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UK Delays National Broadband For Three Years

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the mailing-out-all-those-free-aol-cds-didn't-do-the-trick dept.

Government 140

DMandPenfold writes "The British government has said that it will not be able to complete the rollout of broadband across the UK until 2015, blaming a lack of funds. 'Under the previous Labour government's original plans, everyone in the UK would have had access to 2 megabits per second broadband by 2012.' On Thursday, UK Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt organized a meeting for major broadband providers 'to identify the current barriers to providing basic level broadband in rural areas as well as suggesting ways to make more use of publicly-owned networks, such as those connecting schools and hospitals.' BT, the country's biggest telco, estimates that the necessary government funding for the project will be as much as £2 billion."

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Sexist (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942768)

From the article:

"Most grandmothers will get by without broadband".

As a 49 yo grandmother, feminist, and C programmer I am offended by this.

Re:Sexist (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942832)

Sarah Palin, is that you? Oh, yeah, Palin's not a C programmer. Clearly not a feminist either.

Seriously though, most of the grandmothers they're referring to are probably quite a bit older than 49; as if you didn't know that already.

I gotta wonder though--- I'm 50. I seriously hope my children don't give me grandchildren for at least another 10 years. I mean, what was your hurry? Or your children's? Assuming everything was planned!

Yeah, go ahead, mod me a troll.

Re:Sexist (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942862)

As a 27 year-old grandmother, I find your comment offensive. In my book, waiting until your early to mid 20's to have a child is not a hurry.

Re:Sexist (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942886)

But they never would have said "grandfather". In general, I don't see why they had to single out the elderly. Just old fashioned agist crap.

Re:Sexist (1)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942990)

A 27 year old _grand_mother!

Are you serious or was that a typo?

Re:Sexist (1)

CrimsonAvenger (580665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943438)

Are you serious or was that a typo?

It was a joke, looks like.

Though there are 27 year old grandmothers out there. Get knocked up at 13, then if your daughter does the same....

Re:Sexist (3, Insightful)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942958)

As a 49 yo grandmother, feminist, and C programmer I am offended by this.

Why? C is extremely terse, and therefore ideally suited to dial-up.
Now if you were a COBOL programmer, you'd have a point.

SCNR

Re:Sexist (0, Troll)

a_fuzzyduck (979684) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943176)

as someone with a grasp of the concepts of "most" and "all", and an understanding that the majority of female grandparents are not C programmers, I am offended by this

This is stupid. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942784)

Why the delay? It should be scrapped altogether.

I have nothing against people in rural areas wanting the same services
as everyone else but why should I have to fund it? If they want to get
money for this they should increase the council tax to rural areas to
pay for it. They chose to live there so they should pay for the privilege.

The BT 21CN is just wrong and doomed to failure. Its over budget, delayed
and will never work right. By the time its completed they'll be needing
to upgrade to keep up with things like BBC IPlayer, YouTube, P2P and other high
bandwidth services.

Quite a few years ago I tried to get my local council to create it's own
broadband network. The local community would fund the internet network and
then add the cost to the Council Tax. If other areas did the same they
could link's their networks to each other and create a massive resilient
network that isn't dependant on BT's overpriced services. Local connections
would be at nearly LAN speeds. It would promote community services and
facilities. It would also remove a lot of the traffic going through exchange points
like LINX.

Re:This is stupid. (4, Insightful)

Darth Sdlavrot (1614139) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942934)

I have nothing against my neighbors wanting a "free," quality, public education for their children, but why should I have to fund it?

(Never mind that my children have already gone through the public school system and are off to college now.)

I thought we understood that governments build infrastructure on the premise that we all benefit in one way or another. Roads, airports, shipping ports, military, etc. Otherwise I could extend your argument to include all those other things and more. I may never drive on the Trans-Alaska highway, fly out of Portland, Maine international airport, but I do believe that by making things better for the people who do use them, we've all receive a benefit. Likewise for me, for the things I use.

And that free public education my children received? If I'd had to pay "the going rate" every year they were in school, I could never have afforded it, so now I'm paying for it in installments through my town or county property tax (or your council tax), and my neighbors will be doing the same, and if not here, where ever I live, or they live. If you look at the big picture it all evens out, more or less.

Re:This is stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943470)

BT was privatized years ago. This is the same situation as in the US where the government pays the cable companies to build infrastructure and then the public has to pay a second time to use it.

Re:This is stupid. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943546)

You'd *think* people would understand the point you're making about public infrastructure. At least here in the US, you'd be thinking WRONG:

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704913304575370950363737746.html

Note how every single pigfucker who complains about the gravel road voted against paying the taxes needed to keep it paved. See also California.

