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Government set to back faster broadband
Tuesday 06 January 2009 12:08:43 by John Hunt

In talking to the Observer on Sunday, Gordon Brown announced plans to help curb unemployment in the UK by public funded investment in projects which could include high-speed broadband.

"When we talk about the roads and the bridges and the railways that were built in previous times - and those were anti-recession measures taken to help people through difficult times - you could [by comparison] talk about the digital infrastructure and that form of communications revolution at a period when we want to stimulate the economy. It's a very important thing."

Gordon Brown

David Cameron also pledged to ensure that the majority of the population would have access to fibre-optic broadband within 5 years, looking to gain universal coverage by 2018. But how will the Government help, and are these dates optimistic?

The cost of laying a national fibre network to every home / business has been estimated at between £15 and £29 billion, no one really knows how much it would cost in practice. Without public money, the project is likely to be a non-starter as BT have already rejected looking at a full roll out in favour of a slimmed down, $1.5bn fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) deployment which is supposed to be live by around 2012. Other providers are possible, but there is doubt over whether they would be able to do it cheaper since BT already have ducting and telephone exchanges which can be reused to help reduce the costs.

One problem faced by the large telcos, or any company looking to do this, is that they have to be spending their money in a way that will create a return for their shareholders. Whilst this may be possible for a proportion of the UK, when you start reaching out to the more rural areas, the costs of connecting users rises exponentially. With talk of a USO (universal service obligation) for broadband, this may eventually be applied to a future fibre network meaning that a nationwide deployment could be required.

No one doubts that a fibre to the home (FTTH) deployment would be a good investment, future proofing our telecommunications network, and bring us in to line with other countries who have a first-class telecoms network. The questions remain over exactly how much it will cost, how long will it take to make a return on investment for shareholders and how the government can kick start this investment to benefit our economy for the long term.

Comments

Posted by rian over 8 years ago
"the majority of the population would have access to fibre-optic broadband within 5 years?" Under such a bad economic atmosphere and I don't think the telecoms will invest such a huge amount of money.
Posted by hannibalhorn over 8 years ago
"Access" is pretty vague and could mean fibre to cabinet or cable. Majority is 51% which should be perfectly achieveable. What we should be saying is "Is that all we are going to get in the space of five years?"
Posted by rian over 8 years ago
Ah! They might be talking about Virgin.....
Posted by cotty over 8 years ago
the uk sucks
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Verizon in the US has allready spent in the region of $1.25 billion on limited fibre rollouts. $1.5 billion for FTTC throughout the UK is not, relatively speaking, expensive.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago


Yes, the UK sucks, because too many people are wanting a business service for the price of a low usage one, or much less... I blame the OTT salesmen for selling it that way, causing many companies to not risk spending money in a losing market...

It will take a long time for confidence to return, even if the economy gets better...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Verizon in the US has allready spent in the region of $1.25 billion on limited fibre rollouts. $1.5 billion for FTTC throughout the UK is not, relatively speaking, expensive."

True however theres plenty more sensible things IMO the government could be doing with a billion quid. Gordon Brown is a ranting loon, one minute hes saying the country is in the financial merde, the next hes talking about creating thousands of new jobs new training schemes, housing schemes and billions for broadband... Maybe his mate Alistair Darling has been holding the calculator upside down????
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
MY other comment seems to have been deleted, maybe asking in a strong manner How Mr Brown thinks ploughing millions into broadband to create jobs is going to work was a touch strong for some red rose supporters?
Posted by Frank22 over 8 years ago
My sister in Holland has a 20mbps "fibre-optic to the home" connection. It is 20mbps upload AND download connection (www dot xmlnet dot nl for people able to read Dutch). This net is rapidly expanding. One should look at other European countries instead of the US for a fair comparison!
Why is the UK last again to start installing fibre-optics?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Can I ask how much this is, and is there a limit on downloads??
Posted by Frank22 over 8 years ago
The xmlnet fibre-optic to the home connection costs 32 Euro/month and it is free for the first 6 months. A package including TV and telephone is 50 Euro/month. There is no download limit. Furthermore, the connection is about to be updated to 50mbps!
I used this connection to download a lot of software (Many GB) from the microsoft MSDN subscriber website and the download speed remained high throughout the day and evening.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpet - I have to disagree. FTTH is unsupportable for government funding, I agree, but FFTC is both supportable and relatively inexpensive.

And you evidently don't understand that you can essentially treat the recession as a mental health issue, huddling down and hoping it goes away will make it worse...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Frank22: due to the euro being almost equal to GB£, that is quite expensive...

