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UK House of Lords Vote for 30Mbps Broadband USO with 6Mbps Uploads

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017 (9:34 pm) - Score 2,848
10Mbps UK Broadband USO

The Government’s Digital Economy Bill linked proposal to introduce a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation for broadband has taken an interesting twist today after the House of Lords approved a radical proposal, which raises the minimum download speed to 30Mbps (6Mbps upload).

At present the national Broadband Delivery UK programme only expects to push fixed line “superfast broadband” (24Mbps+) services out to cover around 97% of premises by 2020, although this is a non-binding commitment and the proposed 10Mbps USO is legally-binding (i.e. suppliers would be required to deliver the minimum speed upon request).

The 10Mbps USO is broadly intended to focus on the final 3% and would be enforced from 2020. Ofcom recently revealed some of the ways in which this could be achieved (here), although we’re still waiting to learn of the Government’s final decision regarding their preferred delivery method and approach to funding. BT has also hinted that it could do most of the USO by deploying solutions like Long Reach VDSL (FTTC) technology (here and here) and possibly a bit of inferior Satellite.

However in somewhat of an 11th hour twist the Labour Party’s Lord Mendelsohn has succeeded in getting a radically different amendment voted into the bill (the vote), although it’s entirely possible that this could still be rejected by the Government at the final hurdle. The amendment was actually first proposed by Lord Fox and Lord Clement-Jones last month, although a key change is that Mendelsohn has also managed to include mobile network coverage into the USO and that’s not all..

The Amendment

(2B) The universal service order must specify that the target for broadband connections and services to be provided before 2020 must have—
(a) speeds of 2 gigabits or more;
(b) fibre to the premises (FTTP) as a minimum standard;
(c) appropriate measures to ensure that internet speed levels are not affected by high contention ratios;
(d) appropriate measures to ensure service providers run low latency networks.

(2BA) The universal service order must specify as soon as reasonably practicable that, by 2020, the following will be available in every household in the United Kingdom—
(a) download speeds of 30 megabits per second;
(b) upload speeds of 6 megabits per second;
(c) fast response times;
(d) committed information rates of 10 megabits per second;
(e) an unlimited usage cap.

(2BB) In meeting the obligations set out in subsection (1), internet service providers have a duty to ensure that their networks offer at least the minimum standards specified in subsection (2BA) to every household in areas of low population density, before deploying their networks in urban areas.

(2BC) The Secretary of State must ensure that—
(a) the premises of small and medium-sized enterprises are prioritised in the roll-out of the universal service broadband obligation;
(b) rollout of universal service broadband obligations is delivered on a fair and competitive basis.

(2BD) The universal service order shall, in particular, say that mobile network coverage must be provided to the whole of the United Kingdom.

The amendment reflects “Scenario 3” in Ofcom’s recent technical proposals for the USO (linked above), which also happened to be the most expensive approach with a hefty price tag of up to around £2 billion pounds.

On top of that some people will notice that a new a “target for broadband connection speeds” of 2Gbps+ has also been set, although this appears to be more of a commitment than part of the legally-binding USO. However the language is open to interpretation and we can’t imagine how such performance could realistically be delivered “before 2020“.

Lord Mendelsohn said:

“It is also clear that in defining what decent broadband is, the [Ofcom] report indicates that 10 megabits will not be sufficient. It argues that this may be sufficient today, but not by the time the USO is proposed to be delivered.

Even if it is possible that data usage might not require any more—a point that it says is unlikely, even when the technology gains in compression and transmission techniques—other issues such as contention rates and latency would render 10 megabits unfit for usage in a very short time.

The best the report can muster in defence of a 10 megabits download speed is that if it were adopted it would have to be reviewed almost immediately. The case is compelling and it is economically justified—I look forward to the Minister’s agreement on this.

The amendments are not outlandish; they are a conservative defence of the Government’s goals. They are about making a policy fit for the future, rather than one fit for the past.”

On the one hand it’s good to see some bold ambition, but on the other hand that ambition does not explain where the funding would come from, if it would be possible to achieve the new goals by 2020 and or what impact that might have on market competition.