Re:This is stupid. (1)

ObsessiveMathsFreak (773371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943688)

I have nothing against my neighbors wanting a "free," quality, public education for their children, but why should I have to fund it?

Because 90+% of the infrastructure you use daily was funded by other people too.

Re:This is stupid. (1)

smallfries (601545) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943918)

I have nothing against my neighbors wanting a "free," quality, public education for their children, but why should I have to fund it?

Because you don't want to live in a society where your neighbours are uneducated?

Re:This is stupid. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32944848)

I have nothing against my neighbors wanting a "free," quality, public education for their children, but why should I have to fund it?

Because you don't want to live in a society where your neighbours are uneducated?

so -- not the USA? seriously, depending on WHERE in the states one lives, your neighbours might very well be uneducated...

Re:This is stupid. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942978)

I don't think it should be scrapped. Remote locations are the ones that gain the most from having better communication links. Home delivery of groceries means a lot more when your nearest shop is miles away.

21CN isn't actually about the speed of the network, but rather about the management and organisation of devices within it. To achieve this management and organisation is having to upgrade a lot of the equipment. As a side effect the network will become a lot faster, but also upgrades should become easier. IMO it's a very good idea.

The main problem with this project is that BT are the ones running it. Being an an incumbent doesn't exactly encourage you to innovate and keep being an agile market player, and now they have been caught with their pants down because of the explosion of information services that are putting more strain on there network than ever before, so they have had to upgrade, and keep being able to upgrade. Which is what 21CN is all about.

BT is going to make a bit of a mess with this project. However If BT doesn't do this project though, they will make a bigger mess of our heavily subsidised telecommunications network than they already have, wasting billions.

Re:This is stupid. (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943948)

A mess compared to say the USA? the only subsization is the cherry picking and crosubsidisation that competitors are alowed

Re:This is stupid. (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944912)

ask people in hull how that worked out - this is the local monopoly system that has caused so many problems for the USA and even Hull has had problems there was a scandel that was hushed up - thoiugh if your not on the inside you wouldnt know that.

2 megabits per second? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942786)

Holy crap, UK is extremely tiny compared to Canada and over here the lowest we can get is 5 megabits per second. Even in my remote town in the middle of nowhere, we now have access to 12 megabits per second for commercial clients.

Re:2 megabits per second? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942810)

Even in my remote town in the middle of nowhere,

So, you live in one of the territories, then?

Re:2 megabits per second? (1)

blackraven14250 (902843) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942850)

Even in my remote town in the middle of nowhere,

So, you live in one of the territories, then?

You need to ask with the proper "eh?" at the end.

Re:2 megabits per second? (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943032)

Well, at my rural property in Tasmania (where I'll be living in a few months' time), I'll have to take whatever connection I can get, and I'm quite sure it won't be as good as 1Mb/s. I'll be several km away from the nearest Telstra pole (or even a power pole, for that matter), and I'm not sure whether or not Telstra's wireless connection will actually be possible there. Obviously, all the satellite options suffer from the upstream latency issue for VOIP. Here in Perth (Western Australia, that is), I have plenty of choices for ADSL2+ connections, but it's easy to forget about regional areas until the day when you have to deal with them.

Re:2 megabits per second? (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943138)

>>>Obviously, all the satellite options suffer from the upstream latency issue for VOIP

(1) How about just using an old-fashioned phone?

(2) You don't have to move there. You made that choice yourself. You lose fast internet, but in return gain the beauty of a rural home. These are the tradeoffs we all choose as a natural part of life - lose some and gain some. If you think internet is more important than just move back to the city or suburb.

Re:2 megabits per second? (1)

Jeremy Erwin (2054) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943196)

A national broadband plan has to incorporate all of a nation's people. Those rural parts (such as Tasmania, Northern Territory, Nunavet, Alaska, and so on) really drag down the average.

Re:2 megabits per second? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943954)

um so has Liz2 suddenly got a few more subjects or did Bush give us Alaska in return for backing gulfwar 2

Re:2 megabits per second? (1, Insightful)

westlake (615356) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942878)

Even in my remote town in the middle of nowhere, we now have access to 12 megabits per second for commercial clients.

You haven't said anything about the price - or what drives your local economy.

"Remote" doesn't always mean poor or politically impotent.

Re:2 megabits per second? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944146)

Holy crap, UK is extremely tiny compared to Canada and over here the lowest we can get is 5 megabits per second. Even in my remote town in the middle of nowhere, we now have access to 12 megabits per second for commercial clients.

