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David Cameron re-announces universal 100 Meg for ten cities
Tuesday 20 March 2012 09:51:17 by Andrew Ferguson

With broadband being what many consider to be fourth utility then it is no surprise to see it feature in an infrastructure speech to the Institution of Civil Engineers. Particularly as we are expected the remaining six cities in the ten to be announced that will share £100m to create super connected cities (the four capitals, Belfast, Cardiff, Edinburgh and London are already known).

ISPreview has managed to corner the broadband chunk of the speech, but we wanted to highlight a short section of this that is relevant to what the Chancellor will announce in Budget on Wednesday.

"And this week the Chancellor will be announcing ten super connected cities which will have universal access to ultra fast 100 megabit broadband, making them some of the fastest and best connected cities anywhere in the world."

Prime Minister David Cameron talking to Institution of Civil Engineers

So it seems the Prime Minister is promising universal access to 100 Mbps broadband in the ten cities. This is in line with what some cities have outlined in their plans previously, but the key is what is meant by universal? Most people reading the speech will assume it means 100% of the city will have access to 100 Mbps broadband. If that is the case then we will be very shocked, what we are expecting is cities to concentrate on a little more fibre to the premises in a couple of high profile areas, and rely on improvements to VDSL2 such as vectoring to hit the 100 Mbps target.

So while the UK can aspire to be a global leader in telecommunications, it seems the commercial lead approach to telecommunications is failing and not just in the final third, but even in the cities where competition has been the key driver and remit given to Ofcom by consecutive Governments.

Hopefully the various local authorities will ensure that the 90% target for superfast broadband is met well ahead of the May 2015 deadline, and that in the final 10% the requirement for a functional 2 Mbps will be seen as a baseline, with speeds being delivered to those areas in the 5 to 15 Mbps range.

In the hope that someone may notice, we will repeat what we have said before, that the planning needs to start now for what will happen in the longer term for broadband, i.e. 2015 to 2020. Otherwise we will have a two year gap after the next General Election, like we have had since 2010, resulting in lots of speeches and announcements, but very little progress apart from the production of shiny reports.


Posted by roughbeast over 5 years ago
What is DC on about? Already most cities, having a VM presence, will have 100Mb available (120Mb from this summer). What wonderful new initiative has he got planned, or is he just attaching his name to what is already reality?

Well it seems he wants to give 100Mb to places BT and VM will not go. Strange? VM and BT go where there is enough demand and requests. Do we really need public money to cover this? Who gets to run the new infrastructure? I wonder if this has been thought through.
Posted by gsl1938mez over 5 years ago
Never mind 100Mb, here in north Essex I'm lucky to manage 2.5Mb.
Posted by pehaw over 5 years ago
...and in central Newcastle, one of the cities on the shortlist, on a FTTC exchange I also get a meagre 2.5Mb.

Yes we do need public money to cover this.
Posted by dandodex over 5 years ago
Clerkenwell (central London) EC1 postcode, street not covered by Virgin Media (and told me they won't), exchange-only line so BT won't provide FTTC, no plan for FTTP, long line to the King's Cross exchange so get 5.5-6Mb on ADSL2+.

Why should I be less deserving of public subsidy than my friend in the countryside in Suffolk on a crappy 2Mb line? People should realise that living in a city is no guarantee of a fast internet connection.
Posted by bezuk over 5 years ago
Big cities = lots of big blocks of flats. These blocks very rarely have cable or FTTC service, so unless Openreach massively expand their "FTTP in apartments" pilot or other providers such as Hyperoptic expand, lots of blocks are going to get left out.
Posted by fastman over 5 years ago
gsl1938 where in north Essex
Posted by Scubaholic over 5 years ago
I'm in Marylebone & can't get VM.
I started out as Dec 11 then June 12. A few months ago by end of 12. Openreach now says by end 13! This is a complete joke.
Posted by Markak over 5 years ago
As per usual from the political inbreeds just spouting hot air.
Posted by camieabz over 5 years ago
Message for the government:

Rural, rural, rural. Faster, faster, faster. Sooner, sooner, sooner.


Opposition, opposition, opposition. :)
Posted by gsl1938mez over 5 years ago
fastman i'm in Holland-on-Sea.
No chance of getting Virgin cable because village too small for them.
Telephone exchange must have been rescued from Noah's ark.
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