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back to article BT inks 2 more gov-funded broadband deals

BT bagged two more government-subsidised broadband contracts on Wednesday, when it confirmed that work on those separate rural projects would not be completed until 2016. A pattern is now clearly emerging that shows communications minister Ed Vaizey was right to describe the Ministry of Fun's target to ensure all Brits get at …

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"speeds of at least 2Mbit/s to 90 per cent "

It's good to see them aiming so high.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "speeds of at least 2Mbit/s to 90 per cent "

We've had ADSL running at 2mbit in the uk for many years, so the last 10% are those houses that due to distance from the exchange or other line issues can't be fed by normal means.

And I'll tell you, 2mbit is a lot nicer than nowt.

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Stop

Re: "speeds of at least 2Mbit/s to 90 per cent "

2Mb/s is a crap target. By now they should be aiming for a minimum of 20Mb/s.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "speeds of at least 2Mbit/s to 90 per cent "

2Mbit/s is the headline figure, in reality many will receive much more.

Hopefully

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Anonymous Coward

Re: "speeds of at least 2Mbit/s to 90 per cent "

"2Mbit/s is the headline figure, in reality many will receive much more."

Getting even 2mbit to those 3/4 mile long rural lines will be interesting.

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Megaphone

As a person who lives in the sticks in South Devon, I hope I'm not in the 10%,

The best we can get on a good day is 3 meg and that's the best! This averages out about 2 meg (and I do mean averages!) No hope of fibre to the premises, even in a new build area.

Megaphone because, can you hear my data?

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Facepalm

I just checked, it seems the closes exchange (the one we're not connected to) is now on the 'future exchanges' list for a calendar year of 2013.

Can you guess about the one we are connected to? Yep, no plans!

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One possibility is that your exchange will never be upgrade to fibre. Instead, your FTTC cabinet will receive its fibre via a spine from the closer exchange (cheaper, and has been done before). Then, at some point in the distant future your exchange will be shut and all lines migrated to the other exchange as BT have already announced plans to close smaller exchanges.

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Unhappy

3 Meg?

3 Meg? Ahh that's luxury!

One of our sites at work is in a lovely rural location but is lucky to get 1 Meg, I'm just hoping it's not in the 10%.

Hopefully when they start putting more FTTC in that will make a real difference, and then lead to a reasonably easy (and hopefully not too expensive) upgrade to FTTP in the future.

Rob

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Thumb Up

Supposedly cabinets in Brackley (small town) are fed from Banbury (large town). There's no reason not to do that and it eventually allows BT to close some of the exchanges if/when voice services move to fibre.

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Re: 3 Meg?

In the Spring, BT are going to start rolling out 'Fibre on Demand' to those willing and able to pay. The caveat is that your cabinet already has a FTTC twin from which the fibre to your premises can be spliced. No actual pricing has been announced, but initial indications are £500 for the install plus an unknown amount for blowing fibre to your house (£1000 has been bandied about for premises 500m from the cabinet).

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WTF?

But...?

Could somebody explain a reason (apart from magic) why ubiquitous broadband will actually benefit the productive economy? Is downloading more movies good for manufacturing productivity in some mysterious way?

Don't misunderstand me, I will enjoy faster downloads as much as anybody, but I've never understood the economic argument for domestic users. For business users, yes. But why subsidise domestic broadband?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...?

Rural areas are where you really need broadband. Not for movie streaming a such (but with the cinema 45+ mins driving away it helps) but to access government services (car tax online and so on) and also allows people to start small enterprises once they have a reliable connection to the world.

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Go

Re: But...?

Could somebody explain a reason (apart from magic) why ubiquitous broadband will actually benefit the productive economy?

I'm not sure there is one, really. However there are cultural and social benefits to doing it. It's not good to exclude parts of the population from parts of society. I'd say the reasons for doing this are a combination of factors none of which on their own justifies it but put together we just about have a good case.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: But...?

Just think what could be done if really high speed broadband was ubiquitous.

- VPN connections at speeds that can match the remote system.

- High resolution videoconferencing, so there is no need to travel the country using the HS2 train that is going to cost billions.

- No need to base your business in in high cost areas. Do people actually WANT to work in places like Docklands

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Anonymous Coward

Begrudger

I still don't get the whole idea of government funding for broadband. BT made pretax profits of £2.5 billion last year. If they're in the business of delivering broadband, why any subsidy at all? If they've got licenses to make massive, massive profits in cities, why not oblige them to support remote regions at the same time? Or why not introduce some competition and funding for Twoway and other providers that could install broadband satellite connections to the remotest customers tomorrow with little fuss?

It seems, to me anyway, that utilities in this country expect to get subsidies AND charge prices as if they were a monopoly. Whether it's nuclear power getting funding for decommissioning, water companies getting funding from the EA, rail providers, banks. I can't stomach the poor mouth all the time when the charges are so high. BT boasted a couple of months ago that they'd only be raising charges once this year. That just sums this company up for me really. I would give them the steam...

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Re: Begrudger

"If they're in the business of delivering broadband"

What they are in the business of is making profit. They have no interest in providing a uniform country wide service, they have no interest in what benefits the community. If its profitable to provide you a service you can have it, of not, screw you.

The bigger question is why the Goverment gives us all this talk about how important broadband it, how it will benefit the economy/community and yet leaves the whole deal in the hands of a monopoly that has proven over the decades that it gives not one toss about anything other than filling its coffers.

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Anonymous Coward

If we're going to hand taxpayers money to natural monopolies

If we're going to continue to hand taxpayers money to natural monopolies (such as Openreach's practical last-mile monopoly outside cabled areas) why don't we just nationalise Openreach?

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Meh

Re: If we're going to hand taxpayers money to natural monopolies

Other companies had the chance to bid. Why didn't Sky (aka Easynet), Virgin Media, or TalkTalk win any bids? What about the semi-mythical Fujitsu offer to do everything if they could have all the money?

This was a bidding process. Only BT could do it for the sums on offer. Are you suggesting we should put more money on the table to break BT's monopoly? They will (apparently) do the best job for lowest cost. Capitalism at it's best :D

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Re: If we're going to hand taxpayers money to natural monopolies

Will lowest cost to taxpayers also equate to lowest cost for consumers in the long run? Has BTs size and wealth allowed it to come in with the cheapest bid so it controls the infrastructure in the long run? I don't know.

I do know BT are a very difficult and disjointed company for customers to deal with - and I'm not blaming the call centres here. Last year BT tried to charge me £150 to repair a broken phone line outside my house. I don't even own the line - they do.

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Re: If we're going to hand taxpayers money to natural monopolies

It's called a loss leader. BT can afford to bid low to keep its monopoly secure because of the massive profits it screws out of us by being a monopoly. Its self sustaining.

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Re: If we're going to hand taxpayers money to natural monopolies

Also BT is the only provider with an obligation to share infrastructure. So it is probably cheaper and less hassle for the other majors to just sit back and let BT make the capital investment, which they will then be able to access for a low monthly fee...

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A real survey?

Has anyone actually published a proper survey of what speeds people actually get ? Not just what an ISP says you could get up to.

Do the likes of Speedtest.net publish their results on a map ?

I would love to see real world data put on a map.

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This is a good start - http://www.broadband-notspot.org.uk/

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For Chris_B

http://maps.thinkbroadband.com/#!lat=51.8210455716909&lng=-1.8374622578124922&zoom=7&type=terrain&estimated-speeds

Next time, try google first

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