This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
OK, how are we going to define NGA if the BBC and the incumbent continue to define TODAY'S connectivity as 'next generation'? Up to 40Mbps and up to 100Mbps are NOT and never can be next generation. After all, there are far too many who have far more than this in 2010 - Chattanooga, Hong Kong, Korea - the list is endless.
The statement that this will give Cornwall a head start is IMHO misleading to EVERYONE. Head start on who exactly? Certainly not those already in the FTTH Council EU league table - Denmark, Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Czech Republic etc. Even the Shetland Islands are putting in fibre.
How long are we going to permit a continuance of this hype and what are tantamount to outright lies? The UK is light years behind (literally, when it comes to fibre to the home) and the sooner we accept that and up our gameplan, the better. Up to 40Mbps in 2014 is simply not going to solve the problem. We are back to the sweating the copper asset game again with this latest tender announcement.
And let's consider again the BBC report:
The aim is to give between 80% and 90% of businesses and homes access to fibre broadband by 2014, the project's partners say.
Followed two paragraphs later by:
The project, which includes the Isles of Scilly, would see direct fibre optic connections to half of the county's businesses and homes, allowing download speeds of up to 100Mbps (megabytes per second)(sic), managers said.
So, (breathe in) 80-90% (breathe out) 50%. Who is going to pay to upgrade the half who are not getting FTTH? Is BT going to sub-loop unbundle in all the cabinets and let the community dig their own fibre? How far are some of the street cabs from rural properties? Can we see some facts and figures about the likely connectivity the most rural and remote are likely to get? And when might that upgrade from copper to fibre be likely to occur? Because if I was sitting in Cornwall today in one of the likely 'uneconomically viable according to BT' locations, I think I'd start looking for a property in Latvia.
And don't get me started on why there is, as ever, no mention of that all important factor for true next gen - SYMMETRY.
Fibre broadband means that you have fibre to the consumer, not to some part of your network, be that a cabinet, exchange or anything else. Just because Virgin Media got past the ASA with this manipulation/mangling of the English language, doesn't mean it should be permitted to continue.
Yes, there is still a 10Mbps internet, but moves are afoot which will see an upgrade in that, (IPv6 etc) and all we are doing by spending our money on short-term gains is wasting what little cash there is available. And worse, giving it to a player whose motives, whilst understood, are NOT for the long-term benefit of UK Plc. Other areas take note.