back to article UK on track to miss even its slashed full-fibre gigabit coverage goals, warn MPs

The UK's cross-party Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee has warned that the government risks missing its target to deliver gigabit-capable broadband to 85 per cent of the country by 2025, citing "considerable challenges" to the infrastructure rollout. The news comes after government had already slashed previous …

  1. Jason Bloomberg
    Coat

    Johnson's career

    Can best be summed up as "over-promising and under-delivering".

    He does both with great panache and a cheery smile which, I imagine, is why the vacuous love him.

    The one with Cyndi Lauper's "Time after Time" CD in the pocket.

    1. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
      Joke

      Re: Johnson's career

      "over-promising and under-delivering"

      There are at least 7 "deliveries" that Boris has been responsible for. It is possible that he has been responsible for more such "deliveries", but he was never good at numbers or just plain taking responsibility for his own actions

    2. ICL1900-G3 Bronze badge

      Re: Johnson's career

      It baffles me that three people bright enough to be reading El Reg downvoted your post. Funny old world.

    3. Trubbs

      Re: Johnson's career

      I don't really think it matters whether they are delivered or not. It is all about the soundbite, the transient warm fuzzy glow embued to statistically analysis driven demographically targeted voters when the reassurances are delivered via mass media. Who follows parliamentary committee outcomes in the general population? A recentish straw poll at my place of employment as to what Hansard is turned into a rather depressing exercise. Who knew that the general population in the UK is so disconnected from the sovereign institutions that decide on their behalf, they would vote for any old shit if it was put across in the right way... oh... wait....

    4. needmorehare
      Trollface

      Could be a blessing in disguise

      If CityFibre is anything to go by... less oven-ready and more (re)fried

  2. joe bloggs 6

    GigaClear

    We had Gigaclear put fibre in the village a couple of months go. There is now a connection point in the pathway at the edge of our property. The only way I can see them getting it to the house is by digging up the drive - which looking at their other work (or their contractor) on the paths I really don't want. Even so I am unable to find out who can provide the service or how much. The Gigaclear website just says sign up to express interest. I currently get a pretty reliable 70/20 which to me seems more than adequate - and that is the view of most of the neighbours too. So why did they decide to do us? I know others in neighbouring villages who would be champing at the bit for some service!

    1. ukgnome

      Re: GigaClear

      In some cases they can run the fibre up the pole and deliver that way.

    2. Crypto Monad

      Re: GigaClear

      > I am unable to find out who can provide the service or how much

      https://www.gigaclear.com/our-partners

      Pricing (if buying direct from Gigaclear) is here:

      https://www.gigaclear.com/home-broadband

      If the availability checker is still at the "express interest" stage then it's not available for you to order yet.

    3. LDS Silver badge

      Re: GigaClear

      Here they are re-using any existing duct which may be available - fibre can run along power cables too. If none is existing you may have your own made. And you get a 1000/300 for 29€. What really makes the difference is the upload speed.

      1. NeilPost Silver badge

        Re: GigaClear

        Sounds great after you have spent a brand digging up your drive.

        1. LDS Silver badge

          Re: GigaClear

          No phone/power/doorphone/garden lights duct to be reused? No garden to bury a small plastic pipe in?

          You're unlucky. Here most installations are made with little or no digging inside people's properties. On public soil costs are sustained by the fiber company - but a €150 connection fee. No need to spend a grand to get FTTH. I had to spend far more to bring gas pipes into the house and to the furnace.

          1. Tom 7 Silver badge

            Re: GigaClear

            I've imagine 90% of the houses in the villages around here are either ancient which presents problems, or modern in which case the front garden will either be concreted over for parking or be three toot deep in builders rubble.

            1. Roland6 Silver badge

              Re: GigaClear

              >90% of the houses in the villages around here are either ancient

              That means no modern foundations, easier to get a cable in under the walls.

    4. CountCadaver

      Re: GigaClear

      Surprised they aren't moleing the cables ala Transco does with gas pipes to homes (basically a hydraulic ram that gradually pushes its way through the ground, leaving a channel for pipe/cable to be pushed through, only needs a hole dug at each end so cable/pipe can be inserted and fished out)

      1. Trev 2

        Re: GigaClear

        That works until they suddenly discover the water, electric or other pipe is not where it should be. Unlike digging an hole, you can't immediately see the damage.

