back to article BT trumpets subsidies for village broadband

BT is encouraging local authorities in rural areas to consider subsidising faster broadband installations, after a village Parish Council in Kent agreed to stump up part of the cost of fibre-to-the-cabinet. As a result of the subsidy all 1,350 premises in Iwade, near Sittingbourne, will be offered theoretical maximum download …


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  1. Defiant

    Sod Them

    Why should the majority subsidise them though, no one sudsidised the majority did they!. If they want handouts send them to communist Cuba

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      You haven't read the article have you?

      Come on. Admit it.

    2. Les Matthew


      You do know that for the best part of the last century the UK telephone network was state (GPO) owned and subsidised?

      Up until the eighties when Thatcher gave it away for a fraction of its value.

    3. Anonymous Coward

      Haven't read the article

      And the majority of the phone network went in when BT was still a nationalised company. So YES, the majority subsidised them. It's just the houses built in the last 15, 20 years that were paid for by BT (so I guess that makes it by the majority of households as well).

    4. Anonymous Coward

      @Sod them..

      On one condition, us Villagers can stop subsidising the townies.

      I have to pay £75 extra a year for a "village subsidy".

      It must be because we have almost non existant crime rate (any is usally commited by pissed up townies), or maybe the 1% unemployment, or the very low amount of people on benefits, or maybe it's because we don't have empty buses running through the night, or maybe it's for the leasure facitlies we don't have, that those people on benefits get to use for free, or maybe it's for the street lights that are only on junctions and not other stretches of road, or the parks that haven't seen a lick of paint in 10 years, oh maybe it's for the locally based emergency service we don't have on our doorsteps, or maybe the lack of fesitvals and events laid on, or the lack of gritting when it snows (depsite the gritting station being based in the bloody village)

      Shall I go on?

      Remind me again, who's subsidising who here?

    5. Jamie Jones Silver badge


      Why should us country folk subsidise the cost of providing our water to you city folk.

      If you want fresh water, move closer to the reservoir.

      1. Citizen Kaned

        good point but

        your village has fuck all to do with the reservoir. does your village sell water on? does it own the reservoir?

        bad analogy im affraid.

        many of us would love to live in a village but cant afford it. due to man and dog wanting to move from the city. not a chance i can afford to live where i grew up.

        1. Hugh Jorgen
          Thumb Down

          Cheers dude

          Thanks for winding them up, now they're all going to go and piss in the water. Not that safe city piss packed full of e-numbers and preservatives. Village piss is all wholegrain and full of twigs.

        2. Jamie Jones Silver badge

          Re: good point but

          Your town has fuck all to do with the broadband service. Does your town sell broadband on? Does it own the broadband infrastructure?

  2. AndrueC Silver badge

    Seems sensible - up to a point

    I think it's a good idea to encourage those in hard to serve areas to get involved. Either directly through doing their own engineering or financially to help with the RoI. The problem is that BT tend to be all mouth and trousers when it comes to cooperation. They don't exactly step forward with routing diagrams and termination locations. Quite the opposite in fact.

  3. wileycoyotee

    Will I get an upgrade?

    Does anybody know where to find out if a line is scheduled for upgrade?

  4. wileycoyotee

    How did they know they were not on the list?

    Does anybody know how to find out if a line is scheduled for upgrade?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      as follows

  5. andy gibson


    As the parish council stumped up a chunk of the cost, will they see any return on their investment?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Why is it always BT?

    I really really really don't want to stand up for BT, but...

    Why is it (almost) always BT that ends up supplying these hard to supply areas?

    The LLU folks can and do cherry pick the most profitable areas in their race to the gutter for service quality and lowest bundle prices and longest contract lock-ins.

    If competition really is so good for broadband delivery, why can't the LLU folks licence conditions include an obligation to supply at least some kind of service in the areas where BT are currently the sole supplier?

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Why is it always BT...

      "Why is it (almost) always BT that ends up supplying these hard to supply areas?"

      Because OFCOM has allowed BT to remain as a monopoly in these areas, 20 years after it was tasked with eliminating the monopoly.

