BT: Over-Spec'd and out of date
Anyone who has read the specifications for the test standards to be met for the installation of underground conduits issued by BT must be impressed, as if they were installing high technology involved in, say, rocket launching facilities.
It's time the UK network providers took a gander at what is happening on other countries.
Railways are very popular partners as they have the rights of way through all manner of landscapes - and are a kiss to use for installation of fibre optics.
Abandoned pipe systems are also popular - it's amazing how much infrastructure lies abandoned underground, just rusting away.
Sewers are used in Paris - they even have mini-crawlers that haul cable into conduits too small for even a midget to crawl in to - and everyone has a sewer connection.
In Toronto, a Western common carrier checked out Bell Canada's pole/conduit lease rates and decided it was cheaper to plow in (a tracked vehicle with a 'hoe' on the back cutting the ground and laying cable) very well armoured cable straight into the dirt under the roads in fully developed areas - not virgin ground.
Of course, nothing beats a pro-active regulator as Canada (now) has whose enabling legislation gives them control over all property owned by telco's and cellco's and permit's them to stipulate/dictate the terms under which one company can lease facilities from a competing incumbent.
Today's cable together with current cable laying techniques can bypass the artificial bottlenecks thrown up by BT.
Better still, the UK government could establish a stand-alone fibre grid, such as used in electricity distribution, with the ISP's simply accessing it for onward sale.
The rights of way of gas lines and fuel oil lines are another public asset to be exploited. Remember the tank farm fire in HEMEL HEMPSTEAD a few years ago? It was a feeder to Heathrow Airport. Hard to imagine a quicker, more direct, route than one used by a pipeline.