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Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain?

timothy posted more than 4 years ago | from the you're-fibred! dept.

The Internet 184

Barence writes with this excerpt from PC Pro: "Google has emerged as a surprise contender to invest in Britain's fibre broadband network. The search giant yesterday announced plans to build a gigabit fibre broadband network in the US. The test network will see Google deliver fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections to up to half a million US homes. The move raises the possibility that Google is behind the Conservative Party's ambitious plans to deliver nationwide 100Mbits/sec connections by 2017. Parliamentary sources have told PC Pro that the Tories' plans were based on foreign investment in the UK broadband network."

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Hello (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111212)

I am a banana

Re:Hello (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111264)

Good day sir.

God is a banana.

And I am a cock

Well someone has to. (2)

rphenix (1454817) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111216)

Someone has to do it... When they are done in Britain they should come and lay fibre all around New Zealand.

Re:Well someone has to. (3, Informative)

neoprint (949158) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111390)

The main problem in NZ isn't between the home and the backbone, it's the international link and the pathetic download quotas our ISP's give us. Every single person in NZ could have fibre, and the net could actually slow down as everyone now tries to access overseas sites, saturating the southern cross cable

Re:Well someone has to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111628)

And that's why P2P rules.

NZ Slashdotted (2, Funny)

footnmouth (665025) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112238)

My old company had an offshore dev team in New Zealand and one morning (in 2004) I came into work to find that they couldn't access our UK based SVN server. While discussing it I browsed onto Slashdot and found a link to an article hosted in NZ (I think it was the guy who built his own jet engines and claimed he could build a Tomahawk cruise missile equivalent for 75k).

Anyway, it turned out that the Slashdot effect didn't bring down the server, it brought down NZ's pipe to the outside wall.

I for one welcomed our new nerd overlords.

Re:Well someone has to. (2, Insightful)

xaxa (988988) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111552)

Someone has to do it...

That's pretty much all the article says. Someone has to do it --> Google have some money --> maybe they'll do it.

But it involves Google, so it's front page news.

Re:Well someone has to. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111736)

Ding ding ding. Were it be the "State Telecommunications Infrastructure Installation Board" to lay the fibre optic cable I don't think someone would post it to Slashdot. Probably more of an off-hand comment on how "some political party wants to do something with fibre optic cable, I don't remember the details exactly".

Eh? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111230)

Why do they need Fibre? Are they constipated?

Re:Eh? (2, Informative)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111720)

Well my fkn broadband connection is (UK South Coast). I hope Google do step in and do this because BT sure as hell take little interest in my little village (that's assuming Google will!)

Re:Eh? (1)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111992)

I hope they do too, although I find it unlikelly it will reach my house any time this side of 2050 (I live in the country - with literally me and about 3 other houses and a farm, then the nearest place is 3 miles away). Possible, but unlikelly *crosses fingers*. It would definitelly be better than the ~1mbps I get at the moment (although ADSL2+ could get that to ~4mbps).

They've tried this before (3, Funny)

crimperman (225941) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111238)

Google have tried network infrastructure before - they even made it free to use: http://www.google.com/tisp/ [google.com]

Re:They've tried this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111404)

TISP truly gives new meaning to the terms log on and download.

Re:They've tried this before (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111762)

From what I hear, the service is pretty crappy.

Download the Internet (0)

Carra (1220410) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111242)

Yes! I'll finally be able to download the Internet.

when you say google (0, Flamebait)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111248)

you really mean the NSA's little brother

Re:when you say google (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111304)

so Microsoft has never collaborated with the NSA even for Windows 7?

Does Microsoft refuse to censor Bing, MSN, etc. in China?

Re:when you say google (0, Flamebait)

ZeroExistenZ (721849) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111516)

No, the thoughtpolice's little bitch.


Google is continuing to make me feel more uneasy as time progresses...

Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (2, Informative)

edittard (805475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111316)

Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain?

No, because there is no such verb as fibre (nor fiber, for that matter).

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111334)

Pah! In English, you can verb anything.

Yes, but verbing wierds language. (1, Offtopic)

DFJA (680282) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111378)

(with credit to Calvin and Hobbes).

