back to article Legal right to 10Mbps broadband is 'not enough', thunders KCOM chief

The government's plans to make 10Mbps a 'legal right' by 2020 do not nearly go far enough, Bill Halbert, chief exec of telecoms sector firm Kcom has said. Achieving an ultrafast broadband infrastructure is "one of the most important things we can achieve as a country," Halbert told The Register. "The Universal Service …

  1. Richard Wharram

    Faux Yorkshire subtitle

    Is regionally incorrect.


    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Faux Yorkshire subtitle

      "Is regionally incorrect."

      Is there any region in which it is correct?

      1. AMBxx Silver badge

        Re: Faux Yorkshire subtitle

        First time I've heard of Hull being pronounced with an H.

        I aren't eating breadcakes for dinner.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Faux Yorkshire subtitle

          "First time I've heard of Hull being pronounced with an H."

          And with the definite object it appears to mean the river.

    2. Gomez Adams

      Re: Faux Yorkshire subtitle

      Looks more like summat from west of the Ouse.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: legal "right" to broadband

      It's like so many of our "rights" nowadays - it's the right to ask nicely to be allowed to pay for it.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: legal "right" to broadband

        A neat point, at least on the surface. However, are you suggesting that consumers should be entitled to broadband of whatever speed without having to pay for it? If so please explain your reasoning... including some pointers identifying who should actually fund it.

        On a different point while I have no definitive knowledge of the area served by Kcom it is much smaller than the UK as a whole and as such any scheme that works for Hull and environs may well not be scaleable to the whole country.

        I read the article and immediately had a mental image of yet another gorilla beating its chest.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: legal "right" to broadband


          I wasn't suggesting people shouldn't pay for it - that was the implication of the (now deleted) post I was replying to. My underlying point was that it's a nonsense to talk about a "right" when what's actually on offer is a (vaguely) defined service level at an undefined price.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: legal "right" to broadband

        "it's the right to ask nicely to be allowed to pay for it"

        Rather like the "right to ask for flexible working" to which an employer has to consider but then say no. Remember many years ago my wife working in the public sector (well, almost, it was a Housing Association) where they proudly advertised their commitment to supporting job-shares where possible. So when on maternity leave with our first child she enquired about coming back part time with a job-share she rapidly discovered the "where possible" basically only applied to cleaners etc and job-share was out of the question for anyone with any form of supervisory role over others. So, lots of these "rights" are just aspirational words with no real commitment behind them.

  3. Andy E

    Crap service anyone?

    My parents and friends live in 'ull and have an appallingly bad broadband service from KCOM. They have had for years but with a local monopoly they have no other provider to choose from. It might improve with the fibre initiative but I bet they have to pay a lot for it.

  4. phuzz Silver badge
    IT Angle

    It's a lot easier for Luxembourg to promise 1Gb/s access when you can practically go from one end of the country to the other with a single run of cat5.

  5. Tim 11

    10Mb would be a great start

    Yes, more than 10Mb is lovely if you really want to watch several movies at once but for access to essential services, and even for casual streaming, 10Mb is mostly perfectly acceptable, and I predict that situation won't have changed significantly by 2020.

    The big problem at the moment is that a small but significant percentage of the population does not have access to broadband that's good enough for accessing government services, banking, online shopping/price comparison etc. Bringing these people online is higher priority than striving to reduce the time it takes for the average connection to download a movie from 10 to 5 minutes.

  6. censored

    No cost implication

    I'm pretty sure BT et al will simply say "Yes, you can demand 10Mb. It'll cost you £10,000 to install"

    A more pressing issue is that by advertising "up to" speeds they're ripping off customers. I cannot ever get more than 3Mb on my BT line. I'm in a rural area, too far from my cabinet. Even when they roll out FTTC to my area, my house will not get more than 3Mb.

    Naturally, I still pay £50 a month for crap internet and telephone. Because it's their standard tier of "up to" currently about 20Mb. Why should I pay the same as someone with the same setup that gets almost 10 times my speed? I can't watch iPlayer if more than one device is online. Fifty quid a month.

    Thankfully Gigaclear are putting in FTTP in the next 12 months and will get 50Mb up and down, for the same price. But many aren't covered by these subsidised rural installations and will continue to be ripped off.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: No cost implication

      "A more pressing issue is that by advertising "up to" speeds they're ripping off customers. I cannot ever get more than 3Mb on my BT line."

      The cost to the ISP of serving you remains the same, regardless of the speed your copper line can support. Why would they offer you a discount? You wouldn't expect a discount on a Porsche because your town has 20MPH speed limits everywhere.

      If there was a move to reduce prices for lower speed broadband connections I think what would most likely happen is that ISPs would decline to offer service to homes that would attract a discount. The next most likely outcome is price rises for customers with higher speeds. ISPs aren't making a huge amount of money, the UK is very competitive and prices are low.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It should be 10Mb per person, not per household!

    Unfortunately I will have to move house within the next year due to lack of infrastructure investment; bought the current house 10 years ago when fibre was promised but it has never materialised. Currently 5-6Mb with every tweak possible, can just about do a single Netflix stream which has to be suspended when I need to connect to my work VPN. "Community broadband" promised by the local council, who then refused permission for the masts. Others won't invest now because of the community broadband initiative...

    It will probably take whole seconds to actually post this.. Yawn..

  8. PNGuinn

    Rebranding SUCCESS!

    Shiny new Bullshit generator.


    Rebranding Success!

    Trebles all round then.

  9. paulf Silver badge


    I've been an Eclipse customer for 12 years (most recently on FTTC for 3 years) and I knew nothing about the mentioned rebrand. That new logo, like the current KCom one, looks like the result of much whale song and chanting at the special forest retreat for Manglement+Marketing.

    Eclipse lost interest in Home customers about 18 months ago which was sad as they were pretty good in my experience (YMMV) but for now they continue running their residential business for existing customers. I wonder how long it'll be until that is declared non-core (like the network sold to City Fibre) and sold to someone like BT, or the HorrorHorror that is ShitShit.

    The sensible alternatives I've seen mentioned on here seem to be Zen and AA?

  10. Nigel 11

    10Mbps is enough to access all the services which the government increasingly insists that you use. It would be a far better thing to give every household in the country the right to be connected at 10Mbps without any extra(*) payment being demanded, rather than some weasel-worded pseudo-right to demand a 100Mbps service provided you are willing to fork out £££(£) to have it installed.

    10Mbps is something that realistically could be provided almost everywhere using existing copper infrastructure, merely by installing extra signal processing equipment in junction boxes and occasionally up poles. Which is why it could be the subject of an unconditional universal service obligation, and I hope that it soon will be.

    There are significant numbers of people living in rural parts (and I do not mean the Outer Hebrides) who dream of getting 10Mbps. One person I know gets 2Mbps maximum, providing it's not raining hard, degrading to no service at all when it's really wet. He is only a 20-minute drive from Coventry. I count myself lucky to have 8Mbps degrading to 4 in bad weather.

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