Lobbyists demanding superfast web access in Europe fear the continent's economy could suffer if nations fail to hook fibre-optic broadband directly into homes. Hartwig Tauber, the director general of the European wing of the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Council, told The Register that high-speed broadband uptake is sluggish because …
> as a business user I have to say that faster broadband would be a massive boost
So what's the problem? It sounds like you have a business case for a leased line and there's plenty of companies will put one of those almost anywhere you want.
It's all Rupert Murdoch's fault
Getting on for 20 years ago BT offered to put in fibre to every premiss in the UK. The only thing they asked for was to be let out of the bar on them offering TV over the fibre a few years early. Mr. Murdoch saw this as a threat to his Sky business and lobbied hard to get the government to turn the offer down.
It was biggest mistake of any government in probably my lifetime. Had we taken BT's offer up we would right now be enjoying the best internet connection in the world bar none.
Sad that half of you seem scared of. FTTH.
Try a NBN
Half the politicians here in Australia get it .The rest are opposed on political grounds secretly some of them also want it.
The secret to its success was not to let Telstra ( Australia's answer to BT )have anything to do with it.
Yea hurry up and get Fibre to every home so i can have the choice to use it or not.,
I have read the article and all of the well informed comments. I'm very surprised that no one has mentioned Australia and NBN. So I will.
We had a similar situation to UK. A telecoms incombant that had been privatised and was a virtual monopoly.
Poor legislation enacted at the time of privatisation that stopped just about anything being done.
So, the government decided to break that monopoly by replacing most of the copper with a mix of fibre, wireless and satellite.
How did they finance it and how was it implemented?
They set up a company to do the job (NBN), on NBN's behalf the government borrowed the money, to be repaid later with a premium.
NBN are set up as a wholesale broadband offering/ fibre landline company, no retail at all.
NBN gave the incumbent major telcos a shedload of cash to give NBN all of their customers once the new connections were established.
Exit the telco's monopoly/duopoly on landlines.
That monopoly is going to revert back to the governement via it's wholly owned subsiduary (NBN).
One day, it is proposed that NBN will be sold. A worry, but we'd like to think that the goverment of the day will be a lot smarter than the one that sold off the national telco to begin with.
We, the people, end up with fibre connections to 98% of all premises, wireless to much of the rest and some of us with well subsidised satellite connections.
This is Australia a vast land and it can be done here, UK is comparitively small though with many more premises.
Surely something similar can be done, in effect, it will cost our governement nothing to achieve. In return, they gain back the telco monopoly via NBN. All they will do is facilitating legislation, borrow some cash and end up with a telco monopoly worth billions, after having already sold it for billions.
Jees I'm in the wrong business.
As mentioned before, OpenReach should have been properly farmed off from BT years ago. If this had happened and all telecoms providers made to pay into the pot to use it, there wouldn't have been any need for unbundled exchanges which are basically duplication of equipment.
Everyone paying their share to use the same network would have resulted in a better network and fibre rollout years ago.
Every week or so, someone like this guy pops up to tell us that we have crap broadband and that it's crippling our economic prospects. What they don't explain is how.
I can see how internet connectivity itself is an economic stimulus. I can also see that availability of broadband enhances this effect by increasing uptake and enabling new patterns of usage. But how does and increase from say 2Mb/s to 2Gb/s increase your economic activity? It looks to me as though the marginal return will be tiny in proportion to the cost.
The article talks of "games consoles, smart TVs and other devices". I don't know about "other devices", but I don't see the first two as major engines of economic growth.
An earlier poster mentioned "4/5 devices can all stream HD movies at once". The average UK household size is 2.4 people (http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171766_259965.pdf), so each person will have to watch two movies at once. Even if they do, it's unlikely that they'll pay for them all separately, and even if they do that, we aren't going to fund an economic miracle out of online movie rentals.
Of course I'd like superfast, or maybe even just fast, broadband, but that's because it would be nice to have. I could do some things that I can't do now, and many things a bit quicker. But it won't change my contribution to GDP much.
> how many people are on the network and so on
So does a fibre network..unless he's really trying to suggest that the EU should be rolling out uncontended network access for everyone. It's true that xDSL can suffer from crosstalk when a lot of people are using it but it's not normally a huge impact. If we're lucky vectoring will address most of that with FTTC.
But like others I remain unconvinced that there is any immediate requirement for FTTH/P. The takeup of BT's offering and VM's top of the range package has been lacklustre. BT has had to discount the cost until it's stupidly slow juts to stimulate demand. The truth is that most people just don't need those kinds of speeds now or anything close to them. The most common bandwidth hogging application at the moment is IPTV. But even there you can get a decent HD stream at 3.5Mb/s (BBC iPlayer is good enough for most people) and most satellite HD channels broadcast at around 12Mb/s. So 100Mb/s is more than enough to let a family watch multiple HD streams.
And that's assuming we even think that IPTV is the best way of delivering content which I'm not convinced about. Most people don't even use their PVRs to simulate VoD so for most people boring old broadcast TV is enough. But get rid of IPTV and what's left? The mad torrent brigade and...that's pretty much it. Of course we don't know what the future will hold but no other country has yet come up with a killer app - even those who've had FTTH/P for many years.
At the moment the only people in the UK are not able to get the best benefit from the internet are the people in the final third (mostly rural, but not all). Basically anyone that can't get a residential connection in excess of 20Mb/s. I think that's where money needs to be spent and an FTTP/H programme would not help those people - it would instead take away what little funds are currently available for those people.
now we have carbon nanotube cable, doesn't that mean we can have 1 Zettabit per second broadband? ;)
Re: Zettabit interwebs
Of course you can have a Zettabit interwebs connection. You can have it on the same basis as BT FTC, it will be available tomorrow...
If it was that simple...
There are so many gaps in the FTTH Council's argument, you could run a nice bit of fibre through them.
Most notable is that it doesn't have a single ISP member - this is just a kit manufacturers' lobbying company who don't have to worry about the economics of raising the capital for building networks, so long as it's spent on their kit.
For those who point at Asia - in Korea and Japan it's often fibre-to-the-basement where the incoming megabandwidth is then shared between residents at much lower end speeds and contention issues. On top of that, there's often no choice of providers and the services they provide, so no competition. Korea Telecom last year started blocking traffic to Smart TVs because it was in competition to their own subscription IPTV. These countries are also densely populated, which makes it very easy to build FTTP, and have little copper to replace, and the suburbs live under a hideous cats-cradle of telegraph wires.
BT's strategy may be too slow for those who think money grows on trees, but in addition to FTTC they will soon be offering FTTP On Demand - businesses who want it can pay for the FTTP to come to them from the nearest cab, and in many cases this will also create a node from which the neighbours can connect, or they could all club together.
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