Feeds

Broadband Britain risks life in slow lane - report

'Buck up, Ofcom'

Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile

A year long study into Britain's broadband has warned that the country risks falling behind the rest of the world.

The UK is currently in the top tier for broadband reach and access, but this happy situation may not last. The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG), in a major report, says Ofcom has two years to stimulate investment in infrastructure.

"If we twiddle our thumbs now we'll have to play catch-up in the future," Anthony Walker told us. "Ofcom needs to accelerate the work they need to do."

The BSG doesn't advocate public spending on broadband infrastucture, but said that without encouragement there was no incentive to lay new fibre or light up existing unused fibre capacity.

Walker pointed to two areas where costs discouraged new deployment. "We'd like to see government examine how non-domestic rating applies to unlit fibre. Right now, if you light that fibre, the full domestic rating applies. There's a disincentive for operators to exploit the fibre that's already in the ground."

The cost of laying new fibre was huge, he said.

The BSG notes that Virgin Media, which now owns the cable monopoly in the UK, is only available to 50 per cent of households. In order to modernise its network, currently capable of 10mbits/s (down), to 220mbits/s (down) and 120mbits/s (up), Virgin needs to spend between £150 and £200 per customer. That's a capital expenditure of around £600m.

Deploying fibre to the home for every UK household would cost £14bn.

Earlier this year a Deloitte and Touche report suggested that consumers will end up footing the bill for better broadband infrastructure - especially if IPTV flops.

The government also needs to devise a digital strategy to ensure people who are socially excluded have the broadband access. But what about the refuseniks, we wondered?

"Broadband allows more compelling video-rich and data-rich services to be created," said Walker. "When people see value they'll act. The market hasn't had to work that hard yet to get consumers - if anything, operators are struggling to meet the demand they have now. But as adoption rates start to slow down, operators will focus on these niche markets."

So we need a sort of MySpace for wrinklies?

"I think things like that will emerge in time," Walker said.

Read today's interview with Ofcom chief Ed Richards here. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Of COURSE Stephen Elop's to blame for Nokia woes, says author
'Google did have some unique propositions for Nokia'
FCC, Google cast eye over millimetre wireless
The smaller the wave, the bigger 5G's chances of success
It's even GRIMMER up North after MEGA SKY BROADBAND OUTAGE
By 'eck! Eccles cake production thrown into jeopardy
Mobile coverage on trains really is pants
You thought it was just *insert your provider here*, but now we have numbers
Don't mess with Texas ('cos it's getting Google Fiber and you're not)
A bit late, but company says 1Gbps Austin network almost ready to compete with AT&T
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.