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Amount of money to reach 30 Meg EU 2020 target now known
Sunday 16 October 2011 19:52:14 by Andrew Ferguson

Over a year ago, the European Commission outlined a target for all EU citizens to have access to basic broadband by 2013, a 30Mbps superfast broadband connection by 2020, with over half of households actually subscribing to a 100 Mbps or faster connection.

At the Parliament & Internet conference on Thursday, Ed Vaizey mentioned that some funding of £8 billion will be available across Europe to ensure that the 2020 goals can actually be met. This funding covering the seven year period from 2014 to 2020.

The current BDUK funding is £530m which is expected to be spent by 2015, with another potentially £300m being available between 2015 and 2017. Generally most councils are adding their own money in addition to funds available from central sources, EU funding and partial funding from firms involved in the roll-outs. In a workshop, the issue of potential joint projects involving Smart Meters/Grid that could increase the funds available for better broadband solutions was discussed. Issues of security and segregation of traffic on shared infrastructure were largely considered solved, with most obstacles to infrastructure sharing of fibre networks being down to contractual issues.

Hopefully local authorities across the UK will consider the European Digital Agenda when planning how to approach meeting the 2 Mbps and superfast targets. Many local councils are seeking input via surveys and meetings from residents and we encourage people to participate, because unless people make themselves noticed it would be very easy for a council for example to miss an area of a town that is under-served in respect to current generation broadband services.

The Parliament & Internet Conference website should be updated in due course with a report and pictures from the proceedings of the 2011 event, which involved the All Party Parliamentary Communications Group, Broadband Stakeholder Group, EURIM – The Information Society Alliance, ISPA, Nominet and the Parliamentary Internet, Communications and Technology Forum.

Compared to previous years, the outlook for broadband was more positive with the main discussion now revolving around the broad consensus that the original targets for the UK of getting to 90% coverage of superfast broadband by 2015 are pretty much underway, and that with further effort, rather than a 2 Mbps service for the remaining 10% it should be possible to push faster services to these areas, using combinations of fibre and/or 4G LTE wireless.


Posted by cyberdoyle over 5 years ago
Bring on the fibre. Once we have wasted the £530 million patching up the phone network for the urban 90% and getting them 'superfast' down to 2meg we can do the rural areas properly, cos they will have realised by then that 'alternative technology' is a load of rubbish.
Posted by tommer over 5 years ago
why is 2Mb/s still the target?

With a 0.5Mb/s connection or a 2Mb/s I don't see a massive difference, still can't stream high quality video or is enough for a family. At least 4Mb/s or 8Mb/s

Do it properly or not at all.

Posted by Alchemyfire over 5 years ago
They'll have a meeting, then for a committee of mostly retired old people who don't have a clue about the internet or how it works, and after several years, regular meeting with tea and cucumber sandwiches, and after the rest of the group has given up on reminding Agnus what the meeting is actually about, the committee will be dissolved, and it's back to square one
Posted by timmay over 5 years ago
@Alchemyfire if only that wasn't all too true.

30Mbps by 2020 isn't a good enough target as that is easily achievable with today's tech.

We will also easily meet the 100Mbps target as this can be done with the existing virgin media's cable network.
Posted by zyborg47 over 5 years ago
i will not hold my breath. Not that it bothers me too much,
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
The 100 Meg target is actually 50% of people SUBSCRIBING to the service, i.e. takeup.

As was mentioned in article the 2 Mbps while still a target is expected to be exceeded in many cases now.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Does that mean the EU will force people off their cheap £5/pm ADSL2 and have to spend £20+ on fibre/cable?

Can't see that happening...
Posted by Guest_Again over 5 years ago
Concentrate on [bt] on FTTP for everyone please!

We can then tweak it for more speeds. ;)
Posted by rogerneal over 5 years ago
It's surely more important to deliver reasonable, if modest, speeds to all regardless of location than to enable only town dwellers to have high speeds.
How long would it be before Virgin, or even BT, have cabled Welsh and Scottish mountain areas and other rural communities, to say nothing of isolated areas in mainland Europe?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
@themanstan - yes some of the funding and regulation used to ensure that the faster products are affordable.

@rogermeal - that is what is happening, 2 Meg for all, and where possible a lot faster. The EU 2020 means that 2 Meg will end up as 30 Meg in 2020.
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
A couple of questions spring to mind on this:

1. Is the funding certain? I didn't think the proposed budget was even ratified yet, thought this was only a proposal at present.

