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House of Lords Trash Government’s 10Mbps UK Broadband USO Again

Wednesday, June 6th, 2018 (8:11 am) - Score 2,633

The House of Lords was yesterday given the opportunity to debate the Government’s new 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation (USO) for fixed line broadband (implemented from 2020). Perhaps unsurprisingly they trashed it, while also calling for a “more ambitious” minimum speed of 30Mbps.

At present Ofcom are currently still designing how the new “legally-binding” regulatory USO will be funded by the industry and implemented, as well as identifying which suppliers can take responsibility (result expected this summer). Previously only BT (UK) and KCOM (Hull) have shown any solid interest in delivering it but now some alternative network ISPs are also said to be engaging (see the current 10Mbps USO design).

Nevertheless yesterday’s debate in the House of Lords, which comes somewhat after the fact and was thus more of a venting session without a constructive result, revealed that lords from all of the main parties remain disappointed with what the government has passed into law via the Digital Economy Bill 2016-17.

Lord Stevenson of Balmacara (Labour) said:

“It still seems incredible that the Government have come forward ​with the slowest of the available options. The only option that meets all the requirements was Ofcom’s scenario 3, with download speeds of 30 Mbps and upload speeds of 6 Mbps, compared to what is being proposed in the USO: 10 Mbps download speeds and 1 Mbps upload speeds, which is what we proposed.

At this stage, it is worth commenting that, in my view, responses to the government consultation showed support for higher speeds than what made it into the USO.”

Lord Foster of Bath (Liberal Democrat) said:

“By the Government’s own admission, the USO is simply a safety net and frankly, not a very good one at that. I have looked at many Ofcom documents and I cannot find a single one in which they express real enthusiasm for a USO of just 10 Mbps. The lack of ambition shown in the USO is common to much of the Government’s whole approach to broadband rollout.”

Earl Cathcart (Conservative) said:

“We have been promised speeds of 2 Mbps and now the universal service obligation of 10 Mbps. As my noble friend found out for himself when he stayed with me last summer, our speeds are very slow. He measured our speed and found it was a mere 0.03 megabits per second—hardly the promised 2 Mbps, let alone 10 Mbps. He helpfully gave me a number of contacts to improve our speeds and I also contacted Better Broadband for Norfolk, an organisation set up by Norfolk County Council and BT to help all those areas in Norfolk that get bad speeds.

I can now report to my noble friend Lord Ashton of Hyde that our broadband speed is still 0.03 Mbps. Nothing gets done. … why are the Government spending hundreds of millions of pounds on superfast broadband speeds when they have not got the basics right?”

Generally speaking, for context, it should be said that USO’s like this are usually only intended to cater for an absolute minimum starting level of service performance (legal backstop), which must be available upon request from a supporting supplier (i.e. not an automatic upgrade). Most other countries in the EU don’t yet have a USO for broadband and those that do tend to set a lower minimum speed of between around 1Mbps to 4Mbps.

However, in February 2017, the House of Lords threw a political spanner into the works by voting to approve a radically different USO that would have set the minimum at 30Mbps+ and hold an aspiration to deliver 2Gbps for all via FTTPbefore 2020” (here). The FTTP part of that aspiration was utterly impossible (even with billions of funding it might still take 15-20 years to hit that). Obviously this wasn’t adopted.

The 30Mbps USO idea also created some other issues. For example, it reflected “Scenario 3” in the regulator’s technical proposals for the USO, which also happened to be the most expensive approach with a hefty price tag of up to around £2 billion. Consumers could have ended up paying even higher bills as a result.

On top of that such a USO might have also damaged the growth of alternative network providers, particularly if BT (Openreach) were chosen as the primary supplier (i.e. risk of rebuilding a monopoly position). Distorting the competitive market would not be desirable at a time when the Government and Ofcom are also trying to foster competition for Openreach (mind you they don’t always get this balance right).

As ever it’s incredibly easy to promise something impressive for a USO but actually delivering on such ideals tends to be the hard part and there could be complicated consequences for the market, which may not always be apparent at the outset. Suffice to say that the Government stuck with a 10Mbps USO instead and their representative defended this position in yesterday’s debate.

Lord Ashton of Hyde (Conservative) said:

“I have to remind noble Lords that the purpose of the universal service obligation, as outlined in the universal service directive, is to ensure the provision of services to all users. Noble Lords have mentioned Europe, which at the moment has coverage of about 76%. The universal service directive applies only to fixed broadband; it does not apply to mobile. Indeed, the European Commission itself has twice reviewed mobile and concluded that social exclusion does not exist.

