Interview with UK Community Fibre Optic Developer Fibrestream (NextGenUs) - Page 1 - ISPreview
Interview with Fibrestream UK (NextGenUs)
By: Mark Jackson - December 20th, 2010 : Page 1 -of- 5
"The NextGenUs perspective on the proposed USC is that anything is better than nothing in terms of delivering a Digital Safety Net(work)"

UK ISP Fibrestream NextGenUs interviewFibrestream Limited is effectively the trading arm of NextGenUs UK CIC, which specialises in designing and delivering technology and communications solutions that bring super-fast (up to and above 100Mbps) broadband internet access to businesses, communities and individuals in some of the remotest and most rural parts of the UK countryside.

The NextGenUs approach essentially offers local communities a future-proof fibre optic based Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) broadband network, which they call the "4th Utility", that is asset locked and where a minimum of 65% of surplus is returned to the local community. In effect the group puts people first over profits.

For example, NextGenUs deployed FTTH with the RNLI Humber crew and families at Spurn Point in summer 2009, the first FiWi (Fibre Wireless) deployment in the remote rural parish's of Newton-upon-Rawcliffe and Stape (North Yorkshire) in February 2010 and the UK's first rural FTTH village in Ashby (Lincolnshire) during November 2010. 

As a result NextGenUs's / Fibrestream's founder, Guy Jarvis, has a somewhat unique insight on the best way to get Britain hooked up with the next generation of super-fast broadband services. Naturally we wanted to know what he thought of 2010's various broadband developments and his feelings on the new government's current direction.

The 2Mb Universal Service Commitment (broadband for all by 2015)

Q1 - The UK government recently delayed its target of 2012 for making a minimum broadband download speed of 2Mb (Megabits per second) - Universal Service Commitment (USC) - available to everybody in the country, instead pushing it back to 2015. What is your perspective on this target (speed and date); do you think the original 2012 timetable was ever achievable (expensive quick-fix Satellite solutions notwithstanding)?

Answer:

The NextGenUs perspective on the proposed USC is that anything is better than nothing in terms of delivering a Digital Safety Net(work) – so long as the performance level  proposed is treated as an absolute worst case minimum and is never treated as some job-done Digital Deadend – the objective for NextGenUs is FttH as widespread as mains electricity is today.

What concerns NextGenUs is to learn lessons from the first wave of community broadband and ADSL rollouts dating back to 2002-5 and not repeat the same mistake of creating Digital Deadends through the continued use of outdated legacy broadband delivery technologies – in other words, the time to retire copper wire is past already!

Cast Iron commitment by infrastructure service operators to ring-fence at least 2/3rds of operating surplus reinvestment to ensure that sooner rather than later Fibre to the Home in the First Mile is available as widespread as mains electricity is today is key to delivering Digital Britain.

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