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Interim Digital Britain report delayed
Monday 26 January 2009 12:34:33 by Andrew Ferguson

The broadband industry and the news media has been expecting an interim report on how the Internet is regulated, and whether rules that apply to television could be used for the UK Internet, along with a new broadband Universal Service Obligation for broadband and how the UK should roll-out high speed broadband. Alas it seems we have a few more days to wait, which leaves plenty of time for speculation and informed leaks.

In terms of the future of broadband, the goal would be to facilitate a national fibre to the home network, but there appears to be a lot of talk of wireless networks. While wireless offers the potential for speeds in excess of ADSL, it will still suffer the age old issue of distance affecting speed. Full fibre solutions are not cheap but appear to offer more scope for future proofing. We are expecting to see perhaps 70% of the UK left to survive on a purely commercial led model, which is the one that is seeing 50Mbps rolled out gradually. Those remaining exchanges where to date no-one has moved in to provide an unbundled service, will probably remain with an exchange based xDSL solution and a choice of wireless service that may exceed ADSL speeds and is part funded by government hand-outs.

Community and regional led schemes are bringing fibre to some parts of the UK, and new companies are emerging to do the same; whether they will thrive or just survive is open to debate. One problem facing regional and community solutions is convincing those larger companies to sign up. Many people will have encountered corporate IT policies that insist on certain 'approved' suppliers, and a firm with hundreds of home workers may prefer to use a single ADSL supplier, rather than three or four different firms to cover the UK.

Perhaps the largest advantage of Lord Carter releasing an Interim copy of the report will be that it gives him a chance to gauge the reaction to recommendations in the report and possibly alter things for the final report which is expected in late Spring 2009.


Posted by donkey_hellfire over 8 years ago
Oh dear it looks like the government wants to widen the digital divide even further! I live in a large affluent village that lies 3 miles from 2 motorways and 4 miles from a market town with a population of 100K. The exchange has 2100 lines and was ADSL enabled in November 03. The exchange has a 21CN WBC RFS date of March 2011 and has a market 1 classification by OFCOM. So if were lucky we may get ADSL2+ in 2 years but we will have to make do with ADSL2+ for the foreseeable future. 6 years on and the way things are shaping up I will have to restart the high speed broadband4XX campaign shortly
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
motorways, population, and affluence have nothing to do with it... even some areas of London are missing out...

It is whether BT etc deem it possible, after a lengthy 'can we be bothered' exercise... :(

some clue of the location would help! goto for more details..
Posted by Fixer109 over 8 years ago
Isn't time that the government broke up BT as the Americans did with Bell. This enabled more competition between the baby bells.
BT have too much power so do what they want and lobby the MPs to leave them alone.

Also VM is still working with fibre put down nearly 20 years ago (which is substandard by today's standard) but still never a week goes by without my getting their over inflated marketing which leads to contention then capping problems.
Posted by Fixer109 over 8 years ago
It's about time that these companies are brought into line and reminded that they are service companies and not there to line their and their shareholders pockets
Posted by donkey_hellfire over 8 years ago
Comnut the exchange is Brinscall. :-) Tried to pm you but you don't seem to be registered on the forums.
Posted by kingmido over 8 years ago
No chance donkey_hellfire. Chorley is full to capacity almost anyway, and from an Openreach/perspective its still out in the sticks. Sorry
Posted by donkey_hellfire over 8 years ago
No chance of what, WBC? The Brinscall exchange has already been given an RFS date for WBC. I think the Brinscall exchange is subtended from Pleasington which is connected to the Blackburn exchange. We have a Blackburn STD code 01254 although I think our node for WBC will be Preston

Should this discussion be taken to a the forum rather than the comments section. I campaigned for ADSL back in 2001 and I am repaired to do it again.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
take it to SamKnows, they are collecting info and will collate and send to the digital Britain debate. Perhaps collectively we can put some pressure on govt to listen to the people instead of the telcos.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
So a report on why it's taking so long to provide the UK with a modern network is itself delayed. I guess we shouldn't we surprised.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Fixer09:The relatively large companies we currently have can't/won't afford to upgrade their networks. How does splitting them up into even smaller companies help?

