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Government confirms £230m broadband investment
Monday 18 October 2010 11:38:12 by John Hunt

With the governments spending review due to be released on Wednesday, setting out the four year plan of how public spending will be focused (cut), it comes as good news that George Osborne has set out plans to help keep investment going to broadband.

The government have decided not to cut back on the digital switch-over underspend which was promised to be used as investment into faster broadband services, and £230m will be used to help 2 million homes in rural areas get access to better broadband speeds by 2015. Thankfully, the Chancellor sees broadband as a way to invest in the future, making the country stronger further down the line.

The next big step is to ensure that this funding is spent wisely, and that will largely come down to Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK), a department set up within the department for Business, Innovation and Skills. One of their aims is to ensure that through an efficient use of funding, the country can deliver the best superfast broadband in Europe, including to rural areas.

Private industry has already shown that next-generation broadband to rural areas, often referred to as the 'final third' can work, particularly with community involvement (for example, Rutland Telecom's fibre deployment in Lyddington). With central government pushing the idea of 'Big Society', an idea to encourage people to get more involved in their communities, some joined up thinking from BDUK could help nurture this idea and save money in the process of helping to deliver vital broadband services to areas that need it.


Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
I can hear the cries already "How come they are cutting our child benefit and more... (to be announced this week) and expect us to pay for rural broadband that we aren't even using." I know its underspend but still, I think when the real cuts are announced people will be fuming.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
£230m / 2 million homes = £115 each. Enough?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 6 years ago
They key will be ensuring that the fund is not lost in consultancy fees and salaries.

£115 if matched by say other funding from private sector, or local council's may mean its enough to do something.

Anyway Ka band satellite due in space in November.

Posted by spetznaz over 6 years ago
Where exactly is this money going?, as you said I hope it is not all lost in consultancy fees and salaries (aka bs costs). I expect minimum FTTC by 2015 then..

Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
So FTTC does 2/3 and this does 2m. How many left?
Posted by cyberdoyle over 6 years ago
Hopefully the funding will go to getting the fibre out to rural POPs. Digital village pumps, and then private investment and community digs can finish the job. The final mile. The first mile. The last mile. Where telcos with shareholders fear to tread. I hope BDUK helps us to help ourselves. We could always do some wifi in the interim if we had access to a fat pipe and get the people online. I don't see a future for satellite long term as the upload will never be good enough. Sats will always be expensive whereas fibre is cheap. Once its laid. ;)
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
The digital pump and then community digs all sounds great but what about when a local network issue happens with the community fibre, things break who will pay for that? Will the whole community pay for broken fibre even if it doesn't affect them individually, how will bandwidth be allocated to ensure everyone gets their fair share, after the initial dig what about adding new users surely that would be very costly would the new user pay the whole cost of new fibre, machinery, splicing etc?
Posted by Dixinormous over 6 years ago
This will almost certainly need to supply an end to end service. Chances of government funded fibre being attached to 'community' backhauls are probably not good. Needs to be a full solution from one or the other really.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
Just FTTH everywhere, problem solved, everywhere else is doing it, even the Dutch are planning FTTH everywhere by 2020.

£28.5bn to FTTH the country...
10 years
28.5 / 10 = £2.8bn a year

That's not much at all and the goverment would get their investment back via more jobs, businesses, etc.. i.e. taxes.
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
Like the government will be investing in lots of projects on Wednesday...
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
This is £230m over 5 years, just in time for the next election. £46m/year not £2.8b.
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
i did read it Somerset, i was saying it would not be too much for the government to invest a tiny £2.8bn to FTTH everywhere.

£46.m is sooo not enough, after bonuses, etc ...
Posted by GMAN99 over 6 years ago
"Like the government will be investing in lots of projects on Wednesday... " <--- This
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
£280m over 5 years is a complete joke!

£28.5bn over 10 years is a lot more but at least it would solve the digital divide and so much more benefits....

It's only the UK government who are not investing in fibre at all, all the other countries are!!!!
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
Watching the spending review now, George Osborne said £530m not £230m
Posted by Legolash2o over 6 years ago
over the next 4 years.
Posted by chrysalis over 6 years ago
the cries are justified actually, the spending is at targeted population types. Why is it only rural areas when there is not spots also in urban areas?
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 6 years ago
Talking about 'urban not spots', I've mention my son's broadband gripes before in similar posts - the way he can only use a BT package in his flat in the University town of Aberystwyth that dies away to dial up speeds during anything approximating to the peak periods.

One of his latest communications said "apparently the aberystwyth exchange now has more than double the number of people its supposed to service". Mind you I understand that similar situations exist even in the Great Metrollops of London itself!
Posted by Somerset over 6 years ago
'more than double the number of people its supposed to service' means what?
Posted by Mr_Fluffy over 6 years ago
apparently someone from openreach said it to one of my son's friends whilst testing their line. Your guess is as good as mine what an OR engineer means by a statement like that, but my guess is that he was being rather critical of Aberystwyth's available exchange capacity from the standpoint of one with inside knowledge.
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