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UK Government Appears to Soften 2025 Gigabit Broadband Goal

Thursday, July 9th, 2020 (3:53 pm) - Score 4,286
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Remember that £5bn pledge by the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson, to have “gigabit broadband sprouting in every home” by the end of 2025 (here)? Perhaps unsurprisingly, it now looks like the Government are watering down their language on that to “go as far as we possibly can by 2025.”

Yesterday ISPreview.co.uk published a summary of everything we know about how the Government’s gigabit broadband strategy was likely to be delivered (here), although in our view – and that of many in the wider telecoms industry – actually achieving universal coverage of “gigabit-capable” broadband connectivity by the end of 2025 remains a very difficult proposition (without some kind of further fudge on technology, dates or speeds etc.).

Until now the Government has repeatedly acknowledged that their target is “very ambitious,” although they’ve also reiterated that 2025 remains the goal. However, a debate on Broadband Delivery, which took place in the House of Commons today, saw the SNP’s John Nicolson challenge the UK Minister for Digital Infrastructure, Matt Warman, on this point.

In response Matt Warman said, “we will work as hard as we possibly can to go as far as we possibly can by 2025.” Now that’s fair enough, but it’s also not quite the guarantee that many may be expecting, particularly given Boris Johnson’s earlier language and enthusiasm for meeting such targets on time.

John Nicolson asked:

“I am concerned that the Government have gone completely silent on their 2025 roll-out target for gigabyte-capable broadband; instead, we are told that it will be delivered as soon as possible. It has been five months since the Secretary of State last pledged in the House the Government’s commitment to the Conservative manifesto promise.

No statement has been made, and industry voices are growing anxious that without immediate action to address the policy barriers, there is simply no chance whatsoever of achieving the target. Meanwhile, thousands of businesses across rural Scotland continue to struggle with archaic internet speeds. For the avoidance of doubt and for the record: 2025—yes or no?”

Matt Warman responded:

“The Government have been clear that we will go as fast as we possibly can. We are removing the barriers that the hon. Gentleman discussed, but it is also right to say that it is an immensely challenging target. Going as fast as possible is the right thing to do, and we will work as hard as we possibly can to go as far as we possibly can by 2025. My ambition is absolutely to reach the number in our manifesto that the hon. Gentleman describes.”

At this point it’s worth remembering that, prior to being elected, the Prime Minister was also promising “full fibre” for all by 2025 and virtually nobody in the industry (none we know of at least) agreed that was a realistic target (here), hence how we eventually got “gigabit-capable” instead, via a more technologically neutral approach.

In fairness, there’s a strong possibility that the UK could get very close to near universal coverage (by premises) of gigabit-capable broadband, but the various models and predictions tend to differ, largely due to issues of uncertainty around overbuild, build pace and the as yet quantity of contractual commitments by operators (i.e. we’ll get a better idea once contracts start to be signed around late 2021).

As we’ve said before, private (commercial) investment currently seems likely to achieve 70%+ without a major state aid intervention, so it’s just a question of how far and fast operators can go to reach the rest over a c.3 year build window until the end of 2025. Anybody with experience of major civil engineering projects like this will tell you that such a time-scale is incredibly short for the kind of work required.

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58 Responses
  1. Avatar Ryan

    Why I am not surprised – inserts pretends to be shocked gif.

    I am still concerned that large parts of the Uk will be ignored even in 2025, by that point Virgin will be 1GB so in the eyes of the top bods that will be 50% of the UK, OR can then do the large cities and get to 70% and the haves and have not’s continue to grow.

    I hope I am wrong

  2. Avatar pacman

    “…such a time-scale is incredibly short for the kind of work required.”

    Still is a lot lot longer than the lifetime of the average ministerial post though! He will always be able to blame his successor – or even his successor’s successor!!

  3. Avatar AnotherTim

    The problem I see with “as far as we possibly can” is that to do that the only sensible approach is to tackle the easiest to complete connections first, which will ensure that the largest percentage is achieved.
    That leaves the harder to reach premises (whether urban EOL, or remote rural) out of the build – as usual. Thereby ensuring that those that have slow broadband (because they were uneconomic for FTTC) get to keep it for much longer.