        Eg: our main water pipes for the whole street and neighbouring village are on the completely opposite side of the road to where they should be. And they have been for likely 70 years.

        1. Rob Daglish

          Re: GigaClear

          Or you find your contractor has let the mole go 4 miles in the wrong direction, on a run that was only supposed to be around two miles...

        2. Brad Ackerman
          Go

          Re: GigaClear

          Eg: our main water pipes for the whole street and neighbouring village are on the completely opposite side of the road to where they should be. And they have been for likely 70 years.

          In the US you call 811 before starting work (legally required) and all the pipes/cables where you need to dig will be marked. Is that not a thing in Brit-Cit?

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: GigaClear

            >Is that not a thing in Brit-Cit?

            Yes, there are conventions for the placement of utilities in the UK and in theory there should also be plans, however, reality can differ...

            From my experience, I would not assume the geo location given on a plan to be correct - for my road the reference point is 6ft different - sufficient for utilities to be within someone's garden and not under the pavement/sidewalk.

            From work with a utility, one of the problems encountered was getting plans updated. The engineers would go out to site, with a set of master plans, only to find reality differed, they hand-annotated updates on the plan, which for various reasons didn't always result in the masters being updated...

    5. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: GigaClear

      >The only way I can see them getting it to the house is by digging up the drive - which looking at their other work (or their contractor) on the paths I really don't want.

      There are companies (int he UK) that do moling etc.

      If you are worried about the job the contractors will do, lay your own ducting, this also means it will enter the house where you want it and not where the GigaClear contractors decide is expedient for them...

  3. David Austin

    No Surprises there

    I think we all knew the original plan was ambitious to the point of incredulity, even before the budget cut.

    Full Fibre is certainly nice, but honestly, Universal FTTC Speeds (40MB+ Down / 10MB+ Up) would make the world of difference; Across my customer base, I have:

    - Central London customers stuck on ADSL's 0.5Mb upload speed, because they're in a business area and "you're supposed to buy a leased line"

    - Rural Essex customers stuck on 8MB DSL Connections

    - Customers who are in town Centres, stuck on "Exchange Only" lines

    - Several industrial estate clients, who have 1970's kit-kat wiring, and all the associated dropouts.

    having 10MB Upload speed Business Broadband (Especially in the Work from Home climate right now) for around £40/month would make the biggest difference for them right now: Fibre would be "Nice to have", but when you go past a certain speed threshold, it just becomes nicer to use, rather than "Will actually work"

    1. AW-S

      Too close to the exchange

      "Central London customers stuck on ADSL's 0.5Mb upload speed"

      We have a client that is so close to the exchange they have a direct line and do not pass through a street cabinet. As such there is no FTTC service available. An ISP did suggest we arrange for a cabinet just outside the exchange and ask OpenReach to loop though it. Wishful thinking.

      1. Pete B

        Re: Too close to the exchange

        "We have a client that is so close to the exchange they have a direct line and do not pass through a street cabinet. As such there is no FTTC service available. An ISP did suggest we arrange for a cabinet just outside the exchange and ask OpenReach to loop though it. Wishful thinking."

        Oddly enough that's exactly what they did with us - although we're rural we happen to be ~200m from the exchange so on old ADSL2 the circuit went direct to the exchange. When they enabled FTTC they re-routed our line via street cabinet ~ 300m the other side of the exchange, so the total line length has now gone up significantly. Still get 70/20 though - I find the 70 down is enough most of the time but the 20 up is very limiting.

    2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

      Re: No Surprises there

      People outside the capital don't believe us Londoners do sometime get the raw end of the deal.

      A friend of mine lives close enough to Central London that he can be in the West end in about 10 minutes from leaving his house, via tube or London Overground. The only wired broadband he can get is ADSL and he gets between 0.5mb and 2mb. His area does not offer Cable at all (no TV or Broadband) or any kind of fibre connection. Obviously, he can get mobile broadband, but I believe even that is limited to 3g.

