Why does everyone assume BT has to fix broadband coverage?
The fate of those in various London Boroughs hangs in the balance with regards to broadband upgrades, large swathes of London have very good broadband but this emphasises the fate of those on the wrong side of the street/dock/park.
The London Assembly Member for Lambeth & Southwark Val Shawcross has blogged on the problems facing residents in the Rotherhithe area of South London, we assume looking on our maps that the issue is the very slow speeds affecting those around Salter Road. While it is great to see a politician supporting businesses and residents we are worried about the constant pattern that whenever there is a broadband coverage issue they run to BT who understandly may sense a potential handout and thus doff their cap.
Rotherhithe is thought to be the area of London with the greatest concentration of exchange only lines, a legacy of the old dock infrastructure in the area, and a policy to serve new builds with direct exchange only lines for a few years. In those parts of the UK with BDUK projects underway, exchange only lines do appear to be benefiting from insertion of cabinets and subsequent FTTC delivery in a reasonable number of cases.
The reality is that this area in London appears to have some Virgin Media network coverage, and thus some lobbying might get them to expand, and even more importantly there is the Gigabit presence of Hyperoptic already in SE16 (Albatross Way) and from the maps of the area there does appear to be a lot of flats that could potentially benefit.
So there is no need for a EU Commission Enquiry, but for UK policy makers to look beyond the default BT and engage with those operators able to provide solutions. One issue facing those who live in flats and rented properties is wayleave restrictions imposed by landlords, but invariably once the reality of people wanting and needing faster broadband are made apparent you can win them over.