    • In fairness they do seem to be making a concerted effort to tackle the hardest to reach ones this time around, but as ever the proof will be in the.. contractual deployment maps.

    • Avatar AnotherTim

      Unfortunately I haven’t seen anything that reassures me that the hardest to reach will be actually be tackled this time (and I have read everything I can find).

    • Avatar Neil Farnham-Smith

      Amazed in my local area some out of the way places such as in Tilford, Surrey have had fibre for nearly a year now. Where as more populated areas there is still no sign of any movement. Tilford had FTTC previously but so poor ADSL was just as fast, the only thing you gained was a more dependable connection with little speed increase. So hopefully this trend continues to other poorly serviced areas.

    • Avatar Gary

      They’re not really tackling the ‘hardest to reach’. I’m one of those people. They’re doing smaller villages and towns, those aren’t hard to reach they’re relatively easy by comparison, Still densely populated but smaller in size. The true rural out of town properties aren’t hard to reach either, what they are is more expensive and time consuming to reach.

  4. Avatar Jonnny

    Not unexpected really, 100% gigabit coverage in five years was never going to be achievable and the promise should never have been made.

  5. Avatar Tom

    It’s about time the Gov put in regulations around over building.

    Openreach being greedy as per usual. I’m glad all these Altnets are popping up because they are putting Openreach to shame.

    Only reason Openreach are going full steam ahead now is so that they don’t lose their market share.

    • Avatar occasionally factual

      Great Tom, but you do realise that the so called alts (many of which are worth more than BT) are overbuilding Openreach too?
      I’ve had Openreach FTTP for 6 years but last year City Fibre spent money overbuilding in my town. So your idea would stop them in their tracks in lots of places.

      Also who decides who builds where? I doubt anyone would want Gigaclear to be given a monopoly in their area given how often they fail to deliver. And the alts are infamous for not allowing any competition on their installs unlike Openreach who must let any ISP use their fibre. So people would be stuck with no competition and companies would have no choice in where they spend their money!

      The Government plans were never about the Government spending money but really about private companies raising money on the Financial Markets to fund the FTTP infrastructure.

    • Avatar Jonny

      Would you prevent Hyperoptic from wiring up an apartment building where Virgin Media Gig1 was already available? What counts as overbuilding – does a fibre provider moving into an area currently served by a high speed fixed wireless operator count?

      The idea that overbuilding is preventing other locations being built is I think a difficult statement to back up, and more genuine choice (not just retail provider choice) for end customers is always good.

  6. Avatar Illicit Penguin

    Perhaps they should mandate they stop installing G Fast. If the end goal is gigabitfuralles then stop wasting time and money on stopgap solutions. I suppose there will be a few edge cases where they’ll still need to go with the “old tech” but they should be rolling out FTTP to all towns and cities not sticking GFast and playing about with squeezing the last drop of internet juice out of the old copper cables.

    So far Openreach has how many fibre first (or whatever it’s called now) towns/cities? do I need more than 2 hands to count yet?

  7. Avatar a welshman

    last week the first minister of wales said that this government has a habit of making all these big statements then try to figure it out how to implement them rather than work them out first

  8. Avatar Rahul

    Of-course Boris used the 2025 Full Fibre pledge for election purpose. Now that he has won the election, he can change his stance on that knowing full well that he will be in power for the next 4 years.

    I’m sure there will be rural areas that won’t even get FTTP in 2035.

    Also wayleave agreement issues with MDU’s will need to be addressed as soon as possible or else 4 out of 10 buildings will be left out without Full Fibre. This means that even in urban areas where providers are interested, will not get the permission to install their service.

    Like in my case here in Central London, I only got upgraded to FTTC 9 months ago after many years waiting and FTTP was once on plan but refused permission for both Openreach and Hyperoptic. Building next to me doesn’t have FTTC yet (cabinet under review on plan) should’ve been upgraded by January, but they haven’t got it yet. It’s highly unlikely that they’ll get FTTP, given that they are under the same management company as mine.

    My prediction is that UK will achieve more like 50% gigabit/FTTP coverage at best by 2025 and maybe 70-80% by 2033 even after new legislation’s are implemented to ease those restrictions. Remember that even after the wayleave agreement is granted, it could still take 1-2 years for the installation to commence.

