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Ultra-Fast UK Broadband Could Cost £40 Per Month

Posted: 08th Sep, 2007 By: MarkJ
The Telegraph newspaper has an interesting editorial on the long running debate over future broadband services and Fibre to the Home (FTTH).

The piece points towards the problem of pricing super-fast (50Mbps+) broadband services, which could initially be placed at roughly £40 per month in a market where £15 to £25 is more recognisable:

Internet users may have to accept that if they want faster broadband options they will have to pay for them. Given the explosion in broadband demand as prices dropped into the £15 to £25-per-month range, there may be little scope for companies marketing an ultra-fast broadband service for £40 or more. However, this is the sort of price that new technology roll-outs may need to ensure interest from those controlling the investment capital.

Much of the article has been talked about before but there are some interesting quotes from BT's former chief technology officer and head of research, Peter Cochrane:

Peter Cochrane believes that Britain is already suffering from its decision not to roll-out fibre at the first opportunity. "Anyone wishing to upload home-made movies, or engage in real-time mixed reality games, is going to have a difficult time," he says. "Almost all future group networked activities will be severely limited." However, according to Cochrane, there are some much wider-ranging social and economic repercussions. "ADSL means video-conferencing and medical applications will be severely limited and mostly doomed to failure," he says.

"The point we have come to, whatever technology is adopted, is that there will be a hefty bill," says Kip Meek, BSG chairman. "We have to create the circumstances in the UK where someone is prepared to write out the cheques to pay for it."

It’s stated that one estimate places the cost of rolling out a Fibre to the Home (FTTH) network available to 90% of UK households at £9.5 billion. However the chances of true FTTH being the end product seem quite remote, instead we’re more likely to see a mix of FTTx (to the exchange) and xDSL (to the home) technology.

However without a firm plan and investment none of these technologies will ever make it out of trial.
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