BT has inked a deal to roll out fibre broadband in Lincolnshire, scooping up yet more cash from the British government. The telecoms giant will deploy mainly fibre-to-the-cabinet technology for the rural county's council, and the work won't be completed until 2016. This follows on from other council jobs BT has won in what has …
Danger of Spoilt Child Syndrome
I'm not opposed to these deals exactly, I do understand that sometimes subsidies are necesary and can be a huge boon to commerce and industry, but....
Are we in danger of training BT management to expect taxpayer money before they expand FTTC into new areas now? If they don't get that taxpayer money, are they going to sulk and see if they get it by being stubborn? Could subsidies in Place A mean that Place B has to wait that much longer because it didn't get taxpayer money?
Re: Danger of Spoilt Child Syndrome
"Could subsidies in Place A mean that Place B has to wait that much longer because it didn't get taxpayer money?"
Wait much longer than what alternative scenario? If we make a rather ungovernmental assumption that taxpayers are a finite resource, and the FTTC budget is limited, then if you choose area A to get a sub'd roll out, then all other areas do have to wait. But as (mostly speaking) the rural dwellers won't pay the full commercial cost of high speed broadband, they won't get it at all unless it is subsidised, and there is no alternative scenario.
All infrastructure services in rural areas are subsidised by townies, simply because you've got fewer users per metre of road/power line/water pipe/sewer/telephone line, and these services have essentially universal tariffs. I don't think BT are becoming any more subsidy addicted than they already are, but there's a related danger that they will do the contractual minimum of delivering fibre to the cabinet, but then leaving properties connected to the cabinets by wet string, considerably reducing the potential benefits.
Note as well the bits the Reg didn't get round to reporting - that this isn't universal FTTC, just coverage of 88% of the local populace, and that the plan covers 150,000 premises, so that's an implied subsidy of £320 per premise. That's an interesting figure, because you'd have thought that the yokels could afford to pay that themselves if they really wanted it - over ten years that would be about five quid a month, allowing for bad debt. Of course, that doesn't include any cabinet to premises upgrade costs, but you get the flavour.
"Broadband minister Ed Vaizey simply used words such as "fantastic" and "great" in BT's press release about the Lincolnshire deal." on the grounds that he cannot spell DSL.
"Could subsidies in Place A mean that Place B has to wait that much longer because it didn't get taxpayer money?" Yes - it's happening that way already: urban areas with willing & ready to pay customers are being ignored while areas that don't make economic sense without subsidy are being chased
Some links to think about:
How do I get my connection?
I run a business in rural Lincolnshire, with no ADSL service.
We have to manage on satellite.
Expensive and mega-high latency.
Just done a check on http://www.onlincolnshire.org/my-area
What speed will I get?
Based on County Council projections, the 1743 premises in NG32 2A should receive the following speeds:
- 22% of Premises will get Basic Broadband.
- 78% of Premises will get Superfast Broadband.
When will Superfast Broadband be available for my area?
Your area is in Phase 8, so improved broadband should be available between January 2016 and March 2016
Ok... so what is 'basic' broadband and what is 'superfast'??
There are literally NO street cabinets from my local exchange, all groundboxes, so does that mean I get FTTP??
Re: How do I get my connection?
I am not in Lincolnshire, but next door. There's stuff going on, but I've net heard of any contract yet.
I know where the local cabinet is. It's not nearby and the "wet string" takes a roundabout route.
The existing wet string between cabinet and exchange is longer, and since the cabinet is next to the local school, I suppose we will get some benefit. I'm sure the council would want the fibre to that particular cabinet.
I get the feeling that if the routing were designed from scratch, most of us would get a better service, The local layout goes via the older part of the village, and then doubles back to what was built in the 1960s. Current ADSL also seems to suffer weekends and evenings: all this fibre is going to be pretty useless if the back-end links aren't upgraded to match.
Re: How do I get my connection?
"Ok... so what is 'basic' broadband and what is 'superfast'??"
"Basic broadband" is the 2Mb/s that the government currently deem as fitting the description of broadband.
If you're one of the basic broadband pariahs (BBP), and you don't get that 2 Mb/s until 2016, then I'll wager you won't be a happy pariah, since that speed will seem as laughable then as 14.4 modems on dial up seem now. At a guess, if there's no cabinets, then you're going to be a BBP.
Superfast is officially 24 Mb/s and above. Given Ofcom, BT & Openreach's track records, I'll be surprised if that doesn't turn into "upto" 24 Mb/s over the next four years.
Sitting on the cash
"BT has inked a deal to roll out fibre broadband in Lincolnshire, scooping up yet more cash from the British government." What this means is after getting the cash they'll delay doing anything for as long as possible for accounting reasons, before grudgingly going ahead with rather less than was originally "promised" cos all the prices have gone up.
Re: Sitting on the cash
No problems in Cornwall - BT is taking EU cash (although majority BT funded) for the rollout there and they're doing quite a good job of it.
With all this new found wealth ...
it is time to PUT MONEY INTO BT PENSION FUNDS.
BT, along with it's air equivalent BA, have been ripping off employees for years by under-funding the pension funds and potentially making the average tax payer responsible for making up the deficits.
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