Broadband News

Meeting the Global Broadband Challenge

Perhaps in the UK we enjoy complaining, but we all too easily forget how easy we have it in the digital age, with the range of speed, choice of provider and low price of broadband. A £20 a month service equating to just 1% of the average salary, and that is not the cheapest broadband deal in the UK. Thus we should consider our position globally as a UN Commissions sets targets for broadband across the world.

The Broadband Commission for Digital Development is setting four targets in an attempt to ensure that no single country is left out of the digital age.

  1. 1.Making broadband policy universal. By 2015, all countries should have a national broadband plan or strategy or include broadband in their Universal Access / Service Definitions.
  2. 2.Making broadband affordable. By 2015, entry-level broadband services should be made affordable in developing countries through adequate regulation and market forces (for example, amount to less than 5% of average monthly income).
  3. 3.Connecting homes to broadband. By 2015, 40% of households in developing countries should have Internet access.
  4. 4.Getting people online. By 2015, Internet user penetration should reach 60% worldwide, 50% in developing countries and 15% in Least Developed Countries (LDCs).

Communication - a Human Need and a Right
Broadband technologies are fundamentally transforming the way we live. It is vital that no one be excluded from the new global knowledge societies we are building. We believe that communication is not just a human need - it is a right. The greater communication and understanding made possible through access to information and communication technologies (ITCs) can help us overcome the challenges in our complex and interdependent global society.

Extract from The Broadband Challenge

A key point is that this communication should also be possible in local languages, and not simply translation of global content, but for countries to stimulate local content production.

This new global challenge was announced at the ITU Telecom World 2011 sessions in Geneva, with the ITU to take a central role and produce an annual report with the rankings of nations worldwide in terms of broadband policy, affordability and uptake.

The UK average wage is some £25,900 per year, so the 5% affordability measure equates to a service costing around £100 a month. UK broadband services started at around £50 a month in 1999/2000, but now can cost as little as £3.50 a month.

The UK has a raft of experience in getting first and next generation solutions available to the vast majority of the UK population, and thus may be able to export expertise. Some may disagree and while the UK has been late in starting its roll-out of superfast broadband solutions up and running, it is catching up very fast, and may surpass some other countries where roll-outs have stalled due to the problems of covering rural areas.


The UK is very experienced in 1st Gen services, thanks to the legacy phone network that BT inherited. It is not capable of delivering true Next Generation access. It can only deliver faster ie 'superfast' broadband through the copper. For real NGA we need fibre to the home. There is no rush, the cities will manage for another few years on the old lines, but the rural areas can't. They are already disenfranchised as other countries forge ahead with fibre. We need to concentrate on getting fibre out to the edges, and building inwards as awareness grows.

  • cyberdoyle
  • over 9 years ago


When are you going to realise that BT is a company, companies make profit. If there is no profit then there is no market. Community projects/bespoke/Gov subsidies companies serve better for rural. And, why just BT? Why not VM?

Also, BT core network is entirely fibre. 10 million kilometers of it. The only copper is between a persons house and the exchange or cab.

And place the blame where due... UKgov & OFCOM, BT could not do any domestic fibre because of OFCOM. In mid-2009 OFCOM changed regulations so they could, this is fact.

  • themanstan
  • over 9 years ago

Next Generation Access, just means one generation beyond what is currently in place.

So for someone with dial-up, ADSL is next generation. If they have ADSL, then ADSL2+ is next generation.

Hence the term super-fast, and if all projections suggest 30 Mbps will be sufficient for ten years, does it matter what technology is used if it meets that need?

  • andrew
  • thinkbroadband staff
  • over 9 years ago

@manstan that's not what gmann99 thinks.
he knows it's all copper from exchange to house.
either one of you is telling porkies.

  • creakycopperline
  • over 9 years ago

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