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Ed Vaizey to host broadband roundtable on fibre rates
Wednesday 06 October 2010 16:53:29 by John Hunt

Ed Vaizey, the Communications minister, is to hold an industry roundtable before the end of the year to discuss the new rating guidelines for fibre that have were published by the Valuation Office Agency (VOA) in August.

The Conservative party stated they would review the rating system in relation to encouraging investment in next-generation networks, a plan that was partly scuppered when the VOA released their updated rates which failed to make fibre more economical or settle the inequality between BT and smaller network operators with regards fibre rates when deploying networks.

The roundtable is expected to see both broadband industry stakeholders and the Valuation Office Agency present allowing each to put across their views on the fibre tax.

The VOA are also expected to publish guidelines that would help investors see the potential returns on deploying fibre networks. During a meeting with Ed Vaizey, the VOA said they were "under a statutory duty to consider the effect of the evidence put to them" and therefore suggested it would be helpful to get the industry submit relevant information to them.

Comments

Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Hope Ed gets IT this time. The VOA tax needs binning so that private companies can break the monopoly of BT openreach and access the funding to deliver fibre into the rural areas.
If BT get the funding as will be seen in Cornwall they will still not use it to get to the notspots. Only urban crapspots will be helped. They will say it isn't economic. But others will go where BT fear to tread once the tax is sorted.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Gasp, is this progress? I hope so
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
It's been a busy couple of weeks. Did everyone come back from summer holidays and decide to fix the internet?

Curiously there's been a flurry of new HD channels launched on Sky as well.

I wonder where the money is coming from?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"I wonder where the money is coming from?"

Arrr we'll worry about that later, sorry no that was the last government ;o)
Posted by comnut over 6 years ago
AndrueC quote:"I wonder where the money is coming from?"

I would be very very surprised its anything to do with govmt, and then only pennies...

The LARGE part comes from you nutters wanting your skysports HD !!! yes even those on virgin cable!!
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
i hope it gets scrapped completely!
Posted by damien001 over 6 years ago
cyberdoyle think you are dreaming, there will be many places that would still get left behind as they would be deemed not to make good business sense. Only way would to charge those area more
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
damien, isn't that why ofcom has Market1,2,3 so they can charge different rates?
Posted by otester over 6 years ago
@Damien001

If you choose to live in one of those areas then that's is the price you pay.

Live on a 2/3 exchange? You pay the same as someone on LLU but get quarter of the speed (usually worse) and ridiculous price/usage ratio (speed being so bad it doesn't make this too much of problem).

If you want a decent connection you going to have to move into a viable area.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Your right damien001, I would expect a lot of places just aren't profitable for anyone, and we've still to see real details on what these smaller providers are actually providing. Anyway hopefully this might help but it won't solve everything no
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
And read this:

Ofcom today set out decisions designed to promote competition and investment in super-fast broadband services across the UK

http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/binaries/consultations/wla/statement/WLA_statement.pdf
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
@comnut:Nope, not me. I only subscribe to one pack :)

@otester:I think you have that wrong way round. M1 are the crappy exchanges. M2 are the okay exchanges. M3 are the jewels :)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
That will take some reading Somerset :)

I've got here so far:-

"Physical Infrastructure Access (“PIA”), which will allow competitors to deploy their
own NGA infrastructure between the customer and the local exchange, using BT’s duct and pole infrastructure,"

Why stop there? Why just BT what about Virgin and Kcom? Its a given that a lot of BT ducts are full but there might be space in Virgin ones just a few metres away?
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Oh man I can see this being a nightmare, in related to PIA

"We proposed that capacity reservation rules
should apply to BT and OCPs on an equal basis and suggested that detailed"

So BT can only reserve the same duct/pole capacity as other CP's? Even though its their own infrastructure? Hmmm
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Oh I should stop reading right now!! :) "Virgin hope to make significant use of PIA" How unbalanced is that? So Virgin can use BT ducts/poles but no other CP's Sky/BE/Talk Talk/AAISP/BT etc can use Virgin's ducts?
Posted by AndrueC over 6 years ago
Slightly amusing at first glance that BT have market dominance in areas where they don't have any infrastructure (ie;new builds).