The universal service obligation does not exist to promote investment; it exists to make sure universal services are indeed universal and a legal right. … Premises in the USO footprint will be the hardest and most costly to reach in the country.

The Government’s position is that the current specification of the USO is sufficient at present and strikes the right balance between meeting consumers’ needs and ensuring that it is proportionate and deliverable. That was not a random decision. The Government carefully considered and consulted on a range of options and three different ​scenarios that Ofcom modelled: a basic 10 Mbps service; the preferred 10 Mbps service with additional specifications, such as upload speeds, latency and data caps; and the 30 Mbps or superfast service.

The 10 Mbps was selected because data usage drops considerably below this, indicating broadband activity is more restricted with speeds under 10 Mbps. Further evidence from Ofcom shows that a speed of 10 Mbps meets the needs of typical households.”

Lord Ashton also noted that the Government have “much greater ambitions” for the future and they expect the current Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme to reach “at least” 98% coverage of the UK with “superfast broadband” speeds (24Mbps+), which we expect to be achieved by around 2020 (i.e. the USO will focus on that final 2% or less).

However, we are not content with that, and I agree with the noble Lord, Lord Stevenson, and others. In his speech to the CBI last month, the Chancellor set a national target for full fibre—not just to the cabinet, but all the way to the premises. Our aim is for full fibre to 15 million premises by 2025, and all premises by 2033. So the Government are not short on ambition,” said Lord Ashton. Mind you it’s easy to set an ambition and rather more difficult to fund and deliver it, especially with government’s changing so often.

Nevertheless we are still disappointed that the UK Government has not even set a coverage goal for 100% to be put within reach of superfast broadband, even if that’s just a commitment, like the BDUK programme, rather than a legally binding USO. Scotland and Wales are already ahead of England and N.Ireland on this, at least in terms of ambition.

The government has of course promised to review the USO and potentially set a higher speed in the future, although it could be a fair few years before that actually happens.

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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
91 Responses
  1. Lyncol says:

    Ok…..I’m a VDSL customer with a 1.5 km line receiving app 15mb/s. What would need to happen to get me to 30mb/s?

    1. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      Most likely a full fibre service

    2. Joe says:

      VDSL2 17a @ 1.5k is about 15Mb ave.

      You might gain a touch if they turned ADSL off but small beer.

    3. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Joe Sorry, but turning off ADSL would not make any difference at all for that distance

    4. Joe says:

      When they did testing for LR-VDSL they found even at those much longer distances turning off ADSL helped.

    5. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Joe LR-VDSL was never rolled out. Therefore you won’t see any difference

    6. Joe says:

      (sighs) I know its not happening – my point was that even at those much longer distances simple turning off adsl had an impact.

    7. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Joe What you failed to say in your original comment was that it would only have any effect if they had rolled out LR-VDSL.

    8. Mike says:

      Realistically… two FTTC lines load balanced via Pfsense, perhaps a bonded solution if you can afford it.

      Another alternative is 4G with an EE 4G router connected to antenna.

    9. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Mike Load balancing would not increase the speed of the connection

    10. Mike says:

      Actually it does but only for multi-threaded applications/multiple users.

      Most applications where you would need the extra download speed are multi-threaded, online speedtests being one example.

    11. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Mike Have a read at: https://www.increasebroadbandspeed.co.uk/what-is-adsl-load-balancing

      Also, I like how you say it will speed up speedtests. I myself prefer spending money that would speed up downloads rather than just numbers on a speedtest, but each to their own I guess.

    12. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Mike, not sure where you’re getting the idea that there is more than one version of load balancing from, but there is only one version of it.

      It sounds like you are getting mixed up between load balancing and bonding.

      If you had read the link I provided about load balancing it does talk about how people have got confused over it.

      Load balancing is mainly used for if your internet connection goes down, then you have a backup that you can use.

    13. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Mike In reference to the YT video you linked, if you had read the comments for that video then you would have known the person who made the video admitted that he used bonding.

    14. Steve Jones says:

      There are two ways of using multiple lines to produce higher throughput. One is line bonding, the other is load balancing.

      Line bonding works below the IP level and provides what looks to the IP layer as if it’s a faster line (in proportion to the number of lines bonded). This requires that both ends of the link have bonding devices and only works when both lines are with the same ISP. However, there are no single threaded constraints – the full speed is available in principle (subject to the normal caveats) to a single thread.