    FTTC and its packages are here to stay for at least another 15-20 years before it is fully replaced with FTTP!

    • Avatar Jonathan

      One way to fix the wayleave issue is allow Openreach to specify a future date (say at least 12 months away) when the copper service will be withdrawn. That will soon fix recalcitrant landlords as they will basically have buildings that they will be unable to let. I would back that up with fines that grow over time for landlords or agents that allow properties to be without a service.

    • Avatar John

      “My prediction is that UK will achieve more like 50% gigabit/FTTP coverage at best by 2025 and maybe 70-80% by 2033”

      Your prediction is miles off.

      Virgin already cover over 55% of the UK and they will have rolled out gigabit across their network by 2021.

      So already over 55% by 2021 with Virgin alone.

      OpenReach and Kcom are at just under 9% UK coverage of full fibre already (some overlap with Virgin).

      The UK will be 60-65% gigabit capable by the end of 2021
      Way ahead of your prediction 4 years early.

      It will be over 70% by 2025.

    • Avatar Rahul

      John, that is if you include Virgin Media DOCSIS 3.1 cable. Only then gigabit is capable, but it isn’t symmetrical, is it? DOCSIS is limited to certain gigabit speeds, but there is a threshold. Not to mention, it still doesn’t eliminate the wayleave barriers for the 45% of the UK that do not have Virgin Media.

      For example there is absolutely zero Virgin Media coverage in the City of London and very limited coverage in Central London. Across the UK, urban areas will have difficulty getting wayleave.

      When Boris mentioned the 2025 Full Fibre pledge, he did not mention about Virgin Media! Virgin’s announcement for the gigabit capability came at a later date. And not to mention it is extremely expensive, £62 per month £779.00 a year! Many people have already complained of Virgin’s trapped monopoly in price hikes.

      Plus it is not pure fibre exactly. I wanted to mean that gigabit FTTP capability will not reach more than 50%. I was aware of Virgin Media, but I don’t really include it as part of the bracket.
      UK current FTTP is at 14.8% and that is what I regard as genuine Full Fibre coverage that can offer symmetrical gigabit upload and download speeds. If we are counting FTTP from 14.8% that is more likely to hit 50% by 2025.

      But frankly if the government want to take credit for achieving gigabit coverage via Virgin Media Docsis cable, it is basically cheating that I do not consider as success because it is existing infrastructure.

    • Avatar joe

      There is already legislation coming in to allow providers entry to properties…so your point it moot.

    • Avatar John

      Your specifically said gigabit.
      So did Boris… eventually.

      DOCSIS 3.1 isn’t symmetrical?

      Neither is 90% of the FTTP being deployed.
      OpenReach isn’t symmetrical.

      You made a claim, I rubbished it, sand now your moving the goalposts.

      Are you now saying the UK will have 50% SYMMETRICAL FTTP by 2025?
      You’re mad if you think that.

    • Avatar Rahul

      I’m not saying the UK will have 50% symmetrical FTTP. What I am saying is that the 50% pure FTTP has the ability to provide symmetrical and much faster speeds.

      Most of the altnet FTTP providers provide symmetrical FTTP speeds and some even 10Gbps. Openreach can also provide symmetrical if they wanted to. The upload limit is restricted to 220Mbps for 1Gbps package on Openreach network when in reality it is basically locked. But I am sure it will be unlocked when the UK does eventually achieve a higher FTTP coverage when an injection of competition will force Openreach to make Upstream symmetrical to the downstream speed.

      Just like FTTC is capped at 80Mbps even though some people have a higher maximum throughput like 90Mbps but they won’t get that.

      Virgin Media Docsis 3.1 is restricted to 1-2Gb upload but Full Duplex 3.1 can do symmetrical speeds but is still limited up to 10Gbps.

      Many people have their predictions here that 50% is the most realistic target if you exclude Virgin’s Docsis gigabit and of-course 5G.

      Virgin is existing built infrastructure that can deliver gigabit capability, for this I can’t applaud the government in achieving their target because in essence it isn’t really their accomplishment. I’m interested in new FTTP rollout and how that will lead to the 50% target. Of-course 100% FTTP 2025 will not happen, that was part of the election manifesto manipulation.