      I'm a lot better off, as I can get around 20mb ADSL, as well as 350mb Cable. Where I do get a little pissed off is Virgin tends (in my experience) to leave London to a relatively low point in the list when upgrading.

      Logically, I understand why. They have a lot of customers in London. They probably don't want to try out any changes that may break the network. Far easier to try them on smaller areas.

      Sucks if you are a Londoner though, and can just look on when the rest of the country is offered 500Mb, or even 1Gb connections.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: No Surprises there

        "Logically, I understand why. They have a lot of customers in London. They probably don't want to try out any changes that may break the network. Far easier to try them on smaller areas."

        It's usually down to local restrictions - cobbled streets is surprisingly common, TfL, other utility providers - that limit what can be done easily/quickly (in less than a year). And if it is fixable, its a very low priority unless you pay for it.

        Having dealt with a number of business moves in London where the businesses have had preferred vendors, I should also add landlord stupidity into the mix. While most are reasonable, some caveats to allow work suggest they maybe planning to torch the place and blame the telco...

      2. Rob Daglish

        Re: No Surprises there

        Yeah, all that, and you have to live in London too... poor buggers... guess it’s not all bad in the frozen north then.

        1. Brad Ackerman
          Pint

          Re: No Surprises there

          The interwebs may be crap, but they've got some amazing lahmacun in N4.

    3. Flywheel Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Re: No Surprises there

      I think we all knew the original plan was ambitious to the point of incredulity, even before the budget cut

      We did! And what's more we all knew that it had b*gger all chance of happening because it wasn't in Westminster nor Islington.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Openreach foryourwallet

    I asked why my line wasn't full fibre and was told it would "cost too much to dig up the road to replace the cable"

    I pointed out our cables come online poles..

    I'm guessing they'd rather bury them, fair enough but the fact they don't have this information is a little worrying.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Boffin

      Re: Openreach foryourwallet

      The existing poles might not be rated to carry any more cable. There are quite a few rules about what you can put on a pole and how - it's not just a matter of sending Bill or Sally up a ladder with a hammer ;)

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        Re: Openreach foryourwallet

        What rules? Have you seen how small a FO cable can be? Presumably it would be replacing the phone line anyway so in reality you would be relieving the poles of stress not adding it.

        The same goes for underground though I accept there may not be the space to get the first FO cables down the line, that once there should really start to make space in the duct.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Openreach foryourwallet

          For a row of 4 cottages near me, BT put in nearly 1 mile of poles for the fibre instead of trenching. Interestingly, they were installed on the opposite side of the road to the existing phone poles. I assume at some future date the phone poles (and cables) will be removed.

    2. Helcat

      Re: Openreach foryourwallet

      Going back a fair few years, the plan was to remove all suspended telephone cabling - it would all have to be buried.

      At the time, BT were told to bury telephone cables and remove poles. They were given until 2001, but as you probably notice: That didn't happen.

      Indeed, 2013 saw a proposal to help speed up creating the broadband network by removing some of the restrictions on where new poles could be placed, but this only got a minority support. Currently, from a quick search, new poles need local planning permission, but BT (and it looks to be only BT) can set up new telephone poles to carry broadband. That most new build areas I've seen don't have overhead cables, and BT have been replacing poles with buried cables, so it could simply be local planning councils have decided no to new poles.

      The other side is suspended cables are exposed to the elements and subject to damage. As such they're higher maintenance than you might think. That's why buried cable is preferred: Expensive to put in but better protected (except for the odd digger hit) and easier to maintain (just pull a new cable - no working from heights here! Except the pit, but that don't count!). Plus people prefer not seeing the hanging cables - even if they really hate the disruption of having the road dug up.

    3. peterw52

      Re: Openreach foryourwallet

      For most of this year Openreach have been installing fibre to the house in my town. In my road they used existing ducts for half of it for the rest they put it in existing poles, in some nearby roads they put up new poles for the fibre although the copper must be in ducts somewhere and for others the dug up the road to install it. The process was very incremental ie each stage was done by a different group with usually weeks between each stage (including the odd visit of quality control) It is in working on the other side of town but is currently in the "available shortly" stage for me

  5. Fuzz

    Virgin shouldn't be included

    My house would be counted as having "gigabit capable" broadband because I live in an area that Virgin have upgraded to their gigabit service. It's 1Gb/s download speed but only 50Mb/s upload. I don't see who that service is useful too. I'd much rather have a symmetric 200 or 300 Mb/s.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Symmetric

      This is going to be the next "must have" if cloud is to become really useful.

