I feel the need.....
I live in rural North East Scotland and when I tried to get ADSL, BT didn't even know my exchange existed. I was sorely tempted to take a photo and send it into them, the postage to Mumbai would have been more expensive than BT Broadband though..... However, after much badgering, I now have a 6-7 Mbit/s connection seeing as hardly anyone else in the village has ADSL and I'm 150m away from the exchange. I'm the only nerd in the village!
Up here in the sticks, BT have had a tendency to use Aluminium and install DACS in pretty damn near all lines. DACS made even 56k modems struggle - how long ago was that? My in-laws, who live just a hop skip and a jump away, firstly struggled to get DSL due to the DACS and now can only get 1.5 Mbit/s after it was removed. The cause? Mmmmm, could it be the Aluminium?
I understand that FTTH would be extremely expensive, however so is the 21CN. I mean, do we not have to have the infrastructure in place to support all these fantastic new services through BT's shiny new boxes, before the content can BE delivered.
The "new" BT Home Hub boxes are a bit of a piece of sh*t anyway. For starters, they don't support anything stronger than WEP. Whilst that might be fine for me up here in my rural Highland paradise, that's not exactly the war-driving capital of the universe, down in central Westminster might be just a bit different.... I sure as hell wouldn't want anything less than WPA2 with a long length non-dictionary based passphrase. Paranoid, yes. Sensible, yes. However, I once sat in a mate's flat with my laptop in Edinburgh and it picked up a wireless network. "Oooh, might as well grab some scuzz whilst we're here". Clickety-click, the prick had only left the default admin password on the router and NO encryption enabled. Sorry if you are reading this mate, I doubt it, but it was for your benefit in the long run I swear..... I sent a message ("Tut, tut, tut! Should have at least gone with WEP") to his PC using the NETBIOS name, enabled the default encryption and changed the admin router password. Bad, I know! However, it just shows that with a little knowledge, I could have hijacked his machine and made it a proxy for whatever I liked (<- insert dodgy illegal practice here) AND got away with it.
Anyway, I digress and rant away. What I would like to see is all the ISP's and Telco's getting together and investing in the UK data infrastructure. With all this talk of convergence and data services, should they not be working collaboratively to enhance the position of the UK on the stage of the connected global economy? If the UK is going to outsource all the manufacturing, service and resource industries to countries like India and China, becoming a nation where innovation and ideas are our major export, then surely we need to concrete our position at the top of the digital food chain!
Jesus I think I sounded like McSherry there <- those who know me, know what I mean!