back to article Brussels blesses British BDUK broadband boost blurt

Maria Miller's mercy dash to Brussels earlier this month appears to have paid off, after the European Commission confirmed today that it had cleared £530m in state aid investment for broadband deployment in the UK - along with what appear to be limp-wristed concessions. "BDUK [Broadband Delivery UK], as a national competence …

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Bronze badge
Black Helicopters

wet string

"government will not allow parts of our country to miss out on the digital age"

Does that mean I get the local loop fixed to the house so we can get more than 30Kbyte/sec on adsl? Phoning EE a couple of times a week now and talking to lots of people who 'update the case notes'. I live a couple of miles from the centre of a major city.

In other words: how do we ensure the kit carries on working once the money is spent...

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Re: wet string

Good luck with that - I have spent 10 years trying to get Openjoke to cure the random dropouts in my 3km line... no luck so far.

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Bronze badge
Childcatcher

Re: wet string

No drop outs, very reliable, just getting slower and slower and sloooowwwwwwer on download. Upload is now faster than download, which suggests a line fault somewhere to me, either that or the string needs to be dampened again.

Swapped filter/router-modem cable/connected to the master socket/reset router. We have now been 'escalated to level 2' because the EE line test failed. Which means I have to phone back in 48 hours....

My point being: it is all very well burying £ in the ground and annoying the rich folk in Edgbaston with those large green cabinets in the street - but there needs to be some system for resolving faults quickly that does not involve umpteen organisations. And preferably done by email, not endless phone calls.

Will somebody think of the children because they will look back on this like I do when I remember the A and B buttons...

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Hello??? BT/Welsh Assembly???? Wales DOES extend BEYOND the M4 corridor!!!!! Maybe areas still on up-to 8 megs should be considered early on to compensate for having paid through the nose for slow services on old Vanilla ADSL equipment for so long after many others got ADSL2/2+ - Old equipment where repairs often involved parts scavenged from exchanges being upgraded.

Payback is due! Time we had some investment instead of having everyone else's leavings.- compensation for the ludicrous pricing that saw ADSL1 more costly than the newer faster services with (usually) higher data allowances on newly purchased equipment.

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Anonymous Coward

It's not just wales that is stuck on 'up to 8meg'

I think places with just 8meg BB should get fibre before ADSL+ users...

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Anonymous Coward

Why should you be compensated for exercising your free choice to buy a product? If the broadband on offer doesn't give you the service you need at the price you want to pay, don't buy it.

Companies invest if they think they can make a return. If they all decide there's no money to be made then there's no investment unless government steps in - which I guess is what's happening here.

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Silver badge

Surrey !

> and Surrey would be the first to benefit from state aid clearance

Thank god - finally somebody is doing something to help the impoverished hell hole of desperation that is Surrey.

Hopefully this will end the tragic cycle of unemployment, crime and despair that has for so long blighted the home counties since the pheasant mines were closed.

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Anonymous Coward

Appalling

Appalling that we have to wait for Brussels to decide how OUR government spends OUR money

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Silver badge

Re: Appalling

Today Germany announced 10Billion euro subsidy to build cheaper cars, only German car companies were allowed to bid to receive the money - VW Golf's will go on sale across europe for 5grand.

How would you feel if you worked for a UK car plant?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Appalling

Why is it appalling? All the EU telcos play in each other's markets. If a government in one country gives unfair aid to one company, the market isn't free and people can't compete effectively. The granting of state aid has to be regulated to make sure everyone is playing by fair rules.

France Telecom used to be able to access government loans at lower interest rates than their competitors meaning they had a competitive advantage that they could use in France and abroad. Deutsche Telekom had people sitting on the board of the German regulator. EU regulation has sorted out these anomalies so that BT or KPN or Belgacom can compete fairly in those countries. It must then only be fair that the EU check that anything the UK government does isn't unfairly benefiting BT at the expense of other telcos. I believe the EU check was only required because BT are the only remaining bidder in what is supposed to be a competitive process.

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Well

Certainly another nice boost for the BT pension fund.

The rollout was anti-competitive enough with the variety of concessions Ofcom gave without having public money added.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Well

I don't understand this.

There are parts of the UK that no company wants to invest in because they don't believe they can make a reasonable return on their investments. That means that without public money, there would be no investment made by anyone in those areas. If it were possible to roll out without public money, empirically it would have been done. No-one has.

How then can it be anti-competitive, if no-one wants to play anyway? I get that giving someone like BT money to invest in an area covered by Virgin would be anti-competitive - but how can it be in an area where no-one can make a go of it? The other companies in the bidding process dropped out and only BT and Fujitsu were left, but Fujitsu are in some kind of sin bin after not spending public money very effectively on their NHS contracts. I presume for them not to be in the same sin bin that BT have a better track record.

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