      The alternative method, load balancing, works at the IP level and effectively runs different socket connections over different links. It often works quite well in offices with multiple users who can be bound to a specific link (although there’s more than one way to do it). In general, load balancing doesn’t help on single-thread throughput save for reduced contention of course.

    15. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Steve Jones Indeed, that’s why if you’re looking for the maximum speed and you’re the only one using your internet connection then the best bet is bonding. If however like you said in an office environment where multiple people are using the connection then a load balancing would be better (but an individual would not see the max speed of both lines if they were downloading something).

    16. Mike says:

      You must be watching a different video because bonding isn’t mentioned anywhere on that page.

      Also here is a tutorial/demonstration of how to combine two 10Mbps connection into a 20Mbps load balanced connection for one user in Pfsense…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uiiy8YuWHcY

      ps. I have personally done this with an FTTC and 4G connection, got the full speed using download managers, torrent, Steam & speedtests.

    17. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Mike You’re the only troll that makes me laugh. This is mainly because you try and troll this website, but every time you fail big time.

      It would help yet again if you watched the video and read the comments. It is pointed out by someone and is replied by the person who made the video that the combined speed was only made possible because they used a download manager and normal download speeds without the manager were the same as if it’s only one connection.

    18. Mike says:

      I actually pointed it out in a previous comment on here 🙂

    19. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      You’ve just made my day Mike, you now disagree with yourself. Good to know that you don’t understand a word of what you post when you post it.

      At least you can take comfort in knowing it’s Poets day.

    20. Mike says:

      No but I don’t think so.

    21. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      😀

    22. Philip says:

      Nothing would happen! There is no such thing as “universal broadband”! You should already be getting that speed! If you’re not there is no such thing as a minimum speed!

    23. Ace says:

      “What would need to happen to get me to 30mb/s?”!! Lyncol!! You should already be getting the speed! That is the whole point of the “universal minimum speed!” What makes you think you “have to make it happen”! You don’t do anything! You should get the speed!

    24. Matey says:

      Nothing of course! By the time USO is in place you should already be getting the 30mbits speed!

    25. Buttons says:

      You should already be getting the universal minimum speed through your phone line. There will be a universal speed on all fixed lines Your news says so, so you just get the speed! Why wouldn’t you? Its universal

  2. NGA for all says:

    The review offered was 10 years rather than the more usual 5 years. This debate may encourage Ofcom to kick the B-USO can down the road, while seeking much greater clarity on how all the BDUK/LA/BT/EU monies (>£1bn) can be brought to bear in improving connectivity in rural.

    The 10Mbps was set accepting the distance limitations of copper. 24-30Mbps is the number set not to spend subsidy on ADSL2+, but in setting 30Mbps for the edge of the network, for the most part it needs to be FTTP.

    1. Andrew Ferguson says:

      No one in their right mind should be calling for the USO to be kicked down the road, i.e. delayed.

      What next waiting for greater clarity on where the commercial full fibre roll-outs will go? So wait till 2025.

    2. NGA for all says:

      Andrew- The greater clarity is needed on how existing BDUK/LA/BT/EU of more than a £1bn is convereted into rural coverage. There are already clauses in the legislation permitting Ofcom some space to allow these procurements to come to a close, but the scale of what is achievable has yet to be fully explored and explained.
      The date for BDUK finishing or B-USO activity is dictated by the availability of resource and yes I am afraid full commitment to making FoD work.
      Ofcom can bluff and blag a 10Mbps B-USO today using 4G antenna supporting a Mobile service.
      Creating an industry fund, where so much money for rural connectivity already lies unsepent is likely to create a few challenges from those expected to pay a BT sitting on a £536m Capital Deferral intended for that very purpose.

    3. Andrew Ferguson says:

      Ah so you are of the camp that the USO is just going to be a 4G solution?

      And you are the one accusing Ofcom of bluff and blag.

      No-one really knows where the BDUK money can take us, certainty is possible if we cease all building construction so that any studies done today are still valid in three years, and even then certainty will come at a price, but one welcomed by consultants charging the councils for producing the reports.

