Government plans for broadband

  Pineman100 16:44 29 Jan 2009
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'Everyone to have at least 2 Mb connection'.

Is this really the best that the Government can come up with, as a great leap forward in Britain's infrastructure?

It's absolutely pathetic.

Other nations are taking strides towards widespread availability of 20, 50, even 100Mb broadband networks. But in this country we're once again suffering under an administration that makes noises about progress, but actually intends to do virtually nothing.

If the Government wants to stimulate business, and create jobs, isn't this the ideal time to be making a start on the massive task of connecting the whole country via fibre-optics?

  oresome 16:56 29 Jan 2009

I'm not sure that the Government should be doing anything other than ensuring we have the framework for a competitive private sector.

Let the market decide if there is sufficient money to be made from the provision of broadband to all and the capacity and speed needed.

  Pineman100 17:07 29 Jan 2009

The cost of cabling up the whole country with fibre-optics is beyond the capabilities of the private sector - particularly in these straitened times.

And yet it's probably one of the most important improvements that could be made to our infrastructure, as an investment in our future global competitiveness.

  Stuartli 17:18 29 Jan 2009

This government promised something very similar quite a number of years ago.

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Nothing new under the sun with the sound bite specialists...:-)

  Forum Editor 17:34 29 Jan 2009

but it may be appropriate to mention it again here.

When Margaret Thatcher was Prime Minister BT approached the government and offered to connect every house in Britain to a fibre-optic cable, so that we could all have access to high-speed internet services. In return BT wanted a guarantee that it could have an exclusive right to offer other services via the cable for a specific period - I forget what it was now. Mrs. Thatcher was being courted by the big cable companies at time, and they were offering real money for cable franchises, so she refused the BT offer.

That turned out to be a major error of judgement, but there you are - it happened.

Now we're faced with a situation in which nobody can afford to connect the whole of the UK to a fibre-optic cable, although lots of areas have it under the pavements already.

Universal high speed broadband access would be a wonderful thing for this country, but I can't see it happening. It's all very well for reports to 'call' for everyone to have access, but it must be paid for, and I don't see private enterprise doing that.

  Stuartli 17:48 29 Jan 2009

I've also mentioned, in conjunction with your above point, that BT evolved the video on demand service (along with a number of other excellent ideas).

However, because of lack of support, BT eventually allowed Time-Warner to first trial and then offer it permanently in the States.

  Stuartli 17:56 29 Jan 2009
  Pineman100 18:32 29 Jan 2009

I don't suggest that every property in the country *should* have a superfast broadband connection, but they should have *access* to it if they want/need it.

  oresome 18:46 29 Jan 2009

And how much do you think the taxpayer should be prepared to pay for this availability?

The remotest 10% will probably cost 90% of the total. Does this 10% affect our global competitivness in any way?

  Pineman100 18:51 29 Jan 2009

Do you ask that question whenever you post a letter?

Goodness knows how much it costs for a letter to be delivered to the Outer Hebrides, but our mail system (also essential to our infrastructure) is set up to ensure that they still get their letters at the same price as everyone else.

  AL47 19:13 29 Jan 2009

i would like something faster than the 56kBps we get here lol

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