      I've got a reasonably good 63/15 connection, which means it takes a long time to upload anything "large" (last was a 165GB backup image over 24 hours).

      1. FlossyThePig

        Re: Symmetric

        The only "cloud" politicians understand is the one their heads are in!

        P.S. My broadband upload speed is so great that I have to disable OneDrive on my company laptop during WFH as it kills any work I'm trying to do.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: Symmetric

        >This is going to be the next "must have"

        Will be an interesting contest, between business and marketing. Currently symmetric commands a price premium and really is only needed for business; who probably shouldn't be using residential grade broadband services...

        > if cloud is to become really useful.

        Cloud is already really useful. About the only cloud service that needs a fast uplink is backup and that is only if your backup is, as you point out, large.

    2. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Virgin shouldn't be included

      "I don't see who that service is useful to" I'd imagine 95% of the population would be more than happy with it. Very few consumers need 50Mbps upload. Who needs to send 25 video feeds out simultaneously?

      1. CountCadaver

        Re: Virgin shouldn't be included

        and every computer should still come with 640KB of RAM?

        1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

          Re: Virgin shouldn't be included

          Nice try, but I think it fairly obvious that you've deliberately missed the point just so you can make a pointless and irrelevant response.

      2. Richard 12 Silver badge

        Re: Virgin shouldn't be included

        1Gb/s is quite difficult to max out if you don't have much up for the ACKs. TCP is rather chatty, after all. Haven't run the numbers, but 1000/50 feels quite close to the theoretical limit.

        HTTP/3 would improve things, but not much supports that!

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: Virgin shouldn't be included

          > TCP is rather chatty, after all. Haven't run the numbers

          I think because most users don't actually push their Internet connection, they don't see the underlying network performance bottlenecks.

          TCP/IP really is the QWERTY keyboard of networking. We knew back in the 1980's that ARPA TCP/IP (and 802.3 Ethernet) wasn't really up to scratch for 'high speed' networks - back then "high speed meant 30~60Mbps, so there were many proprietary modifications to enhance throughput and reduce the 'chat', some of which did get incorporated into RFC's. However, some of the more radical changes incorporated into experimental protocols such as XTP seem to have been lost.

          It will be interesting to see how QUIC (aka TCP/2) fairs ie. will it displace TCP or be like IPv6 destined to languish on the sidelines waiting for the world to change...

  6. Andytug

    That's this government for you

    If it doesn't make money for them ot their mates, it won't happen.

    No money in rural broadband, in fact a loss.

    1. codejunky Silver badge

      Re: That's this government for you

      @Andytug

      I am having this conversation on another topic (the one about British cheaper broadband in Europe). Sending a fibre cable to some house in the middle of nowhere is just never gonna pay for itself.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: That's this government for you

        But if they contract it out to the farmers in the area it would be far cheaper. Or the locals do it themselves. The digging is around 75% of the costs, get that cheaper and you can deploy fibre rurally. That's how B4RN manage it.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: That's this government for you

          @AC

          You are right about getting them to do it themselves as cheaper. Except I expect it is the permissions and insurances that boost the costs which on their own land may be less of a problem. I would not be shocked if it was cheaper to do it that way than to have the government spaff money to their preferred provider who will miss targets and charge more.

      2. Roland6 Silver badge

        Re: That's this government for you

        >Sending a fibre cable to some house in the middle of nowhere is just never gonna pay for itself.

        Funny how our forefathers decided it was economically viable to provide that house with a phone line...

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: That's this government for you

          @Roland6

          "Funny how our forefathers decided it was economically viable to provide that house with a phone line..."

          A phone line to connect them via the only means of communication to the outside world. Which they can probably already use to connect to the internet. Vs trying to provide a superfast broadband cable to them for them to not use anywhere near capacity.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: That's this government for you

            " A phone line to connect them via the only means of communication to the outside world. ...

