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UK: The Need For Fiber is 'Premature'?
Major UK incumbent takes the less expensive route...
by Karl Bode 10:04AM Monday Dec 03 2007
The UK is concerned that they're falling behind the broadband curve, and are looking for ways to expand and speed up connectivity. The BBC says that incumbent British Telecom is unwilling to spend the money necessary for widespread FTTH connectivity. Both British regulators and British Telecom are suggesting that the need for such bandwidth is "premature."

British Telecom suggests there's no money in this fiber stuff, and is instead deploying limited ADSL2+ technology and offering speeds up to 25Mbps. You may recognize some of the rhetoric being used across the pond:
quote:
"No-one would be more delighted if a commercial incentive emerged that enabled us to fibre the nation," said Peter McCarthy-Ward, BT's director of equivalence. But he is not yet sure the demand is there. "We are not facing large numbers of people today who are constrained by their bandwidth," he said. Any commitment to a fibre network would need to be backed by reassurances from Ofcom (UK regulator) that it would be able to recoup its investment, he said.
As in the States, moving to FTTH may future-proof your network, but investors frequently lack the patience for returns on such an investment. Of course these same investors will bail down the road when the carrier can't compete because they haven't bothered to stay competitive in the marketplace.

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TheToro
Premium
join:2003-06-05
Oak Park, MI

it's all about money

I can't believe a company like British telecom is saying such a bullshit. they don't just want to spend any pound, it's should be easy and cheap for them, it's a big company and the UK is not really big.

ronpin
Imagine Reality

join:2002-12-06
Nirvana

Re: it's all about money

Ancient copper was the justification for Verizon's FiOS yes? England surely has even more ancient copper than Verizon had right? (unless WWII caused a total rebuild)
--
50% of Americans vote - 30% are repugs -- do the math.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: it's all about money

Germany, and I'm guessing the UK, has a relatively new copper plant due to their rebuilding after WWII.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2
How is it BS that a company doesn't currently see the need for FTTH based on current technology and their customers' usage? It's not that they don't necessarily want to spend the money, but they are looking for assurances that they'll be able to recoup investment, i.e. no/minimal regulation. Sounds fair to me.
expert007

join:2006-01-10
Buffalo, NY

Re: it's all about money

Perhaps even outright subsidization.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: it's all about money

I'm not totally sure about BT's history, but if we subsidize in the US, we'll be having the same arguments in another 25 years that we're having today.

NOCMan
MadMacHatter
Premium
join:2004-09-30
Colorado Springs, CO
said by openbox9:

How is it BS that a company doesn't currently see the need for FTTH based on current technology and their customers' usage? It's not that they don't necessarily want to spend the money, but they are looking for assurances that they'll be able to recoup investment, i.e. no/minimal regulation. Sounds fair to me.
BT is stonewalling for some sort of exclusivity agreement so they can crowd out any competition if they deploy fiber.

On the other hand, with the exception of rural areas perhaps their RT densities could allow them to offer higher speeds over ADSL2+. Though they may not have built their plant to support channel bonding so they could be stuck at slower speeds.

The demand is there every time a download takes longer than a few minutes to complete.
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: it's all about money

So if it takes someone 3 minutes to download 100+MB service pack from Microsoft, the demand is there? I don't buy it.

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

Re: it's all about money

said by openbox9:

So if it takes someone 3 minutes to download 100+MB service pack from Microsoft, the demand is there? I don't buy it.
Tell someone it's going to take 30 minutes to download something, or tell them it will take 3 minutes.

Watch the "demand" appear on their face as they reach for their wallet.

Just because *YOU* don't mind waiting, doesn't mean everyone does. We're an impulsive society, we want it now now now.
--
Pretty Fly for a White Guy™
openbox9
Premium
join:2004-01-26
Germany
kudos:2

Re: it's all about money

Once again, I don't know the situation in the UK, but a majority of the people in the US don't appears to be willing to "reach for their wallets". Being an impulsive society simply means that we'll start a download, then grab some pizza and beer from the fridge, and watch a little TV. It doesn't mean that we're willing to pay more money than necessary to get something.

RainWind7

join:2000-10-20
Van Wert, OH
We're also a cheap society. Money rules all. Its why so many people switch to VoIP even knowing the quality is in most cases worse than POTs. People will deal with some small issues like lower call quality and possible interruptions if it saves them some money.

If you tell someone they can have it in 3 minutes instead of 30 of course they'll be interested... and then tell them they're going to pay an extra $50 and they'll find something else to do for that other 27 minutes.

elios

join:2005-11-15
Springfield, MO

Re: it's all about money

said by RainWind7:

We're also a cheap society. Money rules all. Its why so many people switch to VoIP even knowing the quality is in most cases worse than POTs. People will deal with some small issues like lower call quality and possible interruptions if it saves them some money.

If you tell someone they can have it in 3 minutes instead of 30 of course they'll be interested... and then tell them they're going to pay an extra $50 and they'll find something else to do for that other 27 minutes.
i dont know about that
my Skype to Skype sounds BETTER then POTS to POTS
even Skype to POTS sounds better but you can really tell how crappy POTS is when your on the Skype end of a Skype to POTS call

Matt3
All noise, no signal.
Premium
join:2003-07-20
Jamestown, NC
kudos:12

1 edit

BT's Director of Equivalence?

That reminds me of the "Ministry of Plenty" for some reason.

Sounds like he has the Doublespeak down as well.
--
Pretty Fly for a White Guy™

verolom

join:2002-03-23
Reston, VA

Bandwidth Hogs

Wait, the demand is not there, but these guys are complaining about people consuming too much bandwidth and want to charge by the byte?

Oink-oink, I say. It is pretty clear who the pigs are.

Jon K

@ifrsys.com

network neutrality

This is all to do with network neutrality - FTTH will open up new applications and BT wants a cut - and why shouldn't they if they have to invest billions.

Boogeyman
Drive it like you stole it
Premium
join:2002-12-17
Seward, AK

the future...

I hate how a lot of companies and gov agencies use the "We dont need it right now" excuse. Sure, we dont NEED 20mbps right now, but remember, 10 yrs ago, we didnt need 3mbs down. Hell, I have 6mbps right now and some pages still take a few seconds to load. I remember 5 yrs ago when my 1.5mbps connection just wasnt cutting it because of all the pages using flash. Now that streaming video is taking off, more people are going to want more bandwidth.

Its just like with roads, by the time the gov (city/county/state) decides to make that 2 lane road a 4 lane and the construction is done, we need 6 lanes.

So sure, we dont NEED it NOW, but if you start building it now, it will be usable by the time it IS needed.

Nightshade
Premium
join:2002-05-26
Salem, OR

1 edit

Maybe this isn't a bad thing.

I have heard that the UK has some of the most restrictive caps . So maybe having fiber is not such a bad idea, given that the customer could potientally hit that cap a lot quicker on fiber than copper.