The UK already has half a dozen private telecomunications companies. The only ones doing /anything/ toward upgrading are BT and VM.

The rest just ride their coat-tails.
Posted by Gzero over 8 years ago
@AndrueC: Sorry what? BT and Vm are the only ones upgrading?

How did H2O slip your mind?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 8 years ago
Upgrading? Is that what you call wasting resources to get even more revenue from an obsolete copper network?
Upgrading means replacing the copper with fibre and making this country rock.
Lots of people out of work at the moment, employ them to cut trenches instead of paying them to stay home and be sad.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
@Gzero:LOL! We had a news report about their endeavour last week. Comparing them to VM or BT is ridiculous.

@cyber:Yes, I do. They are upgrading the service for end users. Not by very much (especially those on long lines) but it is an upgrade. They are also looking at FTTC.

Upgrading means 'to make better'. You can find the word in any dictionary.
Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago

Just because they aren't upgrading as much as you want or in the way that you want doesn't mean that they aren't upgrading.

It's /still/ more than any other telecoms company are doing.
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
donkey_hellfire: this is not the same as the forum! (different logins needed) - Digitalspy is better, get me there..
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
AndrueC is right - H2O is *new* , not an upgrade...
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
"How does splitting them up into even smaller companies help?"

Well BT lost a *large* order due not being able to move fast enough... the smaller, more nmble one got it!!
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
when these 'comments' are given a proper link to a special part of the forum(with the same title as this title!), then they will be much easier to track etc.. I deserted the standard forum due to too many small minds, representing only small isolated parts of the country..
Posted by drteeth over 8 years ago
The good thing about wireless is that it is possible to build a directional antenna to effectively move one closer to the transmitter and increase d/l speeds. Effective signal strengths will be increased.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
Does higher signal strengh mean higher speed?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
first, 'speed' is always wrongly used... Lag or Latency is better.
- the time it takes for the whole thing to get there, NOT the speed it is traveling! :)

The point about signal strength is..

On an 'average' signal, you may lose 40% of the data packets due to noise causing errors...

Higher signal, less noise, less errors -
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
This 'lag' is measured by PING..
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 8 years ago
The trouble with wireless broadband is that the radio spectrum is overused already and extensive broadband usage would cause massive contention issues, quite apart from noise, reception and possible eavesdropping and other interference problems.

Fibre is capable of almost limitless bandwidth with very high security, if properly deployed.
Posted by dragon1945 over 8 years ago
Oh yeah. Mobile BB. We can't get a mobile signal here [5 miles from town]Freeview doesn't work, and BBC 2 and Channel 4 are snowy, and Channel 5 is unavailable via an aerial. So I not only have to spend 1 weeks pension a year on a TV licence, I also have to pay £19 a month to SKY, whose Free BB is unavailable. cont'd.
Posted by dragon1945 over 8 years ago
cont'd.BT haven't upgraded the Exchange so only offered 512kbps. Talktalk managed 1.6MB on the same line, but that has since slipped to 1.4MB. No point in complaining as I get the comeback that BT say my line is only good for 512kbps. We will never get Fibre out here for the same reason we will never get cable TV. Virgin and BT would never recoup the cost.
Posted by Somerset over 8 years ago
dragon1945 - is your exchange unbuldled with Talktalk? Don't vitually all BT exchanges have 'up to 8M'?
Posted by comnut over 8 years ago
dragon1945: Unlike food, you CAN live without TV, so quit moaning about it... you will get it FREE when 75.. anything more is a luxury, complain to SKY about it!!

Somerset: hey EVERYONE has 'upto 50M'... :D :D - most only get a small part of that due to geographic or finance problems!!
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Sounds like he's at the end of a long line, Somerset.
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