate.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"For me the issue of who is responsible for faster BB is 'everyone'. Singling out one of the most successful private companies in the world as the sole culprit is crass stupidity."
No that attitude is stupidity, if you dont think it should be BTs responsibility to provide BLANKET coverage you should enlighten us all whos responsibility it should be?
How do you suggest the country gets BLANKET coverage when BT own all the telephone exchanges??..... CONT....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Let me guess you live in lala land and think another private company is going to snap their fingers set up god knows how many exchanges inside of 2 years and BAM by 2010 they are providing blanket coverage, is that what you think?????
I dont have any issue with BT, i do have the sense to know though they are basically a monopoly and if BLANKET coverage for the country is the aim, it makes sense to make BT finish the job and provide to the VERY SMALL numbers (compared to those that can)that cant get broadband from BT already.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
In no way does it make sense to say to as you put it... "everyone" please spend billions to compete in the UK with the biggest comms company that will already be providing the same thing to 90% of people.... No private enterprise or group is going to spend billions to do that, and anybody without blinkers on would know that.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"CB - what does the contract between BT and LLU companies say?"

I imagine the specifics vary from one LLU company to another, based on things like amount of exchnages they unbundle and the customer base they can reach.... What is clear though is the LLU companys have to pay BT a fee, the ofcom website tells you that.
Its clear LLU firms dont have their own security or staff to fiddle in or around BT exchanges... If they did when you switch to a LLU service you wouldnt still be at the mercy of BT when you get connected.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
People say i have "issues" with BT.... HA. Atleast i can see nobody else in this country is going to be able to provide blanket coverage to the whole of the UK by 2010 because put simply they dont even have half the infrastructure in place to even think let alone be able to do it.... If BT fans have an issue with me saying BT should be made to spend and provide to the few that cant get a BT service maybe they could suggest a company or companies that could provide 100% coverage by 2010... Im listening.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
CB - the issue is that BT is best placed to improve coverage but cannot be forced to do it, unless you can explain how.

Presumably LLU companies pay BT a fee for accommodation and line changeover. LLU staff do go into BT exchanges to look after their equipment.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"CB - the issue is that BT is best placed to improve coverage but cannot be forced to do it, unless you can explain how."

Well thats the only way BLANKET coverage in the UK by 2010 will be possible... Its not going to happen otherwise is it? They can force BT or any comms company to do as they wish if they wanted, and if they declined i imagine their lifes could be made very difficult. (authoritys suddenly saying no to them when a hole needs digging for cables and other such silly squabbling)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Presumably LLU companies pay BT a fee for accommodation and line changeover. LLU staff do go into BT exchanges to look after their equipment."

Indeed an i refer back to my initial post.... quote "one of the exchanges that were robbed have an independant security firm responsible for security.... The LLU company have NO say on how their equipment is protected or who protects it... BT choose the security... BT charge LLU firms rent and a initial fee to use the exchange, NOW lets see em refund for any LLU kit that got pinched, obviously it wont happen." ...... CONT....
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
As to LLU staff going into exchanges... Only when accompanied by BT and they are not allowed to touch BT equipment but BT can touch theirs..... funny that eh? As i touched on SOME LLU services are superb.... having to wait for the BT engineer to plug you into it... IS NOT.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
rasczak your question to carpetburn if meant to be a comparison wasnt accurate, BT do charge for LLU provision and make a profit on it, the profit is controlled by ofcom however so is lower than they would otherwise like, they dont give it away at a loss.
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
as a sharedholder (if I was one) the share price would bother me, I wouldnt care so much for dividends tho and would prefer dividend money to be spent on investment and making the service high quality rather than just a cash machine for shareholders.
Posted by jumpmum over 8 years ago
If you want to see actual LLU charges see http://www.openreach.com/orpg/pricing/lluprices.do all of which are regulated. Space rental appears to be the same wherever you are so London, Manchester, Birmingham look cheap as still 2001 prices. Even power seems reasonable at 8.2p per Kw. Only 16% rise in Nov rather than my domestic 25%
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Still means they make a profit off other companies backs, still means the only chance of blanket coverage is down to BT unless anyone is seriously going to suggest other business should pay BT to use their exchange to make the coverage in this country nearer 100%.... Its a simple question, if its not going to be BT forced to provide blanket coverage by 2010 which company should it be??????? I think it should be BT, surely its not that hard for their supporters to speak out why it shouldnt be them and who it should be instead is it???
Posted by chrysalis over 8 years ago
jumpmum there is some other released figures somewhere, there is a profit margin of about 9% on llu if I remember right, but the agreed target was over 10% so although its below the ofcom set margin it is not at a loss.
Posted by dragon1945 over 8 years ago
5 years ago BT told me I wouldn't get BB in this decade.A certain Prince wanted BB, and BT laid new cable for himand we got 512 kbps.
Pipex Homecall gave me 1.4 MB!
I thought the new BT package wasn't too bad, and asked for a line check, which again revealed my line would only sustain 512 kbps! Taltalk gives me 1.6 MB. Why couldn't BT do this on the same line from the same exchange? BT won't ever lay fibre out here. They wouldn't recoup the cost let alone make a profit. The Gov't won't twist BT's arm either.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Dragon1945 The government, BT and Ofcom are like a clandestine old boys club, they all stick together and think of each others pockets rather than the like of us little people.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
^^^ Latest news item about this seems to show im right it is likely to be down to BT it is likely OUR money will go into BT pockets also and feed the fat share holders........

Ahhhhh makes sense to you all now doesnt it, government employ a ex-ofcom head bod, shove him in as a minister, blanket broadband push... Old boys club..... nudge, nudge wink wink....... Public cash handed over...... WHAT A SHOCKER!
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