You can get 12 megabits per second in pretty much all of the UK, if you're willing to pay BT (British Telecom) enough. It's not standard though.

Anyway, not to cast any doubt, but when you say the lowest you can get is 5Mb/s, is that the actual minimum speed you'll get, or the minimum they'll sell you? Most ISPs in the UK will happily sell you "up to 8Mb/s" but the lines might only support 4Mb/s, for example.

Farce (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942788)

"BT, the country's biggest telco, estimates that the necessary government funding for the project will be as much as £2 billion."

This is a farce. What the new Government did was ask the TELCOs what the problems were with deploying rural broadband. That's like asking De Beers how to reduce diamond prices.

Re:Farce (2, Insightful)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943012)

Well if you don't believe them, maybe ask Ars Technica. They say the per home of installation of broadband (via fiber) is between 850 and 1300 Euros. Not exactly cheap. IMHO this broadband plan would make more sense:

- Take a page out of the FDR years which mandated telephone companies must wire all homes with telephone lines
- Update the law so it says telephone companies must provide DSL (or FiOS or equivalent service) to all homes by 1/1/2012
- Use the already-existing Universal Service Fund (USF) to cover the costs

Done. Since 99.9% of homes have telephone wires running into them, there's no digging required. No manual labor. No disruption. Simply install a ~$100 DSLAM in each neighborhood. Within a year's time, virtually everyone would have access to 1000 kbit/s or more service. That's 20+ times faster than what they had before (28k or 56k).

Re:Farce (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943262)

Well if you don't believe them, maybe ask Ars Technica. They say the per home of installation of broadband (via fiber) is between 850 and 1300 Euros. Not exactly cheap. IMHO this broadband plan would make more sense

Wow, that's cheap. My phone bill would pay that off in 1 year to 18 months, after that BT can take the money and invest it elsewhere or make a profit. To say that my current telephone twisted pair cables have been in pace since the 1940's, 18 month payback for fibre doesn't seem a costly thing to do for BT.

Virgin Broadband, the only cable supplier in the UK, want £3,500 to lay 50m of cable to my home. Their green box is at the bottom of my street, but they never laid any cable to my home. Everyone else in the area to where I live have cable to their homes already, they just need coax cable to run in to their homes from the kerb.

Re:Farce (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943674)

>>>My phone bill would pay that off in 1 year to 18 months

That's assuming you buy the Broadband service. If you choose not to, then the fiber just laws idle and the BT company will have lost a huge chunk of cash. ----- Also what kind of frakked-up phone service do you have? Mine is only $15/month and would take over five years time to cover that ~$1000 installation cost. You must be getting ripped-off.

Re:Farce (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943952)

I spend roughly £60/month for my landline. Broadband is £25 with BT Broadband for a 2.5Mb/s ADSL connection, £15 line rental (everyone has to pay this to BT unless you have cable), the rest is in call charges. I could lower my call charges, I know I'm on the wrong contract.

Re:Farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943454)

Yeah, but that is optical, something that is barely useful for >90% of the people who use the networks, yes, even those who download often, most websites cap you regardless of YOUR speed being better.

Optical is only useful for these scenarious:
Backbones to the exchanges
large businesses, colleges, schools, hospitals, etc
content delivery networks, but those are usually paid for by the 3rd parties setting them up anyway.
those who live with more than 5-10 people on 1000kb+ connection
They should be updating those with optical, taking advantage of multiple frequencies in the same fiber, not laying optical across the last mile.
If people DO want to have an optical connection, then let them at the price required to get the line from the exchange to their house. It is only fair.
Why would any company waste time laying optical to housing when most of them won't even utilise it?

As for the remote areas, some people don't even have lines, or pathetic line quality, which is essentially no line for internetting at decent speeds. (and just barely phoning)
All they need to do is just upgrade the crappy wires, a large chunk of them still being stuck on awful Aluminium lines, and all the switches probably.

My connection is perfectly fine.
The only part that isn't, however, is the stupid mess around upstreams being capped so low in comparison to downstream for most connections, and bandwidth limits.
And even the bandwidth limits are barely much anyway, 40-50GB on average is useful for your average family of iplayering, youtubing, movie downloadering kinds.

Re:Farce (2, Insightful)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944986)

So, rather than laying fiber, which is relatively cheap to buy/install and incredibly cheap to operate, you want to replace all the phone lines with one of the most expensive metals around (copper) just so that you say "fiber is a waste".

