Feeds

BT lobbies Welsh Assembly for superfast broadband subsidies

Not Bryn Terfel

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

BT chairman Sir Michael Rake went to the Welsh Assembly on Monday, to glad-hand politicos and lobby for local government cash for deploying fibre in the pricipality.

He was unfailingly spinny about why BT had come to Cardiff, but made it clear that the telco's palm needs greasing if Wales' more rural corners are to enjoy 100Mbit/s internet access. The Western Mail reports he said:

We believe there's no need for central government money per se. However, what will be essential in terms of prioritising capability and investment, is for the various regional authorities to look at what they can do from a funding point of view to develop fibre early, particularly in areas where population factors may not make it as immediately capable of being done as in other locations.

So, BT doesn't want subsidies, except where it wants subsidies. Gotcha, Mike - the keyword there is "central government". Welsh ministers were told how they could be at the forefront of a new digital revolution by playing nice with BT.

BT has so far committed £1.5bn to fibre nationally, but has said it will be invested where there is the best economic case - i.e. in densely populated cities. It's using that relatively small first drip of cash (a full national point-to-point fibre network could cost up to £29.9bn) as a lever to apply pressure on regulators to give it more control over a new network than it currently enjoys.

That pressure is manifest as regular calls by BT for Ofcom to allow it to charge whatever it wants for wholesale and retail access to new fibre. Rake repeated the line in Wales: "What BT have said is that we believe [next generation access is] important and we're willing to make an initial investment of £1.5bn in fibre, which could serve up to 10 million people, subject to Ofcom giving us the right pricing mechanism, i.e. that there's not a cap on the price that makes it completely unacceptable from our shareholder point of view to take the risk of investment."

Meanwhile consumer groups are pressing Ofcom to ensure that poorly-served communities are included in a roll-out.

Central government has been advised not to subsidise a new internet infrastructure. The influential Caio report, published last Friday, did however suggest that local bodies could assist with costs...

And up tips Sir Michael Rake at the Welsh Assembly days later. Expect this kind of horse-trading to intensify over the next two years. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
So, Apple won't sell cheap kit? Prepare the iOS garden wall WRECKING BALL
It can throw the low cost race if it looks to the cloud
EE fails to apologise for HUGE T-Mobile outage that hit Brits on Friday
Customer: 'Please change your name to occasionally somewhere'
Time Warner Cable customers SQUEAL as US network goes offline
A rude awakening: North Americans greeted with outage drama
We need less U.S. in our WWW – Euro digital chief Steelie Neelie
EC moves to shift status quo at Internet Governance Forum
BT customers face broadband and landline price hikes
Poor punters won't be affected, telecoms giant claims
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.