For example, handing the delivery of a 30Mbps USO to BT might damage the growth of alternative network providers; something Ofcom has been trying so hard to foster via their Strategic Review. We say BT because earlier consultations have also suggested that none of the other ISPs were terribly interested in taking on the legal burden of the USO.

Lord Ashton of Hyde, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Culture, said:

“I remind noble Lords that the regulatory regime for electronic communications is shaped by four European directives, adopted in 2002 and implemented in this country through the Communications Act 2003. Amendments 1 and 2, if they are to achieve what the noble Lord, Lord Mendelsohn, and others are seeking, must be consistent with this legal framework: in particular, the universal service directive. I struggle to see how a target for a 2 gigabits per second USO could possibly be compliant with EU law.

First, the purpose of universal service requirements in the EU directive is not to force the development of a nascent market, such as the UK’s fibre market, but to ensure that a baseline of services is made available to all users where market forces do not deliver this.

The USO is a safety net to prevent social and economic exclusion, not a statement of ambition: we are setting the minimum, not the maximum. This amendment is upside down, placing a ceiling on ambition rather than acting as a safeguard for those less well served by communications providers.

Secondly, the EU directive requires us to consider cost. Universal fibre to everyone’s door will be expensive as FTTP coverage is currently low. According to Ofcom’s latest Connected Nations report, only approximately 1.7% of UK premises have access to FTTP services. So clearly it would be very expensive to address this in the short term.”

The question of what happens next is also an interesting one. By approving the amendment the House of Lords has technically removed the need to consult by setting the USO requirements in stone. “I have not been in this House very long but I cannot remember many times when the Opposition asked the Government not to have a consultation when they had already offered to have one,” said Lord Ashton of Hyde.

Meanwhile the Government has promised that once work on the bill is completed there will be a public consultation on the design of the USO and they still have opportunities to cast out today’s amendment, so we wouldn’t be surprised if it was watered down or removed completely before the bill becomes an act.

As ever it’s incredibly easy to promise something impressive, but actually delivering on such ideals tends to be the hard part.

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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.
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59 Responses
  1. Avatar Chris P

    Never say never but I really can’t foresee the vast majority of people needing 2gbs.

    This would heap a huge amount of pressure on Virgin to up their upload speeds to meet that 6mbs minimum.

    • Avatar CarlT

      VM would be fine. The USO is there to ensure appropriate services are available, which they are from them even now. They don’t make services that don’t reach the criteria unlawful.

    • Avatar Adam

      I was going to say “2B” has VM all over it.

      And they wouldn’t be fine in my area i’m sure – can’t even deliver 70mbps at peak times. But we all live in hope

  2. Avatar Matt

    2gbps part isn’t needed but 30Mbps USO would be amazing to come into effect though expect doing that wouldn’t be easy long reach VDSL would likely not be enough more likely FTTRN in many areas.

    • Avatar Adam

      BT won’t spend any of their money so they have slowed down/stopped in some areas their expansion. Seeing as it’s all Public money WHY can’t teh public get what the majority wants? FTTC at it’s current levels has been around too long now.

    • Avatar Peter

      @Adam
      Hate to break this to you – but a large proportion of the population simply do not give a monkey’s toss about broadband.
      In Gigaclear commercial areas they install when 30% of the residents sign up and they have difficulty in reaching this figure. The other 70% in the area have no interest at all – even when existing speeds are around 2 to 5Mbps.

    • Avatar 125us

      A USO isn’t public money Adam. It’s a setup where a provider is allowed to average cost across a national network, add an agreed margin and sell at the same price to (nearly) everyone, in exchange for a commitment to offer it to (nearly) everyone.

      The problem with this is that if all the country people sign up for 30Mbps it’s likely to have a huge effect on broadband bills. It could double them or worse.

      Socialisation of cost is a fine thing but if the demands are too high it will have the opposite effect to what was intended. There’ll be plenty of anger from city people if their broadband goes upto £100 a month to pay for rural fibre.