The benefits of fiber are huge - you can use passive optical splitters that use no power and require almost no land, and it'll serve 30-300 end points using GPON. Over this single fiber, you can serve on-demand TV, internet, phone and security alerting, with efficient use of multicasting for the live TV and unicast for everything else. What's more, you don't have to supply voltage down the cable, wasting lots of energy to the environment, it doesn't corrode or degrade (to a large extent) and at the head-end you can fit literally tens of thousands of endpoints into a cable no fatter than a single twisted pair connection.

The benefits of copper are: You don't need to power it at the home, so if the power goes out and your battery backup unit has failed, you can still make an emergency call. That, and the line is already present.

Pretty simple choice, really. If the UK Government were really committed to investing in the future of broadband in the UK, they'd lay fiber to every street cabinet *now* and prepare to get the local councils digging up the capillary roads to lay a fiber alongside Virgin Media's cable, starting within 5 years for eventual turn-on by 2020.

The biggest bottleneck in broadband speeds in the UK is the copper. It's nothing to do with the low upload speeds, which are only present because it makes a lot more sense to divide the spectrum on the line weighted to the download speed rather than the upload, which is very rarely saturated - unlike the download.

The second bottleneck is that when the signal terminates at the exchange, it's backhauled over to an LNC in London inside a PPP/L2TP header and (usually ATM) cell-switched, rather than IP(v6 eventually) routed. That would kill the broadband market, however - essentially making broadband a public utility rather than an a private ISP service. Knowing how bad BT run things at the moment (especially when it comes to 21CN etc) that can only be a "bad thing" without clueful ISPs bashing them all the time to fix problems.

Re:Farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943506)

TFA is about the UK.
Universal Service Fund does not apply.

Re:Farce (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943538)

The reason it is supposedly expensive is because many rural homes (and even some urban homes) do NOT have their own phone line. Instead, BT run one line to up to 4 houses and then put a digital splitter on the end. This means only 1 of those 4 people can have DSL, on a first come, first served basis. The other three people are screwed unless they want to pay £35,000 for BT to run a new cable pair all the way from the exchange to their house. Due to the BT was split up when it was privatized so that the ISP and the phone service are done by different subsidiaries, there is no requirement for them to provide anything but voice service, which they can do on the cheap by sharing lines in this way.

The proper way for BT to handle this would be to just use a router to share the internet connection between the 4 houses. It wouldn't even be any slower since even if they all had their own DSL they would be contending anyway. But this does not require the government to give BT 2 billion, so it won't happen.

Re:Farce (1)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32945004)

You mean DACS, right? I believe BT are in no way obligated to remove them as you correctly surmise, but I don't think they're fitted any more. Theoretically, if you cancelled your service, then re-ordered, they'd fit a new cable - and to supply a premises with a new service there is a cap to the charges they can assign.

Still expensive, though, I agree.

Re:Farce (2, Interesting)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943972)

err how do you get the fibre to the CAB for that price pray? and DSL doesnt work at long ranges and the BB target is a lot more thatm 1MBS

Re:Farce (1)

igb (28052) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944046)

BT already have a de jure universal service obligation for voice (and, 14K4, or it might be 28K8, modem), so copper pairs are universal. BT already have a je facto USO for DSL. The problem is that there are a handful of not-spots outside the reach of any meaningful DSL, and the 2Mbps proposal is quite challenging as there are a lot of places that will only get ~0.5Mbps even with ADSL 2+. There are some regulatory and technical complexities with fibre to the cabinet, and for low-density rural areas it end up substantially under-provisioning the line cards (ie there's only a dozen or so premises within reach of one cabinet).

BT (4, Informative)

FuckingNickName (1362625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942804)

BT can pay for it themselves. Roll out the universal service obligation for broadband. BT's already got special treatment thanks to its representative in government, Ofcom. It's time it also enjoyed obligations.

I don't want the bloody government paying for this. I don't want the government doing anything else with the Internet in this country, in fact. From the IWF to Cameron telling Facebook to take down troll comments praising some guy with obvious mental health problems who went on a killing spree, this government is more New Labour and less Liberal than the last.

Re:BT (1, Troll)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942898)

Actualy Ofcom is Rupert Murdocs representative in government - that was what the then Chair of the house telcoms group said to me at a conference when ofcom was set up.

And if its universal service fine go for it Just lets have all the other telco's and sky pay there share - why as a BT share holder should I pay for little Jack to have a fast conection to steal shit with.

As a long suffering BT shareholder I am sick of new entrants getting away with blatent cross subsidization that these foreign tax dodging media moguls get BT sould have just brought the sindy (the independant) and used it to advance its stakeholders position.

