Broadband minister Ed Vaizey has confessed that the government's £530m pledge to deploy a faster fibre network to rural areas by 2015 is "a challenging target". Speaking with MPs on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Select Committee, Vaizey said that his department was "running as fast as we can" to deliver on time. …
By the start or end of?
I only live 4 miles outside of my local town. From what I see we are getting fibre in the village, but when is unclear. The town was upgraded months ago and I have seen no effort to get it out this way. Good luck getting fibre to more remote areas by 2015.
I live in a village, with a cabinet about 100m away, and our county council is just finalising a deal with BT for rural broadband. I hope they do fibre up that cabinet, but I suspect the best we'll see is an upgrade from ADSL2 to ADSL2+. I'm also expecting it to come in late.
Assume end of, although I seem to remember 2015 being mentioned originally as it was the end of the parliament...
It is a challenging target
We need to upgrade the national infrastructure; almost everyone agrees with this. Unfortunately, everyone wants to be next to be upgraded (yes me too) but it takes time to get the work done.
Unfortunately, the telecomms networks are in much the same state as the railways were back in the 50s. Too little investment - and in the case of the telecomms, it's more apparent because of the more rapid changes in technology.
BT used to have the staff to do the work, but trimmed back on their workforce a long time ago. They rely quite heavily now on some contractors to do a proportion of the work (many of whom were trained by BT!)
I'm not trying to defend BT; on the contrary, we are in this situation because of their lack of planning. But I can't see that we are going to get the network we need until there is some serious political pressure to make it happen and at the moment, I just don't see that anywhere.
Out of the box thinking
In order to meet the deadline of deploying fibre to 90% of the rural population - the DFO has started a program of releasing swarms of mutant rabid badgers across the home counties.
The reduction in the rural population should allow the target to be met with a single wifi equipped Starbucks on Dartmoor
Hah! like we didn't see that coming.
Universal Broadband by 2015 was known to be a challenging target in 2010.
So the news here isn't the fact that delivering the universal broadband (of at least 2Mbps) by 2015 is a challenge, it is that once again it will slip, probably to 2020.... and this was a project that was originally intended (in 2009) to be delivered by 2012, but was postponed by the current government to 2015 due to lack of funds ...
What is of great concern is that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport seems to have very little understanding of how to structure funding so as to avoid competition questions and how to engage with the EU competition officials. Yet other departments seem to be able to announce various forms of state aid without any concerns about competition.
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