2. How much will be made available to the UK, and can it be spent anywhere or just very limited locations? A lot of EU money can only be spent in very limited parts of the country, which could make this academic for most.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
1. Nothing is absolute until the money has been spent.

2. The EU money should only need to be spent in parts of the UK, as existing plans should cover it. How much we will get, no split announced as yet, depends on how bad coverage is in the UK.
Posted by Michael_Chare over 5 years ago
I would like to see the coverage targets set to the same levels as used for digital television. i.e. 98% for Freesat or 98.5% for Freeview PSB muxes. Or perhaps the same levels as for normal phone lines.
Posted by dsample over 5 years ago
Does this mean that internet access is considered by the EU to be a 'right', and not a privilege? That'd go against the 3-strikes laws if they're admitting it.
Posted by adslmax over 5 years ago
What do you expect ? Cos we all living in a crappy UK and always falling behind the rest of the world, the UK are going backward, not the future. 2Meg for all is a biggest joke! If I win the lottery, will I purchase 1Gb leased line broadband in my new million pound home ? The answer is NO, broadband is a waste of money. I stick with ADSL2+ up to 20 Meg is more than enough and why go for overpriced fibre optic, as all video's on you tunes, downloading from internet still throttling and slow.
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
I wouldn't put much faith an EU target, they have a history of falling by the wayside. At which point they either change the rules or simply go round again.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
YouTube is 5Mbps for best HD on it now, but in a year it may be higher to offer better image quality.

Plus for homes with multiple users, the extra speed can allow simultaneous use of multiple services.

Fibre also means better upstream, and with people storing more in the cloud that may be a driver.
Posted by IvahOB over 5 years ago
Could separating the infrastructure off from BT be the answer? I admit it hasn't worked on the railways because they are dependent on the Civil Engineering Industry that isn't fit for purpose so has given us the most expensive railways in the world. Done properly it would then be easier to manage the last 10% differently so the scandal of support funds being stolen by BT for their profits and to service the majority could be tackled. Community projects like B4RN could be helped and integrated more easily.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Split off, how would that be done? You'd be forcing a private company to sell its business to a.n.other party. I'm not sure how you would/could do that and who would pay and why it would be better in someone else's hands.

Unless you are suggesting the government buys it which is a terrible idea.

It doesn't matter who's hands its in any business will only roll out services to areas where they can make a profit.

We should give PIA a chance
Posted by New_Londoner over 5 years ago
Don't agree with your comments about funds being stolen, don't see how even the most paranoid conspiracy theorist could think this given the way the tenders for BDUK money are being conducted.

Anyway, you reminded me about B4rn. Wasn't that due to have a share offer this month and to start digging in December. Anyone heard of any meaningful progress?
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
@adslmax, most folk on adsl2+ don't even see 20 meg. including me, unlike you we don't live in the city centre, i thought you of all people should have known that. gmann another pro BT comment. 2meg is a joke that's africa internet.
cyber i know niw why you're not happy with bt, most of corwall will not see fibre till 2013.
but 1gbs is overkill for the time being.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
@New_Londoner reading on their website (between the lines) it doesn't sound as if they've got enough interest/funds to me to start anything.

2Mbps is pitiful creaky
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
I'm glad some of you aren't responsible for national infrastructure utilities... complaining that a domestic fibre network from BT isn't operational yet... even though they've only been working on it since 2009 when OFCOM allowed them to start. France Telecom started in 2006 and has a goal of 40% FTTH/P for 2015 and 60% for 2020... that's with a 3 year head start. So get real, these are huge works and that takes time.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Also bear in mind they don't have to provide anything but voice. The main problem is people seem to think BT owe them something for some reason, anyway... PIA if there's money to be made in fibre broadband lets see other companies jump on board and get it rolled out
Posted by chrysalis over 5 years ago
The problem I see is the targets are very underwhelming.

2mbit by 2015 is an already outdated speed, and 30mbit by 202, given how fast IT tech advances its very plausible to suggest 30mbit in 2020 will probably be like 512kbit today.

Also nothing on upload speeds.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
50% buying a 100Meg service, is that underwhelming?

With that level of takeup, I can see their being 200 to 1Gbps top tier products.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago

it's the unrealistic "i want my cake and i want to eat it now" syndrome... a detachment between what is possible to build and upgrade in a given time frame.
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