2 posts • joined Friday 18th April 2008 01:01 GMT
You have been paying for BT!!
Your public funds were used in round 1 of the so-called 'broadband' shenanigans to enable one helluva lot of exchanges. We kicked up a fuss then about BT being the recipient in far too many cases, and the failure to even begin to invest in fibre back at the beginning of the Noughties.
Fujitsu et al's proposal at least looks at creating some new core and access networks that are BT-independent, and breaking the monopoly hold that has this country as hostage to their shareholders. If the BDUK money goes to BT in any way shape or form it will do the precise opposite of what this and previous governments have claimed they want - a competitive marketplace. Let alone all the other issues that BDUK raises about process etc.
BT can sabre rattle as much as they wish about new entrants, but Fujitsu are at least pledging money of their own.
What actually would be worth exploring is how many private investors there may be in homes and businesses across the country who would be willing to stump up investment in exchange for equity to remove the need for *any* of that £530M, which could then be spent solving the more expensive first mile connections of those in the final third.
Start at the outside and work in, or alternatively, start at the most difficult places and work in. I know I'd put money up to help out an alternative to BT that brought FTTH to my home office. I already pledged it publicly, and I know many others are ready to follow suit if someone would just ask us...........
Start with the disconnecteds
C'mon baby light my fibre........ sing along now.....
Those of us in rural areas can usually point to a railway line with fibre, or a mobile mast or school with plenty spare capacity, or an A road with dark fibre down it, within, often, 1km or so, or at least within a 'doable' distance for fibre and VDSL (I know of a map or two..... ) but we won't be asked for any input into this latest review though, as ever.
Ofcom needs to pull their finger out, as does the BSG etc, and stop pandering to the telcos. Join the dots a lot better than they have been doing for the last decade or so.
The people who matter are the consumers and businesses who are suffering right now, with crap connectivity for the foreseeable, let alone in the future. Stuff the folks who are skewing the stats to say that this country has an average of 4Mbps AAAAAAA (note the A?) dsl.
Stop the telcos jumping on the honeypots of Ebbsfleet, large cities, new devs of 1000+ properties only etc, and make them invest some of that profit back into UK Plc through the areas with the most businesses and consumers in. Let's ponder where the largest number of businesses might be?
Hmm, teleworkers and SMEs outnumber large corporates? Never. Note the spread of those - oh, rural, you say? Gosh, and you got this from the Database Error department? And ONS? And the Telework Association? And ... where do more people live in total in UK? Rural or urban areas.... ?? 15 million tourists a year through the Lake District? And London has around 12-15? Cor blimey. We have how many National Parks with similar tourist figures?
So, what about those of us in rural areas on waterlogged, rotten, lengthy and often forgotten copper?
Let's think about this much touted average....I've got 1megish on a good day through a cracking award winning community network, my neighbour (about 400m away) has a 1/4Mbps, most of the village has bugger all, and 10 neighbours within approx a mile have barely any dial up. Within 10 miles from here are 15 households sharing 8 lines just for voice. How well are they contributing to this 'downturn' in the economy? (Well, the petrol stations are thriving.......)
Don't say: report it.
Don't think we haven't tried. In fact, many people have been to events and conferences held across the country about this way back when since 2001/2 onwards, when it became OBVIOUS for the enlightened (not by fibre, obviously) that there were already issues ....in fact, it got to the point where we approached Nabisco and others to help get the message out there.
"Fibre is good for you"
Now, I'm working on this theory with rhubarb ....it seems fairly fibrous, potentially eco-friendly, cheap, plentiful, (a bit like sand is, really), and hellish easy to plant.
So much so, maybe we should emulate the Nordic nations and start a "Dig where you Live" campaign.......... Put your own fibre in the ground??
I've got a mole plough............I'll get my coat, let's go outside and start digging!