Re:Yes, but verbing wierds language. (1, Offtopic)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112414)

Not to mention that "wierd" weirds "weird".

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (1)

johny42 (1087173) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111688)

Pah! In English, you can verb anything.

Google: Don't evil!

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (1)

edittard (805475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111902)

You language really well.

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111398)

Came here to see an American complain about spelling/grammar and am leaving satisfied.

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (1)

blind biker (1066130) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111770)

Came here to see an American complain about spelling/grammar and am leaving satisfied.

On the other hand, it's nice to see a Burmese posting on Slashdot.

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112024)

Posting has been off-shored. Have a nice day!

What is the verb then? (1)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111432)

Enfibre? Befibre? Fiberize? Fibrate?

Re:What is the verb then? (2, Funny)

Spad (470073) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111492)

There isn't one, any more than there is a verb for Wednesday.

Re:What is the verb then? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111544)

So, "I am Wednesdaying with my beloved" is right out?

Re:What is the verb then? (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112054)

No wonder she is tired on Thursday. I will have to re-schedule :-)

Re:What is the verb then? (1)

Suki I (1546431) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111536)

Enfibre? Befibre? Fiberize? Fibrate?

How about "Install Fiber"? Love the Google American to UK English translation in the headline too :)

Re:What is the verb then? (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112068)

Fibre up? Shall we start with the correct spelling of 'fibre' - it is in the UK after all. I'm unsure at which point across the pond the fibre turns into fiber though. Or does it depend upon which way data is travelling?

Re:What is the verb then? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31112008)

Enfibre? Befibre? Fiberize? Fibrate?

Cristalize?

Re:What is the verb then? (1)

TeknoHog (164938) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112452)

Since "mete" is the verb behind the noun "meter" (as in voltmeter or parking meter), I suggest that the verb for laying fiber could be "fibe".

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111514)

I accidentally the whole Britain

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111758)

You accidentally what the whole Britain?

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111530)

Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain?

No, because there is no such verb as fibre (nor fiber, for that matter).

You are right, however....

Colour me skeptical. I should skip o'er the pond on an aeroplane to analyse the saleability of these services. Or perhaps TFA is just rumourmongering. The savoury bastards! Someone shouldbrutalise them! Perhaps by cannibalisation? Or maybe kerb-stomp them?

{language is funny and always evolving. I hope you can find the humour in the inconsistency}

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (1)

Custard Horse (1527495) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112106)

Your languaging is super good.

Good Luck Finding a Sympathetic Ear Here (3, Funny)

RobotRunAmok (595286) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111562)

This is the industry that twisted "architect" into a verb. Presumably "build" or "code" weren't pompous enough.

Re:Good Luck Finding a Sympathetic Ear Here (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111920)

"buidl" or "coed" did you mean?

Re:Is Google Planning To Fibre Britain? (1)

Ragzouken (943900) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112076)

You pedant too much.

all your base are belong to us (4, Insightful)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111324)

Great, kick the ISPs with some heavy competition.
But I'm getting a little scared of Google.....To many fingers in to many pies. We are meant to use a Google Thin Client, to access Google Services, over Google Fibre....

They make their money by gathering data about us from our data. Shouldn't that make us question them owning so much of our data? They could have us by the short and curlies. Maybe "don't be evil" makes that safe for now, but who knows what the future holds? Even if Google can for ever be trusted, and don't give the data to those who can't be trusted, it's them who decide who to trust! We can not trust the markets to resolve this. Consumers will just blindly sleep walk into this if it makes for a easy life now. Which they might with Windows being so bad for malware, virus etc etc (because of the nature of Windows and it's users). "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin - 1775

Re:all your base are belong to us (1, Insightful)

Tim C (15259) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111402)

Maybe "don't be evil" makes that safe for now

How does a soundbite make anything safe?

Re:all your base are belong to us (4, Funny)

benz001 (1594447) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111410)

.....To many fingers in to many pies. We are meant to use a Google Thin Client, to access Google Services, over Google Fibre....

