back to article Digital minister Matt Hancock promises 'full fibre' eating plan for Blighty

Digital minister Matt Hancock has promised there will be a forthcoming government strategy to ensure Blighty's "full fibre future" is realised in the next decade. Speaking at the Parliament and Internet Conference 2016 today, he told The Register: "There will be more in the coming weeks and months. But I can’t put more flesh …

  1. frank ly


    "The price we paid for part fibre is that only 2 per cent of the country has full fibre, he said."

    Can anybody explain how that worked or what it means?

    1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

      Re: Translation?

      I thought it was fairly obvious ...

      By being able to roll out "not-fibre" (ie FTTC), they got away with not rolling out FTTP without all that much by way of public criticism*.

      * As in, mass complaints from the majority who aren't techies and understand all this stuff.

      1. frank ly

        Re: Translation?

        So, as well as 'part fibre' and 'full fibre', there is 'not-fibre'? The 2% of the country; I wonder if it's geographical area, number of customers or linear cable runs (by number or by length?)

        No wonder that hardly anybody, if anyone, can understand what's happening.

        1. SImon Hobson Silver badge

          Re: Translation?

          By "not-fibre" I mean that it's not fibre to the end user. At present, there's a lot of marketing crap about fibre - ie the FTTC products sold as "fibre" when it's not. If FTTC is "fibre" then so is ADSL, and your analogue dial up modem, and ...

  2. nuked

    Every time this guy opens his mouth on TV I want to break something. Typical clueless economist presiding over something that they cannot possibly understand to the requisite level.

  3. This post has been deleted by its author

  4. John Lawton


    "I am not going to comment. Technology natural is my middle name," he said.

    Did he say "neutral", or is that bare-faced cheek showing?

  5. 0laf Silver badge

    Yes but what do the figure in "UK's current part-fibre, part-copper infrastructure has brought superfast connectivity to the majority of the country, with 95 per cent of the country to have 24mbps next year" actually mean.

    I have 72Mb fibre in my area but I can't actually buy it because the cabinet only supports a couple of dozen of the couple of hundred residences and it's at capacity. So when I asked about fibre I was told it was in the area but not available to me at any price.

  6. Pen-y-gors Silver badge

    What's in a name?

    A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.

    Alternatively, when things aren't going well, just change the name.

    FTTP is now 'full fibre'

    Windscale is now Sellafield

    Radiation is now 'Magic dust'

    {Thanks to old Friends of the Earth T-shirt)

    I musn't be too negative though - hopefully I'll join the 2% in a couple of months.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: What's in a name?

      Windscale is now Sellafield

      Don't forget its new alter-ego, "Moorside". Doesn't that sound better? Brings forth thoughts of salt-of-the-earth Lancashire farmers coming home after a hard days graft to a tea of hot buttered scones.

      1. Commswonk Silver badge

        Re: What's in a name?

        What's in a name? Quite a lot actually; Brings forth thoughts of salt-of-the-earth Lancashire Cumbrian farmers coming home after a hard days graft to a tea of hot buttered scones.


  7. Zmodem

    ain't all bad, £12 a month you can have unlimited 8MB/s on EE and tethering your andriod phone via usb or bluetooth/wifi, doom 2016 is still playable most of the day

    if you live in crappy bath and in a crappy council block estate you can have 80MB/s on BT if your lame enough to pay them direct

    1. Commswonk Silver badge

      ain't all bad, £12 a month you can have unlimited 8MB/s on EE

      That ain't all that good either. For less than twice your £12 I have >40MB/s via FTTC from BT; OK it's not unlimited but the limit is far, far more than I ever need.

      I also have a "Three" dongle for internet access when I am away from other forms of connectivity for the laptop and while I don't expect a PAYG dongle to be "price advantageous" the performance I get is, frankly, crap. That, I suspect, is at least partially down to the incoming signal rarely exceeding - 90 dBm, but my location is determined by factors that I cannot control.

      Fast it definitely ain't. I might go as far as to say "if you want high speed internet don't rely on getting from the cellular network.

  8. wyatt

    I've more chance of staying dry when pissing in the wind that being able to get 24mpbs internet via the BT cable that reaches my house, now or ever. I wonder if BT don't have to forfil this requirement if Virgin Media have cable in place?

