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back to article UK.gov to grab fistful from £150m city broadband pot to pay for digi skills

One of Neil Berkett's final acts as Virgin Media chief was to lobby the government to rethink its broadband spending plans in urban areas - and instead demand that at least some of the £150m set aside by the Treasury be plowed into digital skills for small businesses. The telco, which was recently scooped up by telecoms giant …

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Anonymous Coward

"The Reg that Brussels' officials had warned that "a workable State Aid approval for infrastructure would require an investigation of between seven and 18 months. "

if they can't make a decision in a shorter timescale than that, sack the lot of them and replace them with pen pushers who can.

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Coat

Vouchers

AKA company scrip - might as well be overstamped "Can only be redeemed with one of my mates an approved company"

As backhanders go it's a bit more subtle than a brown envelope stuffed with tenners - but not much.

The one with the brown envelope stuffed with tenners please - it was left by that nice man wearing a tie just like mine.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Vouchers

"It’s critical public money is spent where it’s needed most:

investing in the digital skills, access and training

that could benefit UK businesses by £18bn."

We're giving £18bn to A4E and our workfare running friends.

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Ah this again. So apparently the entire country has high speed broadband and there is absolutely nothing better to spend the money on at the moment than another voucher scheme, this time for courses on using powerpoint. Fecking wonderful. The comment above sounds about right, backhanders. Looks like some mp has a wife \ cousin whatever who is out of work as a social media life coach and needs an indirect handout.

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Just give me my fucking tax back. Stop spending it on useless shite we don't need and won't use.

In my experience anyone in employment who is lacking "digital skills" is someone who has no desire to learn how to work a computer properly and wouldn't understand even if they actually listened to you telling them. Which they won't.

So just give me my money back.

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Dear Virgin

The rest of my street in London can get your fibre. I can't because of a tree root - said tree is not even there any more. Imagine if you tried to roll out rural broadband .... apparently the countryside features the odd tree dotted here and there. You'd swoon like a Victorian virgin spotting a untrousered piano. "Oh, the trees, the trees ..."

I'm glad you're not getting Gov money to roll out broadband because - you are clearly incapable of organising festivities in a facility for the fermentation of cervecious beverages.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I was all confused about this article

Then I saw your Virgin reference. Beardy got his snout in the government money trough again?

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I was all confused about this article

He hasnt owned it for years, why not try following the news before commenting

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Boffin

(And BT) Re: Dear Virgin

Yup, my area of Birmingham won't get those green cabinets for at least a decade. Thanks a bundle BT and Virgin.

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xyz
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FAIL

I'm still trying to get over Countryfile the other night....

You had these farmers, on farms, which err...tend to be in the middle of nowhere, having to do all their "digital by default" crap (VAT, animal registrations etc) on dial up modems like it was 1993. Then you had the RH Herbert Twat-Bumchum of the Ministry spouting on about the superfast broadband rollout which (suddenly seems to mean about 2MB/s FFS and) was all going swimmingly seemingly.

And this bunch are trying to trough it for urban SME training, where yer average shelf stacker knows everything about computers now because he's got one in his pocket that also makes calls. He might not be able to read or write properly, but he can txt m8s LOL, play angry birds and watch 2 girls, one cup.

It's like the government has an IT blind spot about 20 years wide and will listen to any old cobblers from anyone wanting cash..

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Careful

You're dangerously close to suggesting government employ joined up thinking.

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Re: I'm still trying to get over Countryfile the other night....

Thats only the half of it. Dialups a pain, but the infrastructure itself is poor in the sticks. Our farms phone supply runs through several other farms (farmer engineering) and is routinely knocked off, often by the openreach engineer fixing last weeks cockup for someone further along the line. It's an excuse to go to the pub (free wifi) although it can take a while to fill out a form :-)

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Re: I'm still trying to get over Countryfile the other night....

Great to see them rolling out their own fibre though - "The gov are crap, we'll do it ourselves and get far more than 2Mbps"...

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Re: I'm still trying to get over Countryfile the other night....

"Great to see them rolling out their own fibre though - "The gov are crap, we'll do it ourselves and get far more than 2Mbps"..."

I saw this.

Their figures for delivering it worked out about £1000/home but I'm not sure if that's FTTC or FTTH.

I wonder what the BT charge comes to?

Thumbs up for self help.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: I'm still trying to get over Countryfile the other night....

The general figure used in the industry is the magic £1000, give or take. I think that figure might get a revision upwards soon though - fewer people are buying high speed broadband than expected and so the kit cost has to be divided amongst fewer users. Give the average person a choice of 'upto' 16Mb for £15 or 'upto' 70Mb for £20 and they'll choose the cheaper option.

The problem then being that at £20 a month, assuming half of it goes on other costs (wages, maintenance, support) it takes just over 8 years to pay back your £1000 and start making a profit. That assumes that the £20 a month hasn't reduced in the meantime. As a business you're better off sticking your money in the bank.

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IT Angle

The market is delivering?

"The market is delivering next generation services in towns and cities and government has recognised spending public money on building new broadband infrastructure in these areas is not the best way forward"

We couldn't gouge the consumers if they had a low cost alternative.

"The plan to help cities build superfast internet connections to homes and businesses not served by BT and Virgin Media's existing networks has been reduced to a voucher scheme"

That includes areas about a kilometre from ten Downing St ...

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FAIL

Scared for you brits

I wonder if or when or if already you are being taxed for watching streaming videos online and being taxed for doing so and calling it a TV tax still.

What a filthy ideology the govt over there you have!

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