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back to article Hunt vows: 'UK will have fastest broadband in Europe by 2015'

The government's pledge to provide countrywide broadband access by 2015 has received another boost from the Culture Secretary, who has promised the "fastest broadband of any major European country". In a speech at Google's Campus in East London, Jeremy Hunt said that speed was the most important aspect of the government's …

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Meh

Some people are surrounded by a reality distortion bubble.

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Mushroom

Sure we will

The fastest broadband in Europe....

Only available between MP's houses and their local exchange.

The rest of us will continue to manage with 'up to 20Mb' or 2Mb in the real world.

Fast broadband has the biggest impact in the towns and villages the furthest away from metropolitan centres. Exactly where they won't be putting fast broadband any time soon.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Sure we will

The headline says 'fastest in Europe'

His promise is actually 'fastest of any major country in Europe' - which conveniently allows the UK Government to redefine 'major'

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Silver badge

Re: Sure we will

Major country - any country which once had a premier called 'Major'

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IT Angle

Fastest broadband in Europe? Top of the Championship isn't Top of the Premier League.

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Anonymous Coward

Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

You mean coming 4th out of the 200ish countries on the entire planet isn't enough? (The Netherlands is currently 4th.) We should instead waste billions upon billions trying to get better speeds than Hong Kong, which is rougly the size of my left shoe, out to every Shetlands farmer who hasn't even heard of the interweb, let alone needs/wants it?

Do you apply this total lack of perspective to the rest of your life? Do you insist on only drinking Kopi Luwak coffee, and eating beluga caviar with solid platinum cutlery and crockery, because if it's not the absolute best it's just not worth doing at all?

Oh, and regarding your 'Where's the IT angle?' icon - it's an article about broadband. How much more 'IT' can you get?

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Trollface

Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

Well somebody got out of the wrong side of bed today, didn't they, Mr. Grumpychops.

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FAIL

Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

"We should instead waste billions upon billions trying to get better speeds...out to every Shetlands farmer who hasn't even heard of the interweb, let alone needs/wants it?"

Speak for yourself.

I live on an island, and yes I have heard of the internet, I was an IT professional, and I DO want something faster than the pathetic connection speed I get at the moment ( approx 300Kb) Why should I not not get the same as other people? I pay the same taxes and charges for a phone line plus the charge my ISP demands. Or is it really that you want everyone else to subsdise you?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

"Why should I not not get the same as other people? I pay the same taxes and charges for a phone line plus the charge my ISP demands. Or is it really that you want everyone else to subsdise you?"

You misunderstand me. I think that you absolutely should get the same as everyone else. My issue is with people unable to accept that something can be excellent, and more than adequate, even if it's not the absolute 'best'.

4th is a realistic goal - the Netherlands are much closer in size and population density to the UK than Hong Kong, so getting that speed broadband out to your house is relatively achievable. Claiming that trying to do that is somehow aiming too low is what I take issue with.

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Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

...which is rougly the size of my left shoe...

But not your right shoe?

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Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

Uncivilised yob, don't you know its mother-of-pearl spoon for caviar (doesn't taint the food).

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FAIL

Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

But not your right shoe?

He'd have to pry that one out of his mouth to see if it measures up.

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JC_

Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

"I live on an island, and yes I have heard of the internet, I was an IT professional, and I DO want something faster than the pathetic connection speed I get at the moment ( approx 300Kb) Why should I not not get the same as other people? I pay the same taxes and charges for a phone line plus the charge my ISP demands. Or is it really that you want everyone else to subsdise you?"

And if you were to fly to Singapore from your island airport you'd pay the same travel taxes, too, so why aren't 747s landing there? Sorry to be facetious, but if you're getting the benefits of living on your island (air that's breathable, for a start!) then you must've accepted the inevitable trade-offs some time ago.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Why should I not not get the same as other people?

You're not as equal as them.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Yeah, because 4th on the planet would just be a failure, wouldn't it.

You might want to take a look at this then, they're not all farmers up there in Shetland, many oil engineers, and the farmers are pretty bright anyway, maybe it's all that fish and fresh veggies and fresh air ;)

http://www.ispreview.co.uk/story/2011/08/31/shetland-islands-begin-laying-superfast-fibre-optic-broadband-cable-to-scalloway.html

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2012/01/13/with-fast-broadband-weeks-away-communities-are-urged-to-join-up

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2012/05/15/broadband-link-proves-its-quality-with-puffin-show

They also have a rather nice almost-castle fort thing (at the middle of the town Lerwick) which was burnt by your guys when it was empty last time they came a-raiding in 1673! (apart from that lots of trading went on)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fort_Charlotte,_Shetland

And many Dutch yachts, racing and otherwise, come to Shetland, so I am sure you are very welcome there.

Additionally, a certain Mr Topiary was arrested there ;)

http://www.shetlandtimes.co.uk/2011/08/01/man-accused-of-hacking-grew-up-in-yell

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Bronze badge

Not all fibre is the same

We need fibre to the premises. I've got fibre to the cabinet, and 100Mb is very nice thank you, but to get a significant increase - which I'll want - it needs to shed the copper.

