back to article Ofcom: By 2017, even BUMPKINS will have superfast broadband

Ofcom's annual report on the state of Blighty's infrastructure promises "near universal" superfast broadband by 2017 with only the most gentle of regulatory nudges. Seventy-three per cent of UK premises are already getting "superfast" broadband, with BT's Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) available to 57 per cent of UK properties …


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  1. DPWDC


    I'm about to move to Bumpkinland, and the speed isn't such an issue for me really, I expect to get about 4mbps. The problem I have is the cost. Extra £7 a month because the exchange isn't unbundled.

    I'd prefer Ofcom to be pointing their wagging fingers in the direction of BT Wholesales costs first, before suggesting 30mbps should be available in 2017.

    1. Bluenose

      Re: Bumpkin

      Be warned.... you might think you're going to get 4mbps and you might well get it at the start but given time you will see it go down and down until at last you get so fed up you decide to change providers. Now you might wonder why changing providers would be the answer to a deteriorating broadband speed well here is the answer.

      When I moved from TalkTalk (1.5mbps) back to BT (3.9mbps) I thought I was in speed heaven. However the speed started falling and is now below 2.5mbps so I called BT. The answer was when I went back to them they did not have too many customers at the Exchange but they had started to win them back. The more people come back to BT the slower the speed will get.

      So at some point I will need to change provider again to one who does not have as many customers as BT in order to bump my speed back up. And all the time the exchange 2 miles away has fibre to the cabinet whilst my exchange which is a little over 2 miles away continues to be shown as no plans to upgrade on SamKnows.

      1. Dick Emery

        Re: Bumpkin

        This sounds more like contention at the exchange which will not solve your issue by changing providers. If the exchange is at capacity changing providers probably won't help.

      2. DPWDC

        Re: Bumpkin

        Ah but I'd already taken into account the BS factor. The expected speed is 12-16mpbs according to BT.

        1. Richard 84

          Re: Bumpkin

          Doesn't really sound like Bumpkinland.

          1. DPWDC

            @Richard 84

            It's a "Market 1" exchange. I think that counts as Bumpkinland to Ofcom.

      3. Da Weezil

        Re: Bumpkin

        FTTC cabinets can be fed from exchanges in nearby towns - so the lack of a planned upgrade for your local exchange isn't always the end of the story. Your speed issues could be many things - from hot VPs at your exchange down to intermittent noise or other line issues causing your modem to "train down" to maintain stability, and as other pointed out - that wont be cured by moving provider. My suspicion is that you were on talk talk LLU and that the speed that you initially found was during the initial training period that would have happened when the line was connected back to the BTw DSLAM - which means that the BTw network would see it as a "new" line.

        First place to start is sorting out any extension wiring you have in your premises - If you have them and really need to leave them in place use a good quality screened cable such as twisted pair cat 5, remove the ring wire as it can act as an antenna and pull in outside noise which will affect your line speed. I ripped out all of the extensions here and double filtered the Sky Box - presto I gained just over 1Mbps. ADSL is a fussy beast. soetimes you have to work hard to set things up just right.

    2. Longrod_von_Hugendong

      Re: Bumpkin

      If you are moving to Bumpkin land, where myself and SWMBO live, £7 a month for board band is going to be least of your problems...

      Wait until you start running oil fired central heating...

    3. YetAnotherPasswordToRemeber

      Re: Bumpkin

      Think I'm going to have to move to bumpkinland if that's the speed you're getting, I'm lucky to get more than 3mbps and that's living 1 mile from the exchange in a large town!

    4. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Bumpkin

      >I expect to get about 4mbps

      I take it that that is the "Up to x" figure given by the BT Wholesale ADSL Checker for the "Downstream line rate" of the telephone line you will be taking over?

      I've found this checker to generally be reliable, and have regularly achieved the cited figure for clients when using a mid-range router/modem (eg. Draytek) against the BT Wholesale Speedtest.

      As for the extra £7 pcm, I suggest taking a look at the third-parties who resell BT broadband eg. Zen, PlusNet, etc. The nice thing about Zen is that if the line doesn't perform then you have some recourse...

      But to get 4mbps in 'bumpkinland' you're very close to the exchange...

    5. wispa_limited

      Re: Bumpkin

      Ultimately Ofcom have absolutely no clue how to affect rural broadband or to properly regulate the broadband market.

      I was particularly vocal about them in 2011 when they claimed (copy here -

      ***Millions of homes and businesses in rural parts of the UK could receive better value broadband services by the end of this year***

      Which related to an enforced 12% reduction in wholesale prices in rural regions.

      I stated that the wholesale price wouldn't reduce the overall cost for ISPs to deliver broadband by more than about 2%, and that this would not result in a reduction in broadband prices for consumers.

      It didn't - it hasn't - and as is attested elsewhere in the comments here - broadband prices in rural communities remain higher than in urban areas - despite speeds being slower overall.

      Ofcom making this claim has more to do with their own continued justification of existing than anything to do with narrowing the gap between the haves and have nots.

      At the time I asked whether they were clueless, witless or toothless - the answer remains a personal choice.

  2. BigAndos

    Rail network would be good too

    There are still large patches of every intercity line I've travelled one with no 3G, or even a signal at all. It would be a great boost to productivity if you always had a reliable 3G signal when on the train as it would enable reliable mobile working while travelling.