  3. Avatar TheFacts

    Why 2G and not 1G? Calculations please.

  4. Avatar wirelesspacman

    Yikes, they must have some powerful stuff to smoke in the Lords these days!

  5. Avatar clohamon

    EU style USO would normally be paid by an industry compensation fund – according to market share. But demand-led (USO) deployment would be fairly inefficient for wide scale projects – say 5% of premises. Otherwise it’s by the more arduous State Aid route. EU State Aid Guidelines would usually preclude technology specific interventions such as FTTP unless it was “Aid to ultra-fast broadband networks” entailing more difficult qualifying conditions. (2013/C 25/01)
    Brexit would naturally remove European oversight but probably wouldn’t reduce the cost.

    The Lord Puttnam has been Ireland’s “Digital Champion” (UK used to have Martha Lane Fox) for a few years and would be well aware of the difficulties. Ireland’s National Broadband Plan is now into year six of planning with another full year before contract. A similar USO is part of that Plan.

  6. Avatar adslmax Real

    House of Lords are useless!

  7. Avatar FibreFred

    Oh dear , I believe BT mentioned they should be able to manage a 10Mbps USB with no external funding, I doubt that will be the case with 30Mbps, over to the tax payer then

  8. Avatar FibreFred

    “(b) fibre to the premises (FTTP) as a minimum standard;”

    What is the max standard 🙂

  9. Avatar Hannu

    I understand the question about funding. Were this to become a law, it would need to come from somewhere. Taxpayers’ money is an option.

    Another option to run alongside it would be to use ofcom and change Openreach billing model. Line rental price could go up a bit (£0,50 – £1 / line / month – our ISPs just increased their line rental by twice as much and none of that money goes to building networks…) – but lines not capable of delivering USO would be free of charge – creating the “business case” to upgrade.

    What I don’t understand in the comments is the strong language opposing the amendment. We are talking about 2020, not today. Even today, everyone should be able to stream 4K content in my opinion. 2B ensuring at least 10mb/s as “committed” is actually a brilliant idea lacking from the original USO bill.

    I for example have only 2mb/s EO line and am not in expansion plans. However, there is a 4g operator (Relish) that claims they offer 10mb/s to my post code, which would make me ineligible for any support to upgrade the EO line to at least get USO speed – probably much more after an upgrade. With Relish I can get 15mb/s every day between 2AM and 9AM – and between 6PM and midnight I get about 0,5 – 2 mb/s making the connection even more useless for prime time use than the 2mb/s ADSL.

    With the amendment areas with an alternative provider offering theoretical over-USO speeds as long as no one else is using their connection, would still be eligible for whatever model is used to support infrastructure improvements. There is some merit in this, as networks suffering from heavy congestion do not in reality provide the service this bill aims to deliver.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Hannu: I agree that an increase of the line rental has to become part of a framework to improve investment in fibre, though a meagre £0,50 – £1 / line / month won’t do it. A figure greater than £5 for a wholesale line rental is more realistic, it should be made subject to the condition that the increase has to be used for further fibre investment. Also, the overall investment climate needs to be improved. Things like the recent price hike of the fibre will have a detrimental effect on this.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Correction: “…recent price hike of the fibre tax…”

    • Avatar Curious

      The problem is, the % of the population that would be willing to shell out the extra to fund network build is low.

      People want broadband, and they want it cheap.

      They don’t care how much it costs to run a network, they just care how much it costs them each month!

      With mobile data becoming cheaper and cheaper, people will simply switch to mobile data use, and not bother about paying £25-£30 per month for their phone line (which is never used) and broadband.

    • Avatar AndyH

      The majority of us will no longer be paying line rental in a few years.

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      @AndyH

      I’m curious. What makes you think that the majority won’t be paying line rental in a few years’ time? Unless everybody is going to be moving to wireless broadband (unlikely), then they are going to need some form of fixed line which will have to be paid for. Of course, it might just be folded into the BB payment, but if anybody thinks it’s going to save them money, then think again. SPs use voice revenues as part of their cost recovery model. If fixed line revenue goes down, then they will have to increase the element from BB as the marginal cost of providing the voice service is vanishingly small.