    • Avatar John

      OpenReach use GPON which isn’t symmetrical.
      So do CityFibre/Vodafone, though they aggressively sell it at 900/900.
      Good luck with that if all your neighbours take the same package.
      2.4Gb/1.2Gb split 32 ways at 900/900 wouldn’t be great.

      That arguement doesn’t stack up either though as DOCSIS can be made symmetrical.

      The whole thread is around Boris’s promise to bring gigabit by 2025.
      That absolutely includes Virgin, whether you like it or not.
      That’s the reason Boris changed his pledge to gigabit from full fibre.

      The UK won’t get anywhere near full fibre by 2025 but gigabit will be much closer to that target.

    • Avatar Rahul

      Ok so basically GPON is limited to Downstream: 2.488 Gbit/s and Upstream: 1.244 Gbit/s.
      I understand that if there were 2Gbps packages than the 1.2Gbps upload will be a limitation. But if the package is advertised at 1Gbps or (900Mbs) there is no excuse not to provide 1Gbps or 900Mbps symmetrical speeds.

      The fact that Vodafone has 900Mbps symmetrical under the same GPON suggests that it should be possible, I’ve seen the speed test results on youtube.
      Now all neighbours will not subscribe to a 1Gbps package naturally due to package cost. Also GPON can be upgraded to XG-PON and then later XGS-PON.

      G.Network uses XGS-PON which can deliver 10Gbps upload and download. In 5-10 years time people will once again question what sort of FTTP service they are being offered. Just like many people still do not know that Superfast Fibre is actually Fibre to a local street cabinet and the rest travelling under copper. This is not a very honest marketing advertisement.

      So what you are saying is that 900/900 Mbps symmetrical is not great with GPON if the connection is split 32 ways across all customers. But if the Fibre distribution network uses XGS-PON then it will not cause the same negative effect? If this is indeed correct, then people are being offered worse FTTP services under certain network providers compared to others.

      The problem I have with Virgin Media’s gigabit service is that it uses Hybrid Fibre Coaxial cable instead of a pure Fibre cable while charging customers the same or higher than a provider that offers pure fibre. Not to mention in future this will be a limitation and it will need to be upgraded again after some years.

      Pure Fibre will not have this limitation, that’s the point, aside from needing to upgrade the GPON.

      UK will achieve more than 50% gigabit capability but it will not be pure Fibre like rest of Europe. And when one day the UK does achieve 100% FTTP coverage and we start seeing over 10Gbps packages then Virgin Media will become outdated again compared to the rest of the FTTP providers.

    • Avatar John

      So OpenReach is ok because GPON can be upgraded to XGS-PON but Virgin isn’t acceptable because it’s HFC

      Not all of Virgin is HFC.
      I have FTTP from Virgin, fibre right to my exterior wall.
      They simply use RFOG (DOCSIS over fibre) to keep all the current kit compatible.
      Nothing stopping Virgin upgrading to PON at a later date.

      Most of Virgin is HFC but the majority of their rollout in the last few years and what they continue to rollout is FTTP.

      So FTTP customers on Virgin can eventually be upgraded to a proper PON.
      DOCSIS 4.0 is 10Gb symmetrical, the same as XGS-PON.

      DOCSIS 4.0 isn’t exactly around the corner but there’s plenty room for evolution of the cable network, particularly on the (growing) FTTP part of the network.

      The majority of Alt-Net connections are GPON.
      Very few already do XGS-PON and even less do ptp fibre.
      I personally wouldn’t be happy taking 900/900 on GPON.
      It would only take 2 customers (out of a possible 32) and already the upload is contended.
      That 1.2Gb upload is shared between all on the PON.
      That’s a good part of the reason why most FTTP on OpenReach isn’t symmetrical. The technology delivering it isn’t symmetrical.
      Some operators split GPON 128 times not just 32.

      You band on every 5 minutes about being a Hyperopic champion, they aren’t FTTP but rather FTTB.
      It’s cat5e to reach individual apartments.
      Should that also not count towards the gigabit coverage targets because that’s not FTTP?

