back to article Hunt vows: 'UK will have fastest broadband in Europe by 2015'

The government's pledge to provide countrywide broadband access by 2015 has received another boost from the Culture Secretary, who has promised the "fastest broadband of any major European country". In a speech at Google's Campus in East London, Jeremy Hunt said that speed was the most important aspect of the government's …


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  1. Silverburn

    It could be the fastest.

    But only when:

    - not torrenting

    - not skyping

    - not surfing between the "peak" hours of 00:00 and 23:59

    - not sending large attachments. ie bigger than 92k.

    - the contention ratio number doesn't look like the same chances ratio of being struck by lightning

    - using an approved router. Even if it's shittier than the one you actually have.

    - using a PC. Slow internet connection? That not your router or the clogged upstream, oh god's your MAC.

    - downloading, not uploading

    - using UDP, not HTTP. Ignore the quality, watch the speed! Garbage or not, it's still 20mb!

    1. Arnie

      Re: It could be the fastest.

      couldn't agree more.

      Seems the home office is also going for the double championship win of having the most snooped internet in the west as well as the fastest. but it certainly wont be the BEST

      slow hand clap

  2. John 98

    Hmm - I do wonder

    I live inside the M25 on a recently fttc'ed exchange - except my cabinet ain't been done. Looks like BT will need a hefty boot up the fundament to get the whole country done by 2015. Even when, so a cynic tells me, they make so much flogging the surplus copper it more than pays for the work

    As for remote rural areas, we have cross subsidies for postage stamps - arguably justifiable - and other things. There are times when the cost and risks of distorting the free market are worth considering.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Hmm - I do wonder

      Would it be cross subsidy? Our 11,000 line market 1 exchange, ADSL enabled over 10 years ago is STILL on 8meg only. Given the higher charges that OFCOM have historically allowed over the frequently invested Market2/3 adsl2/2+ exchanges, Id say the disproportionate pricing has been subsidizing areas where BT have thrown upgrade after upgrade at customers that are paying a fair bit less on a service over upgraded & newer spec equipment. than those of us on ancient outdated 8 meg equipment.

      In a fibre area, I could get a far faster service with a comparable data allowance for just a couple of quid more than I am paying for 8meg via a fairly decent provider.

      The Phone line requirement needs to go too, I only have a voiceline for broadband. How much money are we blackmailed into paying for a service we neither use nor want when other countries CAN provide a data only line without us having to pay for voice services - the equipment for which MUST form a part of the pricing

      British Broadband - The year round pantomime!

  3. AndrueC Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    That article gives a more pleasing view of what the Lords said. I have no object to the general thrust of this article. We shouldn't concentrate purely on high speed for a few. I only take umbrage with those who say we don't currently have good coverage. Some people might only have half a meg but it's rare not to have anything at all and the high take-up of internet services in the UK proves that.

    It's a balancing act. The drive for higher speeds will produce technology that eventually trickles down to the more remote users. Also those currently on poor services need to be aware that there's no malice behind it. It's just that for whatever reason they are not as financially viable as someone who's just had a 100Mb/s fibre plugged into their house. A well run society will seek to address that through subsidies and incentives but there comes a time when you have to accept that equality for all is impractical.

    Harison Bergeron found that out the hard way :D

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Miseries. I've already got 100mbit interwebs in a small dormitory town of a northern city.

    You gentlemen just need to live in less terrible places.

  5. Not That Andrew

    So he's saying that it will be faster that Sweden? Seriously? Where even villages at the arse end of nowhere get 100mbit broadband?

    1. Timbo 1

      It could work in the Scottish highlands......

      if they use a hybrid of Israel's recent approach, but with WAM technology (wireless access mules) instead of donkeys.

      "i'm at the top of Ben Nevis, and i've got me some pron, bee hutch"

    2. Fuzz


      He's carefully qualified it with the term "major"

  6. Steverico

    Here in the KC area of Hull I have just had fibre optic installed my speed now averages more than 150mbps download and 20mbps upload, not bad eh

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Yeah, but you have to live in Hull? ;)

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "bringing together [..] Hollywood and Silicon Valley in one country"

    What, like the USA. Just sayin.

  8. localzuk


    What happened to the old model of companies starting up, getting a tonne of investment to lay cable, then going bust and being bought out at a steal, then the infrastructure being used?

    That used to work well...

