Missed opportunity to boost rural broadband

02 Mar 2012

Whitehall is doing it again – ignoring the low-hanging fruit to make a precarious climb in search of perfection (Analysis: Is the government’s fast broadband delivery strategy starting to fall apart?)

Even in rural areas, most customers are fairly close to distribution boxes, and upgrading these with a fibre to the exchange would greatly enhance the speed for every customer. OK, not super-fast, but an upgrade from 2Mbit/s to 8Mbit/s would be a big boon to rural businesses.

In my case, I get 2.2Mbit/s over a 3km run to the exchange, but the box is only 200m away. Upgrading the connection to a couple of boxes would give fast service to every ADSL user in the village, surely a better investment than offering super-fast service to the few subscribers willing to pay a premium. 

Just as NHS Connecting for Health ignored the cheaper option of building interfaces between systems that already worked, so the current initiative ignores a simple approach to reducing the urban/rural divide.

Eric Bodger

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