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Re: Not all fibre is the same

Have you any idea of the cost of laying fibre to every premises in the country? If you're in the .01% of the nation that needs FTTP, you're free to pay for it yourself. If you're living in a tower block with hundreds of others (like many people in Japan or S Korea, it needn't be all that expensive.

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Re: Not all fibre is the same FTTP

If fibre is already available in the cabinet then premises can be fibred to the cabinet. As long as the cabinet has enough back-haul to the exchange there's no need for every property to have its own fibre back to the exchange.

I doubt the length of fibre costs much more than the length of copper the real costs are in the terminations and the transceivers. With a system like this though you could use cheaper multimode and still get 1Gb connections within 500m of the cabinet.

I think BT already have a system like this on trial in some areas, at the moment targeting businesses but there's no reason it couldn't be extended to homes for those that want more than VDSL is providing.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Not all fibre is the same FTTP

Actually you'll find the biggest cost in in the labour.

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Not exactly setting the bar very high, fastest in Europe. Akamami's recent state of the internet shows Asia occupies the top 3 spots and pretty much has for quite a while.

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Anonymous Coward

Who is this Akamami that you speak of, Earthling?

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Anonymous Coward

Murdoch doesn't want to launch anymore satellites

So he's getting the government + other companies to pay for his broadcasting infrastructure.

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Anonymous Coward

you got it wrong!

he said: "the fastest"

he meant "up to the fastest" *

* for full T&C click here. Sorry about the timeout, we're working as fast as we can!

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What about upload speeds

No one ever seems to mention Upload Speeds. For the community at large SDSL is what is required not ADSL. The cloud and P2P users benefit enormously from symetric connections.

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Stop

Re: What about upload speeds

But P2P users are all pirates, no?

(c) The Music and Film Industry, or what's left of it after home taping killed music. Ahem.

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Vic
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Re: What about upload speeds

> For the community at large SDSL is what is required not ADSL

Not so.

Look at the typical user's pattern - he will download at least an order of magnitude more than he will upload. ADSL is exactly right for that sort of user

Now of course, you can find exceptions - I am one myself. But we are the atypical users; almost everyone else needs ADSL. Repurposing bandwidth from downstream to upstream would simply mean their access would become slower for no improvement elsewhere, as that extra upstream bandwidth will simply be wasted.

Vic.

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Pint

'UK will have fastest broadband in Europe by 2015'

"It will be installed into the House of Commons bar"

"What, I never said it would be UK-wide!"

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Anonymous Coward

Let's all hope...

...Jeremy isn't taking something wild and giving us spouted rubbish. He better start injecting some government cash to BT and co to make this even possible. Would of made more sense to inject the billions of pounds that saved corrupt banks to create tech/infrastructure jobs to do this years ago and catchup with the likes of Eastern Europe and Asia. Currently, the fastest speeds are compromised by VMs stupid traffic shaping and lack of capacity at the local exchanges.

OFCOM don't care as long as we get the bottom line in an acceptable fashion. The only way to get low-latency, "ultra-fast" broadband is to buy some Tier 1/2 ISP grade connections at data centres. Might as well, you get your air-conditioning thrown in.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Let's all hope...

Wouldn't worry too much about Eastern Europe, yeah, the Internet's fast in some areas, but not many people left to use it now, since the Great Recession kicked off ;)

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Anonymous Coward

"Today's superfast is tomorrow's superslow,". If that is the case exactly what does he think 2015's 'superfast' will be then?

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Anonymous Coward

HMMM

My parents live 5km outside Barnsley. Granted Barnsley is not a high tech hub but it's not a idle backwater. The entire estate they live on can *just* get 1MB on a good day, more usually .5mb or .25mb. Sometime there are days the modem just can't connect, and multiple ISP's have said it's all down to distance and the line quality.

Barnsley is part of the "Digital Region" that was another goverment scheme to bring superfast broadband to orifinally 97% of the people in the area. Guess what, not the part my parents live in, they are too far from the exchange, and the targets now dropped to 80% of the population due to cutbacks.

My Parents don't want 1billion mbps internet, they don't stream music and video around the house, they don't do online gaming, and they certainly don't do any major downloading other than Windows Secutiry patches. They do want a reasonalby fast, reasonaly cheap (read sub £15 a month) package that works reliably and consistantly.

Lets fix what we have before promising these blistering speeds that will only be accessable to the folks living closest to the exchange or are lucky enough to live on the streets that the the project decided to fibre up..

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Re: HMMM

whereas for comparison, in a house on a pretty much deserted road 7km from a little town of 4K people in the logging district of central sweden I can get a reliable 8Mb down and 0.8mb up.

The local ISP doesn't even need you to have a current landline subscription, just that a telephone cable has been installed by someone, at some point.

Imagine the reaction you'd get in Britain if an ISP were to offer the option to add an extra £100 on the install fee and never have to deal with BT ever again....

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Def
Bronze badge

Re: HMMM

And for another comparison, in a village of 3000, 50km south of Oslo, Norway, the phone companies offer a paltry 3Mb ADSL, while the local cable company (that I use) is offering 100Mb down (and has been for several years) and is marketing the imminent arrival of 400Mb symmetric fibre to the home.