            Vs trying to provide a superfast broadband cable to them for them to not use anywhere near capacity."

            Well, the only difference between then and now is back then they didn't know that the copper cable was capable of transmitting so much more than a simple analogue voice signal. We, however, know that a 20km fibre can do so much more than 1Gbps (only fools think that is anywhere near the capacity of a single fibre) and get hung up about it. Remember the cost of replacing the existing copper cable with another cable -copper or fibre - is pretty much the same. The price difference comes in the termination equipment. From a marketing perspective, copper has little future, whereas fibre, plenty of opportunity for future upgrades for minimal cost...

            As for the alternatives, for practical purposes, 5G/Satellite really mean wait for 10+ years for anything useful to be offered.

  7. Howard Sway

    vague aspirations of "being a world leader in 5G"

    I think I can see some sort of pattern emerging here with all this "world-leading" nonsense. Something about not having a clue about how to go from vague aspirations to grandiose supremacy. About the middle part of the plan being absent. Yes, that's it, we are being governed by the underpants gnomes.

    However this is even more cynical, as they grab poularity-winning headlines announcing the big new presents for everybody, then mysteriously end up not having to spend the money they've announced when they not so mysteriously find themselves incapable of implementing what the money was for.

    1. LDS Silver badge

      Re: vague aspirations of "being a world leader in 5G"

      Do they know 5G needs fiber to the BTS - and the fast 5G speeds need millimeter wave that have a shorter range which means a lot of BTS?

      1. MatthewSt Silver badge

        Re: vague aspirations of "being a world leader in 5G"

        Unless you microwave relay between towers (which, if you set up in a mesh fashion, may actually be more efficient than running fibre everywhere) or Starlink back to a central location

        As you're going to be running power to a base station anyway it's not going to cost that much more to run connectivity, and it a 5G station can do 200 homes (for example) then that's 199 fewer locations to run fibre to

        1. LDS Silver badge

          "Unless you microwave relay between towers"

          Which needs towers to be in line of vision of each other.... while Starlink does not offer the required backhaul speed - to offer high speed really on a BTS you need probably a 10Gb link (or more links) - and why you should use 5G over Starlink if you can connect to the Starlink satellites?

          1. Richard 12 Silver badge

            Re: "Unless you microwave relay between towers"

            A Starlink steerable antenna is not exactly hand-held, and in some places you'd need planning permission to install one on a building.

  8. djstardust

    Vodafone?

    We were promised City Fibre Gigafast late last year, and a year on..... nothing.

    They dug up the main road about 6 months ago but have done nothing since.

    Vodafone can't give an answer, City Fibre can't give an answer and the spotty 16 year old clowns in the Gigafast tent in town are equally clueless.

    1. CountCadaver

      Re: Vodafone?

      I'm guessing COVID is throwing spanners in the works royally, plus the economy is in cataclysm and who wants to spend on infrastructure when the banks might suddenly impose onerous terms in the name of "responsible lending" (aka improving their profit margins)

      1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

        Re: Vodafone?

        So what you are saying is that COVID has been the issue for the last 10 years that the Government and ISPs have failed to deliver on any of the Rural / Connected UK broadband promises yes? And despite the ISPs (especially BT/Openreach) being given millions upon millions of taxpayer cash to actually deliver it across those 10 years or so?

        I'd question if "everyone" needs gigabit internet to the premises, but surely delivering the infrastructure to support a joined up minimum of 20 - 25 Mbps as a base standard would have been a more achievable goal.

        But obviously that will never happen as the snouts in the trough are only interested in protecting their vested interests rather than providing benefit to the wider public, and the Government itself lacks the leadership or will to make that change.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    FTTP costs

    My street has been ungraded to FTTP (though it's not yet available to order).

    From what I can see, it will cost more to have a service offering the same speed as the FTTC service I currently have and the phone service won't work if there is a loss of power (there is no longer an obligation for this to be provided). Ok, I will get the full 80/20 rather than the 63/15 I generally get.

