The European Commission published yesterday its proposals to achieve its vision for a European Gigabit society with ambitious targets from 5G coverage to access for all European households (rural and urban) to internet speeds of 100Mbit/s by 2025. Legislative and policy proposals include a review of the EU regulatory framework for telecoms, an Action Plan on 5G connectivity and new financial instruments as well as additional public funding for a WiFi voucher scheme that will benefit 6000 to 8000 local communities in the EU by 2020.
Urban Connectivity: The Demand and the Challenges
12 October 2016 10.00-17.00
techUK, 10 St Bride St, London, EC4A 4AD
The UK’s cities are determining factors in our economic well-being, helping to drive growth and create jobs. By their nature they require resilient, high capacity and high quality infrastructure. This applies to digital communication networks as much as it does to transport infrastructure. Indeed, it may shortly matter more.
In July 2015, the Culture Media and Sports (CMS) Committee launched a public inquiry into the coverage, delivery and performance of superfast broadband in the UK and progress made in improving digital connectivity. The report published today concluded that the “UK has done well” compared with other EU countries on the delivery of superfast broadband thanks to a competitive market. However, it also raised concerns about the willingness of the BT Group to invest in maintaining, upgrading and supporting Openreach’s fibre infrastructure.
The Government have today introduced the Digital Economy Bill to Parliament as part of its ambition for the UK to be the most digital nation in the world. The Digital Economy Bill (HC Bill 45) sets out the framework for the introduction of a Broadband Universal Service Obligation (USO), includes new powers for Ofcom, seeks to reform the Electronic Communications Code and also sets out new consumer rights.
Ofcom has today published its consultation on automatic compensation for consumers and smaller businesses who experience disruption to daily activities caused by problems with their communications services. Before publishing a detailed consultation on the system, Ofcom is gathering initial views on the scope, form, process, level of compensation and also possible risks of introducing new measures. (more…)
The Digital Economy Bill was announced in the Queens Speech today, intended to “make the UK a world leader in digital provision – a place where technology ceaselessly transforms the economy, society and government”. For the telecoms sector it aims to make it easier to deploy communications infrastructure whilst empowering consumers.
BT’s has today announced that its Openreach and EE businesses will spend around six billion pounds between them over the next three years, in the first phase of a plan to extend superfast broadband and 4G coverage beyond 95% of the UK by 2020.
The announcement focuses on services, coverage and capacity with the latter receiving the most press coverage. As well as confirming their ambition of supplying 12 million premises with ultrafast broadband, BT announced that at least two million of those to be connected with Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) technology. (more…)
BT-Openreach Fibre Network passes 25 Million UK Premises as UK Superfast Broadband Coverage hits 90%Charles Wood
In what Openreach describes as “one of the fastest deployments of fibre broadband in the world”, it announced yesterday that its fibre network has passed the 25 million premises milestone, helping to take the UK’s superfast broadband (24Mbit/s) coverage past 90% of premises.
On Monday 14 March, the Broadband Stakeholder Group hosted an event to discuss the Government’s intention to make sure that “every home and business can have access to fast broadband by the end of this Parliament”. The event explored how any target for universal coverage should be framed, the actions needed to meet that target and what lessons can be learned from other countries.
Government has today launched its consultation on a Universal Service Obligation for broadband. The consultation acknowledges that a USO is a safety net for those who do not have access to super or ultrafast speed to ensure that everyone is able to participate in our digital society. This follows on the Prime Minister’s commitment last year that the UK would have a USO of 10 Mbit/s. This level is backed up by Ofcom in their latest Connected Nations Report.
Can the fourth industrial evolution take place in the UK? It depends on improvements to digital infrastructure, says EEFsamiragazzane
A survey recently conducted by EEF (the Manufacturers’ Association) in the last quarter of 2015 found that the majority of respondents consider internet connectivity increasingly central to their operations and a boost to their productivity. Whilst the research found that the current infrastructure is adequate to meet their current business needs, manufacturers are concerned about the UK’s potential to compete at international level; the EEF claims that Britain’s success in leading the fourth industrial revolution depends on improvements to affordability and internet infrastructure.
Pushing for Universal Broadband Coverage: What do we mean and how do we get there?
The Government has announced its intention to make sure that “every home and business can have access to fast broadband by the end of this Parliament”. This would go beyond the current BDUK targets for superfast broadband to 95% of premises and build on the Universal Service Obligation of 2 Mbit/s. This event will bring together industry and policy makers to discuss how best to facilitate coverage to the areas which are by definition the least commercially viable, with the debate including issues such as public funding, State Aid, community-led scheme, debt-financing and the creation of a Universal Service Obligation.