back to article BROADBAND will SAVE THE ECONOMY, shriek bods

The government claimed today that a £1.2bn investment of taxpayer money in the deployment of fast broadband networks would return £20 for every £1 spent from the public purse. Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport Maria Miller has come under fire in recent months. The Broadband Delivery UK contracts looked set to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    It goes on, trumpeting the supposed creation of 11,000 jobs in 2014 alone, and claiming household savings of £45m a year by 2024 - courtesy of more people being able to work from home.

    Fat chance. I work in one of the few but many jobs where working from home would make some kind of sense but it won't happen for several reasons

    1: People don't work as hard when they're at home. Working at work I'm split between net and working (normally during compile time) working at home I'm playing games and watching TV in between brief bouts of inspiration.

    2: Meetings, they're everywhere, generally if you're in a job where you could work at home, you're also needed for face to face meetings every couple hours, normally booked during breakfast and just as you're about to leave because people are bastards (or right after lunch, hate that one too)

    3: Face to face time. Yes I could answer your question via email, or on the phone. I'd actually prefer that personallly, but a lot of people want direct contact and to talk to you 'in person' (normally just as you've worked out something complex, or when you're desperate for the bathroom in both cases you wind up cursing the name of the one who interrupted you)

    My best guess is that these government bods saw the adverts for "I earned 12k this week all from working at home, all you need is a good internet connection" and decided this is the return (in taxes) that they're looking for.

    Anon because, on the few occasions I do get to work from home, I don't want them knowing I'm actually playing games

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Broadband will cure all

      Broadband will save you

      Broadband will....

      The world didn't stop before broadband came into existence, before computer games, before the mobile phone was invented............

      Ok the world ran a bit slower, but that might have been a good thing, but all this crap is about convenience and it has turned people into mindless self centred ignorant selfish idiots that live their lives Governed and Ruled by technology. It wouldn't be disasterous if it all stopped working and people might be a lot nicer than they are now.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    admitted that its report was peppered with "gaps in the empirical evidence base".

    So, not worth jack shit then.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Like most reports out of Govt

    A pile of shite.

  4. Nosher

    Frankly, all this hand-wringing about BT having a monopoly on rural broadband is utter bollocks. We - the potential recipients of said broadband - DON'T CARE as long as *someone* rolls it out before we all die. Perhaps then we in the sticks can finally get something a little faster than 1mbps DSL...

    1. Bob Dunlop

      I thought 1Mbps was the government definition of "Superfast broadband".

      1. Frankee Llonnygog


        And -

        - a type 45 is a superpowerful destroyer

        - HS2 is a superfast railway

        - Universal Credit is a superfunctional IT system

        and so on.

        The Gov has redefined the prefix 'super' to mean 'utter shite'. What a super bunch of chaps

      2. jonathanb Silver badge

        Superfast broadband is 24Mbps. The other target is that everyone in the country should be able to get 2Mbps broadband.

      3. Rogue Jedi

        no, the Government definition of SuperFast is 2Mbps, or 4 seconds to download 1 MB

        1. Steven Jones

          Why bother reading when you can post crap...

          The Governments definition of superfast is neither 2mbps not 1mbps. In that any speed is quoted, it is the former and as a basic broadband speed for where the faster options are disproportionately expensive. So yes, the BDUK funding goes towards 2mbps minimum speed, but nowhere is that termed "superfast".

          And here's the exact wording

          "Our ambition is to provide superfast broadband to at least 90% of premises in the UK and to provide universal access to standard broadband with a speed of at least 2Mbps."

          And you can find the original here

    2. HMB

      Short term gain, long term pain

      "Frankly, all this hand-wringing about BT having a monopoly on rural broadband is utter bollocks."

      LTE may challenge that somewhat, but I can't think of any other providers in rural areas. I'm with (owned by BT) who can't offer me anything other than ADSL 1 because of decisions made by BT Wholesale who supply the service.

      I hear what you're saying. You want broadband and you don't care if you have to play tonsil hockey with the devil to get it, but history teaches us that monopolies don't work in favour of the consumer. If you don't believe this I'd suggest you look into it. It's not just you affected by these decisions.

      Short term gain, long term pain. Yay!

      1. Steven Jones

        Re: Short term gain, long term pain

        So are you prepared to pay the full economic cost of providing higher speed broadband in your area, or are you demanding it is subsidised by the state (or other customers)?

        1. Bluenose

          Re: Short term gain, long term pain

          I am personally happy to pay more for more my internet if it means someone gives me a decent service. The "full economic" cost where I live is the price of BT moving my existing phone line from an exchange about 3 miles away down some small country lane where it is pretty much isolated, to an exchange about 2 miles away which is connected to a major town phone network. In fact if they provide the digger, plastic pipes and fibre cable I will personally dig the trench to put it all in.

        2. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Short term gain, long term pain

          Depends on what you mean by the "the full economic cost".

          I know the cost of several solutions that would deliver broadband to my area, however their price to individual end users is another matter...

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And the very next thing they should do is filter it to hell to protect us from the children*

    *or whatever the reason was

    (IWF are heroes, I'm taking nothing away from those guys)

  6. David 138

    They havent invested anywhere near enough in broadband. The joke is that they invest money in the non rural areas where bt and others would go anyway. We dont have roads, broadband or mobile signal. its a big deal nowadays as everything is streaming or online in some way. I think we should get a disability benifit for our crap broadband. we would certainly be more deserving than most people on it at the moment.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      "We dont have roads, broadband or mobile signal."