      1. Hugh Jorgen
        Big Brother


        It's in the license. The incumbent operator is obliged to provide service to every property in the country. It's not to do with competition or monopoly.

        There's nothing stopping LLU operators providing service to out the way places.....oh hang on, fuck me, yes there is......capitalism. As a business you don't spend more than you can get back as a return, and running to an out the way place costs more me work this out..more than.....oh, now I get it......more than you'll get back.

        So, left to competition there'd be fuck all, literally, fuck, and literally, all, service to these places unless someone made someone do it. Put in the hands of the smaller businesses they'd all cry out "unfair, we're getting fucked over", so they make the biggest company do it because they can absorb the loss and won't grumble as much and will be around for the 180 years it'll take to break even. That sounds like socialism to me!

        I'll blame the bastard French!

  7. Richy Freeway


    Check Use the exchange search.

  8. pikey

    just because

    your exchange has bene upgraded, it does not mean that you will get better speeds on your internet conenction to your house. That's my experence anyway, our was upgraded and i am still lucky to reach 2mb on a good day.

  9. Elmer Phud

    Location, location, location

    I just wondered what the average income of Iwade is as compared to somewhere a bit further up north. It may also have a bearng on the makeup of the Parish Coulcil.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Location, location, location

      Have you ever been to Iwade? Take a look at, then review you comment 8-)

  10. This post has been deleted by its author

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The completey arsey thing about the way rural broadband is being improved is that some people are being left out.

    Urban areas are getting fast broadband, which is nice. Some rural areas are getting fast broadband. However small towns are getting totally ignored. Not so long ago getting 1-4Mb/s in these towns seemed great, but now it seems that the priorities are to provide ultra fast broadband in urban areas and equally fast broadband to the "notspots". Wind forward a few years and we'll no doubt be discussing the "scandal" of the lack of fast broadband in provincial towns.

    BT won't fund it. Central government won't fund it. Local government isn't allowed to have any money by central government. Virgin seem to think the only people in the country who want broadband live in urban areas.

    Here's an idea: ISPs should be forced to charge based on the bandwidth provided. The the service provided be charged on a pro-rata basis. If they advertise "Up to 20Mb/s for £24.99 a month" then an ISP should be forced to charge at £1.25 per Mb/s provided to the customer. That would soon make them realise that it's in their interests to give everybody the same service.

    After all electricity suppliers wouldn't get away with charging for a 120V supply. Why should ISPs be allowed to charge the same for a substandard service to some areas?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      "Why should ISPs be allowed to charge the same for a substandard service to some areas?"

      That would be because OFCOM is incompetent at regulation.

    2. some vaguely opinionated bloke

      Rural/Urban imbalance

      Not all urban areas are better off (in this respect) than rural areas or small towns.

      My in-laws live in rural Lincolnshire, in a small village with its own exchange. Their up-to-8Mb package is pretty much up-to-7.5+Mb during the day.

      I live in an ex village now which now forms an area of a large West Yorkshire city, served by an exchange which is is physically further away than the area covered by the rural exchange above - 5.5km as the cable runs.

      When the ex village became part of the conurbation, lines were put in to an existing exchange, rather than building a new exchange.

      The exchange is unbundled but all of the providers with their kit in there offer 0.5Mb at best - understandably I'm loathe to change from my current provider as my up-to-16Mb connection is a constant 2.3Mb, but if the best anyone says they will offer is 0.5, that's the most they'd have to try to provide.

      I agree with the pro-rata bandwidth thingy though...

  12. Stevie


    This is how FDR managed to help rural farmers get 'on the grid' during the great depression - subsidies.

    Given that the telco won't run the cable and the citizens can't afford to do so without help, I'd say this is a decent plan.

  13. Grubby

    Why not

    I think it's a pretty good idea, if an area is suffering from slow or no internet services then it's commercially viable for all parties involved to chip in to improve the situation. It doesn't make financial sense for BT or any service provider to connect an area where they simply wont make any money.