Which is looking more and more like their undoing - like all big companies they start off well then spread themselves too thin. Search is great, Analytics is good, Gmail is ok, Docs is still just docs, Wave is just a ripple, Buzz is seriously lacking anything like caffeine and gears has lost a sprocket.

Re:all your base are belong to us (3, Insightful)

Burb (620144) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111438)

You know, while I appreciate the sentiment about Google, here, I'm getting heartily fed up of the over-use of the Ben Franklin quote on slashdot. It's thought-provoking and makes a good rhetorical point, but it fails any attempt at decent analysis. All people deserve liberty and safety, in a "we hold the following truths to be self-evident" sort of way, so no one should be said not to deserve it. And by its wording it strongly implies that "liberty"==="essential liberty" i.e. all degrees of liberty are equally essential, and somehow denigrates the concept of "temporary safety".

Yeah, I'm probably quoting Mr F out of context, and I'm not a political philosopher, so I'm sure my argument isn't watertight. So sue me. But I do feel that in some quarters the quote is designed to appeal the claque in here, in much the same way that "think of the children" - that much-mocked phrase - is used to appeal to the reactionary corner of society. It actually stops people from analysing the problem in hand by triggering some kind of American/Liberal hindbrain reflex.

Can we think about it a little more, that's all I'm asking.

Re:all your base are belong to us (1)

jabjoe (1042100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112450)

It's a off the shelf quote for what is basically a old debate. Yes there is more to it then that, but that is a big part of it. I don't actually agree with leaving behind those who didn't understand until too late, especially in this instance because it drags us all down. Fair point.

Re:all your base are belong to us (1)

Nighttime (231023) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111458)

"They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin - 1775

You keep using that phrase. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:all your base are belong to us (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111706)

That would be inconceivable !

Re:all your base are belong to us (1)

Lomegor (1643845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111652)

As I already told in one comment, I find it ridiculous to think that giving data for comfort its stupid. Just think about it, it's what our grandfathers did when shopping at a grocery store that knew what they liked. The owner would tell them of a new product to see if they liked. You trust someone to give your information because you know it would make your life easier. And I rather trust a company that some random guy who owns a store. BTW, I'm pretty sure that Franklin gave his personal information to many people, including most of the people around him. I mean, we are talking about a famous person here, he almost gave away all his privacy.

Re:all your base are belong to us (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111786)

Luckily, technological changes that have occurred since between Franklin's time period and now have had no effect whatsoever on the breadth, depth, and impact of personal information disclosure....

Let's lay out one example: I'm sure that old Ben swapped personal information with a fair few people, given his status as a public figure and father of numerous illegitimate children; but I'm pretty sure that the paper he wrote his letters on wasn't actively data-mining them as he did so.

Re:all your base are belong to us (1)

Lomegor (1643845) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112200)

No, but nowadays your personal information (unless posted on Facebook or some other shit) are only read by machines who couldn't care less of who you are. In fact, I think it's safer to have your all your personal information on the cloud than to write it on a piece of paper, because there are so many things in the cloud that nobody cares, and if someone really cares they would've stole the paper anyways.

But, anyhow, you are right on saying that it's different. Because it is. And I know that machine data mining could bring much more problems than yore, but I just feel this problems won't come. I just trust more on machines that I do on people. And I also trust more in Google that the owner of the grocery store. And, also, I don't care much for my personal information. If I did something, I'm responsible for it, and I don't care if anyone finds out.

Information wants to be free. All information.

Re:all your base are belong to us (1)

eltaco (1311561) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112248)

I agree. with ever more worry do I watch google develop into some megacorp gaining more and more influence and data over people.
I don't know how long we can still "trust" them - it's not like we ever really could.

I am/was an avid user of gmail and their search engine, but I'm growing ever more weary of them and considering using bing and maybe even moving away from gmail.
yes, you heard right; after all the shit apple and google have recently pulled, ms seems like a viable alternative!
now aint that a fscking bombshell.

It Depends... (4, Insightful)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111356)

So at every juncture Google will be connected to everything?

Potentially access the interner via a Goggle ISP, accessing Google DNS, using Google search, communicating via Google email, using Goole chat and Google Buzz with my friends.