    As to a fibre connection to my premises, hahahahahaha.

    Interesting that once a FTTC box is fully subscribed that's it, I wonder how limiting this makes the FTTC offering from BT? It'll rule out a large number of people I reckon.

  9. Jc (the real one)

    For those of us where you can't get fast anything (Vodafone, O2 and EE will often drop below GSM here if distant West Berkshire)....the only option is some form of wired get 100% connectivity that will be a hell of a lot of road digging....invest in tarmac shares now!


    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      to get 100% connectivity that will be a hell of a lot of road digging.

      If the existing cables are on telegraph poles or in ducts, then there's not so much expensive digging required, which makes a big difference. You'll have to hope one of these two apply, because with all the madcap, unwarranted, and economically unjustified infrastructure schemes that the government have signed up to, there not much chance of finding enough people capable or pouring concrete or laying tarmac...

      A partial list includes Hinkley Point C, Heathrow R3, HS2, Thames Tideway, HS3, CrossRail 2, Moorside, Wylfa B, Oldbury B, Bradwell B, Sizewell C, not to mention many tens of billions on water AMP6, Ofgem's c£40bn of RIIO programme's, billions on some notably unambitious road schemes, token flood defences etc, and that's before we consider the impact of government promises of new towns, and 200k+ new houses built each year. That little lot totals something around half a trillion quid, over and above the existing asset renewal needs.

      Now, with vast budget and balance of payments deficits, rising private sector debt, yet investment plans formulated using the "kiddy in the sweetshop" model, you really have to wonder why the Labour party are so busy whining about "austerity".

  10. Commswonk Silver badge

    Yeah, right

    TalkTalk's head Dido Harding has previously said the company would like to roll-out FTTP to 10 million homes across the United Kingdom by 2025.

    I think this actually means "TalkTalk's head Dido Harding has previously said the company would like someone else to roll-out FTTP to 10 million homes across the United Kingdom by 2025."

    I really, really would like to know how Matt Hancock's ambition is going to be brought to fruition. Neither BT nor anyone else* can be told to provide a mass roll - out of fibre in the hope that customers are going to buy the service. Like it or not BT (and OR if it is separated) is a plc with a board that answers to the shareholders, who by and large are the big pension funds, insurance companies and so on. They would be up in arms if they had any reason to suspect that their returns might be impaired by an orgasm of capital investment that had been enforced with no certain return on a sensible timescale.

    I cannot see a full fibre system being sold to users at the same price as (say) the current FTTC rates; it would make no economic sense whatsoever; it might never actually generate any meaningful return. What will happen? Will FTTC services be ceased so that users have to take FTTP at a greatly increased monthly cost or do without?

    It's fine for businesses to want FTTP (or whatever name the minister likes) because it is not them that actually pays for it; as with all their other bills the money comes from their customers. Domestic users don't have customers and a full fibre system that was rolled out to "all" but was only used by business users would simply not pay for itself.

    But then this is politician meets technology; the results are rarely if ever pretty.

    * "Anyone else" in this context means any of the existing service providers; if HMG wants to set up its own company - not owned by shareholders - then all well and good... apart from the fact that it would then be us all as taxpayers that were funding the losses.

  11. Jim Ettles 1

    C'mon Aussie

    Looks like the UK Government has realised the mistake of installing a second rate system. Australia is still rolling out this fraudband. Is there hope our Govt. will come to their senses?

    BTW since when did 24mbps become superfast?

    1. Knoydart

      Re: C'mon Aussie

      Hey Jim,

      come cross the ditch and enjoy some proper FTTP broadband aka UFB.


      Those on the west Island

    2. Paul

      Re: C'mon Aussie

      It's just capitalism at its worst.

      BT have no real competition, and inherited a truly national copper based network, they can make decent money without upgrading the infrastructure. Why should they do more than they do, it's just good business?

      Of course, it sucks to be stuck with a monopoly supplier.

      Some Eastern European countries have amazing national fibre infrastructures, but their phone systems were so bad they really had to start from scratch and thus leapfrogged nations like ours.

  12. The Crows Nest

    Sell out

    We all might have it if his government hadn't sold it to an American company who asset stopped it under Thatcher , thus leaving us Decades behind.

    But as usual they are talking utter nonsense

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