      So, one way or another, people will be paying for a fixed line however it is presented on the bill.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Steve Jones: Many users equate line-rental with the voice telephony portion of a landline. This of course is wrong. As you correctly explained, the fixed line has to be paid for.

  10. Avatar Marty

    It never seems to amaze where FTTP funding can’t be found for broadband yet HS2 between Birmingham and London can find approval and funding from thin air.

    • Avatar Peter

      Because people will be paying a LOT of money for a ticket on HS2.
      It is financed though future revenue sales.
      That is why finance companies are providing the money

      Quite how you expect the UK broadband users to finance FTTP when the moron users are only interested in not paying anymore than £9.99pm
      This is not news is is though?
      If Broadband was such a mega profit opportunity then there would be no shortage of companies all busy FTTP’ing your village and BDUK would not have been necessary.

    • Avatar Steve Jones

      @Peter

      The HS2 line will not be paid for by passengers. If you read the economic case, you’ll see the government justification given is for an increase in overall economic activity and the railway passenger revenue is nothing like enough to pay for the capital outlay. However, despite this, tickets are still expected to be expensive.

      https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/365065/S_A_1_Economic_case_0.pdf

    • Avatar GNewton

      @Steve Jones: What is the overall economic impact coming from the availability of widespread fibre and/or ultrafast broadband? How does this compare to the HS2?

    • Avatar AndyH

      There is no comparison to the economic benefits of residential ultrafast broadband access vs HS2.

      The economic benefits of ultrafast broadband are seen at SME level and higher. However, they will be no way near the benefits of HS2.

    • Avatar fastman

      You are correct as the Benefit of HS2 are massive and HS” is not just about quicker journey times to Birmingham (although that’s what the media would have you believe that’s only 1 part of a a 5 – 6 piece jigsaw

      the rest is abour capacity improvement and actually doing thinga that you cant do now — no spare paths on WCML day time its full , so more friegth on rrail and less lories on m1 and M6 would be massive benefit but cant happen until HS2 which is why the phase 1 now has been extended north on birminghtam to connect with WCML ssomewhere south of crewe

  11. Avatar MikeW

    Interesting to see that Mendelsohn put forward a largely similar amendment in the committee stage, and was argued against in similar terms by Ashton. Yet he chose to withdraw it back then. Now it just seems like a game of willy waving.

    There was not one justification for the choice of 2Gb in either committee or in this report stage. Nor any argument for FTTP as sole technology choice nationwide (Did someone mention that Google Fiber are dialling back on the fibre?). Is this really a good example of the Lords proving they can deal with (ever-changing) technical specs? It seems to me to exemplify the requirement to put actual speeds in secondary legislation, guided by public consultation run by Ofcom.

    I’m not sure that the USO section of the bill is the right place to set the glorious future targets of 2B (the 2Gb and FTTP parts), and it might be counter productive. If you force out suppliers who can get “decent” but not 2G FTTP services, you might end up with no one. If they want a section in the DE bill for “future aspirations” for the whole country, then add one. But don’t confuse the USO element.

    Clauses 2BB and 2BC seem to be written with the expectation of a rollout controlled by the government. Perhaps envisaging more phases of BDUK. But they don’t seem likely to entice companies to voluntarily become involved in the USO. Why commit commercial suicide in 97% of the market to help support 3%?

    I can understand the Lords’ desire to add 2BA, and agree that the extra £800M seems worthwhile to go from a 10Mbps USO to a 30Mbps one. But given their inability to justify the aspirations, can we trust these numbers. Again, secondary legislation seems best.

    Perhaps the Lords don’t trust Ofcom consultations to come up with the right answers. If that was the case, wouldn’t it be better to allow Ofcom to consult & recommend, but then require Lords’ input or veto into the ultimate secondary legislation?

    All in all, it just strikes me as poorly though out populist prose, withdrawn earlier to avoid scrutiny.

