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.
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.
The 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…)
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…)
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…)
Despite the setbacks faced by the Commissioner Neelie Kroes last month with the significant cut to the Connecting Europe Facility, there is still significant political will to push through the vision of the Commission’s Digital Agenda for Europe. Wednesday’s announcement of a series of regulations aimed at ‘burning red tape’ in high-speed broadband roll out across Europe can be seen very much as part of that will in a way which has no direct implications for the EU Budget. (more…)
Full Fibre Broadband
The UK’s broadband infrastructure is undergoing an important period of change. We’re moving away from a reliance on outdated copper lines in favour of future-proof fibre optic links. In place of a creaking phone network which was never built with the internet in mind, the fibre lines spreading throughout the country can provide far greater connection speeds without the signal degradation which affects copper cabling over long distances. (more…)
Yesterday, BT announced it will add another 1.2million homes and businesses to its fibre footprint as part of its target of reaching two thirds of UK premises during Spring 2014. The announcement marks the latest phase of its £2.5 billion commercial fibre roll-out strategy.