Re:BT (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942932)

BT just announced they're putting their phone charges up by 10%: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-10676934 [bbc.co.uk] . Not one red cent of which will go towards infrastructure. So you'll be happy then.

Re:BT (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943006)

Come to think of it, if your shares are making you unhappy, throw in a tenner and I'll take them off your hands.

Re:BT (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943826)

£10 each you might have a deal :-)

Re:BT (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943822)

so BT is a not the GPO any more even the socialist Worker's have given up on renationalising BT.

And The last time that the tories where in goventment they where offered a full fibre roll out but turned it down as they wouldn't let BT make a resonable ROI.

Ill be happy when all compentitors have access to sky's product at the same wholsale deal that BT has to give access to its network.

Re:BT (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944470)

Yes, I'll be happy for compentitors. Whatever or whomever they may be. But, if you bought your BT shares when it was floated by the previous tory government, you got them well below their actual value. (Sorry to seem a speling NAzee but I thought the pun was entertaining).

Re:BT (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944872)

no I got some of them them for the sweat I put in and the balance I brought.

Re:BT (1)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32945012)

Call connection charges are going up to 10.9p, and the daytime rate is going up to quite a large amount too. Pretty much cements the idea that for personal calls you should use a mobile phone, and for business you should use VoIP.

That is, until the mobile networks realise what is happening and get greedy, lowering the data caps on all the price plans to something silly like 1GB. Oh wait, already happened!

Re:BT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943044)

"Actualy Ofcom is Rupert Murdocs representative in government" Ofcom is suppose to be an independant regulartory body. Can you prove this in any way?

Re:BT (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944008)

as I Said the then Chairman of the House of Commons Telecoms group said it. "ofcoms job is to keep murdoch sweet" this was just after Oftel had been merged to form ofcom its an open secret in the telecoms industry

Re:BT (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943094)

...why as a BT share holder should I pay for little Jack to have a fast conection to steal shit with.

Fucking troll! You can't steal anything over the internet.

Re:BT (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944022)

to chicken to put your real name to that after all I might be nice and not pass your id onto BT Security :-)

BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32942892)

Makes me sick. BT should pay for it, they already have a monopoly, so you can't avoid paying them money. Why can they not pay for this themselves? They have stiffled innovation for years. They promised 21CN for the whole country and I don't believe they ever had any intention of delivering it.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943058)

A monopoly? Interesting. I, along with a large proportion of the UK population, have Internet access via Virgin Media cable and telephone via SIP and a mobile - no money going to BT at all. Some people get ADSL without BT, but an increasing number of exchanges are covered by local loop unbundling, and they can.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943096)

And cabe doesn't cover most areas and all local loop unbundled equipment has to be approved by BT and fee paid to BT. All the remaining ADSL is rented from BT whoesale, so I stand by my comment they are a monopoloy.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943154)

A monopoly? Interesting.

Virgin only cable where it is profitable - out of those areas its BT or the highway.

Even with "Local Loop Unbundling" you still have to have a BT line.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943568)

Even with "Local Loop Unbundling" you still have to have a BT line.

No you don't, i have a connection through LLU and i'm certainly not paying BT a damn thing. (directly at least)
Even checking the line against several ISPs "availability checker" functionality states that as well. Example below from Sky who do need one:

This number does not appear to be a BT compatible phone line. It may be from a cable or other service provider, or you may have moved house and just activated this number. We can only supply Sky Broadband and Talk on working, active BT compatible lines.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1, Insightful)

itsdapead (734413) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944828)

No you don't, i have a connection through LLU and i'm certainly not paying BT a damn thing.

So your ISP came and laid a new cable to your house? Or are the little fairies carrying the data to and from the exchange?

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32944174)

Um, no. I work for an ISP and we resell Tiscali DSL, which is an LLU based broadband product: Tiscali own and operate the equipment at the DSLAM. No "BT line" required.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32944238)

Unless all your customers live inside said DSLAM, there needs to be some sort of line connecting it to their houses. I wonder which company is most likely to own such a line in the UK?

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

gilgongo (57446) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943166)

A monopoly? Interesting. I, along with a large proportion of the UK population, have Internet access via Virgin Media cable and telephone via SIP and a mobile - no money going to BT at all. Some people get ADSL without BT, but an increasing number of exchanges are covered by local loop unbundling, and they can.

