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Tuesday, June 08, 2010

By mid-2015 'we want Britain to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe'

That's the UK's broadband minister talking in the Big Speech of the new government - of course he knows it won't happen, he just wants it. I want free fish and chips for life.
He never defines super-fast but its likely to mean VDSL - so that suggests a very high proportion by then, and BT has recently announced that VDSL is cheap and its plugged its Global Services hole so it can roll out further faster. My parents certainly won't have it - or want it - in their leafy ADSL2+ exchange in the countryside. I don't see that we're going to compete with Finland on that basis and with £200m  ('making money available from the under-spend of the TV Digital Switchover Help Scheme').
What he did say - apart from trailing the Broadband Delivery UK 15 July conference on the details - was that he wanted to ensure duct sharing and pole-sharing and wanted to introduce legislation if Virgin and other networks other than BT did not play ball. In the medium-term that might provide for some radical alternatives, and perhaps 80% coverage. That still leaves a lot of ADSL2+ households in the countryside, and quite a few with next to nothing in the deeper country.
As the government also today told us we're broke, I can't think what else he could have done. There's no subsidy cash.

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