    I think I'll wait until the higher speed packages are a better price (more upload speed would be nice), which will probably be when Openreach want to switch off the copper phone services in a few years time.

    I was going to "pledge" my government voucher to Openreach, but the T&C's say you must switch within two months of "go live", regardless of any minimum term contract with your current provider, or "they may pursue you for the £1,500 voucher value" (as they won't then get it).

    1. Crypto Monad

      Re: FTTP costs

      Sky will sell you 80/20 at £27. Sky, Talktalk and BT will sell you 150/30 at £35. Talktalk will sell you 500/75 at £40 - that's 5 times faster than your current upload. (BT do 300/50 at £40, if you follow the right referral links)

      Talktalk won't provide voice service over FTTP, so you'll need to migrate your phone number to a VoIP provider - which is a good idea anyway, to keep it independent of your broadband provider.

      Yes, if power goes out you'll lose landline. You can either keep a mobile phone for emergencies, or get a UPS for your ONT and router.

      If FTTP has been rolled out to your street, then you are not eligible for a government gigabit voucher. It only covers installation costs.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FTTP costs

        Can't use mobile as none of the networks provide a usable signal. I already use VoIP and only have the landline as it's required for FTTP (and I'm not with a "data only" provider). I am planning to use something like a USB powerbank to keep the link up during a power failure (I already do this for my router and modem).

        The voucher pledge card was dropped through the door by OpenReach a week or two before they started the installation. This is a trial area, and the vouchers are valid - they are part of a different scheme.

        1. Roland6 Silver badge

          Re: FTTP costs

          The question is what do you actually mean by "upgraded to FTTP".

          FTTP is available in my area now, however, OpenReach merely connects up the fibre leaving the existing copper POTS line in place. So the issue of mobile coverage can be addressed by maintaining the phone service, until such time as BT turns off POTS.

      2. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

        Re: FTTP costs

        Yes, if power goes out you'll lose landline. You can either keep a mobile phone for emergencies, or get a UPS for your ONT and router.

        None of which is any good if good if the cabinets/repeaters lose power for more than the 4 hours they have backup for. At least a POTS landline will be good for many days.

        And yes, it's rare for power to be out for that long, but when it happens (floods, usually) having a reliable phone to contact emergency services can be quite literally a life-saver.

        1. Crypto Monad

          Re: FTTP costs

          None of which is any good if good if the cabinets/repeaters lose power for more than the 4 hours they have backup for. At least a POTS landline will be good for many days.

          FTTP does not use cabinets at all (*). It is GPON - gigabit passive optical network. The only powered equipment is at the headend exchange. That will most likely have a diesel generator.

          (*) with the minor exception of a few ultra-remote rural sites, which use a "subtended head end" - essentially a mini OLT sitting in a cabinet. This is only used when the fibre distances are so long that a property cannot be reached with a direct fibre span.

        2. LDS Silver badge

          "At least a POTS landline will be good for many days"

          No, it won't. Without power even your local exchange won't be able to operate for many days, and power keep on powering the phones. While a flood would knock off any cabinet not designed to work underwater.

          1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

            Re: "At least a POTS landline will be good for many days"

            Without power even your local exchange won't be able to operate for many days,

            The larger ones have generators, and smaller ones can be supplied with brought-in portable generators before the many days of local battery power runs out. It's rare for any exchange bigger than a shed-in-a-field concentrator to lose power. This document makes very interesting reading, most mobile phone coverage was lost after an hour. After the first few hours the only two-way communications service still running was the traditional phone network which continued to work in most places until power was restored 4-5 days later. Even one-way comms like radio/TV had severe issues.

            1. Rob Daglish

              Re: "At least a POTS landline will be good for many days"

              Cracking read Phil - cheers!

      3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: FTTP costs

        "Yes, if power goes out you'll lose landline. You can either keep a mobile phone for emergencies"

        And Sod's law will ensure the power goes off just as you put the phone on to charge.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FTTP costs

      Vodafone/Cityfibre in Aberdeen - £28 for 300 mbps so cheaper for more than the previous FTTC.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: FTTP costs

        Maybe prices have started coming down since I last looked then.

      2. captain veg

        Re: FTTP costs

        Just for context, my provider in France offers 5G/700M for that kind of money. Just not to me (yet).