Is there anyone here in UK that would buy this service(£32 for 20M, no download limit!) , if it was provided???

Due to the bloated mess that is BT, we wont get fibre for about 5 years.. It should have happened years ago, but their bureaucracy/work practice/contracts/hey YOU tell me??? would not let them...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Frank22: also I would need to know how reliable due to distance 20M is... Its great in the major towns, but not when it is 50 miles away, or overcrowded/unsupported...
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"but FFTC is both supportable and relatively inexpensive."

I wouldnt say handing out this type of cash in this economic climate is "cheap"
Posted by Frank22 over 8 years ago
Fibre-optics do not suffer the losses associated with copper (telephone) wires.
I would like to have a symmetrical 20Mbps (And soon it will be 50Mbps) fibre-optic connection to the home for £32 today if a company contacted me.
Furthermore, the 20Mbps speed remained high during the busy evening hours with a 10ms ping time.
Also note that XMLNet in Holland is a private company and rapidly expanding. One could ask why this does not happen in the UK?
The 32 euro monthly fee also includes "line rental" and a high quality wireless router.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
have you read the other posts, or looked at the UK market??

Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
I dont need lessons.. and how about a url, or havent they got one yet??
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
a quick look at BBC will help...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7112373.stm
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7003113.stm http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/6924866.stm

H2O is building a fibre network, but is still trying to sell to ISPs...
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7104011.stm
Posted by Frank22 over 8 years ago
Yes, I live 0.5 mile away from BT HQ near Gatwick Airport and are unable to get a connection faster than 1Mbps! Visiting other countries, and seeing what they are doing, makes the UK developments behind time (Just as it did when broadband was introduced). From time to time I visit South Korea. The person there has *only* 50Mbps at home (His words!), while people in more modern parts have 100Mbps connections.
Posted by Frank22 over 8 years ago
Friends in other European countries have (Or can have) fast connections too. Look around Europe instead of the US (for once) and see where we stand here in the UK I would say. The website for the Dutch net is www.xmsnet.nl. It can provide (HD) TV, telephone, video on demand, too.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpetburn - BT isn't a bloated mess inherently, it's the government's continual intrusions into the workings of them (a private company), such as forcing them to spend billions on other people's services (LLU), which could otherwise have been spent on things like FTTC...

Frank - Right. Because the governments don't mess with the telecoms companies nearly as much.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
What's the actual figure for the BT spend on LLU? Was none recovered?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
Frank22: you said xmLnet - typo??

as you see... too much arguing, not enough doing...
Posted by Frank22 over 8 years ago
sorry, it is www.xmsnet.nl. As a programmer typing XML seems to be more natural :-)
I am not writing this to argue, but to show what other European countries are already doing. To me the media and politics seem to be too much oriented on the USA, while West European have a much more similar society IMHO and are the UK’s most important trading partners.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"forcing them to spend billions on other people's services (LLU), which could otherwise have been spent on things like FTTC..."

Dribbling nonsense again, inotice even somerset questions your ranting gibberish about LLU now... Surely you are not stupid enough for that to tell you something.

As to money..... Maybe they should had forgot all about the mess named 21CN and spent the money they used on that on fibre huh?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Seriously Dawn for your own self respect if you are going to continue with your LLU rantings, maybe you should start backing up some of what you say with evidence, otherwise more people than just myself are going to reach the conclusion you are an idiot!
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Why is 21CN a mess?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Why is 21CN a mess?"
Slow role out
Slow uptake
BT issues connecting certain ISP (see previous A&A story here)
Does not meet its promises of cheaper faster access for all
Still has stupid profiling

Do i need to continue?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpet - You're of course aware of the implications of rolling out fiber on a mixed network, rather than a pure IP one, right?

21CN again, could of been in place years ago if not for the way the Government uou love so much has deliberately bled BT's profits into other companies via LLU.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"if not for the way the Government uou love so much"

Somebody didnt take the ADHD meds today and didnt read my previous posts in this topic.... One of which was removed, i imagine due to a complaint or it being deemed too strong an attack against certain members and areas of government.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
'Somebody didnt take the ADHD meds today '

Andrew - Please delete this comment and this user.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
well until they upgrade this site, not very possible....:(
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
QUOTE"'Somebody didnt take the ADHD meds today '

Andrew - Please delete this comment and this user"

If someone wants to accuse me of loving the government which i do NOT they should expect insults in return. Staff if anything should delete us both or sit back and laugh, either way i think they can make their own decisions.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
There is no need for insults in an intelligent discussion.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Carpet - You've repeatedly called for the government to censor the internet. The insults you throw are, as usual, unwarented.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Carpet - You've repeatedly called for the government to censor the internet. The insults you throw are, as usual, unwarented."

