Next generation broadband

The NIC focuses on 5G

The National Infrastructure Commission today reported back to Government on how to ensure that the UK can become a leader in the deployment of 5G and take early advantage of the applications that it may enable.

The core finding of the NIC is that mobile connectivity is essential and that the market, as currently structured, will struggle to meet these two objectives on its own and that the whole of Government must work with industry to deliver on them.

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Autumn Statement 2016 – New investments in digital communications within the next 5 years

Chancellor Philip Hammond reaffirmed today the need for the UK to level-up its ambition for world class connectivity in an Autumn Statement placing digital communications infrastructure as a priority area of investment, critical to boosting UK productivity. The Chancellor confirmed the Government’s plans to invest over £1billion in the roll-out of full-fibre connections and future 5G communication.

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BT to Invest Billions More into Fibre, 4G and Customer Service

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…)

Getting to the Internet of Everyone – still a work in progress

Every year the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, a body set up by the ITU and UNESCO in 2010, sets out its annual report on the state of the global broadband industry. The headline from this year’s was that outside of some pockets such as mobile broadband, overall growth in internet take-up and usage is slowing; a concern when by the end of this year just 43.4% of the global population will be online.

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Connecting Hull

In November last year, Three and EE announced an agreement with CityFibre to roll-out “dark-fibre” backhaul connections for mobile masts in the city of Hull. I attended an event last Friday to hear about the progress made in the delivery of the initial phase of this project, the first of its kind in the UK.

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Ofcom research on connectivity in UK cities published

Much of the focus on improving access to the internet has been understandably focused on rural areas. However, research undertaken for Ofcom by Analysys Mason not only shows that slow broadband and Next Generation Access (NGA) availability affect a significant minority of households in urban areas – but that these households tend to be those on the lowest incomes.

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Vaizey hails urban vouchers as 'breaking new ground', as scheme rolls out in 22 cities

SCCThe Vouchers component of the Government’s Super Connected Cities programme (also known as the Urban Broadband Fund) launched across 22 cities as part of Small Business Saturday on Saturday 7 December. The voucher scheme represents up to £100 million of the £150 million being overseen by BDUK and managed by cities to provide a step change in connectivity for businesses in urban areas.

Today in a written statement to parliament, Communications Minister Ed Vaizey MP said that “the market tests in 5 cities over the summer have showed that suppliers and SMEs want to participate in the Scheme, with over 60 suppliers registered for the market tests and an increasing number now registering for the full scheme.” (more…)

BSG publishes new model for analysing domestic demand for bandwidth

Today the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) published a report outlining a new way for measuring and forecasting demand for bandwidth in UK homes. The group called for greater policy attention to be given to how demand relates to infrastructure provision.

Pamela Learmonth, CEO of the BSG said, “Despite global interest in whether broadband infrastructure is currently meeting demand and will continue to do so, there is a lack of evidence and methodology available to inform this critical question. This was our key motivation for commissioning new research in this area and this study presents a technology-neutral approach to forecasting demand, rooted in the applications consumers want to access.

The model for forecasting bandwidth demand, used in the BSG’s report, combines the usage profiles of various applications with the usage of profiles of individuals.  These individual profiles are then combined into various household profiles. 156 household profiles are modelled in the report, based on demographics, intensity of use and TV type. The household profiles have also been combined to create a picture of national demand. (more…)

DCMS and Arqiva reveal locations of Mobile Infrastructure Projects

Government has this week revealed the first locations that will be covered by the £150m Mobile Infrastructure Project. In an announcement on the DCMS site, mobile phone coverage will be increased in areas where no coverage is currently available. Cornwall, Northumberland, Strabane, Aberdeenshire and Powys are among the areas that stand to benefit most from the project, with the first sites due to “go live” by the end of this year. (more…)