Please, please, can we rewrite the superfast broadband strategy before it is too late? I don't think that the many of us who have spent the last decade campaigning for rural broadband and NGA had a very happy Sunday reading the docs which were embargoed until today. It has been hard work biting our tongues - after all, press embargoes are so last century now - but it is your turn to listen to us, today.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm very sorry Jeremy et al, I think you have missed the point. Points. Not necessarily every one of them but too many to give us confidence in BIS etc. I know you are all new, but catch up, please, before it is too late.
We don't want fibre to a privately owned street cab or exchange. Because that would a) imply that we want to extend a 100 year old monopoly yet further and b) are building onto an obsolete network. And that would all be ....um...pointless.
We do not want community (owned, run, managed, maintained, operated or commissioned) networks dismissed as some sort of 'fluffy' unmentionables. After all, who has actually put gigabit FTTH in? Not a telco....[NextGenUs] Who actually did FTTC with an upgrade path first? Not a telco.[Rutland] Who has been providing communities with usable solutions rather than skewed surveys with improbable names? Not the incumbent. [Vtesse]
We don't need a quango to solve the issues that communities purportedly face. We need the highly skilled and experienced designers of the networks, who are putting the incumbent to shame, to be recognised, acknowledged, and employed, not driven underground by the lobbyists in Portcullis House etc.
There are some very serious network builds ongoing in rural areas, who could prove a best spend of that £830M, especially with private capital already being spent from non-BT coffers, and yet you, the Minister, fall once again for the tosh in Westminster about the incumbent network.
Why oh why would we want to build fibre to our homes from a BT street cab? Have you thought this through?
It seems not.
We do NOT want you to spend a single penny of PUBLIC MONEY on any of the following:
*BT's (Liv Garfield) FTTC crap with no upgrade path to FTTH (within this decade or probably the next). Do NOT repeat Cornwallgate.
*FTTC without financially legal justification for it as a solution unless it is community owned
*BET - ever
*Satellite (except as a stopgap, unless you can prove that FTTH will never be viable, ever, to that home)
*Public money, OUR money, being wasted building on top of an obsolete network
*Publicly funded middle mile solutions that then belong to an incumbent or telco without damned good reasons for that ownership which will stand up in an EU court
*Any more pilots. There is nothing left to test, except how good BT are at extracting money through the public procurement process.
We do want:
*Community owned DVPs (Digital Village Pumps) that are connected to community owned fibre, connected to community owned, local peering points.
*Taxes on new build fibre that are equitable across the board for all deployments from Jan 1st 2011. Or waived.
*FTTH everywhere it can be done, FiWi as the interim measure
*Councils to understand and play their part in reducing civils and also in ensuring that new build homes are fit for purpose
*All copper to be pulled out and recycled as an ongoing process to free the ducts, and BT to log which ducts are now clear of unnecessary obstructions as part of their 21st century network mapping
*Qualified engineers etc to be permitted to install on existing infrastructure without hindrance. (Often, the self-same people are employed by the infrastructure owners anyway)
*Extension of mobile broadband, where it makes sense. Community-owned femto cells may prove a far better option for all.
*Symmetrical broadband that is fit for purpose
*Government understanding of why the bandwidth scarcity model (telco-friendly) needs to be replaced by abundance (consumer-friendly). And regulation to promote abundance.
*Joined up thinking and a realisation that millions of pounds of private money have already been put into resolving Britain's Digital Divide. You may not see this money flashed about, or hear about it on the 6 o'clock news, or spot the flashy ads, but for over a decade, thousands of people and companies across this country have spent their own money and untold hours trying to prevent one company distorting the broadband landscape and holding UK PLC to ransom.
STOP wasting our money supporting a single company against the citizens and businesses of this country.
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