      Or high population density. That's why it's rural and relatively unspoilt, and why its uneconomic to offer broadband unless taxppayer's money (which everybody knows is limitless and free) is used to offer a big fat subsidy.

  7. Pete 2 Silver badge

    Govt. in the wrong business?

    > would return £20 for every £1 spent

    That would require those rural users to consume an awful lot of porn. Will HMG then start financing other errr ... "industries" to satisfy this demand from these newly connected folk (assuming their tastes are the same as their urban cousins).

    Or will these benefits to the economy be more pedestrian and largely illusory? Such as being able to tell the estate agents that your house in the boonies has high-speed internet, thus increasing its value by 10 or 20 grand?

    1. John Smith 19 Gold badge

      Re: Govt. in the wrong business?

      "> would return £20 for every £1 spent"

      Yeah, probably when all those farmers start cooking and selling crystal meth.

  8. llodge

    No competition

    Our local exchange has just been enabled for fibre and they are rolling it out to a couple of cabinets in town.

    We however are located 4k away from the exchange and nowhere near the cabinets.

    we do have a live fibre connection (which was previously used for ISDN30) to the local exchange unfortunately as Openreach control virtually all of the rural broadband in the country there is no way I can find of getting the fibre, that connects our building to the exchange, used for broadband.

    BT did offer me a leased line though at £800.00 per month. :-(.

  9. James Hughes 1


    If you insist that we in the country are termed bumpkins, does that mean we have free reign to call those people who live in urban areas a bunch of c**ts?

    Note to Journos. Not every one who lives in the country is a bumpkin (although I know a few) in much the same way that not everyone who lives in urban areas is a c**t.

    Except BMW drivers. They are c**ts in the country as well.

  10. Maharg

    Roll out broadband > ???? > Profit!!!!

    The argument for expanding business I can understand, but why do children need an internet connection to do homework? Dont they use books anymore? Do they have to email the teachers?

    Just because people ‘can’ work from home doesn’t mean they will, for the majority of us ‘work from home’ means that either you are sick, have a child to look after or can’t get to the office due to bad weather or lack of transport, otherwise BAU applies, and most business want most of their employees to congregate within the same building(s).

    Not that I am against the roll out, (although am dismayed at the way it has been handled) I just wish politicians would grow some balls and didn’t feel the need to justify everything in terms of profit, its infrastructure, just like repairing and building roads, it might not make money, but that doesn’t matter, its just what should be done, government shouldn’t be run for profit, I pay my tax, spend it on something useful, be cost effective yes, but don’t ignore things because they won’t turn a profit, and don’t try and spin and lie to imply things that won’t, will.

    Can they not just say “This will cost a bollocks load of money, but it will be useful and good for the country!” ?

    1. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: Roll out broadband > ???? > Profit!!!!

      >why do children need an internet connection to do homework?




      Basically, there are a bunch of websites that augment classroom teaching and provide quantitative feedback to the school on a child's progress. Additionally, accessing and collating information from the web is a skill schools are trying to develop, in the same way that we were taught how to use books and a library. But the big user is my son and friends who are currently into Lego movies on YouTube.

      >Just because people ‘can’ work from home doesn’t mean they will

      Yes home working can be problematic particularly with school age children. I think that whilst only a minority will benefit directly from this, more will benefit indirectly. Remember the "not-spots" aren't exclusively residential, they include shops, small business premises and parks and farms. Also home working is used to cover up the consumer services (eg. Sky, BT, Netflix etc.) that are now become available...

      >“This will cost a bollocks load of money, but it will be useful and good for the country!”

      I thought that was basically what was said at the very beginning, until the politicians saw the price tag BT put on it, decided that they didn't in fact have enough money and so back-tracked to a point that should, at least, give the majority of the country fibre to the cabinet, and brushed the really expensive bit under the carpet. Having done this they got all excited about a scheme straight out of the 1960's for a superfast train between London and Birmingham...

  11. 22gwr

    BT Infinity is here - so says the email from BT

    Oh no it's not, and there's no scheduled date either. This location, out in the boondocks, no not quite it's the industrial park next to Gatwick airport

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Not to take issue with HM government's math...

    But that 20 Pounds will be 50 Pence by the time Amazon's and Google's tax attorneys are done with it. :)

  13. Anomalous Cowshed

    Sarcastic, useless commentards!

    You think you know it all! You will criticise anything, just to air your negative attitudes. And yet you haven't a clue what you are talking about.

    Did you know, for instance, that Blighty has a HUGE cat video industry?

    Did you know that this industry is carrying the hopes of a nation?

    Do you realise how important high-speed broadband is to the development of this, and other similar industries?

    There is enormous potential here, and if we are to tap into it, we need fast internet. Your government is working tirelessly to provide this Internet so that commentards like you can get rich from the comfort of your home, filming your cat, or someone else's cat (subject to acquiring all the relevant rights), and posting the video on Google, to generate advertising revenue, which is the crux of the new economic model.

    So please, think a bit. (Not too much)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Sarcastic, useless commentards!

      We also need more cats which will stimulate the knitted goods industry and as a consequence the Welsh sheep farmers. It's all a ploy from Cardiff.

      1. Tim Jenkins

        "It's all a ploy from Cardiff"

        And hence the pavement outside our exchange, in a small (pop 2,100) market town in mid-Wales is already marked up for DSLAM and PCP cabinets, due for deployment in March next year according to the rather lovely map at

        Yes, the rollout of FTTC in Wales required a bung of £200 million to BT (, but the same would only buy rather less than 2 miles of HS2 or about 2% of an Olympic Games, and I know which will affect my household more...

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