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Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 03-Feb-15 13:02:15
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Investment in Rural Broadband


[link to this post]
 
Think this might wind some people up.

The spokesman added: "Government and local authorities are investing £1.7bn in taking superfast broadband to rural communities across the UK who would otherwise be left behind.


A lot of people I suspect will be questioning the definition of "rural communities" as we have had people objecting on here to the fact that it is often the rural communities that are at the back end of the project or in the 10% not yet covered.

It doesn't help that the minister on BBC news this morning was complaining that the minimum speed target was "2 megabytes per second" - think someone needs to get her to know the difference between her bits and her bytes wink

The article also states that 10Mb should be the minimum target now and be regularly reviewed - but they have to realise that step changes in speed take time and cost money (at least until we get fibre but even then it is feasible we could get to the limits of the fibre drivers and need to wholesale replace the active equipment).
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 03-Feb-15 13:13:30
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
Have done this report on front page already, and doing an item for BBCSurrey/Sussex that should have gone out this morning.

Up shot - if it is important do something about it even if that is order satellite in the short term, or wait until maybe 2020 if you want others to do it for you.

This is not a popular opinion, but willing to bet that if just farmers were given 10 Mbps broadband and no-one else in rural areas that the lobbying would almost die away.

EU 2020 target is 30 Mbps or better for all, I think that makes a better target, and oddly the Government is heading in that direction, but as with anything timescales and priorities will never meet everyone's wishes.

Which does more harm to the economy, no superfast for rural i.e. final 5% business? Or no superfast for the 75% to 95% population density business?

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User ian72
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Tue 03-Feb-15 13:37:16
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
Yes, just read your news article - didn't look at front page before posting...


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Standard User gah789
(regular) Tue 03-Feb-15 18:19:22
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
It seems that you don't have much idea of what you talking about. I run a rural wireless broadband service and am involved with a cooperative of such organisations. We operate in some of the most rural areas in Scotland, let alone the UK.

The strongest demand for better broadband services does not come from farmers, who are - it is true - never slow to complain. The problem for farmers is as much poor website and form processing software as it is poor broadband speeds. That varies between the different countries in the UK and depends on the competence of the organisations that handle rural payments.

For us the major demand for better broadband comes from people who rely upon broadband to work from home - sometimes they have small businesses, sometimes they are workers without fixed places of employment, or they just want to avoid commuting every day. Families with children also want faster broadband but may not give it high priority.

Most of our subscribers get less than 2 Mbps from ADSL and see little prospect of improvement in the next 2-3 years - i.e. they are in the final 5 or 10%, usually with very slow exchanges or long copper lines. Using fixed wireless we can serve them at a top-up subsidy per house with access to the service that is not much greater than BDUK costs - less than £250. Take-up rates are similar for the planning assumptions built into BDUK contracts - initially about 15-20%, rising to 30+% over 12-18 months. We don't provide superfast speeds, though we could if we had access to sufficient backhaul capacity. In practical terms 10-15 Mbps symmetric provides as good an experience as the best ADSL 2+ service..

So, your either/or choice is absurd. The real difference is between small, local community networks and a vast monolith. Each has its role, but no community venture can deal with the bureaucracy involved in BDUK - even the pilot projects.

Operators like us have no interest in competing with BT. Our main complaint is about access to and the cost of backhaul. In practice this concerns the way in which fibre *from* the cabinet to a point of presence is priced. For internal purposes I am certain that BTOR/BTW does not cost BDUK projects on the same basis that it would charge us for a GEA line supplied to the same location. If it did, it would never make economic & financial sense to upgrade a cabinet with less than 150-200 FTTC connections.

Fixed wireless need cost no more than the copper network for rural distribution. We are a lot cheaper than satellite and we can provide much greater bandwidth. Satellite may have a small role to play for the most remote houses, but it would be daft to promote this over fixed wireless as a way of meeting a USC of 2 - or 10 - Mbps. The only barrier concerns the management and pricing of access to the fibre network - that is the core issue for small rural operators.
Standard User 69bertie
(newbie) Tue 03-Feb-15 18:46:17
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: gah789] [link to this post]
 
Maybe the wireless side (and satellite) would make greater strides if the Government coughed up the money to enable the connection. I could have 30mb/s wireless (unlimited) from a local supplier within 2 weeks but with a connection fee of well over £200, I'm currently waiting to see what BDUK/the local council decides to do with our cabinet. But if they decide to wait a while, I'll be going for wireless. Paying BT a great deal of money for such slow speeds (less than 1.50mb/s) is a great pain to me. And the wireless monthly fee? Not much difference to what I currently pay BT.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Tue 03-Feb-15 19:18:51
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: gah789] [link to this post]
 
Know perfectly what I am saying, if the demand is not from the farmers then the people need to stand and say more or the noisiest will win.