No money going to BT Retail maybe, (which has a share of about 30% of the domestic broadband market and about 50% of domestic fixed lines, I believe - some general Googling will reveal this). BT Wholesale, on the other hand, basically has a government-regulated monopoly on backbone and infrastructure provision in the UK though. Virgin Media's cables go to BT's LLU exchanges, and their packets pass over BT's maintained ATM. And they pay them for that.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

Richard_at_work (517087) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943570)

Virgin Media's cables go to BT's LLU exchanges, and their packets pass over BT's maintained ATM. And they pay them for that.

That is true *only* where Virgin have not extended their cable network - I for example have nothing installed that has anything to do with BT, all the equipment and all the lines coming into my house are owned and operated by Virgin Media 100%.

Virgin are also not stopped by either Ofcom or the UK Government from expanding their network across the UK - they simply do not want to. For example, 5 years ago I was living across the country from where I am now, and Telewest (the company that became Virgin Media) put my town through considerable inconvenience when they put in the central fibre loops up every main road which took about 6 months. Of course, we accepted it because it meant we were getting cable! But they never followed through - they never used the fibre.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943726)

I bet you feel smug about that don't you? Do you know how much of the country Virgin Media covers? I would imagine it's about 2%, and where they can't provide it they still offer ADSL through the BT network to try to make up for it. So the arguement just doesn't stand for most of the population. Beside that, most people I know who can get Virgin, recieve less than ADSL speeds, unless they live in the centre of London still. This is about getting resaonable broadband to everyone, but rubbing other peoples faces in it because cable has worked out okay for you.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

Vanders (110092) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944196)

Do you know how much of the country Virgin Media covers? I would imagine it's about 2%

What's the point in asking and then just making up your own figure?

most people I know who can get Virgin, recieve less than ADSL speeds, unless they live in the centre of London still

I live right on the edge of Bristol: it's town one side, greenbelt on the other, and I get 20Mb just fine. If I wanted it I could get 50Mb with no hassle at all. Even the small towns and villages in this area get the same speeds.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32945054)

Virgin Media have a 22.2% market share of internet connections. BT have 27%.

It's a lot bigger than 2% of the nation, though I agree it's a long way from ubiquitous.

Re:BT is a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

h4rm0ny (722443) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944258)


Communications infrastructure, like the roads, should be a public service. If that doesn't happen, we're going to end up in a right mess.

Re:BT is NOT a Monopoly, Why Shouldn't They Pay? (1)

mjwalshe (1680392) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944948)

21CN is the core network you muppet - its not for the D side

Licence Fee (1)

ninjacheeseburger (1330559) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942906)

2 Megabit by 2015 !!! I thought my 8Mb broadband was slow.

There was talk about funding coming from the TV license fee, why hasn't this happened, I would consider broadband to be more important than the digital tv switch over. Especially as most of the remote areas have trouble picking up terrestrial TV anyway.

Re:Licence Fee (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942996)

I would consider broadband to be more important than the digital tv switch over.

The broadband program costs the government money. The digital TV switch brings the government money, by selling now-free frequencies from previous analog TV. Now what is more important to the government, to pay money, or to get money?

Re:Licence Fee (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943120)

I don't recall the UK government selling-off television frequencies?
You're probably thinking of the US (sold off channels 52-82).

Re:Licence Fee (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943202)

Um, they're doing it soon. http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/ [digitaluk.co.uk]

Re:Licence Fee (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943730)

Your link says nothing about Selling-off channels. My understanding is that the UK DTV will occupy the same space analog TV occupied. (In the same way channels 2 to 51 remained the same in the US.)

Re:Licence Fee (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944516)

You didn't read the link, maybe? The whole point of turning off analogue signals is to free up space in the broadcast spectrum, which will be sold off to commercial firms.

Re:Licence Fee (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944656)

>>>The whole point of turning off analogue signals is to free up space in the broadcast spectrum

I see you didn't read my post (below), so I'll repeat the relevant bits: Channels 21-30 and 41-62 will still be occupied by DTV, and not freed up. The 31-40 band has an uncertain future but most of the leaders want to reserve it, for future DTV growth. So nothing will be sold off.

Re:Licence Fee (1)

myocardialinfarction (1606123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32944772)

Oh. Getting it now. I was being a twit.

Re:Licence Fee (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943856)

Yeah I was right. Channels 21-30 and 41-62 will still be occupied by DTV. Only channels 31-40 will be freed-up, andno plan is set on what to do with them. Some have proposed keeping that space for another DTV multiplex

Re:Licence Fee (1)

BrokenHalo (565198) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943100)

There was talk about funding coming from the TV license fee...

Damn, I'd almost forgotten about that. Here in Australia we don't have such a fee, but I guess there's a few other things we don't have too...

