Interview with UK Business Broadband ISP Timico - Page 1 - ISPreview
Interview with UK Business Broadband ISP Timico
By: Mark Jackson - November 1st, 2010 : Page 1 -of- 5
"we should be aiming for full blown FTTP everywhere and not pussyfooting around with a 2Mbps target that is already obsolete"

uk timico business broadband isp Timico is an independent UK Internet Service Provider (ISP) that was founded in 2004 by a team of senior industry players with a view to becoming a major force in the provision of communications services to businesses. In the space of just 6 years Timico has swelled to include 140 staff, a turnover of circa £30 million and over 10,000 business customers. 

The company is at once a broadband ISP, a mobile service provider and a fixed line provider and has since become an increasingly recognised player in the market. Despite its business focus, Timico is also an active campaigner in the drive to improve the country's aging broadband infrastructure.

In particular Timico's co-founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Trefor Davies, runs an influential industry blog - http://www.trefor.net - that frequently offers unique insights into the inner workings of an ISP and wider industry policy. We have sought to kick off our annual ISP interview season by chatting with Davies about the years main events, from next generation broadband rollouts to the thorny issue of internet copyright infringement and enforcement measures.

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 original 2012 timetable never looked like being achieved because the government a) didn’t understand what it was getting into and b) spent more time talking about it than getting on with the job.

As far as the revised 2015 date goes I still don’t see it happening, or at least can’t see it yet. Someone also needs to have the vision to realise that we should be aiming for full blown FTTP [ED: 100Mbps fibre optic broadband] everywhere and not pussyfooting around with a 2Mbps target that is already obsolete and by 2015 will rank along with the Sinclair Spectrum computer as a historical curiosity.

Q2 - Should the USC also be considering other factors, such as upload speed, affordability, flexibility (usage allowances) and latency performance?

Answer:
Affordability is obviously an issue.  There would be no point in providing everyone with a broadband capability and charging them £250 for it.  You might laugh but this is the sum that BT and Lincolnshire County Council were trying to charge for their 2Mbps symmetrical wireless broadband service. That service has now been discontinued because it didn’t have enough takers. It didn’t have the capacity to go for more volume at a lower price.

All the other factors you mention are relevant though in particular for a broadband connection to be fit for purpose these days it must have relatively low latency. The applications people want to use ask for good real time experience.

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