    If I lived in an area where the internet, or any service for that matter, was below par and it was a matter of money to resolve it then it's basic maths, how much will the fix cost in total / how much I'm willing to spend (how much do i want it) = the number of like minded people I need to agree with me.

    I know that a lot of areas in the UK get the service without having to pay but I chose to live in the area and should take all the cons with the pros.

    BT are subsidizing it because they have buy in from the people in the village, they've put their money where their mouth is so I bet customer churn will be massively reduced; they'll (bt) make their money back.

  14. Steve Medway

    My answer to the Rural BB issue

    A mesh network of solar powered balloons which live above the clouds with blimp like electric powered engines each containing an LTE cell.

    Sod cables (even fibre) they're soooo 19th Century.

  15. Kevin Pollock

    What about the backhaul?

    I am served by a semi-rural BT Market 1 exchange. For foreigners that means there is no unbundling - and there are so few people on the exchange that unbundling is almost inconceivable. Regardless of who my retail ISP is, the traffic is actually carried on the BT Wholesale network.

    My local loop is still ADSL, so I'm on an "up to 8Mb/s" service. I actually get about 7Mb/s on the DSL router, and can sustain about 5Mb/s on my RapidShare downloads.

    So all in all I'm really happy with the download speed. The upload speed is shite - about 300kb/s. So video calls are tenuous at best. VoIP usually works OK.

    My exchange is due for a 21CN upgrade to ADSL2+ in 2011, which should allow me to get 18Mb/s to the exchange, from the dB numbers I see on the router. I may get about 750kb/s on the uplink if I'm lucky.

    But it's the backhaul speed that will limit me - at least for downloading.

    What is the point of "superfast broadband" in the local loop if BT continues to lag on the upgrades to the backhaul and core network?

    What is the point of any speed upgrades if my monthly bandwidth is capped by BT or the retail ISP?

    Why are ISPs still allowed to call these services "unlimited"?


  16. BryanM


    Maybe Virgin Media should start with the basics before offering to provide services to villages. They can't get fibre rolled out in the mid sized town I live in. This is particularly annoying when you live on a new estate that has all the ducting in place from the point when the estate was built less than 10 years ago.

    1. Hugh Jorgen

      *SIGH* *again*

      Few issues with this. There is a period of several years where the council don't adopt the roads (and pavements) for a new estate. With the exception of a few civils issues VM will have blanket permission from the councils to run cables in *their* roads/pavements. Not so with the building companies. The building companies are responsible for making their own arrangements with VM and some have even run in the ducting.

      That's where the gray areas start. Sometimes the issue is connecting up to the main fibre network as it needs to go across a piece of land/road where they can't obtain permission. Then there's the tax dodges and planning dodges associated with building companies (reads: gangsters!), VM may be able to cable up when the building of the estate is completed.....but the building company hasn't "technically" completed all the build for reasons of tax, or for reasons of planning. An "incomplete" estate puts tax and planning regulations into limbo which makes it easier to "adjust" certain aspects of the finances/future build.

      Then there's the cost, VM may cable up the estate which is already 90% smothered with satellite dishes and only pick up a handful of customers. Tens of thousands of £'s later for 20 customers signing up the 3 for £30 isn't a good return.

      Finally there's the paranoia reason, perhaps VM don't like you and the kind of people living around you. Maybe you're all the reasons for them staying away...... you've obviously considered all the options and understand all the problems in providing you with a fibre service and obviously resolved them all so the only option remaining is they don't think any of your neighbourhood can piss straight?

  17. Defiant

    Hell NO

    Les Matthew, at the end of the day the minority should learn to look after themselves instread of always expecting the majority to fund them. Again if you like living like that go and live in communist Cuba!

  18. Defiant


    Oh and Les Matthew, the GPO made a profit!

  19. Lloyd

    I have to pay £75 extra a year for a "village subsidy".

    Count yourself lucky, I have to pay Boris Johnson about £250 a year so that kids can ride busses for free, I wouldn't mind but I live in Z5 which has next to sod all transport links unless you're North of the Thames.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    BT Strumpet subsidies


    Can I get some of that?

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