Skip Navigation


Government broadband summit aims to boost broadband Britain
Thursday 15 July 2010 12:50:16 by John Hunt

Today is the first broadband summit hosted by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills which is looking to set out governments ambitions to deliver the best broadband network in Europe by 2015. The government are aware of the hurdles that lie in place and are bringing industry together to see if they can find a way through which will allow the country to receive faster broadband throughout the country.

So far, BT has committed £2.5 billion to delivering broadband to 2/3rd's of the country, but they claim there is no commercial case for going further than this. They say to cover the rest of the country would require a cash injection from the public purse in the order of £2 billion, but the government think BT can do more.

"My own experience is that there are some areas where the private sector says it won't go, but the minute you introduce competition, they want to head it off and so they'll get involved. That was certainly my experience with BT when they were rolling out broadband the first time round. Public subsidy is potentially there to support roll out where the market simply won't go."

Ed Vaizey, Communications Minister

The government has thus far only committed around £2-300 million from the digital switchover underspend, and it's not likely that more funds will be made readily available. Others have shown that faster broadband can be delivered cheaply which has been shown by innovative solutions such as those from Rutland Telecom which use funding from the community to help deploy the service.

So where will the industry go from here? Duct / pole sharing will be put forward by the government as a cost saving mechanism that will help other providers deploy to areas where BT can't see the business case, but there will likely be continued calls for government to drop the tax on fibre as it stands as a significant barrier to small providers deploying services. So will it be possible to deliver 100meg broadband to everyone by 2015? With Finland aiming for this, we will need to equal or better to stick to the governments ambitions of the 'best in Europe'

Comments

Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
So what do the government think they can do more of? Spend another 2bill? They've already increased it by a billion. They state on the BBC article they want industry to come up with solutions. Like what, surely it is what it is. Even if/when ducts and poles are opened up can other ISP's actually make a profit in these areas, its distance and low numbers of users both combined together don't mean profit no matter who does it.
Posted by herdwick over 6 years ago
the USC has slipped 2012 -> 2015
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I'm sure it will slip further unless money or "solutions" can be found
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
1. Just do FTTC everywhere, if possible use power lines, existing poles/ducts all the way to a village/town.
2. Remove Fibre Tax
3. Share poles and ducts
Posted by junipurr over 6 years ago
Remove VOA fibre tax, thankyouplease. This is a massive barrier to entry for smaller service providers (like us) to do FTTH rather than stopgap measures like FTTC.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
That will be a bitter pill for gov to swallow though, do you really think they want a broadband Britain that much they are willing to scrap a tax?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Where will the industry go from here? See the following news item.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
They aren't getting any tax at all if communities can't lay and light fibre, so its no loss to them. Far better to remove the tax, let the communities and investors lay the fibre, then tax the harvest. The early church had the right idea, don't tax the seed corn. The problem with fttc is that once you do that everyone will be happy for a short time but it isn't futureproof.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
How much is the tax?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"the USC has slipped 2012 -> 2015"

Indeed maybe someone should had clued them in before the meeting. Also have to agree with Ed Vaizey, the moment others make money in an area BT thought wasnt worth spending the often come sniffing around. The recent Iwade story on here also shows BT massage (to be polite) cost figures.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
So what anything new said at this summit?
Posted by TaRkADaHl over 6 years ago
Carpetburn, the figures are dubious at best, this just isn't a fair example which can be scaled to cover the entire UK.

This place already had a town beside it getting fttc, all they had to do was extend the service to 4 cabs.

There may be a few other places which could be done similar, but not many.

The number that guy came up with is just a stupid guess based on a stupid example and has no basis in reality for how infrastructure is laid/installed over an entire country.
Posted by themanstan over 6 years ago
@Somerset
The business rates on fibre(fibre tax) are the most ludicrous part of Broadband Britain. £2000 annually for a short lay and add £1000 if it's in London!!! Whilst people complain that BT don't pay the same amount of tax, few operators have 17 million kiliometres of fibre. Let's just hope it's canned and that the VOA don't a wifi hot-spots to the tax, that would kill wifi based community broadband dead.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
@ TaRkADaHl
Huh what??? Fibre goes to a cabinet, doesnt matter where the cabinet is the example and the price it cost can be scaled. BT lie about what it will cost and thankfully Ed Vaizey, having experience with BT knows they are liars and he is not the only one that can do the maths...
http://www.pcpro.co.uk/blogs/2010/07/08/is-fibre-broadband-as-expensive-as-bt-makes-out/
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
What is the actual maths?
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Are the main variables the length and cost of installing the fibre, the projected customers per cabinet and connection from FTTC cabinet to existing cabinet?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
The main variable atleast with regards to the Iwade situation was how much the fibre cable runs out to there would cost...
http://www.kentonline.co.uk/sittingbourne_messenger/news/2010/july/16/iwade_broadband_deal.aspx

Something BT as per prior link along with other costs was and is vastly over estimated.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Iwade did not feature in its original fibre roll-out plans as it is too expensive to install the wires in rural areas."
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
That PCPro story is nonsense.

It states that there were 4 cabinets in Iwade, 3 of which were being covered by the market-lead deployment. It also produces maths on cost per home passed stating that the entire 1,350 premises village was covered by that single cabinet, which is wrong.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Quote: “In the case of Iwade, three of the four [telephone] cabinets in Iwade met the BT Openreach business case for FTTC enablement but a fourth did not – by providing public funding to bridge the gap in the commercial case, Iwade’s Parish Council has taken action to ensure that the whole village can benefit from super-fast speeds.”
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Iwade is in a VM area.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"That PCPro story is nonsense.

