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Monday, 6 December 2010

And the bottleneck is where?

If you read Jeremy's speech and the report, issued today but which ruined many of our Sundays in the community broadband world, you'd think the bottleneck was in the first mile. Especially financially.

This blog post can be read at

The truth is though that any DVP (Digital Village Pump) can be gigabit to the home, as Ashby de la Launde has proven. The bottleneck is in the middle mile/backhaul. Worse still are the bottlenecks in the longhaul/core network which is now struggling and due to struggle ever more as we all get more thirsty for gigabuckets of bandwidth. And most of us can't even afford a decent backhaul out of our communities (i.e from our DVPs to t'interweb) because of so-called "market forces" setting prices few can afford to buy at.

So, if you put a 'digital hub' (our renamed DVPs) in to, say, a BT street cab, you've just put yourself into the prime position of facing an instant bottleneck.

If the Government, councils etc cannot work out that chucking money at BT to cause this problem is an immoral waste, they don't deserve their jobs.


chris said...

Priceless. You have hit the nail on the head...
I can see many councils falling for the FTTC con like cornwall did. It ticks boxes, but it will stifle innovation for many years. Poor short sighted dinosaurs.
We want community fibre that works, not the sad stuff that passes for broadband in the phone network.

Somerset said...

It's not an FTTC issue (boring!) it's about what we will pay to fund the complete link through the internet,

Somerset said...

2 issues, the local ends and what the ISPs do once it's handed over to them.

Is there any analysis of what people will pay for installation and rental? Nospots and slowspots need sorting but are there complaints that FTTC at 40M is insufficient in areas due to get it?

GuyJ said...


With respect it is the bigger picture golden opportunity that you are missing.

The opportunity is simply this - to rebalance the terms of trade in favour of the customer by giving local communities the wherewithal to both make informed choices about how their future 1st mile network is owned and operated.

And also as importantly, that local communities get listened to once their choice and decision is expressed.

Somerset said...

Not sure I have the your confidence a local community can make 'informed choices' about technology. The vast majority will not understand the options, let alone vote.

How will they get to make these choices? How many will there be?

Carl said...

If the local communities were to fund the networks themselves I've no doubt they would have control over who owns them.

As it is cake and eating it come to mind - wanting central government money and wanting to decide the terms under which that money is provided.

Some of us have to make do with what the market wants us to have, including London, despite it being an economic no-brainer to deliver FTTH to us. I'm unsure why areas which will need government subsidy have the right to expect better services delivered as they see fit?

Somerset said...

Communities - what does that mean, council tax?

It's the detail that matters. A community needs a recognised company, big or small, to install and maintain any network.

Carl said...

For all the bashing about what Cornwall did many of them will have better quality services than many urban areas.

That's what happens when, rather than pontificating over the 'bigger picture' you just get on with delivering people a service.

It may not be perfect but it's there, it works, it makes Cornwall as well connected as London.

Mark Holdstock said...

Ultimately I suspect that one of the biggest drivers will not necessarily be local communities, but the much hated Rupert Murdochs of this world.

In the future they will need high speed, high capacity connections into homes to sell their programmes, as the internet may ultimately become the delivery method of choice for much pay-tv, and Rupert won't want to get left behind, and he will also want to make money from on-line gaming too..... and that will require decent connections.

Somerset said...

I get the impression that some people don't understand the technology of networks and just enjoy bashing BT. The sooner the practical detail is discussed the better.

MB94128 said...

@ Somerset
There may be people who "just enjoy bashing BT." Across the pond our version, pseudo-AT+T (no WECO, no Bell Labs) is just as much fair game for criticism and suspicion. A many decade history of over-charging and foot dragging is hard to ignore.

The fact that the U.S. telcos like AT+T, Verizon, and Comcast are allowed to offer service bundles (e.g. "Triple Play") without a proper cost breakdown stinks. My suspicion is that bundles like "Triple Play" conceal double (or more) charges for one's landline. Also, as a techie I find AT+T's websites to be long on glitz and short on practicality. If you don't meet their overly narrow expectations in terms of browser and OS then their content just vanishes.

So, bashing for the sake of bashing ? No, Quebec Echo Delta.

Cybersavvy UK said...

@somerset, I've seen you on untold forums citing your case. Would you care to share with the rest of us exactly what you have done in your local community to resolve this problem?

Somerset said...

I have no 'case'. As an experienced Engineer I can see the issues around proposals. I'm as keen as anyone to see FTTP everywhere but understand that the practical situation is that the costs make it difficult.

£29b has been quoted as the costs for FTTP, is this something the country wants to pay? Rutland have just published installation costs in Hambleton - a minimum of £1380. not something many can afford or will want to pay. Meanwhile other solutions will give significantly faster speeds.

Quotes like 'FTTC will stifle innovation' are not backed up by facts, easy say but needs justification.

And here we have about 3M. Following the government document issued this week I have contacted my local councils to ask what they are doing for the future. Currently it's dependant on knowing if Market 2 exchanges are likely to get FTTC. If they are I cannot see the viability of alternative solutions, if they are not then we'll look for one. However there would have to be a demand from the residents and I don't currently see that. certainly not at £1380 installation.

Cybersavvy UK said...

Sorry mate, but where's your answer?

You cite Analysys Mason's figure of £29Bn - like anyone in the industry believed that when it came out, and they sure as hell don't now.

How much proof do you need for FTTC being the wrong solution except those countries and Bells who went for it? Plus £1380 is more than double what experienced providers quote for rural installs. (Sorry Dave et al at Rutland, but you are still newbies, hence higher costs)

And who said you need a BT exchange in the mix? And where is the 3M from?

Cybersavvy UK said...

Oh sorry, @somerset. You phoned your council. This week. So, once. In all this time, giving people grief etc, all you have actually done apart from troll about on forums is pick the phone up ONCE?


Somerset said...

People don't have to buy FTTC, in fact they don't, they buy a 40M internet connection and don't care how it arrives.

If Rutland's costs are digging will they come down?

How do you stop BT rolling out FTTC and putting in FTTP or leaving it to a community?

3M here is ADSL. Would be interesting to know if there is currently demand for more. I suspect some but not all.

My issue is with those who make statements with backup of facts. Particularly those who want a technical solution rather than a service, regardless of cost.