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Maria Miller aiming to make UK one of the best countries for broadband
Tuesday 25 February 2014 16:19:26 by Andrew Ferguson

Many people will remember the bold claim by Jeremy Hunt to make the UK the best major European country with regard to broadband, which while many scoffed at the time is very close to reality once you score the claim on a wide range of metrics.

Jump forward 18 months and we have Maria Miller MP making an even bolder claim.

"Superfast broadband will benefit everyone whether they need it at work or to do to homework or simply to download music or films, thousands of homes and businesses now have access and it's helping people with everyday tasks. We want to make sure that Britain is one of the best countries in the world for broadband and with this extra £250m that we are investing we will help ensure communities around the UK aren't left behind in a digital slow lane."

Transcript of Maria Miller MP, Audioboo fragment on UK Broadband Investment

To be at the top of the league tables for broadband across the globe is a tall order, but it is possible if the current BDUK projects deliver on their promises and the extra investment pushes deep into the rural heartlands.

We hope that the boss of the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was referring to areas with superfast broadband via the BDUK projects with the comment 'thousands of homes and businesses now have access', as the UK has almost six million homes and small businesses on a superfast broadband connection, with it available as an option to many millions more.


Posted by bartman007 over 3 years ago
Makes me smile, bless them, clueless still, but bless them. :)
Posted by camieabz over 3 years ago
Up to 99% of politicians will make claims between now and May 2015. We were talking about similar things in 2009.

How time flies when you're a 'busy' minister. I'd have far more confidence in them if they laid out reasonable, achievable annual targets.

The Japanese built their 300 mile Tokyo to Osaka HS rail in five years. The 100 plus London to Birmingham phase will take nine years.

This country just doesn't do infrastructure.
Posted by adslmax over 3 years ago
Maria Miller is the worst MP ever!
Posted by rayvon over 3 years ago
Well she better get over to Sheffield then,less than 3 miles from city centre and sub 2mb ADSL is my only option now Digital Region is to close.
Clearly she knows as much about broadband as I do about moon walking.
Posted by Saurus over 3 years ago
Instead of throwing £14 billion into the overseas aid budget why don't these political liars and thieves spend at least half of our taxes on our population? £7 billion would go a long way to improving the Broadband infrastructure in this country!
Posted by chilting over 3 years ago
With one of the highest densities of population on the globe I would bl..dy well hope that we would be one of the best.
Silly lady!
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
But we're not densely populated in ths country.

As I answered in another post, in the UK we tend to live in houses in urban & suburban sprawl. We do not live in huge amounts of 4-storey apartment blocks or huge multi-storey monstrosities.

In the UK, we have 18% living in flats; in switzerland it is 58%, in Germany 62% and Latvia 72%. So much easier to fibre Latvia.

Manila has 42,000 people per sqkm, Seoul has 17,000, London has 5,000, Manchester 4,000, Glasgow 3,000. Most cities in England are between 3,000 and 4,000 per sqkm. So much easier to fibre Seoul.
Posted by 21again over 3 years ago
Somebody isn't that stupid (I'm not talking about MPs) but they were smart enough to have a USC of 2Meg and not a USO of whatever, let's face it the UK is becoming 2.5 world in some ways.....but not all, probably because there is so much wastage of tax payer's money regardless of who is in charge of the purse strings. :P
Posted by NICK_ADSL_UK over 3 years ago
Maria Miller MP has always been classed as a fool and if she did say this then that would confirm Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
No if, it is an audio boo clip
Posted by Plankton1066 over 3 years ago
Here's an idea. Give all of the money to BT Openreach, then make NGA a universal service commitment. Then fine BT the yearly line rental, every year, on every property in the UK that they are the only provider to that can get less than 30 mbps. Where they can provide 300 mbps to a property, outside of urban areas, they should receive an annual subsidy equivalent to the the line rental. We need to recognise the monopoly situation that we have and regulate forcibly otherwise change is dependant on what's best for BT not the UK.
Posted by WWWombat over 3 years ago
There's an idea, Plankton.

To work, of course, you'd need Openreach to merge with the equivalent portion of Virgin. According to Ofcom, 16% of the country can access NGA by cable alone.
Posted by Plankton1066 over 3 years ago
If there is competition I think you can leave it to the market to duke it out as demand will drive supplier behaviour. If there is monopoly you need to use regulation to provide a frame work that simulates competition. I suspect that BT will be keener to get FTTH to a Virgin customer than to someone on an EO line in the shires paying for 3mbps delivered by a DSLAM that has already paid for itself 100 times over. In fact I'm planning to announce that our village is installing Terabit fibre to the home, to get BT to overbuild our fictitious project with FTTH - AKA The Dolphinholme effect.
Posted by Gadget over 3 years ago
Moving from commitment to obligation carries the need to consider the cost of providing service to absolutely everyone almost regardless of cost. That would take far more money than currently is on offer. Why do you think lawyers make so much money arguing about reasonable v best v absolute obligation?
Posted by FTTH over 3 years ago
Having the Fastest in Europe was too easy to measure. So change it to Best.. Best can mean anything surely..

Cleanest instals, shiniest cables, most copper content, most green cabinets?

We will be the worlds best at something, we just have to decide what.
Posted by michaels_perry over 3 years ago
The trouble here is that leaving it to the market means that profit is the only motivator, so rural areas lose out again. MPs seem the think everyone lives in a town or city, most do not! We pay the same for a poor service in rural areas as do people in towns not yet on fibre. We have no idea when fibre will get to our exchange - let alone to a cabinet near us!
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