The Definition of UK Superfast Next Generation Broadband - Introduction Page 1 - ISPreview
The Definition of UK Superfast Next Generation Broadband
By: Mark Jackson - October 25th, 2010 : Page 8 -of- 8
"NGA technology must be able to offer minimum real-world speeds that go beyond existing ADSL2+ technologies best"

what is uk superfast next generation access nga broadband Some campaigners argue that the only true NGA solution should be one capable of delivering 100Mbps+ (Megabits per second) fibre optic broadband connections to every home and business in the country (e.g. FTTH / FTTP). This position has some considerable merit and related services are already being rolled out, albeit on a very limited scale.

Sadly, given the current economic climate, lack of political willpower and estimated costs of up to £15bn - £20bn, the reality is that deploying FTTH to the whole country is a wonderful "pipedream" that won't be given a chance to blossom beyond limited deployments, at least not in the short to medium term. Furthermore it will be some considerable time before UK broadband ISPs could support such bandwidth to the entire country.

So how should we define NGA? It seems as if Ofcom had the right idea but failed to address a few crucial factors. ISPreview.co.uk believes that any NGA technology must be able to offer minimum real-world speeds that go beyond existing ADSL2+ technologies best, when delivered over a single phone line or wireless connection (i.e. Downloads of 24Mbps+ and, crucially, Uploads of 3Mbps+ [ADSL2+ Annex M]).

At present such a definition would encompass Virgin Media's cable network and fibre optic based broadband solutions, such as BT's FTTC and FTTH / P services. Neither Satellite nor Mobile Broadband should be considered, at least not until they can prove a real world capability to deliver those speeds to consumer packages within their coverage.

None of this would stop an ISP offering slower services (e.g. 10Mbps), just so long as the underlying technology delivers a truly faster connection (as above) when required by the end-user. It would have been nice to touch on Latency and Packet Loss too, although such elements remain too easily influenced by external factors.

ISPreview.co.uk believes that it is critical for the UK government to adopt a firm and centralised definition of NGA services. This will provide a clearer direction and strengthen any targets. It would also help to prevent operators and government bodies from abusing the terminology, much as we have already seen earlier in this article.

What do you think (please post your comments at the bottom)?

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