    4. NGA for all says:

      Andrew – the formal review of the legislation is set for 10 years, not the normal 5. There is plenty of room to kick the B-USO down the road, as the Nov 2015 Conservative objective, was not informed by the monies available to do the work. It was only late, very late in the consultation that the 97% (Ofcom/DCMS) or 98% (Ministerial) coverage popped out, permitting the rejection of BT’s ‘voluntary’ offer with a price tag of £400m in cost recovery/price increases. To date no actual reconciliation of public monies available to increased coverage has occurred.
      The confidence to call for all fibre by 2033 is not unrelated to the growing realisation that fibre upgrades are much cheaper than originally portrayed. FTTC – £2.5bn not £5bn with the state paying £1.2bn less clawback. FTTP BT overlay < £15bn compared to £28bn.

    5. Andrew Ferguson says:

      I am normally very polite, but are you trying to appear stupid?

      The reason a BT FTTP roll-out is coming down in price is that a lot of prep work pushing fibre out of exchanges to thousands of locations closer to premises is reducing cost.

      NONE of the current fibre bubble participants have outlined an actual plan to reach 100% of the UK by 2033. A big difference between an ambition and a plan.

      USO is going to be far from perfect, but it is better to get something to people in 2020/21 or wait to deliver the perfect solution in perhaps 2025 onwards? If anything the USO timetable should be moved up so it starts in 2019.

    6. NGA for all says:

      Andrew, it is not obvious how you get from £2.5bn spent on FTTC to reducing the cost of FTTP to c£15bn from £28bn. UK Connectivity has had to suffer a systematic programme of gaming costs high and overstating direct capital expenditure.

      A B-USO in 20-21 will serve no purpose, if BT is permitted to sit on £400m of the £536m Capital Deferral until 2023, while LA investment account balances go unreported. It may even be counter productive given it is same resource needed to do the work.

      TBB does a great job on reporting coverage. The growth of BDUK funded FTTP in rural is particularly impressive. TBB has paid less attention to the costs and the representations relied upon.

      If in November 2015 the Conservatives were fully informed of the actual position on costs and capital they would not have tied themselves to a policy of 10Mbps. It derives from same cost myth the UK has been subject too since 2008/9.

    7. Gadget says:

      Strange choice of the word “permitted” – BT isn’t “permitted” it is “required” under the contract.

    8. NGA for all says:

      Andrew – On Ofcom, they choose their battles carefully, and like to be independent of Government when it suits them. They have no particular interest in rural, givem their other priorities of maximising spectrum fees.

      I think 4G antenna enhanced solution is a really good one and is part of the mix, but like FWA or satellite it should not get in the way of fibre being push as far as possible.

      Why do we not know where BDUK monies will take us? They is no reason we cannot know if the the numbers available were published. The commitment remains to make that money go as far as possible. How can you make a decision on the B-USO without knowing how far those funds will go? OR said the first £126m Clawback would reach 96%. There is another £400m plus the procurement pipeline plus the rest.

    9. Andrew Ferguson says:

      Less attention to costs since without access to the invoices that the councils and DCMS can see it would be speculation, and so often can see what you say on costs is based on the extrapolation and averaging that hides lots of potential variation. Also reconciling the invoices is a massive affair that would cost a large sum of money to get to the point and by that time things will have moved on.

      Perhaps I should be more tabloid in making claims about what is and is not happening.

      No one has run off into the sunset with the bduk money and it is delivering more, how much more we won’t know for some years until finally there is nothing left for decisions to be made on spending it.

    10. Andrew Ferguson says:

      Why we cannot know where BDUK project will take us?

      Because of small things like a landowner demanding high wayleave fees, or power coming in at a higher cost than expected during paper planning, along with a myriad of other variations.

      I can make projections and look at what has been pencilled in already, but who pays for the extra body or two that it would take to do it properly.

      As for Ofcom if it does not discharge its duties with regards to the USO then no doubt there will be a large broom used to clear out the many roles on the broadband side of things.

    11. NGA for all says:

      Gadget – BT have offered up £126m of the £536m to permit contract extensions. BT is not required to sit on these funds until 2023, but it appears and it is not part of the main state aid agreement, that the remainder needs to be subject to re-procurement. The CDS scrutiny referenced re-procurement for clawback funds. This is nonsense where the money can be applied for in-fill where there is no prospect of competition.

      If fact whatever the side agreement with EU on this matter is, it needs to be published as the thinking may need to be challenged where no competition is possible/viable.

      It would benefit those investing in training new engineers (OR and rural Altnets) that some assurance provided will not be lost back to Treasury when so much more can be done.