        -A.

  10. noideas

    Fibre for local people

    I am fortunate to live in a recent development which has ducted cable right up to the housse. Openreach were around at all hours of the day and night this Summer connecting fibre up to and including the access chamber right in front of my house. This came out of the blue and they seem to have fibred up most of our small Somerset town AFIK. I don't know what we have done to deserve this honour though I'm not complaining. The village a few miles up the road where I used to live was blessed with FTTC about 6 years ago.

    I already have a FTTC line which delivered about 30 Mbit/s up load (until BT unilaterally "up graded" me to Halo whereupon it dropped to a "guaranteed" 25 Mbit/s) which is plenty enough for my needs. I held out till I was offered transfer to 100 Mbit/s FTTP at no extra cost and now have an Openreach visit set for the New Year, but it won't make much difference to me other than to keep up with my son in Canada who has had fibre for years and keeps telling me how wonderful it is. I certainly wouldn't want to pay more for the faster options from BT. I get that some folk and businesses really need gigabit speeds but as others have pointed out fast enough is fast enough. Political w*lly waving on the other hand demands a snappy headline.

    1. Mike 137 Silver badge

      Re: Fibre for local people

      We "upgraded" to FTTC, and get an average of 400 kb/s (yes kilobits) from a cabinet supposedly about 500 metres away (although two "engineers" identified two different cabinets as the one we're connected to). The third "engineer" to visit located a faulty joint in the copper run from the cabinet (turned out to be a 1990s "dry" crimp full of water). When that was replaced we got about a 50% increase in peak speed but the average remained much the same, so that was by far not the biggest problem. However, he disconnected our master socket on the grounds that an additional phone would causes problems. It didn't make any difference except we can no longer use more than one phone.

      With technical capabilities like this, how on earth do they expect to implement any kind of reliable infrastructure?

      1. a_builder

        Re: Fibre for local people

        Identifying copper line faults is a labour intensive art. It can be science but that requires high levels of aptitude and resining ability.

        FTTP actually makes a lot of this go away. As you can remote test the whole thing. As it is digital it either works or it doesn’t work.

        The purpose of FTTP is to increase customer satisfaction and cut OPEX. You don’t need an army of engineers fooling around recrimping old joints.

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Why is the UK so shit.

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Why is the UK so shit.

      It isn't, but sadly the tabloids sell more by claiming it is. If you look at the actual figures you'll see that the UK is above the EU average for fast broadband rollout & speeds.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      So... Japan 2004 I had 100Mb sync fibre to my apartment for 40 pounds a month.

      Yeah... 16 years ago.

      So UK. Shit.

      Edit.. just checked and you can get 1Gbps now.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Easy to do in a crowded country where people live in apartments. You probably have good mobile internet access in Japan too, to pass the time when sitting in traffic for hours!

        1. captain veg

          Andorra, total population circa 80,000. Literally everyone lives up a mountain. Fibre to the home is universally available at 300Mbps minimum. It really is just a matter of political will.

          -A.

      2. Stuart Castle Silver badge

        The fact that other countries are better doesn't mean the UK is shit any more than the fact that other countries are worse means the UK is excellent.

        In terms of Broadband speeds, it's above the EU average, so some countries are better. Some worse.

      3. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

        Cardiff uni 2000 halls, vaguely recall it took 5 minutes to download, errrr, I mean legally download movies. Was wonderful

      4. Grease Monkey Silver badge

        @osakajin

        "So... Japan 2004 I had 100Mb sync fibre to my apartment for 40 pounds a month."

        100Mb SYNC on FIBRE?

        SYNC? FIBRE?

        <FACEPALM>

    3. codejunky Silver badge

      @osakajin

      The UK make a sport of complaining. But it really isnt so shit.

  12. EmilPer.

    the trouble with the network

    "I WANT real true broadband! ... what ? what are you doing to my driveway ? Get off, get off with your jackhammer, my driveway is sacred, and cables in the trees are ugly"

    1. low_resolution_foxxes Silver badge

      Re: the trouble with the network

      I've always wondered how hard it would be to dig a 200m trench and lay your own ducting? For your average rural farmer type this is not challenging, they already have tractors and digging equipment. As soon as you hire a "professional" I cannot imagine how much that would cost per mile to bring in the diggers.

