broadband Business internet Regs

Digital Britain Broadband Implementation Plan

Digital Britain publishes 18 headline projects, evokes thoughts of Russian WWI mobilisation plan.

You will all be interested to know that the Government has published its Digital Britain broadband implementation plan.  It’s a headline set of actions that reminds me of why I am not a civil servant.  It makes me think of the Russian mobilisation plan of the first world war for some reason.

Anyway, the Digital Britain broadband implementation plan contains 18 headline projects including a catch all called “Other Relevant Activity”.  Two of them are ones I have been commenting on relating to Next Generation Broadband and Illegal File Sharing.

I just noticed that the timeframe given for 90% penetration of Next Gen broadband access in the UK is 2017.  This is so far into the future in in internet terms as to not matter. I imagine they will have invented teleporting by then which would be ideal for rural dwellers but of course it won’t be availabe to them!  Meanwhile I can envisage a Government celebration party being held to celebrate the 90th percent being hit for what will by then be ultra slow broadband.

Also of interest is the presence of Martha Lane Fox on the Programme Board.

broadband Business ofcom

Ofcom Eases Up on Returns on Investment for Next Generation Broadband

In my post “Who pays for next generation broadband” I mentioned that BT were complaining that the regulatory environment in the UK positively discouraged investment in a high speed broadband network (read fibre) because it did not allow a return on investment commensurate with the risks involved.

Well Ofcom head Ed Richards seems to have made an about turn on this in a speech he made to the “Intellect Conference 2008” on 3rd July.

I’ve pasted an extract here:

“Our position is clear. Ofcom favours a regulatory environment for the next generation of networks and access that both allows and encourages operators to make risky investments, to innovate for the benefit of consumers and, if the risks pay off, for the benefit of their shareholders too.

We are very clear that if operators are going to make investments in new infrastructure, investment that is inherently more risky than developing the existing infrastructure, then they need to know that the regulatory framework will allow them to make and keep a rate of return that is commensurate with the risks they are taking.”

I can’t imagine that anyone will be unhappy about this though we still have to see someone stepping up to the plate with the requisite investment. UK PLC does need to be looking beyond 21CN for the IP connectivity that will allow the true exploitation of the promise of the internet.