No i have not, i have stated the job they would do would be just as bad as what the IWF now anyway so it wouldnt make any difference.

I couldnt care less if the IWF are in charge of filtering something or the government are.... Both are equally clueless when it comes to such matters.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Considering the IWF are considered very focused and block only 800-1200 sites at any given time, that's simple misdirection - you know that and are purposely calling for government interventin because you know fullwell the government wouldn't stop at 1200.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Considering the IWF are considered very focused and block only 800-1200 sites"

LOL you must be joking...... focused, oh is that what you call blocking a small amount of sites some of which are known to be INCORRECTLY blocked. 800 sites blocked out of over 5 billions websites the net has....... Oh they do such a good job.... Maybe next week that number will be down to 798 when they remove the incorrect blocking of rapidshare and parts of wiki. I stand by the comment, they are clueless.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
Theres defo one IP they should block DAWN.... Take a wild stab what that means LOL
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
One incorrect block in four years.

Given other European country's filters generate multiple complaints of incorrect blocking per-week, it's entire fair to say it's focused and specific.

If ISP's chose to block the entireity of rapidshare rather than a few offending files, take it up with the ISP. Not the IWF.

You may want to go to jail because of, say, cp in popups. I don't.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
'Verizon in the US has allready spent in the region of $1.25 billion on limited fibre rollouts. $1.5 billion for FTTC throughout the UK is not, relatively speaking, expensive.'

So far it's up to over 12 million homes passed and cost over $16 billion. BT's expenditure is, relatively, laughable and limited in scope and coverage. Certainly not 'throughout the UK' and the numbers don't add up.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"One incorrect block in four years."

LMAO you have no clue of the IWFs history do you, still atleast you now admit their blocking of the wikipedia concerned content was and i quote you "INCORRECT"

quote"If ISP's chose to block the entireity of rapidshare rather than a few offending files, take it up with the ISP. Not the IWF."

The IWF are responsible, wikipedia isnt the first or last time they have made a cock up and had to admit to it
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"So far it's up to over 12 million homes passed and cost over $16 billion. BT's expenditure is, relatively, laughable and limited in scope and coverage. Certainly not 'throughout the UK' and the numbers don't add up."

Agreed ive had that convo with many a BT fanboy on this site, none of them can explain where BT spend the so called billions they claim to spend.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Well, a large chunk goes on subsidising LLU, then they need a pure IP network to actually make expansion possible...
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
Unsure about how much BT are losing or otherwise on LLU to be honest. I would welcome a full disclosure from BT on how much they think LLU has actually cost them.

21CN is not required to make everything possible - Verizon do not have a full 21CN but are deploying FiOS.

I thought it would have made sense to push for a migration to FTTP at the same time as the deployment of the 21CN soft switches. Oh well.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Verizon are basically massively subsidising FiOS, and have some nasty issues relating to a mixed network and fiber deployment.

FTTC is the only economically supportable form of fiber for general UK deployment, but it is both supportable and relatively inexpensive.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
quote"Well, a large chunk goes on subsidising......."

And again we all fall into a coma as you now begin to sound like a pet parrot
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Yea, shame the truth hurts, dosn't it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
BT dont subsidisee LLU, jesus Fing christ are you just demented? The way you have started to repeat your bile in every thread about LLU it would appear so
Whats this the 6th news story you have said BT subsidise LLU.
BT dont and wont subsidise anyone, FFS they even charge the likes of you and I 150 quid just to fit a modern faceplate and you expect people to believe BT are subsidising equally large business competitors... Have you had a knock to the head recently?
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
No, you're demented if you think the figures for LLU hold up without the massive amount of cash BT have had to spent to prop up their business model, under government direction.

It's not a case of *direct* subsidies, but it dosn't have to be. If they didn't do it, they'd be broken up by our lovely anti-capitalistic government. That's why they do it.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 8 years ago
I spose next you will claim BT funded Telewest and NTL and now fund virgin cables methods in delivering broadband.

The mind boggles if you think BT are the ones keeping other businesses afloat...... Maybe due to your sheer clueless-ness ou think companies like SKY and O2 are penny-less compared to your almighty lie about things BT dullards.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
CB - Why should anybody believe your comments when you have difficult with communicating politely? Why do you write like this?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
basically, these are the roolz....
http://fukung.net/v/10093/a315ae1b107dbd3dc4749a8328d32fc0.jpg
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