back to article Fibre up, broadband up, IPTV up in Europe

Numbers announced at the Broadband World Forum point to a continued rise in fibre deployments, with the dual conclusions that Lithuania and Norway are the most fibred up countries and that both Hungary and the Ukraine are joining the world's leading 'fibre to the home' (FTTH) economies, with a sudden burst of pace. The report …

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Meh

>we think that is because of the infrastructure is already in place in those countries

A decent ADSL connection is still enough for most people. When it comes down to it it's hard to find anything that needs more a dozen Mb/s of throughput even for a busy family. IPTV might..but then we already have more than enough choice in TV provision. FreeSat, FreeView, Sky, VM. Yet another bloody TV service is hardly going to kick start the economy.

Even then TV isn't really that much of a bandwidth hog. You can get adequate HDTV in less than 10Mb/s even when encoding live (ask the BBC). With offline compression you can probably get that down a lot further. I reckon anyone on FTTC should already have enough bandwidth to feed the main TV in HD and a couple of kid's TVs in SD. Those on a top-notch FTTC link can probably feed several TVs in HD.

The people that really need sorting out in the UK are those on longer lines. Houses getting less than 10Mb/s. Those people need help. I think FTTC is a reasonable compromise and I do wish it could be targeted at those on lower speeds first. Unfortunately economics and geography make that financially unviable :(

Long term I think the UK is doing 'okay' for most people. We are making good use of what we already have and are gradually upgrading it. We just need to find a way to cover those areas that economically problematic. Stop concentrating on high speeds and look at a way to boost those at the bottom.

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Unhappy

Sorry state of affairs....

"The people that really need sorting out in the UK are those on longer lines. Houses getting less than 10Mb/s. Those people need help."

That'll be me - stuck in the 90's on an over 2km long ADSL line that'll give me 1Mb if the wind is in the right direction, even though the road I'm on is surrounded on three sides by Virgin Cable (up to 50Mb). Apparently, infilling isn't economically viable for Virgin (in spite of the massive block of flats and 50 or so houses affected), while BT simply don't care as they've done *just* enough to give us some service.

It's all cabled according to wholesale pricing - so filling the smaller gaps or reaching to low population density areas simply doesn't happen.

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Unhappy

grim.

How depressing. I have a feeling this will bite the UK, Germany etc in the arse sooner rather than later.

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Apples and oranges

FTTH isn't really an option for Germany at the moment but it is doing very well with ADSL with 50 MB/s (as long as you do without IPTV) offered in most parts of most towns and 6 Mb/s the baseline. This is the result of an open market which encourages investment so that companies don't just depend on Deutsch Telekom reselling bandwidth wholesale but actually install their own DSLASMs in the exchanges which are connected by fibre to their own backbone. FTTC is also being rolled out but to a much lesser extent - the demand for > 50 MB/s isn't that great.

My understanding of the UK market is that it favours wholesale reselling over investment which is why services are more expensive and shoddier, at least when compared by El Reg.

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Alert

>services are more expensive and shoddier

Last I heard the UK had some of the cheapest broadband in the world. Most pundits actually claim that's why our services are poor. Margins are too tight to allow decent levels of investment with most ISPs struggling just to keep their heads above water.

As for shoddy - that probably depends what you mean. What has happened in the UK (pushed by Ofcom) is a widespread availability and adoption. We've had in excess of 90% coverage for many years now. One of the few countries to achieve that.

The difference between the UK and other markets is widespread availability. You've got to be damn' unlucky not to have broadband of some kind. It might only be half a meg in some places but almost no-one is stuck with analogue modems these days. That has probably come at the expense of high speeds and whether or not you approve of that probably depends where you live. Anyone on a Market 3 exchange probably wishes BT had gone for raw speed. Anyone on a Market 1 exchange should probably be grateful BT didn't.

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