Monday, 18 October 2010
This blog post can be read at 5tth.blogspot.com
When BDUK get to choose which projects go forward, this should be a very simple way in these times of cuts and best value spending reviews to judge them:
On average, the maximum that rural FTTH to a property should cost is £1000. In the majority of cases it will be under £750.
Therefore, using my now infamous mathematical skills, £230Million divided by £1000 is 230,000 homes. Divided by £750, it is 306,667 homes.
If the proposed projects cannot GUARANTEE to connect up between 230k and 306k homes with FTTH, don't choose them! Or we will be wasting the digital dividend dosh - we only have it the once.
And don't get me started on how much further this digital dividend money would go if we took the VOA right out of the equation and waived all fibre tax / business rates on these projects. That is, as long as the choice of who will deliver these pilots is not made on who can come up with the fanciest tender bid (as possibly was the case in Cornwall?), in which case, we probably won't get any rural FTTH at all.