To quote " Unfortunately, without BDUK and other schemes many small villages would not likely see FTTC services at all. It would be unprofitable for BT to deploy in these locations IMO. "
This is a valid point, anybody who runs a business knows that some parts of their business make a profit, others do not. In the case of BT they make considerable profits as has been seen by the extent of over spend on TV rights etc..
So what is inferred from this is that BT , a very profitable multinational business, willr efuse to provide a service to a village if it is not profitable / viable on its own merits?
Do you think this is a fair use of public money, to ensure a profitable business does not take on small loss making areas ?
The story is always the same once Government interfere with a commercial marketplace, it results in corruption, market distortion and the expenditure of a [censored] load of tax payers money that could otherwise benefit important public services such as the NHS etc.
In some ways I envy Vfast with Kent County Council, as they appears to have , in the past at least, a sensible approach to resolving rural Broadband issues. Identify demand, put out to tender, choose best value for money solution.
In other counties such as West Sussex they instead become very hostile to operators in their county outside their chosen Broadband strategy, i.e. BT. This results in the widespread publication of mis-information, FUD and outright lies in order to discredit these service providers.
This was most noticeable when it came to applying for cash from the BDUK pot at the start of the process. Once it became about gaining maximum share of the cash then making the Broadband situation within the county look as bad as possible was the primary aim.
Areas with 96%+ take up of a commercially provided (non funded) service were declared as having "no broadband service" at all.
They are now spending an inordinate amount of the BDUK cash running FTTP to overbuild these areas and have already targetted other areas with full existing Superfast coverage with FTTC.
Other areas of the county without superfast and no service from an independent commercial provider such as Kijoma are being left out. This includes business parks .
In my view (and others) the BDUK process is corrupt and state aid rules have been massaged beyond recognition to push this all through and as you say there has to of been some serious "incentives" to allow a competitive framework to be watered down to a monopoly and still be ratified all the way up to the EU.
Once this is all complete, be prepared to see lots of smaller wholesale ISP's go to the wall as BT Retail "competes" by offering all those non state funded *cough* TV rights over its services for free while other ISP's have to pay to re-sell it.
Once it becomes just large providers, be prepared for the equivalent service level and value for money we receive from a 2 -3 party election process.
I am sure of Vfast and other "non BT" providers had received a fraction of the state aid BT had then the capacity would be much higher.
All the parasitic providers using BT infrastructure will not of had to invest anything in the infrastructure at all so yes they can probably offer cheaper prices and higher speeds.
I am aware VFast have had grants to deploy wireless broadband in the local area. Not as much as BT in the grand scheme of things but still it's not all money invested by the company itself.
Unfortunately, without BDUK and other schemes many small villages would not likely see FTTC services at all. It would be unprofitable for BT to deploy in these locations IMO.
I do agree though that more money should go to the smaller companies for alternative types of broadband - but hey, I guess someone in parliament is getting a nice backhander from BT for all that free money!
Bill Lewis - MD
Fixed wireless ISP - ISPA/CISAS/RIPE member