Want to shape Digital UK, then respond to a DCMS report
Last summer saw a lengthy report emerge from the current Government entitled "Connectivity, Content and Consumers - Britain's digital platform for growth" and while this report mentions connectivity due to the lobbying pressure from various corners the discussion invariably revolved around ensuring a safe Internet for children.
Jump forward seven months and the DCMS is now asking for people or businesses as to what they consider are important issues to ensure that UK infrastructure is capable of being world leading over the next ten to fifteen years.
Consumers, businesses and public bodies have until 28th March 2014 to submit their comments. The original report is actually pretty Spartan in terms of discussion of what may be needed in terms of broadband connection speed, and the BSG research into median and peak demand for bandwidth which has been widely mis-quoted and hotly contested is likely to feature in the interim report published in July 2014. So for those who think that the BSG figures are wrong, here is your chance to make a presentation.
In terms of broadband connectivity, by 2025, the FTTC network will be starting to reach the end of its life (remember roll-out started in 2009) and whether BT opt for G.fast (Fibre to the drop point) or a full FTTH roll-out is going to depend on how demand for FTTC pans out in the next couple of years. While almost everyone in the broadband industry sees FTTH/FTTP as the end-game in terms of broadband connectivity, there is the hurdle of convincing the accountants to release the capital to pay for the labour and materials to build the networks.
So rather than just rant and rave in comments, we urge people to put forward sensible arguments for why broadband connectivity needs to grow substantially beyond current projections that give a UK average speed of 23 Mbps in 2015. Given how the UK has stuck to the letter of the EU State Aid rules, we should in theory all have 30 Mbps or faster connections by 2020 (or at least the option to buy one), the option for half of us to have access to a 100 Mbps connection or faster is pretty much reality now, due to the 48% household coverage from Virgin Media and the growing number of FTTH deployments in the UK. The hope of 30 Mbps for all assumes that the 99% with access to superfast in 2018 is just a stepping stone to really pushing into the final 1%, rather than relying on statistics to mask the final few hundred thousand properties.