back to article EC competition concerns stall UK's superfast broadband plans

Competition officials in Europe have stalled the UK government's plans to lay superfast fibre optic networks for 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the country by 2015. However, a spokesman at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport insisted that the next generation broadband rollout would not be delayed as a result of …


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  1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

    German example

    Deutsche Telekom was given the incentive of a time-limited monopoly to exploit FTTH and, thus, recoup investment costs. This is essentially the same model as for toll roads and bridges and is, thus, perfectly okay in Europe as long as the tendering process is okay. Wholesale access is, as far as I know, available but not under same conditions as DSL connections are. This is fair enough as most of the cable-laying for the DSL infrastructure was done years ago and paid for by the state.

  2. Big-G

    Stuff em!

    Oh FFS!, re-nationalise BT/Opengap, tell em to get on with putting FTTH everywhere, and then re-privatize it!

    Or better still, stop creating private monopolies and get some real competition going!

    I'm mad as hell and I'm not taking this any more!

    1. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Stuff em!

      >Oh FFS!, re-nationalise BT/Opengap

      So you think that handing control over the UK's complicated, expensive and technically challenging infrastructure to the government is a good idea? Please tell me you're too young to vote!

      The government couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery and the only investment they'll make in telecoms is to install more snooping equipment and 'firewalling'.

      >Or better still, stop creating private monopolies and get some real competition going!

      > I'm mad as hell and I'm not taking this any more!

      There's plenty of competition already. The UK has one of the most open telecoms systems in the world. That's why it's so ridiculously cheap. Pretty much everyone outside of Hull has a choice of half a dozen or more telephone and broadband providers.

    2. AndrueC Silver badge

      Re: Stuff em!

      And it deserves a second reply.

      Cornwall has been getting on very well with it's next-gen roll-out. You know what - it's a partnership between BT and the EU.

      For the rest of the country it's down to 'BDUK' which appears to stand for 'Broadband Delivery Uknown'. It's an effort organised by the government and like all such schemes is overly complicated and done nothing much except waste time and money.

      The best thing the government can do for broadband is to butt right out. It might not be a perfect market gawd knows what state it'd be in if the government was in charge of it.

      1. Magister

        Re: Stuff em!

        Some parts of Cornwall - yes. Unfortunately, not where I live (North).

        When I left on Sunday, the download speed was 0.3 Mbps. BT seem totally unable (or willing) to do anything to fix the problem. Their argument is that the "acceptable" speed is between 0.1 and 0.5; anything over that is a bonus.

        I did actually sit in on several meetings with various people to try to get the situation improved. They've identified that we need the better broadband, that we will use it and to do many good things; such as build sales, develop jobs and contribute to the local and general economy. But it still seems like we are wading hip deep in treacle as far as getting a decent service.

        Mind you, I am currently working in West London and the performance on the broadband at this site is flaky at best.

        I wonder if they will actually give us decent broadband all across the country before I retire?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Stuff em!

          "Some parts of Cornwall - yes. Unfortunately, not where I live (North)."

          Not *yet*, is the correct answer. The rollout has only been going for about a year so you can't expect everyone to be able to get it right now.

          I can get it (in a mid-Cornwall village) - but that's only been since January, and unless you live in my road you have to keep waiting (it's the only cabinet BT have tackled right now).

  3. Ned Fowden

    before that roll out

    They need to work on the already existing roll out's they're supposed to be doing, screw getting fibre into new places, how about getting fibre out of exchanges that are already enabled

    it's just an excuse, yes they can get the exchanges enabled which means in theory xx% consumers could have access, but in reality very few actually do because they've only done half a job

    yes, I am a disgruntled consumer, I hate it when I get better speeds on 3G than I do on ADSL

  4. SMabille

    Perfect excuse

    So now when we will still be on 4Mb ADSL in the countryside in 2015 the tories will have the perfect excuse:

    "It's not us, we wanted to deliver, like we always do... if you want broadband we will have to leave the EU and the Human Right Act", let's blame the Human Right Act!

  5. IHateWearingATie

    You can't please all the people all of the time...

    No country has managed a decent roll out of fibre while meeting all of the things that we want - i.e. future proof investment in the future, covering rural and urban alike, not locking in a single monopoly and it not costing the earth (remember, our public finances are not in the best of health).

    Oz - great coverage and lots of promises of wholesale passive and active access, but it's costing $11bn - and that's after the sell off of the newly created public sector telco (its up to $40bn otherwise)

    Germany - DT is partly owned by the government and will be an effective monoply. Not sure we want to use the same model with BT

    Holland - Regge fibre et al are good, but rural coverage is not as good as we want (and they don't have the same rural challenge we have)

    Hong Kong & Singapore - They're city states, there isn't really any rural challenge at all

    New Zealand - yet to prove anything really

    Nordics - great example of throwing cash at it to fix the issue

    Be nice to the BDUK guys - it's not an easy problem to solve.

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