It states that there were 4 cabinets in Iwade, 3 of which were being covered by the market-lead deployment."

Wrong try reading the latest link i provided.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
quote"Iwade is in a VM area."

If i whack into Virgins post code checker the postcode of a local Iwade business "ME9 8RA" it states.........

Result for your postcode ME9 8RA
You're not in a fibre optic area.....

So nope virgin fibre isnt in Iwade
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Sorry CB the two links contradict one another, one is correct the other evidently isn't. Given you reckoned the maths in the PC Pro story was correct if they can't get the amount of the subsidy right or do basic maths why should we believe anything else from that story?

Regarding the second link, I was quoting a BT Openreach statement - are you saying they were lying or that it was another piece of fiction from the guy who wrote the PC Pro article?

Either way doesn't really matter, clearly the PC Pro story's maths was completely wrong whichever way.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
If 3 of 4 cabinets in Iwade were going to be done, then why did KCC have to pay £50,000? Obviously 3 of 4 cabinets were not going to be done and obviously it doesnt cost as much as BT have previously claimed. PCpros figures make a hell of a lot more sense than BTs do. I hope KCC ask for detailed bills where their £50,000 is spent, seems alot for 2 miles of cable.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
PC Pro reckon it was 12k, so unsure how their figures make a lot more sense than BT's if they can't get the numbers they were doing the maths with right.

Again just going by what PC Pro listed as a direct quote. Their story contradicts itself and I've no idea what the truth of the matter is, evidently they don't either.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Village Hall - ME9 8RG

Great News! Because you're in a fibre optic cable area, you can get all this.

Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
ME9 8RA appears to be a farm? Can't be many of those with cable available!

http://tinyurl.com/385fa2n

As soon as you get into Iwade proper, ME9 8RE, it's covered by VM.

http://tinyurl.com/38ywdoh
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
ME9 8QW
Pintail Drive (residential homes btw) Iwade Sittingbourne
ME9 8WH
Shelduck Close Iwade Sittingbourne....
BOTH You're not in a fibre optic area.....

I could do this all day... I used the Egg farm originally as many in the area (even central Sittingbourne) will know exactly where that is

A fair part of homes north of School Lane and many homes West of Sheppey Way wont have Virgin Fibre.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
Alot of surrounding homes of central Iwade and outskirts of sittingbourne in Iwades direction is new build done within the last 5-10 years and still some being built. Anything on the outskirts and what looks half modern wont have Virgin Fibre. I know the area very well Dixi i know many people that live in Sittingbourne and have had family live there.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
There are more homes in Iwade and that whole area in general (including parts of Kemsley and even the Isle of sheppey) That wont have Virgin Fibre...... Its only central Sittingbourne which is significantly covered (like about 90%) by Virgin, anything outside central Sittingbourne is a gamble, most of the time unless its an older home near a main road they wont have Virgin fibre.
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
Perhaps Virgin will infill these areas. Newer developments don't tend to have Virgin unless they came to an agreement with the developers at the time, they have to wait for council adoption.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
It wont happen Dixi Iwade even though its small will never end up with 100% fibre coverage from Virgin and possibly not BT (depends on how many each current cabinet in Iwade can serve).

Surround areas of Sittingbourne heading out are constantly having new homes built As an example Bobbing has had whole new estates in the past few years and they are still building. CONT
Posted by CARPETBURN over 6 years ago
If you look at bobbing on google maps most of that greenery you see is set to become homes in the coming years. If you google sanora way thats an example of a recent estate not yet fully finished follow sanora way south and theres a roundabout yet to be linked up to another part of the estate which is now being built (google maps is a bit behind ;) ) I know that whole area very well.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
best broadband in europe would be gigabit both ways availability in all major cities without traffic shaping and with high usage limits. Unlikely I think.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
common sense ideas. (a) share roadworks, so when gas do roadworks BT fit fibre etc, (b) use existing fibre from leased lines etc. to help rollout FTTC, (c) remove tax on fibre, (d) allow duct sharing, (e) overhead cable rollouts where poles pre exist.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
How do you use existing fibre from leased lines? So when the gas people dig 100m BT put in a duct with 100m fibre?
Posted by sylvantos over 6 years ago
why is britain allowed on to the internet. All they ever do is slow it down to a crawl as is. Either afford to implement the service or get offline!!
Posted by sylvantos over 6 years ago
How do you use existing fibre from leased lines? So when the gas people dig 100m BT put in a duct with 100m fibre?

This is the same company who are the most incompetent broadband provider in the whole country? the same one who have lame caps which should not exist? the same company that charge far and in excess of everyone else for a very poor service?
100mb yeah right, these muppets cannot even provide a 2mb service without a making a mess of it
Posted by sylvantos over 6 years ago
and I am talking about BT...the 2 year account scam merchants
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
So your plan is?
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
You still didn't explain how you tap into existing fibre for a leased line.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
you dont tap in, you extend it from its end point. or make a new connection point somewhere along it.
Posted by CaptainHulaHoop over 6 years ago
please elaborate, i'm intigued
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Bit of a lack of knowledge of telecomms neworks somewhere!
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
you guys work for telecom companies and dont know how an endpoint is extended?
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.