Point Topic are painting a bleak picture for the UK's superfast broadband rollout as it faces delays and low take up of faster services. The company have revised their forecast for the number of superfast broadband lines that they expect to be in use by the end of 2015 down to 6.7m from 8.8m, a drop of almost a quarter. The company are blaming a delay in deployments of new networks as the reason behind this.
Point Topic run a Broadband Infrastructure Index, which is a measure of broadband coverage and prospects, and the company say that this has gone backwards in the last 6 months, falling from 55% to 53%. A fall in the rate of deployments is the key reason behind this. BT's exchange enablements of next-generation services only reached 182 exchanges by the end of 2010 rather than the 343 that were expected. Other companies have also dragged this down such as Fibrecity who have ceased roll out in Bournemouth and Dundee whilst the company has been restructured financially. Point Topic do believe that BT will be able to catchup to their schedule however, but this will give the company less time to drive demand for the products.
"Alternative networks are finding the going quite hard at the moment. They're in danger of being sidelined by BT and the big ISPs. But these initiatives could play a vital part in creating demand for superfast broadband to the great benefit of local communities."Tim Johnson, (Chief Analyst) Point Topic
With locally generated interest, communities can try and develop their own next-generation broadband solutions, and such systems are likely to bring more people onboard as they tend to get local people talking about what you can do with the new services, as well as in some cases actually digging trenches for new cables. Even if such things don't come to fruition, the interest is likely to drive demand for when companies such as BT do deploy.