    • Avatar Rahul

      Ok fair enough, John.
      I’m aware of Hyperoptic not being exactly pure Fibre. It is FTTB and Cat5e cables to the remaining flats.

      I mention myself as a Hyperoptic Champion from a wayleave perspective. This is going to be a similar problem across all FTTP providers. I gave quite a lot of effort getting residents to register, the survey was complete but the wayleave is still on hold.

      It has been that way 5 years. Two other flats got wayleave passed in January as they are managed by a different management and I know this will be a long process simply because passing wayleave is only one stage of the long process.

      Just to give an example Heron Tower and Petticoat Square Tower that are managed by City of London Corporation had wayleaves granted over 3 years ago and it took them over 3 years to get their service installation to complete and go live.

      When I look at these wayleave factors and take them into consideration, Boris has no idea when he pledges Full Fibre for everyone by 2025.

      I know for 100% certainty that I won’t get Full Fibre in the next 5 years, but if I can get wayleave agreement in the next 5 years that would be my dream!

      Politicians need to word their talks properly or else they make themselves look ridiculous. Corbyn’s pledge was even more ridiculous with renationalizing Openreach and making Full Fibre free. Most people are not so naive to believe that.

  9. Avatar chris conder

    When it was election time the politicians made their promises made on on what was reasonably practicable at the time. Since the covid bombshell hit then many billions have to be found to pay for that. Doubt they’ll have enough left to modernise poor old openreach. The only hope is altnets.

    • Avatar Jonathan

      At this point an extra £5 billion is a rounding error in what the government are borrowing. Add in the sharp focus that COVID-19 has brought in the value of having a good broadband infrastructure the money is not the problem.

      The problem is firstly the time scale was impossible, and secondly COVID-19 has put a minimum of a six month hole in that time scale.

    • Avatar Alex

      “Never waste a good crisis.”

      COVID-19 is going to be the go-to excuse for all of our problems for years to come.

    • Avatar Rahul

      I don’t think money is the problem here, to some extent it is. For example we may argue that money is the problem for rural areas like where B4RN serve.

      When we consider the majority of Eastern European countries that have high FTTP coverage, they built this infrastructure from the very beginning around 2006! They did not start with FTTC at all.

      They are much poorer countries, but have cheaper labour cost and no red tape.

      Basically this whole handicapping came about from Openreach FTTC. Because majority (96%) have this so-called superfast fibre coverage. Little investment has been made for FTTP as most think it is an expensive nuisance not worth dealing with. This is also the reason why we have this problem right now with wayleave agreements as well, if this had been addressed over a decade ago before Openreach deployed FTTC. FTTP would’ve become a UK tradition like rest of Europe and the problem will have been resolved by now.

      Even if you throw all the money into it, timescale, red tape will be what will hold back from achieving 100% FTTP coverage. Urban areas don’t have much of that issue regarding return on investment or economical viability yet 4 out of 10 MDU’s are held back. As in my case last 5 years my management could not grant wayleave for FTTP for both Hyperoptic and Openreach when money isn’t the issue here.

      Altnets are not the solution because for example my building management told me “If we are going to agree on Fibre we will do it with another provider, not Hyperoptic”. Now maybe this is an excuse, but some MDU’s for example might not trust an altnet provider that they’ve never heard of. This is going to naturally delay deployment. Having many small altnet providers will not solve the problem.

    • Avatar The Facts

      @CC – ‘modernise poor old openreach’ who are rolling out faster than anyone else. Usual B4RN spokesperson nonsense.

    • Avatar GNewton

      Some posters here are so naive to believe that BT is doing a great job now. This country is already a decade behind of where it should be by now!

      While it is admirable that some users, in their desperation, organized successful local campaigns and even built their own local fibre networks, it is still an abnormal situation!

      You’d expect a telecom company to build and/or maintain fibre networks, just like a water company does it for water pipes, or an electricity company for power lines.

      Wrong BT/Openreach decisions in the past, wrong government policies, failing market competitions, wasteful duplication of last mile fibre networks, a Can’t Do culture, too much red tape when building or upgrading utilities, all contributed to this farce.