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Facepalm

Re: HMMM

Sounds like my house in West Sussex. Apart from the pine trees and the .5 meg Virgin broadband (on a good day).

Still, I'm glad Sir Richard's got a fast space plane and hangs out with the cool kids like Usain the Fast.

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Facepalm

Re: HMMM

Usain the bolt... get it right :). Doesn't help anyone that is infrastructurely buggered. Government aren't putting pressure on BT to get green boxes in distant places enabled so that they can go directly to FTTB rather than ailing with ADSL forever. Even Virgin are strapped for cash to even bother stealing customers from BT to push their coax/fibre to new streets.

Will 4G actually cover stuffed communities in the short-term? OFCOM better get on with it if they want to sprinkle magic over broadband connections in the next 3 years.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: HMMM

Wait, you'ŗe a lumberjack and you'ŗe OK? You sleep all night and you work all day? Or perhaps you do IT for them ;)

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Meh

Politicians in "we can manipulate reality to be bestest" shocker

Yeah, I will be at the cineplex to get MY does of escapism.

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Anonymous Coward

.... with access for 90 per cent of the country...

I take it he is talking population and not geographically....a bit like Virgin media like to do.

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I presume this statement is just a coincidence, coming the day after my "8Mb" Plusnet connection's down-speed recorded a new low of just 1.8Mb. Approx 4 or 5 years ago it would run at around 4Mb and even peak at 6-7Mb on occasion, and has gone downhill ever since. Maybe Mr Hunt should aspire to restore speeds to their historic levels to start with.

(apols to all those who can't even get these, er, heady speeds)

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Anonymous Coward

Not unique

It'll be a future consideration when you buy a house.

If you like a particular school that allocates places by catchment, you buy a house in the catchment area

If you're old and don't want to be 50 miles to the nearest hospital, you buy a house nearer the hospitals.

2 Mbit/s in a rural area is fine for communication (banking, emails, shopping). If you need high speed broadband then make sure you don't live in the middle of nowhere. If you don't want mains sewerage and don't want to heat your house with oil, don't live in the middle of nowhere.

I don't expect the NHS to build a hospital near me when I retire, I don't expect British Gas to lay a pipe to my house or the local water authority to offer me mains sewerage for free. Why do we expect to all have high speed broadband ?

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Re: Not unique

" I don't expect British Gas to lay a pipe to my house or the local water authority to offer me mains sewerage for free. Why do we expect to all have high speed broadband ?"

There are alternatives to mains sewerage [1] and piped gas but there isn't a sensible alternative to fast broadband. I'd love to have 2Mbit and I'd orgasm at 100Mbit. For now though, I usually trudge along at around 800Kb.

[1] My septic tank works well and costs a lot less to run than the water people charge you for sewerage :)

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Thumb Down

Broadband?

Why do the politicians prioritise 'superfast broadband' for business? If (and it is a big if) a business requires a super fast high speed link why on earth would it rely on a shared broadband connection whos speed varies with the number of users and time of day and usage by the porn baron next door? Shouldn't any business reliant on such technology be sited where it's available in the first place and looking at leased lines, FTTP and similar dedicated business connections?

Seems like a government excuse to throw silly money at a (very) few private infrastructure companies as a means to repatriate some more hard-earned tax-payer wedge ...

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So many questions...

I'll pick the easy ones first.

1. Define, in empirical terms, what Hunt means by 'fastest'.

2. What are Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities ?

3. Given that Hunt's department has estimated the cost if the state manages the project to be £25bn over a period of 10 years, who does he think can do it cheaper and in 4 years ?

4. Where is the RACI chart ?

5. Who will find the upfront investment ?

6. From the Akamai survey, The Netherlands and Latvia are the top two EU countries based on average connection speed. Given that they are not mentioned in Hunt's speech, who are the 'major European countries we are competing against ?

7. What is his plan to support the Digital Agenda for Europe target (50% of households having 100 Megabit/s or higher)

8. Given 'Kensington and Chelsea, have deprived their residents of superfast broadband', how does he plan to get the service to more remote areas of the UK ?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So many questions...

4. Where is the RACI chart ?

You got it wrong, UKGov despite authoring Prince2 and ITIL via the OGC docs doesn't do RACI They do RCI, no-one is ever accountable...

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Joke

Re: So many questions...

In answer to your question 2:

Tier 1 cities are where the MP's live (only those in his party, obviously)

Tier 2 cities are where all the mates of those in Tier 1 cities live

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Anonymous Coward

Re: So many questions...

2. What are Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities ?

God you must be slow.

Tier 1 = London

Tier 2...are there other cities?

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Meh

I for one....

...Look forward to seeing Hunt out with his pick, shovel and reel of Fibre. Virgin rarely do in-fill in the gaps they leave and BT are a shambles, happy to charge obscene rates and do little for it.

I'm still waiting for the last government's target speed...

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Coat

cities = city

"It hopes to introduce 'ultrafast' speeds of between 80 and 100 Mbps in major cities"

that would be just London then!!!

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