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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Point Topic maps true broadband need by constituency

Point Topic have released an interesting data set in the run-up to the election, showing by constituency how much subsidy is required for what they are calling "superband". It makes for fascinating reading.

Except that, as my constituency figures extremely close to the top, showing that 74.9% of premises here will require subsidy, I am opening an account for donations to enable me to move to Portugal or Lithuania and escape this seemingly never-ending torture.

The big problem, I guess, is that this is a safe Tory seat, and the tech manifesto gives little doubt that they are going to await market failure before freeing up money for constituencies like mine.

My response to that argument, Jeremy and Ed, would be that there is already market failure. Thousands of people round here do not have access to broadband TODAY, and we certainly don't have access to anything like the connectivity available in parts of rural Lithuania, Portugal, Sweden, Latvia, etc etc and at least 20+ other etcs.

Shall I spell this out? The market has failed us with first generation broadband. The market and our politicians are clearly failing us with the required change to the next.

So, would I vote Labour? Nope, not after Stephen Timms responded so depressingly predictably on Radio Lancashire this morning, ignoring the real questions and only giving us the reassurance that even by 2017 at least 10% of this country will not have next generation services. That'll be us then. Deep joy. And that's without mentioning the fact that BDUK clearly aren't going to have enough money to do the Final Third if they only have access to £1Bn to do so.

£28Bn/3 does not = 1, even in my highly chaotic world. Even I know that 3/3=1 and I have never, ever seen a figure anywhere that says it will cost £3Bn to do the Final Third. If it were only going to cost that much, then what are we waiting for?

Meanwhile, what virtual world does anyone live in where 2Mbps is sufficient for most businesses? Have you tried running a digital business, any business, on a connection that impoverished in 2010, Mr Timms? Especially asymmetrical.

Do none of these politicians get IT at all? If I and thousands of other rural SMEs cannot contribute what we should be capable of into the national economy WITHOUT decent or preferably true broadband, there is market failure. Not just telco market failure, but SME failure. And it's RIFE.

We can't afford to create jobs and employ people. We can't compete, not just with our urban peers, but with peers in other countries, even developing ones. As digital or post-industrial exporters, we can't export, therefore we are not bringing in external funds, just relying on the little we can earn here in the UK. Our bottom lines are overloaded with costs no competitor has to face - do you want my postage and fuel bills because I can't upload files and have to mail or deliver them by hand? Our environmental impact is far higher than it need be. And we obviously can't pay more taxes on non-existent revenue.

When you do your sums for how much it will cost to FTTH, I think you should try doing some sums on how much it is costing right now NOT to. And if anyone else tells me to move house, I will point them to my new Paypal fund, expect an appropriate 'relocation donation', and gladly take them up on it.

1 comment:

NGA UK said...

It is worth remembering that BDUK have stated that part of their remit is not to prevent private investment in NGA. That is not to say that they will actively encourage it but it does indicate that they recognise their meagre pot is not going to be nearly enough.