    • Avatar John

      “Some posters here are so naive to believe that BT is doing a great job now. This country is already a decade behind of where it should be by now!”

      That’s your opinion.

      I believe they are indeed years behind where they could be.

      The current rollout though is going at great pace, faster than any other network builder.
      It should be applauded and credit given where credit is due.

      I don’t see why you’re criticising the 1 operator who is rolling out FTTP faster than anyone else.
      Where’s the criticism of Virgin and the Alt-Nets?

      As always it’s big bad OpenReach’s responsibility to spend their share holders money and nobody else’s responsibility.

    • Avatar CarlT

      That makes absolutely no sense at all given Openreach can do FTTP more cheaply than any altnet pretty much anywhere unless it’s down fields and gardens.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @John: If you read my last paragraph you would have seen that it is not just an issue with BT/Openreach. Shareholders knew the risks because of the telecom regulations, nobody feels sorry for them if they lost money. This whole telecom sector should have been treated and regulated more like a utility sector.

      The sentiments of some posters here of being so proud that BT/Openreach is now engaged in a faster pace of fibre rollouts is strange, to say the least. It’s still many years too late, and besides, you’d expect a telecom to do its job anyway, wouldn’t you, just like the other utility companies do.

    • Avatar Paul Rhodes

      @John
      “I don’t see why you’re criticising the 1 operator who is rolling out FTTP faster than anyone else.
      Where’s the criticism of Virgin and the Alt-Nets?”

      The Alt-Nets have to construct the infrastructure, VM and BT already has the ‘poles and holes’ and would not be filling them with Glass if the Alt-Nets had not shamed them into it. Once the Alt-Net duct networks are built, we’ll see waves of homes passed and then it’s a matter of Wayleaves. These need a shot-clock, or landlords can freely provide internal connections without cost to a meet-me point.

    • Avatar CarlT

      News to Virgin Media they already had poles and holes in most areas, Mr Rhodes.

      Given altnets can, and are, using Openreach poles and holes not sure about that one either.

      Mr Newton: You’re rather into obsessive/fixated territory writing almost identical content in almost identical ways repetitively. It’s not ideal.

      Rahul: We got the point a long time ago. If you don’t like your building management get a place of your own perhaps with more accommodative and forward thinking management or purchase a property with FTTP good to go – we did.

    • Avatar Rahul

      @Carl I see your point and you’ve suggested that many times. But this simply deviates from the real issue that we have with wayleave agreements in MDU’s. If by buying a new property or moving out somewhere else that has FTTP, it does not solve the existing problem.

      We may personally solve this problem, but overall it doesn’t solve UK’s problem with addressing the real issue with rogue management teams getting away without serving justice. It does not solve the problem that not many people have the cash to easily move out. I may have the money to sell a property and move to another but at the end there will be an economical loss as you have to pay solicitors fees and remortgage and redecorate your new home.

      It is an injustice that just because of a bad management team someone has to force away to another home just to get better broadband. I’m fortunate that I now have FTTC but it is not a credit to the management team. It is in fact the opposite, I would’ve been upgraded to FTTP as planned earlier if I had a more co-operative management that really listened to the needs of the residents.

      Like I said before and many others have here, this red tape would’ve been rectified long ago if the UK did not start with FTTC. Since a UK tradition of FTTP hasn’t been formed we have this artificial problem with granting permissions. Naturally this wayleave issue would’ve been addressed if private landowners knew the importance of FTTP. This problem will eventually be resolved with time when FTTP coverage further expands and becomes popular amongst the masses. But we needed this initiation to start 10 years ago so we don’t have to deal with new legislation’s.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @CarlT: “writing almost identical content”

      Well, the same could be said of you! We all know you have an admiration for BT, and how you did a successful broadband campaign, but you are not the average user who just expects an adequate telecom service from a telecom company. And in too many cases users don’t get this.

      Anywhere else, if someone ran a business like BT or the government do, they’d loose the customers so quickly.

  10. Avatar Jake4

    If the government gets the 50% share/control in OneWeb and doesn’t have any major delays or funding issues whilst deploying the satellites then they could actually claim 100% coverage (thous not a fixed line) since the average speed should be around 300-400mbps with off-peak speeds ranging around 700mbps-1gbps.