    I know some train operatoring companies have wifi (e.g. East Coast) but this tends to be expensive and unreliable. I'd also rather not have to rely on the TOCs bothering to spend money on rolling it out either. First Great Western have fitted it to a whopping five trains then given up IIRC!

    1. Robert E A Harvey

      Re: Rail network would be good too

      Where I live doctor Beeching ripped our railways out, so I don't think it mattes here.

  3. James Hughes 1


    Isn't that is the same league of insult as 'dull weirdo's'?

    1. hplasm Silver badge

      Re: Bumkins?

      No, it's a small fluffy bum.

  4. Mage Silver badge

    Stupid nonsense about 4G

    4G isn't and wouldn't ever be economical to fill gaps in wired/fibred coverage. It simply doesn't have the capacity without x10 as many masts in those areas. Rural FTTP or Fixed Wireless is cheaper!

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Filling the colum inches with inanity?

    "But in many rural areas, particularly those with high unemployment, anything which could handle a single video stream or a modern shopping website would be a welcome relief."

    What will the highly unemployed be shopping for, and what will they pay with? I suppose streaming torrented grumble flicks might save money and pass the time, but the article isn't really building much a business case for either investors or the nation.

    1. Don Jefe

      Re: Filling the colum inches with inanity?

      There's a school of thought that says 'window shopping' is a leading incentive for the unemployed and/or poor to change their situation. Most people are aiming at something beyond their current means and identifying that aim is a good motivator.

      Besides, you've got your economic case backward. If you don't provide a decent level of baseline services for the poor/unemployed/lazy then they've actually got a valid excuse for their lack of social contribution. Denying those sorts access to tools for betterment only results in an ever expanding class of poor with no hope for escape. You dilute long term value to save a few bucks up front. If you start out going the cheap route, then you're on the cheap road forever. It's institutionalized Icahnism and it only benefits a tiny minority.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Re: Filling the colum inches with inanity?

        Jesus Christ Don, are you working in Brussels?

        What is "institutionalized Icahnism", why are "bucks" free and why do you "dilute long-term value" by not redirecting scare resources to your preferred project? Maybe people want a (subsidized?) Wal-Mart nearby instead.

        Hey, I'm not against having broadband everywhere, but this is just made-up political justifications. Broadband rollout happens as an economy builds up its capital structure. The capital structure is not built up by pushing broadband (even if the EC says that this is so).

        So kick the arse of the current monopolist until it softens up so that the offer can be extended. If that means BT can no longer honour pension payouts, so be it.

        I bet once the broadband is there, you will see protests against "the wholesale destruction of local shops" followed by french-style regulation, but I digress...

    2. Bill Ray (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: Filling the colum inches with inanity?

      You're assuming the video stream isn't a training session, so they can learn new skills, and that the shopping isn't to buy raw materials for their etsy business.

      Broadband internet access isn't just about grumble flicks and Amazon, without it climbing from poverty is even harder and that's before we start to think about the benefits of children being able to see spacemen playing with yoyos.


  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Considering I live in the middle of nowhere, I'm perfectly happy. 15 - 17 MB, its unbundled talk talk so is cheap, and Iv'e found it fine. In fact some townies I talk to (they struggle to understand me, and I smell of animal faeces, so the conversations dont last long) are envious of the speed and stability of my connection. Not that I'd know, (cos I'm an ignorant yokel), but the real killer with adsl is distance to the exchange. I'm 200m from the exchange. I've even installed a wireless access point in the hen house, so the chickens can watch countryfile on iplayer.

    1. Tom 38 Silver badge

      Glad you class yourself as a bumpkin, but 200m from the exchange puts you in the middle of the locale. Furthermore, your locale is large enough that your exchange has been unbundled.

      This article is not talking about you, since you are, effectively, a townie - you live in an area where you have access to multiple wholesale providers, OFCOM would class your exchange as Market 2 (2-3 wholesale providers) or Market 3 (4+ wholesale providers, fully deregulated).

      This article is talking about people connected to Market 1 exchanges, where BTw are the only provider. People like my old man, 8km from a Market 1 exchange, no ADSL2+, no 21CN WBC, 2 Meg on a good day and on a bad day nothing.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ofcomm's going to look at ipv6

    Harrah, were all going to be saved....

    1. C Lart

      Re: Ofcomm's going to look at ipv6

      Yeah, just "look" at it probably. Not actually do anything with it.

  8. John Sager
    Thumb Down

    Colour me unimpressed

    In the average, they might just have a point, but for some of us it's just a complete wind-up. I've got ADSL2, not even 2+. Until recently it was over 4Mbit/sec mostly, but it's recently dropped to about half that, as the SNR margin has vastly increased - not sure why yet. Our line is direct off the exchange 2.5km away so 'superfast' fibre kit is pointless over that distance. There is a cabinet 150m away but there seems to be zero chance of getting connected to it, even if they ever put a fibre cabinet there. Our County Council has a deal with BT using the Govt's (our!) cash, but the first results seem to be fibreing up the remaining cabinets in the local towns where it really ought to be BT funding that, rather than sorting out the really rural parts.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Yes there will be rural broadband, but BT will have a monopoly on it.

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