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Broadband does not care how big your bank balance is
Monday 07 April 2014 12:24:21 by Andrew Ferguson

London has been experiencing a resurgence of building activity and a lot of it is apartments, but not the drab tower blocks of fifty years ago, but a mixture of reasonable (for the London market) pricing through to those affordable by an exclusive few.

One thing in common has been the patchy nature of broadband coverage and The Guardian has highlighted one exclusive development where for the average £22m price you could be forgiven if you had expected superfast broadband. Of course there is a solution and property developers need to pay heed to what people like Hyperoptic are doing, i.e. not just bringing superfast but hyperfast speeds to developments (over 20,000 premises to date). There are others working to serve the MDU market (telco speak for multiple dwelling units) and even Openreach is able to offer solutions but the majority of time Openreach and Virgin Media stick to their standard one or two broadband options, i.e. FTTC or cable broadband.

One would have expected the larger than life London Mayor Boris Johnson to be trying to ensure that new buildings across the capital are built for a 21st century, in the same way that the 20th century saw the provision of indoor plumbing become the norm.

It will be interesting to see how the developer for One Hyde Park gets on with its negotiations about faster broadband for its building. While it is easy to point and shout at Openreach and how it is leaving holes in coverage in London and other cities, developers who were planning and constructing properties in the last five years if they have not provided decent broadband should receive as much of the blame.

Germany appears to be getting ready to catch up and race on past the UK, with its plan to rip-out VDSL in the cities and replace with FTTH, though having €20 billion of public money to do this does tend to help.

Comments

Posted by mervl over 3 years ago
The deserving rich . . .
Posted by fibrebunny over 3 years ago
Seems property at those prices sells regardless of broadband provision. In which case what incentive for the developers to be anything other than lazy about it. Sales started three years ago and only now are they considering a solution.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) over 3 years ago
The wiki for the development suggests sales are not high actually, so may be having an impact.
Posted by TheEulerID over 3 years ago
For those sort of property prices, the costs of getting in dedicated fibre would surely be insignificant, especially if the costs could be shared over multiple apartments. There are surely companies that would do such things (as they must do for businesses). Also, is FTTP on demand not available - the costs may look astronomical to somebody living in a terraced house in Wigan, but a £22m apartment?

Spending public money to fibre up these sort of properties (probably occupied by a Russian oligarch) would be a scandal.
Posted by keith969 over 3 years ago
Surely the rich do not need broadband, they watch sport, entertainment live if they want to. After all, Tony Blair admitted that he'd never sent an email.
Posted by mdar5 over 3 years ago
Keith969 has a very valid point.
The really rich do not spend their time downloading stuff and streaming whatever on the internet.

Those that do want SFBB will buy a bespoke leased/bonded line solution from BT and the significant cost will be nothing to them.
They wont be bothered about looking into domestic/retail broadband provision.
Posted by prlzx over 3 years ago
Probably the developers don't consider networking at all because the apartments are intended to be self contained, and they don't want to be (or make the landlord) responsible for any kind of network throughout the building.

Not surprising if based on some limited experience even new-ish office accommodation is built without structured cabling - it isn't determined in advance which/where tenants will have a unit or whole floors and they are left to do this themselves.

Making a vertical backbone of lined patch panels a standard building block would be be a starter.
Posted by prlzx over 3 years ago
lined > linked
Posted by fibrebunny over 3 years ago
At those prices I doubt the lack of broadband is of any significance. It would be more important to those on an average wage. Plus as mdar5 rightly points out they would most likely go leased line anyway.
Posted by fastman over 3 years ago
fibrebunny - broadband is of massive significance to ability to work at home / office / apartment - dependant on the developer / Managing agent -- seeing a number of managing agents looking at an FTTC solution directly with openreach especially with a cab close or new PCP/DSLAM needed because the apartment block is exchange only
Posted by flipdee over 3 years ago
An 100" Flatscreen TV in their Entertainment Room wouldn't be much fun without decent internet.
An we all know "CRIBS" have to have an entertainment room and at least a 100" TV controlled by a remote control around 20" in screensize.
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