Am I being paranoid or will my privacy become a moot point?

I do use Google search and gmail on a regular basis and it's also free of charge. In return they use my data - cannot complain about that.

If it really bothered me I can use alternatives.

I think it is commendable that Google are willing to roll-out fibre (in the USA only at the moment) and improve the technology.

But "holy crap" that is an expensive undertaking!
I read about this somewhere else and I think Google were going to charge a "competitive" fee for access.

Broadband in the UK now largely sucks arse because the cost of improving/replacing existing lines is very expensive. No company is willing to take the risk so Google stepping forward ideally is a "good thing".

However, if they can guarantee the same rights some other ISPs in the UK then great and I am willing to pay for it. If Google want to analyse all my packets of data and use it to advertise stuff to me then I'm not so sure I will like this development.

Entities like Phorm, BT, Virgin & Tiscali (Talk Talk) are more than happy to follow the UK Government's / music industry's lead on intrusive surveillance. That's why I refuse to use thier services.

If Google want to lay down infrastructure then that's fine - as long as I have a choice to do otherwise.

This is mainly due to Eric Schmidt's comments on your expected privacy.

I still want the freedom to choose while I have it.

Re:It Depends... (2, Funny)

Ed Avis (5917) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111440)

Potentially access the interner via a Goggle ISP, accessing Google DNS, using Google search, communicating via Google email, using Goole chat and Google Buzz with my friends.

Fear not, you won't be forced to use Google Spellcheck if you don't want to.

Re:It Depends... (1)

mrpacmanjel (38218) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111464)

I must have forgot to disable the "dyslexic option" for my keyboard :)

Re:It Depends... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111468)

Am I being paranoid or will my privacy become a moot point?

You haven't been paying attention. Personal privacy in Britain is already gone, so your question is moot.

Re:It Depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111506)

lost credibility:

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology/2010/01/27/talk-talk-boss-says-it-will-fight-government-anti-piracy-plans-115875-21999484/

and yes, i do appriciate the irony of using the mirror to prove my point.

Re:It Depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111646)

Man if you think broadband in the UK is bad take a trip to Australia!!

Re:It Depends... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111948)

Well it seems that Google is doing what MS tried to do a decade or so ago...

Re:It Depends... (1)

jo42 (227475) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112492)

Sergey Brin [wikipedia.org] was born in Soviet Russia. The modus operandi of Soviet Communism was to control everything and know everything about everyone. Certainly explains Google's modus operandi, don't it?

fuck off, Google (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111388)

You still haven't delivered the algorithms you promised to open 12 years ago. Your top executives believe that no-one online is entitled to privacy (unless he is a top Google exec, who will deny press information to journalists who publish information about him). You require NSA clearance for any significant technical positions.

Only an idiot today would think you "do no evil". You're just like any nasty group in its early years - start off promising the world, slowly reneging on promises which matter, and one by one revealing your true intentions. You give people the sense of security they'll so easily swallow until it's too late to clamour for alternatives.

We don't want you in the UK. BT is a heap of steaming shit, but at least their gross incompetence limits their ability to cooperate effectively with the Crown Estate of Mandelson.

Re:fuck off, Google (1)

broken_chaos (1188549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111496)

You're just like any nasty group in its early years - start off promising the world, slowly reneging on promises which matter, and one by one revealing your true intentions.

Sounds like they're a shoo-in for running the government in most countries.

Re:fuck off, Google (1)

algormortis (1422619) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112292)

Well, I'm pretty sure this would all make a lot more sense to you if you read Google's "About Google" page. Did you know that they were previously named Skynet, and that their collective servers are referred to as HAL?

I hope so! (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111412)

That extra speed, and the saving in subscription (should it be cheaper than my rubbish ADSL) means I can run a VPN out of the country and not worry about the privacy implications!

Win/win for the nerdy.

Language abuse (5, Insightful)

TrumpetPower! (190615) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111442)

Please stop verbing nouns.

That corporate whores enjoy fucking with language is no good reason for us to bend over and spread ’em.

Cheers,

b&

Re:Language abuse (1)

jonadab (583620) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111692)

Yeah, I was thinking that too.