  9. The Root Of All Evil

    And we can rely on Jeremy Hunt to always tell us the truth about media deals.

    Why hasn't he been prosecuted for the BSkyB fiasco yet?

  10. Crisp Silver badge

    When he says "Fastest"

    Does he mean bandwidth or latency?

    1. system11

      Re: When he says "Fastest"

      Indeed. Every time the speeds are hiked around here, there is a corresponding increase in latency and packet loss. Great - just what I needed.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Fibre has always been weird ...

    20 years ago, they cabled where I lived, in Harrow (Videotron as 'twas). Dug the pavement up, and laid fibre. Meanwhile, on a brand new estate (where they hadn't laid the roads yet) a friend was told they wouldn't lay cable within the next 5 years. I really couldn't understand how they could miss out on an opportunity to effectively lay the cable for free, but would rather pay much more to dig the road up again.

    Where I live now (built 1962), we have true fibre cable. Yet a mile away, the in Laws (built 1997) don't.

    Can't the utilities local authorities and highways agency get their sh*t together, and lay fibre as roads are repaired, or replaced ? A few miles up the road from me now, Transco have just replaced miles of gas main in an un-fibred area. Surely they could have dropped a fibre alongside it ?

    1. Anonymous Cowherder

      Re: Fibre has always been weird ...

      Are you talking about somewhere north of Manchester?

      That is spookily reminiscent of something that has happened to, er, my friend, yes, my friend.....

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Fibre has always been weird ...

        No, when Videotron were laying cable in my street, my friend (2 miles away) was being told a 5 year wait (minimum) for cable in his street. I was in Harrow, my friend in Hillingdon.

  12. adam payne Silver badge

    Fastest broadband in Europe through copper cables!

  13. Steve Brammer

    "fastest broadband of any major European country"

    Does that mean they are going to ignore countries like Sweden where 1Gbit connections are quite common these days?

  14. Tim Brown 1

    Stick to the bell-ringing Jeremy...

    I hear you''re good at that

  15. David 138

    Sod the speed whats with the cost!!! If usage is an issue and that's why we pay so much for broadband, why on earth do the fibre lines pretty much cost the same!!!

    It should be proportional to the highest speed available so if they get gigabit in london mine should be 1000x cheaper :P. In fact broadband in my area is so crap i should get a disability and have it paid for by the government, then we would see them get off their asses.

    INFACT, all goverment staff should be limited to speeds as fast as their slowest constituent.

  16. circusmole
    Thumb Down

    Can I just have...

    ...something better that the crap 1.5Mb/s that I currently have? I live on the outskirts of a fairly large town in southern England - not on some remote island. I would happy with an 8Mb/s *reliable* connection.

  17. Tavistock Superfast Broadband

    Beyond Belief

    This will only be done by neglecting the slow and ensuring that the superfast are ultrafast plus . Something that the UK Government is fully supporting in England at least.

    Meanwhile in Tavistock we know our digital place - not in any funding nor on any roll-out plan to date...

  18. James Pickett

    Isn't this what Gordon Brown was promising a while back, and due to happen about now..?

  19. John A Blackley

    Too little imagination

    IN a time when Britain is crying out for meaningful infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy, there's an opportunity for the government to invest in a national fibre infrastructure which it could then lease space on to various private entities.

    Unfortunately that would take courage, imagination and commitment. Things that our politicians do not even understand, never mind possess.

  20. feanor

    "the average speed for a UK residential broadband internet connection reached 9Mbps in May"

    Amazing how those averages can be bumped up by connecting a few hundred people at Gigabit speeds isn't it?

    Maybe they should start quoting standard deviation as well as average, you'd see the real picture.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Have you ever heard of the median? Or trimming?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Jeremy Hunt

    A guy who looks smug and embarrassed at the same time.

    1. John H Woods Silver badge

      Re: Jeremy Hunt

      So would you, if you were your own rhyming slang

      1. Vic

        Re: Jeremy Hunt

        > So would you, if you were your own rhyming slang

        I still bend double listening to James Naughtie corpsing on that :-)


  22. Dick Emery

    UK will have the fastest broadband in the world by 2015

    But only if you live in a 1 meter square box in the middle of London.

    By the time we have 100Mbit in 25% of UK homes (cough!) the rest of the world will already have 10Gbit links to MOST homes.


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