  12. Avatar bob

    Is there anything other than FTTP and Docsis that could deliver 30Mb speeds to everyone?

    • Avatar TheFacts

      Is it really ‘everyone’?

    • Avatar bob

      2BA clearly states…

      the following will be available in EVERY household in the United Kingdom—
      (a) download speeds of 30 megabits per second

      To deliver or even make available 30Mb to every home would require something more than FTTC would it not?

    • Avatar AndyH

      Why more than FTTC? You have DOCSIS/cable, satellite and wireless as options also.

    • Avatar alan

      Neither wireless or satellite as they stand would guarantee 30Mb. Wireless may in a few years with recent developments but not likely by 2020. Most wireless services are 24Mb down and most can not manage the 6Mb upload, although there are a few wireless providers that offer 10Mb upload.

      Both satellite and wifi services also normally have a monthly allowance which would also mean they contravene rule 2BA and “(e) an unlimited usage cap.” Satellite also does not give you “(c) fast response times;”.

      The only way i can see to fulfill 2BA as it stands is DOCSIS OR FTTH.

    • Avatar bob

      @AndyH I would be very interested in a satellite service with unlimited usage, 30Mb downloads and at least 6Mb upload, fixed line options for me are limited. If you could point me in the direction of a satellite provider capable of that it would be appreciated. The last time i looked around they all had monthly allowances and speeds lower than this.

    • Avatar craski

      @alan
      “Neither wireless or satellite as they stand would guarantee 30Mb. Wireless may in a few years with recent developments but not likely by 2020. Most wireless services are 24Mb down and most can not manage the 6Mb upload, although there are a few wireless providers that offer 10Mb upload.”

      I dont agree with this summation of fixed wireless capability. I have several fixed wireless units in operation today and all are easily capable of >30Mbps in both directions even on 20MHz channels at 7km link length. The data speed limitations on fixed wireless packages are more than likely imposed by the operator to manage their available back haul bandwidth. If the back haul is in a 4:1 ratio down/up you cant make 1:1 available to fixed wireless clients. Similarly, if a radio is capable of 30Mbps down and you have similar radios at either end of the link then that link is capable of similar speeds up and down.

    • Avatar alan

      Perhaps you could actually name the providers for bob above, rather than just disagree and not provide further information.

    • Avatar craski

      I was merely pointing out that fixed wireless can deliver the required speeds and has had that ability to do so for years but most fixed network operations cant offer it as by their nature they operate in areas of poor back haul connectivity so they themselves struggle to get the back haul they need to offer better packages. Fixed wireless technology isnt the bottleneck here, it is the lack of decent back haul at a fair price to make small remote networks financially viable.

      I am not aware of any fixed wireless provider that operates at a national level so without knowing where Bob is its impossible to say if he has options other than satellite in his area.

    • Avatar MikeW

      The problem with bob’s question is that he asks about delivery to “everyone”.

      The answer is that there are plenty of technologies that can deliver 30Mbps to *someone*. FTTC, FTTP, G.Fast, DOCSIS, RFoG, Fixed Wireless, Satellite, 4G.

      All of those technologies can deliver that speed to someone. To a few, even. None of them can deliver 30Mbps to everyone. Not without careful consideration and balance of the shared element in the infrastructure – the backhaul, the service group, or the size of the coverage area or cell.

      The trick in every case is in getting the shared portion to be a small enough size to not be the bottleneck, without it costing £££.

    • Avatar bob

      Can either of you name any wireless or satellite provider that delivers 30MB down and 6Mb up along with no monthly cap, regardless of location? Just being able to contact these organisations for me would be a start, to ask about possible supplying in the future.

      As i pointed out ive looked around for sometime for no monthly usage wireless and satellite providers that can give more than 24Mb and i have never found any regardless of location. SO im actually interest in any now because as far as i previously knew there are none.

      My area does not have FTTC and there is no date set for it. Likewise you can not get 4G here (lucky to get 3G due to living at the bottom of a big hill), that would also be irrelevant anyway unless there are now 4G unlimited data providers at a sensible price.