    12. NGA for all says:

      Andrew – Accepted. I have done the best I can with the data as it emerges in the public domain. I think the tabloid culture will struggle with this, as it is a huge upside which needs to be reported on.
      Money will in effect ‘go missing’ if they it is not invested where intended.

      If the monies available can be applied in rural, then the BDUK programme can claim a great and enduring success, while leveraging that success to force more FTTP in urban. In this respect LFFN and vouchers is a distraction, and the B-USO is only useful in providing a platform for BDUK to finish rural in a very complete way.

    13. Andrew Ferguson says:

      Are you serious? Just let BT carry on, with no oversight from any procurement process, i.e. no re-evaluation of what others are now doing in this arena?

      This would have meant that in CDS case Gigaclear would probably have not bid over concerns BT would just use recycled money to over build.

      It would have also meant zero visibility on what was thought possible, hence the various 2,000 to 3,000 type premises announcements.

      Things like this are a gift for those who want to game things and run off into the sunset claiming a spanner cost £2,000.

      As for a huge upside, anyone reading your many comments will have the idea that there is a massive scam going on, i.e. you are very poor at getting across that you see the scheme as a success and are keen for more success.

    14. NGA for all says:

      Andrew – change requests for in-fill under the current cost supervision is pragmatic where they are premises outside the reach of the cabinet.

      Where there are large contiguous areas – 3,000 premises plus competitions can be run.

      There is on-going need to publish costs and contributions. Given Vula is now a regulated product, there is a greater need to confirm BT’s Capital contribution.

      The BDUK programme has been subject to a large exercise in the gaming of costs and capital. This is not difficult to see. It is an on-going battle. UNtil the capital deferral is converted into coverage and BT’s capital contribution is reported on, the final outcome will not be known. Progress can be saluted and the opportunity to do more can also be pointed out.

    15. Mike says:

      4G (+antenna) should definately not be overlooked, I had to survive on it for a few years before FTTC became available, speeds were very good and was very reliable, if it weren’t for the higher latency (50ms vs 25ms) I’d still be using it over FTTC.

    16. Data1 says:

      Copper? We are on aluminium! They don’t work with broadband!

  3. Joe says:

    “On top of that such a USO might have also damaged the growth of alternative network providers, particularly if BT (Openreach) were chosen as the primary supplier (i.e. risk of rebuilding a monopoly position). ”

    Certainly those demanding high USO in parl are mostly those demanding it not be BT monopoly. Large dollop of doublethink in that.

    1. NGA for all says:

      Joe -Gigaclear, Callflow, BT and Kingston and indeed B4RN could all agree a FoD product and prevent being overbuilt.

    2. 125us says:

      NGA – I believe such non-compete agreements are known as cartels and are illegal.

    3. Ace says:

      What do you mean ‘those that demand high USO? Are you talking about customers? Everyone gets the USO speed!Its universal through all phone lines. You only request a fibre if you don’t get the speed through the phone line, but everyone gets high USO? Its the law! The universal speed is for all lines, not those that ‘demand’ it?

  4. Meadmodj says:

    The cost of FTTP has reduced significantly but in rural areas it will remain high. Therefore we should not get fixed to just one solution. The key for most rural communities is to get fibre coverage to remote clusters of homes, farms and businesses. Other technologies can then be used to the actual premises. Only BT can probably scale to the former and enterprising small ISPs can do the final leg. BDUK if totally OR will be too expensive and slow.

    The current voucher systems are bit of a lottery requiring organisation and LFFN in my view is being misappropriated. So monies need to be focused.

    1. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      Nothing you said in your comment made any business sense at all. No company is going to just supply a small cluster if it costs a lot of money unless forced to (as it makes no business sense).

      You say that fibre is high cost in rural areas and should not be fixed as just a one solution, but then go on to say that it should be used.

      This has been the main problem for the UK for many of years (too afraid to do a full fibre network).

    2. Meadmodj says:

      Yes I agree that we should be full fibre but that went in the 80s and repeated in the 90s. What I see now is BT keeping its powder dry waiting for subsidy to do more BDUK. I am just trying to be realistic.

      We will not get a USO of 30 Mbps unless sponsored by public funding. The government will not be able to fund, it already stated a cut off point which is not a USO.

      If BT were sponsored to provide fibre to a cluster then more nimble ISPs can do their bit whether fibre, Cat 6, WFI etc. The objective is a USO not Giga.

