broadband Business internet ofcom

Yes Minister 2010, Broadband Growth, and Digital Britain

Over the last year or two it has been interesting to watch updated episodes of the BBC TV series Yes Minister playing out in front of my very eyes.

First of all it was the 2Meg Universal Service Obligation. You can picture civil servants in BIS (Dept of Business Innovation and Skills) running around in panic wondering at how they were going to make the “obligatory” bit happen. That one soon evolved to Universal Service Commitment which apparently in politicospeak means “we say 2Megs but actually it could be anything and between me and you is a worthless statement”. Got out of that then!

The came the Digital Economy Act hot potato that was thrown over the fence to Ofcom one evening with instructions to get it sorted out by the morning.

Now, with new masters settling in to the Whitehall roost, it’s a privilege to be one of the page turners and to read out to you the next hilarious chapter.

broadband Business internet

ISPs Plunge Knife into Broadband Enabling Technology (BET) #digitalbritain #finalthirdfirst

A Digital Britain session at today’s BT ISP Forum at the BT Tower saw a vocal opposition to Broadband Enabling Technology (BET) as a prospective technology to meet the Government promise of a 2Mbps Universal Service Commitment by 2012.  Bit of a mouthful that.

Firm pricing is not yet available, but we are potentially looking at an installation cost of £850 for a single line with 1Mbps capability, £1,050 for two lines with up to 2Mbps.  Moreover, although the minimum demand per exchange has not yet been firmed up, it is likely to be 15 subscribers.

There was absolutely zero interest in this product from the 60 or so (guess) ISPs in the room. It is seen as too expensive, to the point where it is not dissimilar in price, if you need 15 users in an exchange to sign up, to the

broadband Business internet Regs

Labour has Upped Broadband Universal Service Commitment in Manifesto #ge2010 #digitalbritain

I know I keep going on about the lack of understanding of technology and the internet amongst the establishment. Another classic faux pas in this space has happened in the Labour Party Manifesto:

Labour Part Manifesto promises 2megabytes USC
Labour Part Manifesto promises 2megabytes USC

where they talk about a minimum broadband Universal Service Commitment of 2megabytes per second.

Most readers of this blog will be savvy enough to know the difference between megabytes and megabits. The latter is what they really mean, the former is 8 x the speed of the latter.

The point is that this is such a basic mistake that it just serves to highlight the total lack of understanding of technology. It also highlights why many MPs voted in favour of the Digital Economy Bill.

broadband Business internet Regs

Broadband Access: Getting Sensible about Digital Britain

The government this week said that they hope to provide access to the Internet to over 7 million people who can’t get online today…by 2014.

You have to ask what’s the point!?

It’s so exciting when you come across announcements such as that made by the Government this week saying that they are attempting to get over 7 million people who can’t get online today, access to the internet. By 2014!

This is of course great news!

The plan is being underpinned by funding in a number of areas