Skip Navigation

Lord Carter speaks out about universal broadband
Monday 15 June 2009 13:37:25 by Andrew Ferguson

It is not clear whether the general public has the same degree of anticipation with respect to the Digital Britain report as does the broadband, media and music industries, or whether apathy has already set in. has interviewed Lord Carter, minister for communications, technology & broadcasting and covered four main areas: Broadband, Online Piracy, BBC Worldwide/Channel 4 and Local News, which are all available as streamed video. With respect to broadband and the universal service commitment Stephen Carter had the following to say, there is more in the four minute video.

"As a base building block we think there needs to an establishment of universality, the identification of who doesn't have it and the funding and design program to infil those not-spots and not-a-lot-spots, but to to be clear we have never said that a base level of broadband connectivity is the ceiling of our ambitions it's the first stage building block."

Lord Carter on Broadband USO

So looking at what has been said, perhaps we need to brace ourselves for a lower than 2Mbps figure as part of the first round of universality, and hope that the methods chosen to meet a new USO will either bring speeds beyond that as a by-product, or that the USO will be reviewed frequently. A mid-range figure of perhaps 1Mbps could be met by adding some extra 3G towers, Openreach improving the copper network in a few areas, and satellite subsidies to the truly remote properties/businesses.

The UK has consistently hit the target with innovation on technology but has very often messed up the implementation phase, with other countries forging on ahead. If the UK truly wants to be centre stage in the world-wide digital economy, we must do much more than meet the bare minimum target wise.


Posted by AndrueC over 8 years ago
"never said that a base level of broadband connectivity is the ceiling of our ambitions it's the first stage building block" 'our'? He's running away after he publishes the report isn't he?

It's more like a midnight commando raid on an innocent village.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
Before coverage gaps can be filled in we need to know where they are. Nothing gets past him does it.
Yes AndrueC he'll be off to find his next success story after BS'ing ntl shareholders (his own words) then moving on to blagging the country.
Posted by mr_optimistic over 8 years ago
Not exactly expressed clearly is it ? Ironic for a communications topic. If 'universality' means the last house on the island must get x mbs, seems a stupid concept to me.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
Carter is a PR man by trade, hard to get out of the habit of obfuscation.
Posted by Essex over 8 years ago
Anything to do with Carter, Ofcom, BT, BBC and the government will be a fudge. Just more holding back Britain 10000 page report. While most will have their grubby fingers in the Plc shareholders till or the end of year bonus culture for total failure to produce.
As someone said, Carter is a PR man, exactly the reason he was chosen by the wide boys and girls of parliament
This country is and always will be lagging behind the developed countries. When it comes to digital broadband, where are we in the worlds tables 12th? Great we have moved up two places.
Posted by mikeblogs over 8 years ago
I wish they would ignore speed and focus on connectivity - fixed/mobile/wimax.

The whole spectrum auction process and indeed most of the regulation defining fixed and mobile markets is at odds with fully exploiting the internet.

Ofcom have busy pushing out consultations on terminations, access and inclusion , and market definitions, all of which could be re-written if the internet was fully understood and embraced.

It is reading more like an 'avoidance plan' rather than the revolution in approach we need.
Posted by EnglishRob over 8 years ago
The media are already saying that Britain will be 'rewired' so everyone can get broadband. Just happened that I was in the radio station that broadcast that at the time. I cringed when I heard it.
Posted by Dixinormous over 8 years ago
Cringe some more knowing you will be paying for that Rob. Tax levy on all fixed lines alongside cash left over from the DTV switchover pot.
Posted by Pigmaster over 8 years ago
"Openreach improving the copper network in a few areas, and satellite subsidies to the truly remote properties/businesses."

Why don't Openreach just now decide to roll out fibre for all new installations, thern they could backfill the other installations over the next 5 years then by then everyone will have fibre to the home even the people on the far out isles of Scotland or the small islands in the inner cities where copper is so poor.
Posted by Dawn_Falcon over 8 years ago
Because Openreach is not in the business of bleeing money, Pigmaster. Which is precisely what would happen, given the massive regulatory burden BT is under.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.