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KC reacts to bandwidth projections
Thursday 07 November 2013 10:20:01 by Andrew Ferguson

The Broadband Stakeholder Group paper that looked into the likely bandwidth needs over the next ten years has drawn some reaction from KC who are the incumbent in the Hull area.

"The Broadband Stakeholder Group research is a red herring, and there is a danger that if the government uses it as its yard stick the UK will fall further behind other developed economies for infrastructure. 19Mbps by 2023 is unambitious, and if the UK is to remain an economic power on the global stage we need the infrastructure in place to deliver this.

The second concern I have with the study is need versus desire. From our experience, there is a clear distinction between the broadband capacity that households need and the speed levels that consumers want. This isn't simply about keeping up with the Jones?.

It's a recognition that across almost every aspect of our lives today - whether that's how we stay in touch with family and friends, how we watch films, to where we work and how we collaborate on documents, we rely on the internet. That reliance is only going to increase and people will continue to want faster and faster broadband speeds for peace of mind."

Sean Royce, Finance & Commercial Operations Director at KC

Worries about the UK political machine taking the 19 Mbps as an ideal target figure are probably very valid, as the previous figures on the cost of building a full national FTTC network versus FTTH network are the generally accepted costs. Though if the UK Government was to adopt 19 Mbps as the target speed for everywhere in 2023, it would be working to a goal that meant half of people actually needed more, the joy of a median figure.

Our sense is that the BSG wanted to put some worked figures into the wild rather than the sometimes religious belief that we will all need 1 Gbps in the next couple of years and importantly the report includes their thinking if people look beyond the introduction and conclusion. 1 Gbps is a lofty aim and where delivered does future proof a connection to a home for a long time.

The BSG report talk about the great unknown which is how tolerant will the public be to waiting for downloads and that this may drive demand for higher speeds well beyond their projections, as of today we now need to wait just a few weeks to find out what impact the Xbox One and PS4 will have, gamers of all ages are not renowned for their patience.

The current 2 Mbps USC which in theory still has a date of 2015, though some sources are saying it has been shifted to 2017 is a relic of a past age, 2 Mbps seemed a reasonable minimum back in 2008/2009 and actually will still allow for basic submission of paperwork for taxes/farming and the like and other elements of the digital economy and should in theory allow one SD video to stream. What 2 Mbps does not really allow is a multiple occupancy household to behave in the same way as they on the broadband TV adverts. The current debate is about changing to a USC of 8 Mbps to 10 Mbps, which would suit a two person household for a few years, the problem if the USC is changed now is that it would mean the slow areas waiting again as plans are rejigged. A dangerous idea, but lets get the 2 Mbps USC delivered rather than keep shifting the goalposts, 2 Mbps if far from perfect but better to have it in the next 12 to 18 months rather than a vague promise of 10 Mbps in five years time.


Posted by mobilebb over 3 years ago
What's the betting they'll just do a Europe, say "SATELLITE!", and move on.
Posted by cyberdoyle over 3 years ago
KC is spot on. The BSG group is obviously composed of the same oldboys network that is another part of the copper cabal. They can't see further than their noses. Its a shame that this whole sorry scam can't be exposed. But at least this is all being recorded for posterity, the internet is our new history book. 640k ram is enough for any home computer someone once said. or didn't. BSG have actually published, so they can never wriggle out of it.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
Be interesting to see others do workings for their projections, particularly if they disagree.

Posted by ian72 over 3 years ago
@cd - most technology predictions are crystal ball gazing and are wrong. "One day we might need as many as 5 computers" (or something like that - IBM guy I think).
But, putting a guess together based on some reasoning allows others to provide reasoned argument. For instance, have they properly considered that people watching IPTV or gaming, etc are likely to all be doing it at similar times (ie in the evening) increasing the concurrent bandwidth hit?
Posted by Dixinormous over 3 years ago
Thanks for that not at all repetitive insight, CD. I'm sure b4rn is creaking under the load of people blasting away at 100Mb+ with regularity and clearly showing how they desperately need that 1Gb.

To be honest it wouldn't surprise if all the customers on b4rn combined don't have a 95th percentile of 200Mb.

KC do have a point however it should be remembered that they cover a predominantly very urban area and it's in their commercial interest to draw attention to their own network build, and that ADSL won't cut it for 19Mb so deeper fibre needed.
Posted by ian72 over 3 years ago
And the answer seems to be they have made those assumptions. Argue the assumptions, argue the conclusions but what is the point in just saying "their wrong"?
Posted by ian72 over 3 years ago
And finally, this appears to just be a headline from the report - a report that states that upwards of 80Mbps could be required with 4K, user demand, etc. The document appears to be a discussion piece and that at least seems to have hit the mark.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
"Though if the UK Government was to adopt 19 Mbps as the target speed for everywhere in 2023" - do I take it that "30mb for all by 2020 and 100mb for 50%" has gorn down the plug'ole?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
@mikejp - Nope EU 2020 target still stands for now
Posted by csimon over 3 years ago
What does the 2Mbps USC actually mean, because in theory it's already there due to satellite? What does the USC actually commit to?
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
If it is to be satellite (and maybe the odd FW network) it will require subsidising from the pool, although I'd be surprised if any WISPs could not provide 2mb inside the cost brackets. Installation will be the crunch point for satellite.

Incidentally, I agree with Andrew - let's at least get the 2mb out 'everywhere'.
Posted by mikejp over 3 years ago
"mikejp - Nope EU 2020 target still stands for now" - I suspect a slippery 'now'?
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
the USC was to make available to nearly everybody that wanted it a 2M internet connection. Satellite does do that.
Posted by herdwick over 3 years ago
The BSG report was also done in 2006 -

"By 2012, the bandwidth demand for the most bandwidth intensive households could
reach 23Mbit/s downstream and 14Mbit/s upstream."
Posted by gerarda over 3 years ago
Satellite is far too expensive to meet any sort of USC definition other than in the fantasy world of the EU. one of the reasons why it has limited take up even in not spots.
Posted by ahockings over 3 years ago
Also Satellite latency is crap. It's just a no no.
As more and more of these discussions come out I can see it gradually moving to a general consensus that FTTH/P for all is the only way to go.
I've been banging on about FTTH for ages. Just a tiny amount of common sense is all you need to see which direction to go in.
It would cost way less than HS2 and we'd get the money back and some in 4-5 years.
Also, for the foreseeable future... NO MORE UPGRADING! Result.
Posted by JNeuhoff over 3 years ago
"It would cost way less than HS2 and we'd get the money back and some in 4-5 years."

Not if it is like a BDUK-style project where public taxpayer's money (1.2 Billion at the moment) is given away to BT for no ROI!
Posted by Somerset over 3 years ago
What is the government ROI on HS2?
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