David Cameron’s UK 2020 broadband USO—USA looks laggy

Head of UK government predicts pigs flying in five years

David Cameron UK broadband USO
Credit: Ian Burt (cc:by)

UK prime minister David Cameron wants all the Queen’s subjects to have fast Internet by 2020. Well, by “fast” he means 10 Mb/s.

He’ll consult on a new universal service obligation (USO). I suppose that’s something, but with fewer than 6% of addresses able to achieve that today and many able to get up to 80 Mb/s, is it much of a stretch goal?

And now the UK’s biggest telco, BT, is talking about a 330 Mb/s G.fast service, by moving mini DSLAMs out onto poles and in chambers. Wow, that’s fast, but how slow will 10 Mb/s feel, come 2020?

In IT Blogwatch, bloggers cannae change the laws of physics. Not to mention: Hello?...

curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment.


Aunty Beeb speaks peace unto Nation:

All UK homes and businesses will have access to "fast broadband" by 2020. ... The PM is to introduce a "universal service obligation."

It would put broadband on a similar footing to...water and electricity.

More than 83% of homes and businesses in Britain currently have access to [more than] 24 Mbps - with that number set to rise to 95% by 2017.

In September, BT...announced a strategy...to connect 10 million homes to 300-500 Mbps by the end of 2020.  MORE


Jon Fingas points to the salient points: [You're fired -Ed.]

[The USO] would give all residents the right to...at least a 10 Mbps internet connection...even if you live in a remote village.

[The] administration says the options will be "affordable."

It'd give rural dwellers many of the same opportunities for business and communication as their urban counterparts.  MORE


And Andrew Ferguson thinks deeper:

The USO is designed as a safety net to provide the basic access to key services and live TV streaming.

Other aspects we believe that should be thrashed out is not just the download speed of any USO service, but a legal minimum speed for the upload and guidelines on...latency.

5.8% of UK premises are estimated to need help to achieve a 10 Mbps minimum.  MORE


So Colin Mann regulates his enthusiasm:

The Government also wants to make sure consumers have more transparency. ... Later this year, comms regulator Ofcom will release a new mobile app [for] consumers...to check if their home Wi-Fi is working as it should be.

Ofcom is also planning to release even more detailed, address-level...speed data next year. This will help people make more informed decisions about...moving home or starting a business.  MORE


Meanwhile, Philip Virgo hopes this isn't just about giving massive subsidies to BT:

BT is a large part of any "solution" [but] it is not a natural monopoly. There is a kaleidoscope of network technologies and architectures available. Many are more cost-effective for large parts of the country...than those currently deployed by BT.

The business cases for the competitors to BT are often surprisingly good (payback inside 3 - 5 years, not 20).

[I hope] to see a lot more in the Autumn statement about how the government plans to allow market forces to meet the demand for world class broadband.  MORE


And Finally...
Everything Wrong With Adele - "Hello"


You have been reading IT Blogwatch by , who curates the best bloggy bits, finest forums, and weirdest websites… so you don't have to. Catch the key commentary from around the Web every morning. Hatemail may be directed to @RiCHi or itbw@richi.uk.
Opinions expressed may not represent those of Computerworld. Ask your doctor before reading. Your mileage may vary. E&OE.

To express your thoughts on Computerworld content, visit Computerworld's Facebook page, LinkedIn page and Twitter stream.
From CIO: 8 Free Online Courses to Grow Your Tech Skills
Shop Tech Products at Amazon
Notice to our Readers
We're now using social media to take your comments and feedback. Learn more about this here.