Also not good reading for VM. Their market share even where they have a presence isn't very good. Presumably that's why Ofcom is going easy on them.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
Sure AndrueC but if we are gonna do this lets do it all properly. I wouldn't like to be part of this agreement it reads like a nightmare. I've stopped read now but in summary for me its like this for PIA

Virgin want to use it, Sky and others may but aren't fussed yet. Virgin want all of their PIA terms agreed to and don't want to pay too much for the access

I think that covers it ;)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I had assumed when this was first talked about OR would be putting in other CP's fibre for them and maintaining it, sounds like now the CP's will be doing all of that themselves. So on top of JCB's digging through cables we've now got other CP's to watch out for.

This is going to be either a revolution or disaster.
Posted by WalterWillcox over 6 years ago
In this area, when NTL (now Virgin) installed their ducts, they bypassed any areas that posed wayleave problems etc. Our road was enabled later only because the water company relaid their water main and I told NTL who paid some of the costs and buried their ducts below the water main.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
VULA/PIA comments are best done in the news item that is now up.

Pretty fast given its 10 pages long.
Posted by damien001 over 6 years ago
@Legolash2o

yes and that has helped but there are still many places that it not worth doing as the possible savings offered would not cover the outlay in a reasonable time fram
Posted by damien001 over 6 years ago
@otester

I fully Agree with you (i got the best of both live in the city but family house in the country side.

MY post was regards to the first posts view that soon as fibre tax was removed other companies would start building an alternative to BT across the UK.

I agree reducing the cost might cuase 1 or 2 area to be upgraded as they would become profitable but it would not be a magic bullet
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
@Damien
Agree with your point questioning whether FTTP would magically appear across rural areas if there were changes in the rating regulations.

Firstly you have to question whether anyone woudl invest in a rural location in preferece to an urban one if they had a choice and wanted to generate a return on investment.

Secondly, what evidence is there that companies are poised to invest and have the finance sorted to fund such a programme? Its pretty capital intensive, and has pretty long ROI which makes raising capital tricky.
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Finally, IMHO the last thing the rural economy needs is a large number of different companies building a "patchwork quilt" of networks anyway, no doubt using a range of different technologies.

WHy is this last point important? Well, much of the country currently enjoys a choice of service providers. Small private networks have difficulty attracting service providers because of the cost of modifying back-office systems etc - eg how many offer service on Lightspeed, the "South Yorkshire Digital Region" network, Vtess etc?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Do we really want to foster the creation of small local monopolies?
Posted by New_Londoner over 6 years ago
Going back to the topic in the news item, given both the UK courts and EU have rejected the assertion that there is any "the inequality between BT (and Kingston, not sure about Virgin?) and smaller network operators with regards fibre rates", difficult to see why a minister is bothering to "invest" time in this?
Posted by damien001 over 6 years ago
possibly because they where trying to get other news out there other than the cut in child benefit

just a thought
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
"the last thing the rural economy needs is a large number of different companies building a "patchwork quilt" of networks anyway, no doubt using a range of different technologies."

If we're going to leave Openreach with BT and not make any attempt to establish a level playing field, this is *exactly* what the country (urban and rural) needs - a market at last.

If it were not for Virgin Media and potentially LTE, there would be no Openreach FTTC.
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
So Mark you'd be happy to live in town village that is only served by one infrastructure provider and ISP and if you want an Internet connection you have to pay whatever charges they decide? No customer choice whatsoever
Posted by MarkHampshire over 6 years ago
Choice of ISP is irrelevant when it's the infra' that's the issue.

Unless cabled, leaving aside 3G as it isn't next gen and wireless as it's not widespread, people have the choice of 1 infra' provider.

I'd love there to be an alternative, which by definition could not be a monopoly since pretty well everywhere has a choice of one anyway.

Until there is the choice, rubbish broadband down phone lines prevails - no choice at all - and no ISP is going to make copper any less useless than it is now.

If there were a market, there would be choice and thus less or no need for regulation.
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