"Don't verb nouns. Verbing weirds language." -- Calvin

Alternately:

"Fibre THIS: Hee-Yah!" -- Miss Piggy

Re:Language abuse (4, Insightful)

IBBoard (1128019) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111694)

Quick, someone with mod points mod this "+1 ironic" for matching the "corporate whores" by turning the noun "verb" into a verb ;)

I hope (1)

kingofnexus (1721494) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111480)

I only hope that they roll out to the places even virgin media doesn't reach. There is nothing worse than living in a house which only option is a flaky 1mb connection thanks to the ancient BT copper wiring :/

We are the Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111486)

We are the Google, we will assimilate your data and process it in some "non-evil way".

Re:We are the Google... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111814)

We are the Google, we will assimilate your data and process it in some "non-evil way".

Anonymous, you whore! You said you were legion... :(

Canada (1)

tom17 (659054) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111488)

It would take a company with the clout of Google to lay down new infrastructure here to give an option to the duopoly we have. I wish they would do that

I guess i'll just keep dreaming then...

Tom...

HTTP-only? (3, Insightful)

ickleberry (864871) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111508)

But will this service be HTTP-only like the Wifi Google provides at some airports? After all protocols other than HTTP and maybe XMPP don't really fit into Google's way of doing business.

Re:HTTP-only? (1)

Ma8thew (861741) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111842)

Don't be stupid. There's a difference between airport WiFi and a service people are paying for. Even regular users would notice pretty quickly if Xbox Live weren't working.

Re:HTTP-only? (1)

whoop (194) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111874)

Plus, I heard you can only access Google services with it. Searching at Google.com will go from 0.5 seconds down to 0.43 seconds! That's SECONDS, people!

Oh, and by using Google ISP, you forfeit everything you have to Google. Google, Google, Google.

Evil.

That should cover the conspiracists.

The problem in Britain is the last mile (2, Informative)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111522)

There are lots of places as little as 2 miles from the town center that have piss-poor broadband because of the way telephone exchanges are located. Fiber to the Home/Fiber to the Cabinet is the obvious solution, but British Telecom have a monopoly on last-mile wiring in the UK*, and have very little incentive to deliver high-speed broadband to homes. And let's not even talk about exchange capacity, or their traffic-shaping practices. So yeah, if Google or anyone else is going to get involved, more power to them. Britain's positively stick-in-the-mud compared to Scandinavia, Korea and Japan**, and it'll take a lot of doin' to bring it into the 21st century.

*except for Hull and some cabled areas (and I think Virgin's cable ducts were dug by BT)

**though to be fair, most of the high-speed internet in these places is to be found only in densely populated urban areas. Anyone know what broadband in lightly populated small towns/villages is like in Scandinavia/Korea/Japan?

PS. There's a great site for UK Slashdot readers -- Broadband Notspots UK [broadband-notspot.org.uk] , it's worth a visit if you're checking out what a particular place is like broadband-wise.

Re:The problem in Britain is the last mile (2, Informative)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111676)

Fortunately, you are wrong.

BT is mandated by OFTCOM (Office of Fair Trading - Telecommunications) to allow competitive and fair access to the last mile and termination space in exchanges, so any competitor that is willing to supply their own infrastructure can supply the same services to the end user without the worry of the last mile.

With regard to the Virgin Media fiber - its laid by whomever Virgin contracts it to be laid, and they dig their own trenches. They made a nice mess several years ago cabling through my town, but not cabling the houses (they did every major road, and put in junction boxes - they just didn't take it to each house). But in surrounding towns they dug up to the house themselves.

Re:The problem in Britain is the last mile (2, Interesting)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111782)

Yes, and that's the problem - companies willing to supply their own infrastructure.

See, most of them are willing.. but only to the places where there are lots of people, putting in cables to rural areas is just as expensive as town, but you find you have 1 or 2 subscribers instead of 1 or 2 thousand.

