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Is Fujitsu leaving Cumbria going to repeat across the UK?
Thursday 12 July 2012 09:32:06 by Andrew Ferguson

The news that Fujitsu was withdrawing from bidding for the BDUK work in Cumbria has unleashed a torrent of concern, and the Fujitsu statement appearing in several locations adds fuel to the fire.

"We withdrew from Cumbria because we cannot currently see a clear path towards the mass market that is required to attract leading retail service providers."

Fujitsu Statement

This raises serious questions about the project in other parts of the UK. In theory Virgin Media and TalkTalk had expressed support for the Fujitsu scheme, but there has been no indications since the original announcements as to how that relationship has progressed. Is the problem with trying to run an open network in the final third of the UK, that the retail broadband providers are not keen on the service.

One reason the retail broadband providers like Sky and TalkTalk may not be too keen, is that they spent millions on their LLU infrastructure, and now have invested in getting up to speed with the Openreach GEA FTTC/FTTP products, and along will come another network that may duplicate perhaps 20% of their LLU footprint. At the retail level there is the big question of what price should be charged, and whether the expected wholesale charges give room for other operating costs e.g. support and hardware and the dirty word that one dare not talk of these days: profit.

Is there a simple answer? Yes, but it is the one that many don't want to accept, and that is that the UK only has one national local loop provider, and that is Openreach. If we are to meet the Governments targets they look to be the only possibility, their solutions are not perfect, but represent an improvement for the majority. Improving competition in the local loop, may require more subtle changes to funding, to encourage new start-ups and investment from those running fibre networks across Europe (though to date most of those in Europe are city based), such as those who are already looking to provide full fibre services in small areas of the UK. These embryonic companies may grow to provide serious competition in five to ten years.


Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
We only need one provider, we don't have multiple gas / electricity / sewage feeds from different providers

The government just needs to realise that as a private company they (OR) won't go where it is not profitable so if the governments dream is access to high speeds throughout the UK they will have to partly fund some of it, more than BDUK covers I mean.

Maybe they are realising that now be dropping the BDUK eligible companies to two which is now one.
Posted by herdwick over 5 years ago
If you can't manage a civilised discussion of the topic then you shouldn't bother coming here TBH.

If GMAN99 is inclined to support BT that's their perogative, from your username you take the opposing view which is equally accpetable, but let's debate the issue not the motivation.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
inclined isn't a strong enough word. on another note any fttc activity in your area gmann99?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
To highlight that while polarised views are welcomed, they are only welcome when they are not personal attacks or insulting language is used.

The point of comments is to encourage debate, not frighten people away from possibly commenting because they are worried about what people will say about their views.
Posted by undecidedadrian over 5 years ago
The overal problem stems from the fact that broadband margins are impossibly thin.

If peple were paying £40+ a month like we were 10 years aho. Then we may see more investment but at the moment there is no money to be made, even with BDUK money.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Agreed adrian and once the prices have gone so low its hard to get them back up, especially in the "current climate"
Posted by fibrebunny over 5 years ago
According to the article linked, they deliberately spoilt their bid in order to exclude themselves. So to what purpose are they bluffing? If the issue is national as indicated rather than Cumbrian. Perhaps it is they only ever had one plan which relied upon securing the whole pot of money as they initially wanted.
Posted by desouzr over 5 years ago
As things stand DCMS are having a hard enough time getting the EU to green light the BDUK framework agreement. If Fujitsu were to drop out from that as well then it would be dead in the water. Even if Fujitsu continue to be signatory to the framework agreement does anyone really see them winning any of the contracts? With the nature of the Fujitsu withdrawal from Cumbria and the accounts of an incomplete tender it does not paint them in a very good light with other County Councils entering the procurement phase of their projects.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Its what I've been saying all along, Fuji/Open Network were never serious, they wanted all of the BDUK cash to do anything which wasn't possible in the first place and they knew it
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Apart from Virgin backing the Fujitsu Open Network etc what is the relationship between the two? Because I've see Fuji vans carrying out works for Virgin around here, do they sub contract the work to Fuji sometimes?
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
BT use Fuji? Complex customer/supplier relationships in many industries.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
Of course, I was just surprised to see Fuji doing it when I've always seen the Virgin vans doing it in the past.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
BT certainly use Fujitsu's services and hardware in their network. Remember, Fujistu is a huge diversified company.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
:) I know. I'm just saying I found it strange to see on a customer install
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago
Go back in history and the Birmingham factory (yes they make stuff in UK) was actually the GPO/BT fibre factory.
Posted by creakycopperline over 5 years ago
Oh look censored again, my theory has been proven right time and time again, thinkbroadband is a BT lackey website for it's fanboys to post
sycofantic and pathetic lies about BT's rivals while drooling over it's Telecoms monopoly god.
this site is useless you are about as unbiased as fox news {joke if you don't know about them]
Posted by nickkcin over 5 years ago
"the UK only has one national local loop provider, and that is Openreach" "We only need one provider, we don't have multiple gas/electricity/sewage feeds from different providers". Actually for Gas and Elec we have different suppliers, but one completely separate infrastructure provider.
Posted by nickkcin over 5 years ago
The problem is that BT is both and this is where the issue is. BT Openreach should become Openreach, as separately run and traded company (this does not mean nationalisation, just splitting them off from BT)
Posted by djay over 5 years ago
Well surely now if fujitsu has left the table in cumbria then what is holding the pathetic cumbria county concil from going ahead with bt as there is no other option. Instead we have to wai until september for what ?! Just get on with it as i for one are pig sick of paying 30 quid a month because i have no opetion other than to use bt adsl 1.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
nickkcin , what would that give us (splitting) that it doesn't now. OR are not allowed to treat BT Wholesale and BT Retail any differently to anyone else as it is
Posted by nickkcin over 5 years ago
From your seat in BT Centre, I'm sure you'd like the rest of us to believe that GMAN, but unfortunately the reality is somewhat different
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 5 years ago

The real question is whether a 100% split company, will be cheaper to buy services from and will it offer the new services?

The split out to Openreach caused backroom issues as fault reporting systems all had to change and evolve.

In ten years time, will this non-BT Openreach be any better than the Openreach we have now?
Posted by nickkcin over 5 years ago
I suppose we will wait (and wait and wait - if you are on BT's rural broadband) to see what the progressive country of Australia makes of their attempt. Of course by the time we know we will be 5 years behind them!!!!!
Posted by Somerset over 5 years ago
@nickkcin - so what is the reality?
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
If one completely splits off Openreach, what bits of current Openreach do you give back to BT so that it has equivalency to other ISPs?
Most ISPs have their own network backbone, however with BT this resides wholly with Openreach...
Do we make Openreach Exchange to Customer?
Leave the backbone with BT and they can wholesale bandwidth?
Or do we need a third entity?
The more true splits you do, the more expensive things will be through duplication of corporate functions and each entity needing to have an adequate margin.
Posted by themanstan over 5 years ago
Sorry my fluff, Openreach does stop at the exchange.
Posted by GMAN99 over 5 years ago
And what is that reality nick do you have any examples ? They can be fined hefty amounts for wrong doings so again what are they not doing now that they would as a separate company
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