Skip Navigation

Jeremy Corbyn accusses Government of doing nothing over USO
Wednesday 28 September 2016 18:31:12 by Andrew Ferguson

Jeremy Corbyn has addressed the annual Labour Conference in Liverpool and in a lengthy speech outlined a great many things that Labour would do when elected as the next Government and even suggesting that the party needs to ready for a snap General Election as early as 2017. After recent comments from Jeremy Corbyn it should be no surprise to find that broadband gets a mention at 33 minutes and 20 seconds into the speech.

"I am not content with accepting second-class broadband, not content with creaking railways, not content with seeing the US and Germany investing in cutting edge and green technologies, while Britain lags behind.

Last year, for example the Prime Minister promised a universal service obligation for ten megabyte broadband.

But since then the government has done nothing letting down entrepreneurs, businesses and families, especially in rural areas.

That’s why we’ve set out proposals for a National Investment Bank with £500 billion of investment to bring our broadband, our railways, our housing and our energy infrastructure up to scratch.

A country that doesn’t invest is a country that has given up. That has taken the path of managed decline. A Labour government will never accept second best for Britain."

Extract from speech covering broadband in the UK

Unfortunately the speech writers got their Mega Bytes and Mega bits mixed up, the proposed Universal Service Obligation is set at a 10 Mega bit per second (Mbps) minimum, and while so many reading auto-cue do mix units things one does expect better in 2016 (we cross checked the audio with the written speech and it did state Mega Bytes - for future speech writers 1 Mega Byte equals 8 Mega bits and broadband is sold in Mega bits per second).

The Government are unlikely to be quaking over the accusation of doing nothing with the USO, because the small matter of how it works and its passage through the House of Commons and House of Lords to make it a law take time and are underway. Inconsequential matters like who the obligation falls upon and who pays for it need to thrashed out.

Hopefully as Labour fleshes out its Manifesto for the next election the proposals for broadband will get fleshed out and people will know what to expect from the policy rather than rousing speeches. Plenty of people already feel they have been had by the existing broadband improvement projects delivering since 2010 when speeches were sometimes vague and open to misinterpretation and the realities of what a target averaged over the area of a county actually means.


Posted by burble 7 months ago
So he believes nothing has been done, and yet it's a matter of public record that it is being 'processed', next he will be telling us he couldn't find a seat on a train that had plenty of empty seats!
So whats the philosophy? tell enough people enough lies and some will believe it?
Posted by New_Londoner 7 months ago
To be pedantic, the reason line speed is measured in bits per second is at least in part because you can have bytes of different lengths - 8, 16 etc. A bytes per second speed would also have to indicate the number of bits per byte to avoid ambiguity, which would be cumbersome to say the least!
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 7 months ago
@New_Londoner fully aware of that, was keeping it at the simpler level, rather than a full thesis on the variations.
Posted by TheEulerID 7 months ago
"But since then the government has done nothing letting down entrepreneurs, businesses"

As if Jeremy Corbyn has the foggiest notion what an entrepreneur does (or John Macdonnell for that matter). They are died-in-the-wool clause IV politicians.
Posted by Blackmamba 7 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
It is starting to look on TBB Maps that the the 10 Meg results are dropping day/ monthly so fast that by the time of the next elections there could be only a few MPs that will be able to canvas on this subject. I think that MP are not using MR Saffron free information to best effect this is showing in Surrey.
Posted by Blackmamba 7 months ago
Hi Broadband Watchers.
As the BD/Uk contract 85K in Surrey has been finished and the commercial section is grinding to a halt with many customers not happy with there service could it be there is not substantial funds in the OMR to cover the problem due to lack of clawback money. This could be due to the low take up rate on the BD/Uk Cabs ( 620). stated as low as 40%. This is showing on TBB maps yellow next to Cabs.
Posted by Somerset 7 months ago
@BM - 'only' 40% of the population are buying FTTC? Sounds a good figure.

Stated by who?
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 7 months ago
@Blackmamba You said "This could be due to the low take up rate on the BD/Uk Cabs ( 620). stated as low as 40%. This is showing on TBB maps yellow next to Cabs."

None of our maps use yellow to indicate low take-up rates, so once more you appear to be making no sense and am worried you are misrepresenting our data to others.
Posted by CecilWard 7 months ago
Ten mega bits per second. Still praying if not hoping. Just a far-off dream at the moment. As I've said before, I'm terrified that the USO will just mean either a completely useless satellite cop out or a near-monopoly situation where I won't be able to use my chosen ISP under the USO. (Here in Skye and the surrounding area some exchanges, Plockton for example, went ADSL fixed-rate 0.5 Mbps but there was only one ISP, ‘Scotnet’.)

In fact, I wonder if the USO will even apply in Scotland? Is it England-only?
Posted by Blackmamba 7 months ago
Hi Andrews Staff.
On your tile for FTTC you show RED,Yellow, Green or should I be referring it to RED,Amber,Green ?
Posted by uniquename 7 months ago
@burble - just an irrelevant joke about "So whats the philosophy? tell enough people enough lies and some will believe it?"

Yes. All politicians. Donald Trump for a current example.
Posted by Blackmamba 7 months ago
Hi Somerset.
If you think 40% take up on a BDUK Cab is good the government is not getting value for money for what the money they have spent it it should be very close to the 100% all ports used or allercated when using the method of Homes addresses passed.
Posted by TheEulerID 7 months ago

The BDUK bid by BT was based on only 20% (since upgraded to 30%). I've no doubt that many cabinets in rural areas with terrible ADSL speeds will get very high takeup. However, many upgraded cabinets will service properties with satisfactory ADSL speeds for many people and then take-up is likely to be a lot lower, at least initially.
Posted by andrew (Favicon staff member) 7 months ago
Red means estimated speed of 0 to 3.9 Mbps, yellow 4 to 23.9 and green 24 Mbps and faster. So nothing to do with take-up rates.
Posted by fox-uk 7 months ago
I was shocked that an MP actually knew what the internet was....

Then, of course, his campaign was based on the internet and its ability to connect people.

A bit better than thinking that 'flat screen televisions' were expensive luxuries (IDS 2015).

Oh well I think its back to the bomb shelter for me :o)
Posted by Blackmamba 7 months ago
The take up rate is determined by the distance the Cab is from the Exchange and the customers knowing that a better service is available there are many customers think they are going to switched automatically. It is up to the ISP,s to contact the customers and do a deal.
You must be logged in to post comments. Click here to login.