Virgin happens to be very lucky in that the companies who originally dug up the roads to lay the cables all went bust, so Virgin bought out the good bits and ignored the old debts. Otherwise there'd be no cable service. Sometimes I think that this is the only way to get FTTH - set up a company, tell everyone how 'new tech' you are, get loads of investment, spend it all laying fibre to everyone, go bust and let someone else deliver over your fibre. Job done, no doubt you'd also go away with a huge payout for being CEO regardless of how the company turned out, and everyone would have fibre connectivity!

Re:The problem in Britain is the last mile (1)

Inda (580031) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112418)

Not strictly true.

Swindon was the first town in the UK to be cabled. This was done by Swindon Cable.

Many, many years later, NTL dug up all the old cables to make way for new "high speed" cables.

Virgin do not install cables in new-build houses in Swindon. It has some people pulling their hair out.

*RANT*

STOP CALLING US BRITAIN! If you are trying to reduce keystrokes, call us The UK. Bloody foreigners. British people are from the UK, not "Britain". No one says Britain here. In fact, very few people class themselves as British even if their passports say so. I'm English. Others are Welsh or Scottish.

Bloody hell. Silly States.

Re:The problem in Britain is the last mile (1)

bheer (633842) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112146)

My understanding that BT (or rather its subsidiary OpenReach) is the only one allowed to muck about digging ditches and inserting wires/cabinets on the street for phone/xDSL/FTTx lines. (Can't say about cable, although I've heard BT has dug for Virgin in some places -- perhaps under contract as you say).

What OFCOM (Office of Communications -- not OFTCOM) does mandate is *access* to the last mile. So all providers in the UK (say Virgin (yes, they do provide DSL), Tiscali, etc should be able to use the last mile exactly as BT does.

They do this in two ways -- either by bolting their own infrastructure into exchanges (called LLU or Local loop unbundling) and just depending on BT for the last-mile connectivity. This is the free-est you can be of BT in the UK if you use xDSL/FTTx, unless you live in Hull. The other alternatives are IPStream [wikipedia.org] and Datastream [wikipedia.org] . In both of these your supplier buys broadband capacity wholesale from BT, and resells it to you (but with differing levels of involvement from BT).

In fact, these days BT retail is supposed to buy capacity from BT wholesale in exactly the same way as other providers, to avoid a commercial advantage.

> allow competitive and fair access to the last mile and termination space in exchanges

*Access* alone to the last mile isn't enough for what we're talking about. Suppose I want to provide TownX with 100Mbps fiber. BT (or OpenReach) currently has no plans to deploy fiber in TownX. Thanks to BT's current legal monopoly, neither can I. This is what BT's announcement about opening up ducts etc could change.

Re:The problem in Britain is the last mile (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111768)

This [www.kpo.fi] is one local offering in a sparsely-populated region in Finland:

The worst-case scenario appears to be 0.5 Mb/s symmetrical for €28/mo (incl. taxes). A typical scenario is 8/1.5 Mb/s ADSL for €49/mo. In the regional capital you can get a 100/10 Mb/s ETTH link for €69/mo.

So let's remember "Snowcrash"... (1)

Jade_Wayfarer (1741180) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111582)

Okey, where do I apply for Google Citizenship? Are there any invites available?

Seriously, at this pace, some decades later we'll have Google Phone with Google Voice, and Google Netbook with Google OS, connected to Google ISP, Google Work, Google Home, Google VR (on a base of Google Earth), Google Church [thechurchofgoogle.org] and Google Transport, working on some green Google Energy. What will it be in all, Google Benefaction? Unnerving, but still much better than M$ Empire, Apple Khalifat, or GNU/Anarchy to my taste.

Pure speculation (3, Interesting)

tfountain (619557) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111596)

From the article: "Parliamentary sources have told PC Pro that the Tories' plans were based on foreign investment in the UK broadband network. Google is one of the few companies with the necessary capital and motivation to invest in British broadband" so this story is based soley on the fact that Google is a foreign Internet company with money?

Re:Pure speculation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31112442)

It's speculation, but fairly well grounded. The article cites Tory leader David Cameron having appointed Google CEO Eric Schmidt to a committee of "top talent". But the links go deeper than that, with Steve Hilton, probably the most influential person in British politics right now, being married to Rachel Whetstone.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steve_Hilton [wikipedia.org]
http://www.google.co.uk/corporate/execs.html#whetstone [google.co.uk]

Already have 50MB through cable (1)

tomalpha (746163) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111634)

Now I have to wait 7 years for 100MB? Ouch.

