House of Lords select committee slams UK broadband rollout

By Sooraj Shah
31 Jul 2012 View Comments
Fibre broadband image

"Despite criticising the government for dismissing technologies such as white space, [the report] fails to make almost any mention of how mobile might contribute to bringing broadband to all areas of the UK. Other than a recommendation that all existing spectrum should be handed over to mobile operators – with current TV traffic moving over to IP – with seemingly no consideration of the consequence this would have on bandwidth demands or incentives to invest in the network," he stated.

Further reading

In response to the report, a BT spokesperson said: "This report calls for fibre broadband to be brought within reach of as many communities as possible via an open network. That is already happening with BT making fibre available to a further four million homes alone whilst the committee has deliberated.

"This new network – which already passes 11 million homes and which will soon pass millions more – is open to all ISPs on an equal basis and more than 50 ISPs are using it.

"Companies can also lay their own fibre using BT's ducts and poles should they wish so there is plenty of room for competition. This level of open access is unparalleled in Europe and so the UK is well placed to have one of the best super-fast networks in the continent by 2015."

One of government body Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK)'s primary goals was specified in 2010 by Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt, that by 2015 "[the government] wants Britain to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe".

In May, Karin Ahl, president of the non-profit organisation FTTH Council Europe told Computing that the UK is behind Europe in its implementation of fibre broadband connections because the government and industry "don't know the need for it" and targets are not set high enough.

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