Re:Licence Fee (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943106)

I would consider that a misappropriation of funds. Like taxing car drivers to provide free rides to train people. The TV owners shouldn't have to fund other persons' free internet.

Re:Licence Fee (2, Interesting)

WarwickRyan (780794) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943162)

That 'talk' was sponsored by Mr Murdoch, who would just love to see the BBC's funding cut.

Re:Licence Fee (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943362)

I thought my 8Mb broadband was slow.

Really? My provider offers up to 50Mb/s, but I'm currently on the 10Mb/s plan because I've never found it slow. I'm curious about what you're doing that makes 8Mb/s slow. I'd be more interested in paying for a 10Mb/s symmetric connection (or even for 5Mb/s upstream) than for more downstream.

Re:Licence Fee (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943890)

>>>I'm curious about what you're doing that makes 8Mb/s slow

The grandparent poster has Spoiled brat syndrome. No matter how much you give 'em, they still are not satisfied. My link's only 0.7 Mbit/s and I think it works just fine even when watching hulu.com or syfy.com. And for bittorrent it downloads faster than I can watch the videos.

But, but,... (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 4 years ago | (#32942998)

...this means that there are people in the EU who are being denied their Basic Human Right to free 100MB Internet service! Could it be that there has been some exaggeration going on? Have we been misled?

The Current UK Government (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943000)

The current UK government:

We're privatization much of the NHS! due to lack of funds and bad management by the previous government.

We're scrapping hundreds of school building projects! due to lack of funds and bad management by the previous government.

We're freezing all public sector pay! due to lack of funds and bad management by the previous government.

We're cutting thousands of jobs in quangos! due to lack of funds and bad management by the previous government.

We're scrapping a ban of cigarette vending machines! due to lack of funds and bad management by the previous government.

We're sending Cameron to visit America to defend BP! due to lack of funds and bad management by the previous government.

We're taxing graduates! due to lack of funds and bad management by the previous government.

-

Ok, so they have a horrible job. But later cuts would have been the answer, and blaming the previous administration is never the answer.

There's a war on, you know.. Priorities, man! (1)

countertrolling (1585477) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943004)

Reports say they're pulling out of Afghanistan in 2014, so the timing sounds about right.

Debt is a distraction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943026)

The real focus should be on the advancement of knowledge which allows for technological innovation which increases standard of living and keeps the currency strong because others want what you produce, so govt should print as much money as it needs to fund the tools necessary to allow individuals to exploit their native intellect to the fullest.

BT suck (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943066)

I used to be on an ISP that used BT's infrastructure for internet access, then when they started throttling through traffic shaping I jumped ship to one that's LLU (Local Loop Unbundled). My download speed went from 3mbit to 5.5mbit overnight and my upload speed went from 0.6mbit to over 1mbit.

BT have most of the country by the balls, there are many people who want to completely ditch BT for a LLU ISP but their local exchange hasn't been upgraded yet.

Furthermore if you want some extra "BT suck" fodder just read this articale about a guy who was quoted £56,000 for broadband - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/mid/8577092.stm [bbc.co.uk]

Re:BT suck (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943348)

My exchange allows for LLU ISPs, however they only use ADSL2+ for broadband. My line to the exchange is poor, I can only get 2.5Mb/s ADSL, ADSL2+ is no go on my poor quality line. I'm forced to stick with BT because of their crappy twisted pair cables.

Re:BT suck (1)

dotwaffle (610149) | more than 4 years ago | (#32945074)

6,500m of cable is £48,750?

I'm hoping that includes the laying fee, otherwise they really ought to stop laying Monster Cable for phone lines.

Is That Cost Before or After the Greed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943080)

Is that Telco estimate of £2 billion, before or after they siphon off as much profit from the Taxpayer's money? Or does that figure include the profit share the Telco's will pay themselves out of that estimate? I mean, the history of broadband expansion in some other countries in the past seems to be that the Gov. sponsored portion tends to disappear and Taxpayers never seem to get much value for money or worse yet rate increases on top of the taxed portion.
Just asking.

I Live in The Countryside and Want It Both Ways (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943086)

Hi

I live out in the middle of nowhere where I enjoy clean air, wide open spaces and lower property prices. It's great but I really want it both ways and think I deserve a high speed internet connection as well.

Some people have suggested to me that I should move somewhere more densely populated if I want high speed internet access, but I find this proposition to be absurd. I think I should be entitled to high speed breadboard and furthermore I think everyone else should have to pay for it. I know it'll be extremely expensive to deliver a broadband service to where I live but I think I should be able to enjoy the benefits of living in the countryside as well as having access to the same facilities dwellers of urban areas enjoy.

