reply by Miles Mandelson:
"That’s the clearest exposition of NGA and the role of public funding I’ve seen yet and, setting aside matters of self-interest, is nigh-on impossible to take issue with. However in small communities such as my own, the cost differential between FTTP and high-performance wireless (for example) is so great that, while the latter is affordable and therefore very tempting, the former feels almost completely out of reach. Accordingly, in trying to make progress locally, I find myself making compromises as regards performance in order to bring advancement into the realms of affordability and, in doing so, bending the definition of NGA to make a case for funding.
So to adhere to the principles you have set out, we need to find more ingenious (and affordable) ways of delivering FTTP in sparsely populated rural communities over long distances and across challenging terrain".
"I dont think anything I said would prove problematical to somewhere like Gxx. My thoughts were that when looking at any area with a view to rolling out FTTP there would be an analysis of the geography, distribution of premises and number of premises. From that would come an indication of what the cost would be for full FTTP rollout via a standard commercial contract. From that would flow the idea of the degree of subsidy needed for that particular community. Somewhere very difficult/expensive to connect would be eligible for higher subsidy than one that's easier/cheaper to do. I envisage the subsidy reflecting the difficulty of rollout. So the contribution from people within the community would remain broadly constant across community types. I would expect any attempt to roll out the USC 2Mbs to be subject to the same analysis and the equations to line up with each other.
In the case of Gxxx if we could deliver a centrally funded fibre into the village with a 1/10GbE backhaul, charged at a nominal fee, linking back to an Internet exchange where you could get metro Internet Transit pricing you would have quite a bit of your isolation removed. From the PoP in the Village you might well go for a quick and cheap WiMax solution and that's fine. As users wanted more then the move to putting in a fibre at a time to their premises or getting them to club together to service clusters is quite on the cards. So long as there was no subsidy for the wimax bit it would be perfectly OK for them to request subsidy for that last mile bit as and when they were ready to do it."
(this was an excerpt from an email thread we have permission to publish on this blog.