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INCA Launch UK Superfast Broadband Notspot Registration Scheme

Monday, February 3rd, 2014 (1:18 pm) - Score 601

The Independent Networks Cooperative Association, which works to support altnet ISPs and the development of Next Generation Access networks around the United Kingdom, has launched a new registration scheme to identify Superfast Broadband “Notspots“. It wouldn’t be the first.

The noble aim of INCA’s new Notspot Registration Scheme is to “uncover areas of unserved [superfast broadband] demand and share the information (with permission) with [our] members keen to serve those areas.”

It’s noted that the commercial models for many of the altnet schemes that INCA support, such as the one employed by Gigaclear’s fibre optic (FTTH/P) deployments, are based on a certain percentage of the local population signing up for a service before the network is built (i.e. demand driven). As a result anything that can help to show the demand for a service in a particular area is very useful, although turning initial expressions of interest into paying customers can be a challenge.

However, surveys like the one above have been tried many times before, usually at a more specific local level by communities and related projects. The Government’s own Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) scheme also required many councils to introduce demand surveys, although the impact of the data they collected remains questionable (here).

But at the end of the day, if you do live in a “superfast broadband notspot“, then anything that gives you and your community the opportunity to express concern about Internet performance in your area should be embraced. We just hope that people haven’t become so tired of filling them in, only to see precious little change, that they no longer wish to bother anymore.

Leave a Comment
1 Response
  1. Avatar DTMark

    While I applaud the idea, the form is still daft. Telephone number is mandatory. I don’t think you’ll learn much from my VOIP “landline” number or O2 mobile number.

    Current ISP is EE (4G). So the recipient of the information will think we can only get a couple of meg (check by postcode for ADSL) with EE, and we’re struggling with that. Not so, we have genuine “superfast” speeds over 4G. We are not in a “not spot”, only a “BT network not spot”.

    While I understand what the phone number is useful for, I just find it odd that a site set up to see opportunities in broadband still seeks to link voice and broadband provision together as if they are necessarily related items and there is no “technology” drop down nor an “I don’t have a landline number” check box.

    All the provider needs to do is to write a script and fire it into the BT Wholesale checker to build and compile all the data they want (every user estimated below 25Mbps downstream). Then go on to overlay alt nets and cable. This does not need users to “do” anything. The most useful user input, ironically, would be that which the Wholesale checker can’t supply: performance of alt net and wireless solutions.

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