The government has invited internet firms to Whitehall to thrash out how taxpayers could help deliver "superfast broadband"* to rural areas. At a one-day conference next month civil servants will also hear pitches on how to connect parts of the country that still cannot get basic broadband. The coalition is committed to the …
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It would be a vast improvement if they could manage to reduce most of the long runs to the nearest exchange by judicious use of fibre to the cabinet. In a small village several km from an exchange, you could improve broadband for the whole village by having the exchange end of the DSL in the local box.
It's a bit more problematic for a few houses stuck in the middle of nowhere, but they've probably got pole-mounted phone lines anyway, which could have fibre wound round them (as was done with pylons in the past, IIRC) for a lot less than the cost of digging trenches to lay cable,
How fast is superfast ?
A quick search finds this chart - http://www.worldpoliticsreview.com/Images/commentarynews/broadbandspeedchart.jpg - showing that Finland has the fastest average European broadband connection speed of more than 20 Mb/s. The same chart shows the UK as less than 4 Mb/s.
So if the statement made ("Superfast broadband means broadband of sufficient speed and quality to deliver the services that will lead to Britain having the best broadband network in Europe") is literal, we're looking at a promised fivefold improvement across the board.
Yes, an excellent idea this and the technology has been around for some time so should be pretty cheap by now. Companies like Nortel in North America and Alcatel in Australia have been providing such cabinets for many years . Back in the mid-nineties I was involved with prototype testing and training development in Australia.
"Vaizey gave the latest line last week: "Superfast broadband means broadband of sufficient speed and quality to deliver the services that will lead to Britain having the best broadband network in Europe.""
What complete and utter BOLLOCKS.
Another ignorant twat takes the helm =O/
I notice that we're chasing to have the fastest network in Europe, not the world.
"this could be fixed or wireless"
Surely the whole of the UK already has licences for wireless broadband access anyway ? The licences were awarded on a regional basis in the traditional Ofcon (Oftel?) auction a few years back and went to a variety of different companies. Then a company calling itself PCCW came along and snaffled them all up, monopoly style.
PCCW had a half hearted attempt at deploying a service called Netvigator (and various other silly names) in part of the Thames Valley but they now seem to have left the UK afaict and Ofcon don't seem to be pursuing PCCW or reclaiming the licences or whatever.
Anyway, my point is: what's going to be different this time? What stops another outfit hogging any licences awarded and doing nothing with them? It's happened before, have we learned the lessons? [Yes I realise paying for licences and then not using them is commercially daft, but "the market" moves in mysterious ways, its miracles to deliver]
All well and good having faster line rates, but it's currently prohibitively expensive to actually take advantage of those speeds...
I currently have a very old DSL which is 512kbit, and unlimited usage... I've been offered an upgrade to "up to 8mb" service with a usage limit of 50Gb/month (combined up/down)...
With 512kbit, i can download approximately 150Gb and with 256kbit upload approximately half that (so 75Gb) per month if i run flat out.
So what the "8mb" service is really saying is 170kbit (512 / 3) half duplex service, burstable to 8mbit...
It also marks a big step backwards, to the days when you had to worry how much you were online because of the per-minute phone charges... Now you have to worry about how much you download, with streaming video and increasingly bloated web sites these days this becomes a significant concern.
So if they start offering 40 or 100mbit service with fibre to the cabinet, it just means you will hit the monthly cap that much sooner.
Yes, make the taxpayer subsidise the ISP's, brilliant!
Blasted nuisance this, I asked the Post Office Johnny only the other day why we can't expect more than 512 Kb/s at the manor house and he had the utter impertinence to say it had something to do with our being surrounded by only 750acres of grounds in the middle of the countryside. I mean we're already penalised by being marooned some 20 miles from the nearest shops which means it takes Cook and Gardner nearly all day to do the blasted shopping.
It is so unfair that all those ordinary people who live in the little semis and terraced houses in the cities can receive up to 24Mb/s, so I think it is a jolly good idea that they they should cough-up some extra taxes to pay for special facilities to provide us with decent broadband at The Manor House.
yes everyone in the country lives in a mansion! it's obvious isn't it.
"you will hit the monthly cap that much sooner."
"if they start offering 40 or 100mbit service with fibre to the cabinet, it just means you will hit the monthly cap that much sooner."
It doesn't mean that at all.
What the mickeytakers have to remember is that affordable broadband is intended to be always on but it is *not* intended to be always maxed-out downloading (whatever you believe the adverts may have implied and whatever the unenforced ISP Ts+Cs may have stated).
There are people who will provide a genuine "always maxed-out downloading" service but it'll be priced rather differently from ordinary consumer broadband.
I would agree but.......
If the ISP's will continue to use phrases like UNLIMITED then putting up that little * to show what the limit actually is in VERY SMALL letters at the bottom of 13 pages of T&C's then people will keep expecting an UNLIMITED service, not saying it is right to expect an unlimted service since by definition there is always a limit on things but the ISP's have been taking the piss over this phrase for years!
Is the cost of a tender in Whitehall doubled
if they own Pall Mall & Northumberland Avenue as well ?
"Superfast broadband" - this phrase make a smile on my face! ;)
Agree that everyone in the country lives in a mansion