More than 80 companies have registered to attend the government's industry open day on 15 July on the funding of broadband networks in uneconomic areas.
The event, hosted by Broadband Delivery UK, a section in the Department of Business, Skills & Innovation, aims to extract the best ideas for the speedy, cheap roll-out of high speed (ie 2Mbps) broadband to the nation's "not-spots".
The government plans to provide three "worked examples" and ask for comment on how best to address them. However, several industry sources have said that three is not enough examples.
"Almost every village has a different set of conditions that favour one technology or another. One or even three sizes cannot fit all," said one who will attend the event.
Francesco Caio, reporting on barriers to broadband investment in 2008, found there was only a "weak case" for major government investment in broadband infrastructure.
"Strong competition has delivered value and choice," he said. "Also, there is little evidence that higher penetration of fibre has led to material changes in uses. Second, there are strong indications the market is delivering investment in [next generation access]."
Since Caio, BT has said it will increase its investment in fibre to the cabinet by £1bn to £2.5bn, putting up to 40Mbps access within reach of two-thirds of UK premises, and Virgin Media has said it will launch a commercial 100Mbps service this autumn, and it is testing a 200Mbps service. It has also said it will run its cable TV-based network past 500,000 more houses compared with the present 12 million.
To register contact Martin Doyle at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Infrastructure UK chief to run Broadband Delivery UK
The government has seconded Treasury official Adrian Kamellard as CEO of Broadband Delivery UK. Kamellard has been at Infrastructure UK for more than eight years during which he designed and led the negotiation of a number of high-value ICT projects. Before then he was an investment director at Charterhouse Bank, where he specialised in telecoms projects. Earlier he led scenario planning at Cable & Wireless.