      Please, if you could inform me, who is supposedly misinformed with some links to satellite or wireless providers that have no monthly use and 30Mb downloads it would be appreciated. Telling someone they are wrong and not providing the information that corrects them is not much use.

    • Avatar Carter

      NO he can not because none exist.

    • Avatar MikeW

      The question is *why* they don’t exist.

      It isn’t because the technology can’t do the job. It is because the job can’t be done cheaply in the same way everywhere.

      And, in a few places, it can’t be done cheaply in any way.

      bob throws the spanner in the works himself by demanding no usage limitations and low prices. When it is expensive to serve someone, that combination just isn’t possible.

      Satellite isn’t intrinsically limited to speeds below 30Mbps (see the more recent article on the Tooway Business upgrade to 30Mbps). The problem is that having the capacity to support that service means higher wholesale costs to the satellite supplier … requiring even more money from the subscriber.

      Be willing to pay the money, and all those “problems” disappear.

    • Avatar alan

      The tooway product is a business product, 2BA clearly states “by 2020, the following will be available in every household in the United Kingdom” Which indicates the rule is for residential services. The tooway product can already cost thousands and still does not meet the obligations so paying more does not make the problem go away.

      “…bob throws the spanner in the works himself by demanding no usage limitations”

      No he does not throw any spanners the draft 2BA also clearly states…
      “(c) fast response times”
      “(e) an unlimited usage cap.”

      People including yourself have claimed products like this exist for wifi and satellite you are unable to provide a single example though.

      Further more 2BB clearly states “internet service providers have a duty to ensure that their networks offer at least the minimum standards specified in subsection (2BA) to every household in areas of low population density, before deploying their networks in urban areas.”

      Impossible with tooway and KABand satellite as the reception in far north Scotland and wales is considerably weaker than elsewhere making it in violation of 2BB also.

      Short version we still wait to be pointed to a product bob is actually interested in which has been said to exist when it doesn’t.

    • Avatar Craski

      “Please, if you could inform me, who is supposedly misinformed with some links to satellite or wireless providers that have no monthly use and 30Mb downloads it would be appreciated.”

      @bob
      Quickline offer fixed wireless, 30 down, 15 up with unlimited data allowance
      £65.99 + Vat / month
      Business connect max
      http://www.quickline.co.uk/business-connect-for-smaller-businesses/#1442422913127-a2446251-9172

    • Avatar Craski

      @bob
      Here is another one.
      Fixed wireless access offering 30 down, 10 up, unlimited quota.
      http://caleycom.net/product/gold-package/

      If you are desperate and cant find an operator in your area consider installing your own system. I have an FTTC line hosted at a local business 5km away from me and use fixed wireless to access that connection so I have a fixed wireless with 70Mb down, 18Mb up and unlimited data allowance.

    • Avatar Craski

      Another potential contact:-
      Fixed wireless 30 down, 10 up
      http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=37&Itemid=34

      If you need more inspiration, the case studies on Community Broadband Scotland are a good read too:-
      http://www.hie.co.uk/community-support/community-broadband-scotland/projects.html

    • Avatar Craski

      Wispire also offer 30 down, 2 up, unlimited fixed wireless on their “Superfast” wireless plan.
      https://wispire.co.uk/residential/broadband-packages/

    • Avatar alan

      The first one (quickline) can only supply those speeds to a percentage of users they also state they may connect you to another party/partner product which has caps. I will say though that is the closest i have seen to a wireless product being able to meet this potential new government criteria, its close.

      The second (caleycom) i would not touch and lacks detail, there is no terms and conditions on their site i do not think ive ever seen any company with no terms written out. It says that package is subject to an AUP, though they do not list detail about things like that on their website, it could mean anything from just standard ‘do not be naughty’ terms to an amount over X equaling beyond acceptable use. Which is what i suspect as there is no mention of an AUP on the other products just the monthly cap.