I see nothing unreasonable about my position and demand you all start paying for my internet connection immediately!

Sincerely,
An owner of a large country estate

it was a meaningless gesture anyway (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32943126)

I live in a remote village in Scotland. I already have "up to" 2 MB broadband. Last week I was uploading files at 2 KILOBYTES per second. If this is what they're offering then I want my 56k modem back.

Everybody *loves* broadband! (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943370)

Until it gets down to the issue of who pays for it. I'm reminded of an ancient Roman orator, who was asked which wine he liked to drink best. His answer?

"The wine, for which, someone else has paid for."

Kinda sorta sums up the broadband debate everywhere. Everybody wants it; nobody wants to pay for it. And it would certainly be best if someone else paid for it.

Re:Everybody *loves* broadband! (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943676)

And that's sums up a good reason to pay the initial investment from the public coffers, that way everyone is equally burdened.

So many years after the introduction of internet to the general population it should be evident it's part of a necessary infrastructure, comparable to running water, roads and power.

Re:Everybody *loves* broadband! (1)

thetoadwarrior (1268702) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943756)

Except for wine will never be necessary and broadband is increasingly necessary and will be a requirement eventually. But hey why sort it out now when we can do it at the last second for the higher cost of rushing it through.

Want to both have your cake and eat it? (1, Troll)

FantasticSpikes (1567797) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943654)

I've never really understood why people in rural areas feel it should be a legal requirement for their internet to be as fast as it is in cities. If you want to escape the riff-raff and live all on your own in the country, you should be prepared to deal with whatever that might bring you.

Re:Want to both have your cake and eat it? (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943966)

Because we, as a society, want some people to live in rural areas so that, you know, they make food and other stuff we urbanites need to survive.

Or do you propose to ship all farming jobs off to China and Africa, too?

because it is a tradeoff (5, Insightful)

zogger (617870) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943970)

You want all the neat stuff you need to actually live in a heavy urban area delivered to you from the rural areas, plus have it cheap. Swell, this is now possible because as a nation we invested in a set of "commons", we now have decent roads everywhere, rail service, and seized property where electric transmission lines, natural gas lines and water lines exist..all to bring stuff to you in the cities, our royal "blues" bloods now by voting demographics, cheaply. So, if the rural people just want a little better internet, all of a sudden this "commons" idea gets bad? OK, maybe it is! How about you voluntarily give up all your cheap trucked in stuff and piped in stuff and go out and start contracting for your food and water and electricity, and pay transit fees and tolls, boundary line by boundary line, to each owner, to all the rural landowners to get that stuff? What do you think your urban existence would really cost then?

I'm all for it really, dump the commons, privatize everything including the roads, no more eminent domain seizure and use for the transmission towers and water pipelines, toll roads everywhere, all of that, let it simmer for a few months, just to see what is really valuable today or not. Let's rock! Bring it on, we'll see who cracks first.

Here, just to show you we rural people have some compassion for our now starving urban area "neighbors" under the "chuck you farley, we got ours now you pay up what we demand if you want anything better like normal 21st century stuff" private everything model of society and economics... you might need this http://www.churchofeuthanasia.org/e-sermons/butcher.html [churchofeuthanasia.org] You need to print out a hard copy now while you can..my guess is your electricity would go to, oh..a few hundred bucks a kilowatt hour at a minimum once all our transit fees are paid to us. Maybe more..or maybe we just wouldn't care and say "no, tough luck, we don't need anything you have, including your scam fiat currency crap. We could do that, too. We got the food, water and energy, you got...consumers. That's it..you just consume what we provide, and provide cheap.

Have fun! Let's do it, the grand experiment, get this sorted out what is really worth what, once and for all. Then no more debates, we'll all know what is necessary and what isn't, who gets paid too much and who gets paid too little, and what is more important, and whether or not a "commons" is a good idea. Let's let a real free market and no more public commons *anything* sort this all out. I'm totally ready and would really like to see it. Making my bucket of popcorn right now!

I really didn't expect this... (2, Insightful)

valeo.de (1853046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32943828)

We'll be hearing this from the Tory-Lib Dem government for the next 4-5 years, I suspect. There will be many many things that we should be doing, but because Labour mismanaged the public purse, the digital divide in the UK will have to stay.

It's really quite boring that politicians spend so much of their first time blaming the previous incumbents for current problems, instead of being a bit more proactive and concentrating on solutions instead of laying blame...

Re:I really didn't expect this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32944660)

This is the solution. Do it later, when we'll have more money as our deficit will be nuked.
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