Consequences (1)

nOw2 (1531357) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111650)

If this is true, then I'll accept the other consequences of voting Tory (we haven't forgotten the 80s) and have the high speed Internet please.

My 7MBit/s line has been delivering 300kbit/s for three months due to 'VP congestion' even though I am within sight of the local exchange, which is also the BT area office. I've grown so use to not being able to do anything online except for email that I've decided it would be acceptable to move to rural village (though with population >1,000) which has no broadband due to being 7km away from the three nearest exchanges.

Despite the obvious logical problems with this statement, I do sometimes think that Internet access in the UK outside of London is positively medieval.

If BT are waiting for government handouts to get fibre to rural not-spots and the irrelevant cable companies are not even operating in the same country, then bring on Google. When Google turns into Microsoft, we'll take action. But for now, we need Google. They've been nothing but a force for good so far.

"Medieval"? (3, Insightful)

Kupfernigk (1190345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111730)

Yes, because out here in the sticks we regularly used to get 7Mbit/s downloads in the 11th century AD, just like I do today. At our office, which is in the real sticks, we get a miserable 4Mbit/s download and 1Mbit/s upload on our lines, just like they did in the days of Henry 1st.

Actually, London is a problem - it is spaghetti under the streets and a lot of areas have poor connectivity.

However, you really do need to reconsider your voting. The Party that wants us out of the EU (civil liberties, human rights) seems to want to allow us to be bought by the US. Energy privatisation under Thatcher just worked so well, didn't it? So well that we pay the Germans and the French for the privilege of supplying us with energy, and then they nearly run out of gas because they have emptied our tanks to be sure their home markets are OK in a cold spell. And we have to be bailed out by the Russians. And now the idea is to get the US to pay for our broadband infrastructure so that for the rest of time our money can be exported to US companies, who will naturally bend over backwards to supply our data to the US and avoid European data protection laws.

The Conservatives went wrong when they appointed a PR man with media connections to run the Party rather than an old fashioned English patriot. I can't see how David Davis (who understands civil liberties) would have gone along with this. It would be funny if it was not so sick that the Conservatives are run by the man who did PR for the channel that puts on Big Brother.

google is becoming frightening (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111752)

too much power

i don't care how benevolent it is now, it is laying a groundwork that can potentially be abused with a change in attitude later

and with so much focus on insinuating itself into how so much of the web works, disengaging from google won't be that easy

google is pursuing a sound business strategy for growth, and those toiling away at google are doing so in the most noble of intentions: making the web a better place for all of us

i just wish there were a way to chop google in half, or into dozens of bits, so those brilliant people toiling away at google were competing against each other. rather than being focused on building one overwhelming colossus whose future benevolence is not guaranteed and cannot be guaranteed by anyone

i don't want all that data that they admit they are keeping about us in the fat little fingers of some future successor to harmless wonks brin and page who is not so interested in simply making the web an easier place to navigate

something is being built right now that we all cheerfully accept that we may someday gnash our teeth about: why didn't we worry about this juggernaut being built in front of our very eyes? why were we so distracted by the colorful baubles not to see the edifice that can be so easily abused?

microsoft is becoming frightening (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111808)

if you use microsoft windows, aren't you trusting them and their proprietary code with much more of your life, given the amount of personal information like taxes and family photos people store on their hard drives?

perhaps your concern is misplaced, look where most of the info is stored locally, first. given the number of remote exploits in windows even to this day, what say you?

google is microsoft (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111900)

in every way, except in our minds: we don't have the wariness towards it that we have towards microsoft

i am asking for that wariness

microsoft has proved to be a basket case in the smartphone arena, while google has moved muscularly into the mobile arena. google will know everything you search, everywhere you walk, and keep track of it all. ok, microsoft has my photo album and my tax returns. meanwhile, google has my deepest desires and fears (searches) and knows everywhere i go

but you apparently are saying "don't worry about google, worry about microsoft"

listen to me: i am saying "in the way you worry about microsoft, you should also worry about google"