  11. Avatar Pezza

    Not surprising really. Typical government really, and I fully expect them to reduce the target even further, despite the fact millions have been home working. But I’m sure HS2 will continue full speed along with the bridge from Scotland to Ireland.

  12. Avatar Buggerlugz

    Boris “go as far as we possibly can by 2025.”

    Translation “It’s an open buffet for all my Eton buddies and their families, eat well whilst you can my friends! In the 1%, then line your pockets!”

  13. Avatar GucciGang

    the tory government moving the goal posts? I did not see that coming…..slap yourself if you actually thought boris and the tories would deliver FTTP to even 90% of the UK by 2025, absolutely no chance.

    • Avatar Buggerlugz

      I expected it. Like everything else with infrastructure in the UK, its not about providing jobs and services, its about milking as much as possible from tax payers to increase the wealth of those at the top.

    • Avatar Gary

      It’s not really a Tory problem is it, its a politician problem. Sure this time its a tory proposal, but they’re all equally guilty of lying to us, or at least taking the population for idiots who cant see past the fluff and soundbites

    • Avatar Rahul

      That is exactly what I am saying. Like I said in my previous post. Just look at the Hyperoptic map as an example https://hyperoptic.com/map/?residential

      Look at the orange markers for agreements granted. If you actually observe many of these buildings have remained that way for 2-3 years before finally getting their service to install and go live. I remember all these buildings around me like Heron Tower and Petticoat Square Tower, it took them 3 years to finally turn green from orange.

      Just to consider how long it takes for this to happens. These politicians have no idea when they make ridiculous lies, because they are so busy with their other political issues like Brexit they can’t concentrate and see how complex the situation really is.

      The best I can see is 50% Full Fibre by 2025. Even the 100% FTTP by 2033 that Philip Hammond pledged I believe wasn’t realistic.

      If Boris said, “We are going to address wayleave agreements and red tape to boost Fibre coverage” that would’ve earned him way more respect. But he doesn’t see it that way.

      It took me over 10 years on Exchange Only Line just to get upgraded to FTTC a few months ago. If that was so tough to upgrade, then imagine how much tougher it is to get FTTP!

  14. Avatar Gary

    At this point it’s a extremely hypocritical for the SNP to criticise on watered down promises and failure to deliver, given the state of their flagship R100

    “which promises to make superfast (30Mbps+) broadband available to “every single premise in Scotland” by the end of 2021.”

    Maybe in 4 years If only 2/3 of the contracts for National Gigabit have even been awarded they can have a reasonable debate about failure.

  15. Avatar Gary

    Sheesh we have barely 14% fibre coverage across the entire county and people are obsessing over a niche need/desire for symmetrical Up/down. There are people still on ADSL.

    • Avatar GNewton

      When you rollout fibre, you might as well do it properly which includes the option for ordering a symmetric service which becomes more important because of the many home office or professional users, it’s not just used for down-streaming services.

      At any case, many users won’t understand (rightly so) why a telecom company can’t do fibre, most users have power lines, water pipes, why not fibre lines? Something has gone fundamentally wrong for the past decade or more with telecoms.

    • Avatar The Facts

      @GN – 10 years? Competition to BT came 30 years ago with Cable & Wireless, Energys etc. and the cable companies.

    • Avatar GNewton

      @TheFacts: Please get your facts rights, and twisting things here. Who else had a near country-wide last-mile access network infrastructure in the UK, paid for by taxpayers, and then sold off by the government to shareholders! You are really ignorant if you can’t see the issues of what has gone wrong in this country.

      Besides this has nothing to do with this topic. The 2025 target won’t be met!

    • Avatar Gary

      Gnewton,

      Many won’t understand(rightly so) ?

      Not really rightly so at all. Sure they have power and water supplies direct to their door, but those were installed over the course of decades, If they cant grasp something this simple there’s no help for them.

  16. Avatar David Hayhow

    Why do politicians think that because they’re legislators they can change the laws of physics? I’ve got 4 poles on separate routes within half a mile with yellow “fibre to the pole” stickers. All I’ve been offered to satisfy USO is 4g.

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