      1. Paul Crawford Silver badge

        Re: the trouble with the network

        If it is soft ground then it is pretty easy for digging and laying duct, any farmer or builder could do it.

        Once you start digging roads or tarmac and/or have to take care around existing utilities (water, gas, power, etc) then it becomes tricky and expensive and you really ought to be insured against any accidental damage to them.

        I think Openreach charge around £40/m for soft ground and £120/m for 'hard' installation, but a reasonably builder could probably do it for around half that (might not get permission for digging a public road though). But for a couple of 100m that still costs dearly!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: the trouble with the network

          A farmer would do it for 1/10th of that.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: the trouble with the network

      I have issues with my BB due to bad joints in the jointing box (the old "blue beans") hasn't been touched in years as a neighbour double skinned a fence to box it in, said neighbour also told Openreach to "F off" when they knocked the door to get access

      His wife sort of relented a few months later when there was an outage up the street traced to that Joint box, openreach told them the fence goes or they get a pit in the garden to permit access "we don't want either of those, you'll need to move it" (they seem to be under the misconception that openreach don't have a wayleave (they do) )

      Kinda explains why my line capabilities have been dropping like a stone during wet weather (water ingress into the jointing box)

  13. Steve 39

    FTTP are like buses

    Rural Essex and having struggled with 3.2Mb/s for years (yes, that's BT's "fibre" service - to the cabinet a couple of KMs away), two providers have now installed full fibre.

    Gigaclear by installing in the verges, County Broadband but stringing the fibre on the telephone poles. I went with Gigaclear 300Mb.

    I do wonder what's going to happen when other providers such as BT/Openreach decide to provide the service here. Is it going to be a spaghetti of new fibre cables and another 3 months of roadworks?

    It's a nice problem to have but can't help but feel it's not well-planned.

    1. Tomato42

      Re: FTTP are like buses

      > can't help but feel it's not well-planned.

      first time reading about government work?

  14. stevebp

    5G is irrelevant

    It's a technoogy without a business case unless you're looking for mobile bandwidth in heavily congested areas like train stations, stadiums, etc. Let's just get government to concentrate on ubiquitous 4G and we'll all be happy as lambs

  15. Korev Silver badge
    Joke

    Roughly 9 per cent of the UK's landmass is a "not-spot" lacking 4G service from any operator. In Scotland, that percentage jumps to 20 per cent.

    Shouldn't we be trying to get them the wheel first?

  16. Mark192 Silver badge

    Free market?

    Give it a couple of years and people in the UK will likely be able to pay around £100 a month for a Starlink service.

    Unaffordable for many but would mean the economic case for expensive tax-payer funded rollouts becomes harder to make.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Free market?

      No thanks to Musknet....

  17. wiggers

    I think I can see the problem...

    "Government plans..."

    If a technology is being promoted by the government it is either out of date already or is hideously expensive and poor value for money. Or both.

  18. Grease Monkey Silver badge

    Plus ca change

    Every successive government gets worse in respect of setting targets without providing the resource to meet those targets. What then happens is that the target gets revised downwards or the delivery date put back, sometimes both.

    Then there are the excuses:

    Top of the pathetic excuses chart is that conditions (often economic) have changed since the target was set. Sorry but if you're setting targets you should be taking the possibility of this happening into account. The most common failing in these cases is that the project has gone over budget. All because some idiot set a budget for a target ten years in the future without taking into account rising costs or carrying out any risk assesments..

    Another favourite is that the target was set by a previous government so it's their fault. If the government in question was the same party as the current one then this makes no sense.

    Then of course there's blaming the contractors. Erm who's managing the program? Surely you didn't leave it to the contractor to manage. Nobody in business would be that stupid so nobody in government should be that stupid either.

    The classic example of all this is HS2.

  19. jonfr

    England soon going to be slower than Germany

    At current level of incompetent England is going to be slower than Germany when it comes to internet speeds, 4G speeds there won't be any useful 5G in England for a long while.

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