The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User flippery
(committed) Tue 03-Feb-15 20:31:55
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: MrSaffron] [link to this post]
 
The government has made a rod for its own back, by insisting documentation is completed online. Farmers also has the use of a large body working on their behalf.
Individuals do not have access to information from BDUK or BT as to who will be served by a local cabinet. Only in 2017 will any decision be made for those unable to obtain minimum standard.
If BDUK in first place had looked at what was viable with different options , fibre or fixed wireless. Then maybe private enterprise may have picked up some of the voids
Eggs in one basket are never the answer nor is uncertainty for private investment.
Standard User TheEulerID
(member) Tue 03-Feb-15 21:45:37
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: gah789] [link to this post]
 
The charges are the same to everybody. As for it not being cost effective to enable cabinets of 150-200 lines, then for sure (at least in areas with non-trivial backhaul). That's precisely the sort of cabinets that are being enabled through BDUK gap funding.
Standard User kijoma
(committed) Wed 04-Feb-15 10:22:35
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: ian72] [link to this post]
 
I quite agree with the WISP from Scotland, We operate "down south" as a Wireless Provider and operate entirely commercially without any assistance but plenty of hinderance from the BDUK process.

Why the government are now touting Satellite as the solution is bizarre and shows how effective the lobbying against Fixed Wireless has worked.

Satellite does in no way threaten fixed line telephone services, so for BT's bosses this would be the preferred "competitor" if there was to be any.

They can be assured that later on when they put something else into the affected areas that it will be better than satellite and the good old copper wires would still be there and in use, so regaining customers with minimal investment.

Fixed Wireless on the other hand does pose a threat to fixed line phone revenues / line rental . There is no need for a phone line and VoIP has considerable advantages , including ditching the ever increasing line rental altogether.

Same for private / independent FTTP solutions like B4RN .

If that was allowed to gain traction then the dependence on the openreach lines would shrink at an exponential rate, especially in rural areas where such infrastructure is poorly maintained and prone to poor quality and regular failures.

Of course the governments need to spy on Internet traffic means the likes of GCHQ are probably keen to have a single broadband/phone infrastructure provider as it makes their life easier for them.

At the moment all the BDUK process has generated is uncertainty for those genuine commercial operators with no parasitic dependence on BT wholesale when it comes to deciding where to invest in new networks and expand current ones.

The public accounts committee recently asked BT if they knew where they would NOT be providing a service with their current benefit cheque, they answered they knew. When then asked if they would provide that information they said no and that was it ..

This is the same situation that occurred for ADSL ~15 years ago, the government never learn.

BIll

Bill Lewis - MD
Kijoma Broadband
Fixed wireless ISP - ISPA/CISAS/RIPE members
http://www.kijoma.net
http://www.speedtest.net/result/1975254274.png
Standard User gah789
(regular) Wed 04-Feb-15 12:19:19
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Re: Investment in Rural Broadband


[re: TheEulerID] [link to this post]
 
@TheEulerID:
The charges are the same to everybody. As for it not being cost effective to enable cabinets of 150-200 lines, then for sure (at least in areas with non-trivial backhaul). That's precisely the sort of cabinets that are being enabled through BDUK gap funding.

My point was somewhat different. The costs of providing FTTC or any other service can be unbundled - copper line access, FTTC equipment, backhaul from cabinet to point of presence, transit & peering, support, etc. If you strip out everything using regulated or ADSL unit costs, the residual cost of backhaul from the cabinet is far below leased line charges. The point is obvious if you compare BT Infinity prices minus the local loop charge with the cost of a 100 Mbps burstable leased line connected to the same cabinet or network node. Hence, the implicit charges are not the same to anyone.

Any independent operator is subject to BT's leased line pricing except under special circumstances such as the Fibre GarDen deal with Network Rail. All (!) we would ask for is backhaul priced at the same implicit cost that BT pays itself internally. This is quite separate from the BDUK process, which provides a top-up capital subsidy for the cost of installing fibre to the cabinet plus the associated equipment at the cabinet. The effect is to put an intervention area on the same basis as a commercial area in terms of the operating and unsubsidised recoverable capital costs per connection. It is these costs that I am referring to.

I understand that the allocation of network costs is an arcane and contentious subject, but what I am suggesting is not that difficult or contentious. It is obvious to anyone that without full unbundling of services and charges, BT is able to adopt charging structures with large internal cross-subsidies. That is precisely the complaint of TalkTalk & Sky about 'margin squeeze' and has been accepted, at least in part, by Ofcom.

There may be reasons of public policy why BT should be permitted to rely upon such internal cross-subsidies. Even so, they are a huge barrier to entry by small operators wishing to provide niche services in areas of minimal interest to either the incumbent or other large operators.

Edited by gah789 (Wed 04-Feb-15 12:22:49)

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