Could UK get universal high speed broadband for £5bn?

Eurim, the cross-party/industry talking shop, has published for comment a report by fomer BT chief accountant Bob Franklin on Making Broadband Investrments Work.
It appears to be a complete summary of the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats facing the broadband status quo in the UK, with nods to competitive economies. It will make for uncomfortable reading in some quarters.
Franklin offers myriad different funding and network building scenarios, but, bottom line, appears to call for the authorities to accept a pluralistic approach. He makes the key points that broadband consumption tends to rise where available. This makes it cheap to provide extra capacity, except  when a step-increase is needed, and that financial returns are more akin to utilities such as power and water, i.e. low risk over the medium to long term.
And he suggests that a national fibre to the home network could be built for an annual investment of £500m to £1bn a year for about five years – a far cry from the £29bn the authorities currently accept as gospel truth.

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Excellent. About time we saw a different approach from the perpetual patch up from the telcos. Time to light the fibre people! Good for Bob. We must listen to the innovators or we will be forever doomed to the copper slow lane. Doomed I tell you. Digitalbritain. Bring IT on. Fibre to the home, starting with the rural areas and working inwards, just like water and food. chris
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Very interesting summary of the complex situation. cd - did you see 'a broad brush estimate of another £2 to 3 billion - might cover the third for something roughly equivalent to the BT FTTC approach.' 'How many consumers would be willing to pay say £1000 up-front to have Super Fast broadband' - how many of those with Sky TV and VM or FTTC would be an interesting question.
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" he suggests that a national fibre to the home network could be built for an annual investment of £500m to £1bn a year for about five years" - but does he ? No. He acknowledges the range of cost estimates for NGA is from £5-7bn at the low end to £29bn for a full FTTH rollout (top of p11) and goes on to say (p12) : "No estimates have yet been made for that third but given the scale of funding commitments so far a similar sum - a broad brush estimate of another £2 to 3 billion - might cover the third for something roughly equivalent to the BT FTTC approach." Did anyone actually read what Bob wrote ?
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I read the report again (well 4 times actually) but.. ...er, the answer seems to be NO, we can't get NGA for £3-5 billion, we can only get cabinets. That is what they call 'superfast' but it isn't NGA. Next Generation Access is reserved for a futureproof solution delivering symmetrical 100megabit plus. This will never be delivered using copper. Well it might in a lab but it won't in the real world. To get connectivity to all we need to tackle the rural areas first, with fibre to the hardest to reach people. Market forces will find the money pretty damn quick to play catch up.
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Clearly Ian did not read the report like the rest of us! The question of asking people to put £1000 up front would only work if a whole area did it. The cost of revisiting properties missed out would be very high.
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Sorry for misleading you all - it was very late at night, and I was so blown away by all the opportunities Bob outlined that it seemed reaasonable, given the new kit launched by Bluwan and Alcatel-Lucent recently. Regarding the £1000 a home, that's exactly what the Welsh Assembly is offering to people who ask. Don't know if there are strings attached. Maybe someone knows...?
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