Home
 » ISP News » 
Sponsored

Isle of Wight Cable Operator Slams Councils Biased BT Broadband Plan

Wednesday, February 13th, 2013 (11:25 am) - Score 1,552
isle of wight uk

The Isle of Wight’s (England, UK) only provider of commercial and residential cable based TV, phone and broadband products, WightFibre (formerly WightCable), has accused the councils delayed roll-out plan for superfast broadband ISP services of being “biased in favour of BT” and of having shunned alternatives.

The Isle of Wight Council (IWC) currently estimates that around 40% of the Islands population will be at risk of having no access to superfast (24Mbps+) connectivity without the use of state aid. As a result the IWC has committed £3m to improve the local infrastructure, while the Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) office has put another £3m into the pot; the chosen operator would then be expected to match that (i.e. total contract value of around £12m).

Under the original plans the chosen operator, which is almost certain to be BT because Fujitsu UK (the only other BDUK approved bidder) hasn’t been able to make the economics work, will need to ensure that at least 90% of the Island can access superfast broadband by 2015 (note: 2019 for 100% coverage). But the tight restrictions of BDUK’s framework (e.g. smaller operators don’t have a big enough turnover) has made it difficult for providers like WightFibre to compete.

John Irvine, CEO of WightFibre, said (Island Pulse):

The government’s procurement framework is biased in favour of BT and prevents local island networks like WightFibre from bidding. In any event, WightFibre will achieve the objectives the Council states in the Council’s own published broadband plan and it will do this WITHOUT any Council funding.

WightFibre will achieve the objective of providing high speed broadband throughout the island years ahead of BT. The Council’s ‘approved supplier (likely to be BT) will not even start work until Spring 2014 according to the Council’s own timetable. The public should ask the council why it is wasting their money in this way?”

Despite the outburst Irvine still “wishes to work co-operatively with the Council” and noted that its own 100Mbps broadband service was already available to 25% of the population and speeds of 30Mbps should be made available to everybody during 2013 or 2014. Speeds of up to 10Mbps can allegedly already be had by 95% of the island.

If WightFibre’s targets are correct then it would indeed raise questions about the councils plan. Public funding is only supposed to be used in areas where the market is deemed to have failed (i.e. locations that won’t be upgraded through private investment).

Meanwhile the IWC originally anticipated that its broadband project would start to roll out in early 2013, although the most recent update states that an operator will now be appointed in September 2013 and the first work won’t begin until early 2014. This would surely push the original completion date into 2016.

Share with Twitter
Share with Linkedin
Share with Facebook
Share with Reddit
Share with Pinterest
Mark Jackson
By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
Leave a Comment
2 Responses
  1. Avatar Sledgehammer

    This is what councils are best at, they excell in the waste of money. They don’t seem to think things through and NEVER divulge their thoughts on the decision they eventually make. Local government in all its glory.

  2. Avatar DTMark

    Hampshire is surely like this – most (?) of the towns are cabled, so have access to “superfast” broadband already.

    Except that CATV was primarily a residential deployment, and as I’ve found, trying to get cable at business premises is far from easy.

    So if it transpires that the only work needed in the major towns is in business parks and cable not-spots, that leaves all the budget for the rurals who don’t have cable.

    The State Aid approval cites Wi-Fi as an option, which is a sensible one for rural communities where FTTC is not an option because the knackered old phone lines are in too poor a state and/or too long to achieve the project objectives.

    Except that BDUK then scuppered this by ensuring that the solution would not be technology agnostic, it’s basically BT or nobody. BT is then in a position to dictate the terms – “it’s us, or nothing, you’ll get what we decide to give you” which is primarily based on a least-effort cabinet solution.

    Leaving the pile of cash, which was never going to stretch to FTTP for all the rurals, looking a litle thin.

    A complete lack of joined-up thinking and ambition from the outset.

Comments RSS Feed

Javascript must be enabled to post (most browsers do this automatically)

Privacy Notice: Please note that news comments are anonymous, which means that we do NOT require you to enter any real personal details to post a message. By clicking to submit a post you agree to storing your comment content, display name, IP, email and / or website details in our database, for as long as the post remains live.

Only the submitted name and comment will be displayed in public, while the rest will be kept private (we will never share this outside of ISPreview, regardless of whether the data is real or fake). This comment system uses submitted IP, email and website address data to spot abuse and spammers. All data is transferred via an encrypted (https secure) session.

NOTE 1: Sometimes your comment might not appear immediately due to site cache (this is cleared every few hours) or it may be caught by automated moderation / anti-spam.

NOTE 2: Comments that break our rules, spam, troll or post via known fake IP/proxy servers may be blocked or removed.
Cheapest Superfast ISPs
  • Hyperoptic £19.95 (*22.00)
    Avg. Speed 50Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: Promo Code: HYPER20
  • NOW TV £22.00 (*40.00)
    Avg. Speed 36Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • SSE £22.00
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • xln telecom £22.74 (*47.94)
    Avg. Speed 66Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
  • Vodafone £22.95
    Avg. Speed 35Mbps, Unlimited
    Gift: None
Prices inc. Line Rental | View All
The Top 20 Category Tags
  1. BT (2693)
  2. FTTP (2536)
  3. FTTC (1740)
  4. Building Digital UK (1682)
  5. Politics (1576)
  6. Openreach (1539)
  7. Business (1358)
  8. FTTH (1280)
  9. Statistics (1189)
  10. Mobile Broadband (1159)
  11. Fibre Optic (1034)
  12. 4G (1000)
  13. Ofcom Regulation (986)
  14. Wireless Internet (985)
  15. Virgin Media (962)
  16. EE (668)
  17. Sky Broadband (649)
  18. TalkTalk (633)
  19. Vodafone (625)
  20. 5G (462)
Promotion
Helpful ISP Guides and Tips
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
»
Sponsored

Copyright © 1999 to Present - ISPreview.co.uk - All Rights Reserved - Terms , Privacy and Cookie Policy , Links , Website Rules , Contact