    3. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      The only thing stopping BT from doing a full fibre rollout at the moment is that no one is forcing them to do it. They have the money for it, but they look at it as why spend money when they don’t need to.

      Introducing something like the USO of 30Mbps would force BT to re-think

    4. NGA for all says:

      Meadmodj – Realism versus Pragmatism. I think your arguements are pragmatic, but need to be reviewed given the improved knowledge on costs.

      BT can receive subsidies for rural provided they make a predictable contribution to the capital costs and the clawback ends up where intended. There is another £1bn of public funding available for rural (pipeline, clawback, underspends, plus unknown LA Investment account balances.) If the latter was made clear and understood, the push for FTTP would become ‘pragmatic’ provided it could be resourced. The latter remains the biggest challenge, although re-writing the orthodoxy on the costs has taken 10 years so far and more may be needed.

    5. Meadmodj says:

      @NGA for all
      I am aware BT can get these subsidies but it will go a lot further if it went into a focused fibre network to supply the many localised and innovative ISPs that have emerged or additional community run schemes.
      I remember shared service for telephony and its the same here. I am talking about here is a USO requirement where 4 or 5 terraced cottages do not need a fibre each if they are at the end of a long country lane. A smaller fibre cable with a fibre for each cluster can be hung up a country lane on existing poles providing remote communities a reliable and resilient broadband which is what the customer actually wants. OR would simply not be flexible enough or responsive for the required premise cabling.

    6. NGA for all says:

      Meadmodj, I understand the sentiment, but we are at stage that in many many locations the scenario you describe, OR, gigaclear and callflow are delivering FTTP. How much is possible remains to be seen, but the monies within the BDUK process suggest another 700k FTTP connections could be facilitated in rural and this is before customer contributions.

    7. Joe says:

      “The only thing stopping BT from doing a full fibre rollout at the moment is that no one is forcing them to do it. ”

      That its not commercially viable has nothing to do with it of course.

    8. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @Joe Not sure how you worked out that having every home in the UK as a customer is not commercially viable. I take it that you don’t have a business degree?

    9. TheFacts says:

      @JAFS – why is there not a Waitrose in every town then?

    10. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @TheFacts That’s as sensible question as Why aren’t bananas grown in every town?

    11. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @TheFacts Just thought I would let you know that Waitrose doesn’t own any shops, it leases them

    12. RepoMan says:

      TheFacts picked a terrible example

    13. FibreFred says:

      “The only thing stopping BT from doing a full fibre rollout at the moment is that no one is forcing them to do it. They have the money for it, but they look at it as why spend money when they don’t need to.

      Introducing something like the USO of 30Mbps would force BT to re-think”

      That’s simply not true.

      If there were money in doing it, they would do it. As would anyone else.

      What is stopping them doing it is regulation.

      If BT didn’t have to wholesale I’m sure they’d be more than happy to rollout more fibre. As they’d get 100% of the return. Similar to KCOM.

      Which such regulation they’ve no idea when they’ll get ROI because Ofcom can change prices at will.

    14. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @FibreFred In any business there is no such thing as 100% return, so not sure where you come up with idea from, but it’s not from business school that’s for sure.

      Can you show me what regulation says that BT can only rollout fibre to part of an area?

    15. FibreFred says:

      Your reply doenst actually address my comment.

    16. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @FibreFred In other words you can’t then.

    17. FibreFred says:

      I cannot answer that because I didn’t say this:

      “BT can only rollout fibre to part of an area”

      You have replied with something else and ignored my point.

    18. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @FibreFred You clearly said “What is stopping them doing it is regulation”

      All I asked is that you post information on this regulation

    19. FibreFred says:

      All regulation.

      They cannot control their own prices/charges to people who buy their products.

      Which is a massive issue when you are deploying anything. If you don’t know how much money you’ll be able to get for said product over X years. Its a problem, certainly for something of this footprint and costly hard to reach areas.

    20. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @FibreFred So basically you were making it up then about the regulation.

      If your theory was correct then BT would not have any FTTP connections at all then? BT have done estimates on how much they would make on FTTP connections.

      Take for example that a new estate gets FTTP, what is stopping BT from continuing on building the FTTP network outside of that new estate? Everyone I speak to at BT don’t see cost or money they would make from customers as an issue. You seem to think that it’s regulations that are stopping BT and I ask again, please could you post these so called regulations.

    21. FibreFred says:

      Are you saying BT prices are not regulated by Ofcom?