Re:google is microsoft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31112018)

maybe you should read about Tor and SSL (see also Scroogle)

well duh (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112140)

and you can use linux instead of windows, but that's not the point

we're not talking about the best practices of paranoid schizophrenic open source gurus

we're talking about the lives of average people, who are using windows and google, naive and naked. the next fallacy you might try to foist on this thread would be to hold their naivete and technical nakedness against them: "its your fault for not acting like a paranoid schizophrenic and a technological astute and going to obscene amounts of effort. and so you deserve to be raped by microsoft and google"

pffft

the real moral argument: the behavior of google and microsoft must be altered. not my behavior, not yours, not the average joe's

Surely "From the department of making shit up"? (4, Informative)

Curmudgeonlyoldbloke (850482) | more than 4 years ago | (#31111756)

In case anyone doesn't realise, there's going to be an general election in a couple of months or so. The current extremely unpopular party is likely to be replaced by another slightly less unpopular one with broadly similar policies, the main difference being that instead of being fronted by a dour Scotsman they have a posh ex-PR bloke with a nice smile. At this time politicians on all sides are more likely than ever to say stuff and not mean it.

What the Tories actually said was this:
http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/2010/01/Conservatives_to_deliver_nationwide_superfast_broadband_by_2017.aspx [conservatives.com]

The key weasel words there are "up to 100mbps" and "the majority of homes". Roughly 50% of UK homes have cable available now, and Virgin Media are already offering headline speeds up to half that. 100Mbps by 2017 is hardly flying car territory.

They were actually responding to a Labour suggestion of universal (i.e. 100% not 50%) of UK homes getting 2Mb coverage by 2012:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7858498.stm [bbc.co.uk]

The Labour plan sounds less exciting but would actually be much harder to achieve (not that they'll have to - they're unlikely to get reelected and have been careful to say it only in an "interim report").

As to what orifice the PCPro writer pulled Google out of, your guess is as good as mine.

google will be hated. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31111860)

Soon Google will be the object of hate. It is inevitable as it grows and gains more control of the internet.

In reference to the US part of it... (1)

sethstorm (512897) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112010)

The search giant yesterday announced plans to build a gigabit fibre broadband network in the US. The test network will see Google deliver fibre-to-the-premises (FTTP) connections to up to half a million US homes.

...all outside of flyover country as usual. By the time it reaches flyover country, the provider ends up acting like Comcast on you.

Right (1)

StripedCow (776465) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112034)

We will control the pipes, but we will not inspect your data packets.

Well, maybe we will, but only for advertisement purposes.

Yeah right.

Conservatives (0, Offtopic)

Gonoff (88518) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112326)

For the benefit of people in the US, let me tell them a few things about the UK Conservative party.

The UK Conservative party is so far right that it has difficulty in finding allies in other European countries.The only groups available are banned because of Godwins Law [wikipedia.org] . They are, however quite able to deal with US all mainstream parties.

There is sometimes a perception that better educated and technically aware individuals do not vote for them much. I certainly don't. I don't know if that is true but it may be part of the reason for this story. They want to persuade us to forget about having a fair society so that we can have better broadband speed. I would rather have a modem!

Must create the need (1)

Bender Unit 22 (216955) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112336)

I can get FTTP if I want to, but why should I when I can get a 20/2 megabit ADSL for half the price.

Ok, I can see the geeky coolness in having a 50/50 or even 100/100 megabit internet connection. But it the real world I have no use for it. In reality I did almost fine on a 4 megabit, it was a little on the slow side for HD streaming, but the few hours between work and sleep I hardly had time to notice.

(the fact that the fiber was coming to my town was the reason the phone company a micro DSLAM in my neighborhood, before that the maximum waa 4 megabit and they had no plans to upgrade. But that is another story)

I'm fibring! (1)

AP31R0N (723649) | more than 4 years ago | (#31112344)

Verbing wierds the langauge.

Typo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31112522)

There's a typo in the posting. it should be fiber not fibre. No need to thank me! :)
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