      The third (AB Internet) is capped and always has been AFAIK…
      http://wireless.abinternet.co.uk/ABInternet/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=42&Itemid=13

      The HIE page is a good read its nice to see there is some actually planning up their on how they are going to connect the REAL rural folk.

      The final (Wispire) I actually know someone who used to work for a company up in the Norfolk region that used their product, for wireless it (according to them) is actually pretty good and one of the few wifi supplies where “unlimited use” is “unlimited use”. Speeds do vary though and from what they say i don’t know if they would meet the obligations (even if they boosted their upload speeds). In HEAVY rain it apparently “lags” (by that i assume the person i know means latency) and during very hot weather it can disconnect and speeds reduce considerably (sometime half speed). I can only assume (freely maybe totally wrongly) that is something to do with the radio waves and it not liking very hot weather, much like TV doesn’t (IE digital TV breaks up and old analogue if you lived in some parts east in the country would use to pick up french TV ghosted on you analogue reception).

      Credit to you craski on finding Quickline out of the bunch that is probably the closest yet to meeting these potential new government requirements. Assuming it does what they are claiming of course.

    • Avatar MikeW

      @alan
      Pay attention at the back.

      Bob was asking about what is available to him – he’s actively looking for offers – not what is potentially going to be available in 2020.

      In addition, he’s indicating that the technological capability isn’t there – so finding a business product is enough to put the lie to his argument.

      I haven’t claimed that “products” are available in the form you mean – which combines access and backhaul technologies together into packages with limitations appropriate to their price. I have only argued that the access technology isn’t the limitation.

      Otherwise, please continue to argue that an amendment listing capabilities in 2020, an amendment that hasn’t been agreed by the government (and won’t be), should have an impact on Bob’s choice in 2017. It makes you look like you fell asleep in the lesson.

    • Avatar Carter

      The only person that should be paying attention is you. Your tooway example does not meet these regulations and it does not meet what bob was asking for as its a monthly cap product.

      You could not provide an example of what was asked for END OFF!

    • Avatar alan

      His satellite example does not meet requirements either now or in 2020 for a number of reasons one being as already explained… 2BB clearly states “internet service providers have a duty to ensure that their networks offer at least the minimum standards specified in subsection (2BA) to every household in areas of low population density, before deploying their networks in urban areas. Tooway uses KABand satellite and as the reception in far north Scotland and wales is considerably weaker than elsewhere making it is in violation of 2BB also.

      The only way to boost reception to those rural parts would be to launch a new satellite to improve the coverage it takes longer than 3 years just to make the darn thing let alone go through the red tape and contracting someone to launch it.

    • Avatar MikeW

      @the numpty pair. Tweedledum and Tweedledummer

      Thank you for making my last paragraph come true. The pair of you really are asleep. There’s no point referring to 2BA, 2BB or any other potential clause. Not for what bob is asking for – connectivity now.

      Tooway is weaker at the extremities, but not impossible. But Scotland isn’t an extremity … try the Faroes, or the north of Norway and Sweden for that. As for Wales – phooey. It’s easier than Ireland. Easier than Azerbaijan.

      IIRC, Ka-sat has 90Gbps capacity shared over 80-odd beams. 1Gbps-ish per beam … means that selling 22Mbps packages today is a purely arbitrary choice. They can increase it whenever they wish … but it’ll cost. As I said, again and again, it isn’t a limitation of technology. It is a limitation of the wallet. “Pro” packages of 50/10 are available.

      Hylas 2 can reach Scotland too. Even one of SES’s satellite’s can.

      More satellites? Sure, already being planned. Isn’t Viasat-3 due for launch around 2019? With one due over Europe, with 10x the capacity of Eutelsat’s Ka-sat.

    • Avatar bob

      I was actually asking about now and the future. I clearly asked for providers i could contact. Craski seems to have understood and made a real effort, thank you to him. You on the other hand named a rubbish satellite product that does not meet my requirements and then just levelled abuse at others because they dared point point your suggestion was useless.

    • Avatar alan

      Perhaps mikey should just go back to cab driving.

  13. Avatar Bill

    What are the next stages in the progress of this bill through Parliament?

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