    22. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @FibreFred I’ve tried putting it as simple as possible and it still hasn’t worked, so I’m going to give you an example that I’m hoping you will understand.

      Yesterday I was working at a new small estate (less than 50 properties) this has been installed with FTTP, it’s the other side of a smallish town (therefore the exchange is a fair distance to the estate).

      Therefore BT had to run fibre cables from one side of town to the other. From what you are saying it’s regulations that are stopping BT from using those fibre cables to offer FTTP to other parts of the town other than the new estate (or are you saying it’s cost, because BT has already confirmed to me that cost is not an issue).

    23. FibreFred says:

      That is a micro example.

      How does that relate to a “full” fibre rollout to everyone. Including remote and very remote areas?

    24. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      @FibreFred It relates because what BT has been doing is setting up small pockets of FTTP even though it admits that cost is not an issue with doing a full rollout and that it would benefit more customers (even in rural). I live in a semi-rural area.

    25. Gadget says:

      @JAFS – don’t forget to take into account greenfield v brownfield costs – greenfield is cheaper and putting in fibre instead of copper is a no-brainer these days, but if you already have a legacy copper network there it is all incremental cost.

  5. Lyncol says:

    Back to my my first point made……Apart from full fibre and fibre to the DP is there any other tech to get me over 30mb/s? Well……we are in the 21st century after all!

    1. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      Mainly depends where you live. This is because what’s available maybe different depending on your location. i.e. Cable (VM), Wireless solutions, Satellite.

      The main issues with satellite is that it does cost a lot more than other solutions and often with data caps and comes with a higher latency.

    2. 125us says:

      4G will do it if you have the signal.

    3. Philip says:

      If you have to use different methods to access the web, then you are not getting a “universal” service are you! You can’t say BT Broadband is “universal” on all fixed lines, when you have to use satellite with a different company! It’s obviously not “universal” then is it! You can’t get BT to change your line to improve the speed as they only change telephone lines if there is a fault with voice calls. Fibre optic lines are expensive. If you can’t access the minimum speed then there is no such thing as “universal broadband” is there?

    4. Philip says:

      You are being silly Lyncol! You don’t need any extra tech! You just get the speed! Why would need extra tech if we have a universal speed!

    5. P says:

      If we are getting legislation for universal fixed line broadband speed s then Lyncol will already get the speed through his phone line and a fibre optic if not. So he doesn’t need to do anything.He should get the speed through his phone line just as everybody else will, as your news report suggests. The House of Lords already have it sorted. We will all get that promised speed through our landlines.

  6. Lyncol says:

    My point is just about the Openreach network.

    1. JustAnotherFileServer says:

      Then your point has already been answered.

    2. Meadmodj says:

      @Lyncol
      Unfortunately you, like me are now in FTTC no mans land. There are things technically OR can do but there is little incentive currently. I doubt the government will set the USO above FTTC otherwise they would have to revisit previous BDUK.
      One thing you can do is use the BT site to check broadband availability. It will confirm the line capability of each of your neighbours (Postcode/Number). If they are higher than you it may indicate problems at your end.

    3. MikeW says:

      Infill with an AIO FTTC cabinet.

    4. Philip says:

      You don’t do anything Lyncol! You will get the speed!

    5. Matey says:

      You don’t do anything! You will just get the speed! Why are people thinking they have to “do something”!! It’s a universal speed!

  7. Ace says:

    Lyncol doesn’t need to anything, as he should already be getting the “minimum speed” through his phone line. Everyone should have told him that straight away! Bonkers legislation!

  8. P says:

    We don’t all have to use broadband of course! Other computer communication methods are available. (8 bit computers for example) We don’t all use broadband! It isn’t actually universal! Never was!

  9. Philip says:

    I don’t get BT broadband through the phone line. What’s all this fuss over ‘universal’ Broadband It isn’t universal. We don’t get any BT broadband service. We don’t have a compatible line for it It isn’t a universal service. Why are they calling it ‘universal’! Its getting silly!

  10. Biggles says:

    There’s no such thing as a universal minimum speed on all landlines. Its a misconception! We all get different speeds!

  11. Philip says:

    BT Broadband is only available on compatible telephone lines. They cost thousands to change, (Openreach don’t change telephone lines) so not everyone can, as yet, access BT Broadband through their phone lines. It isn’t universal in that sense. There is no such thing as “universal” fixed line broadband. Not everyone’s phone lines work with computers!
    Many people use dongles instead, as I do!

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