Br0kenTeleph0n3

Following the broadband money

Dolphinholme overcomes FUD to light up on B4RN’s 1Gbps fibre

with 19 comments

Dolphinholme is where the marker is in the lower right hand corner. Map by Google Maps.

Dolphinholme is where the marker is in the lower right hand corner. Map by Google Maps.

“I am delighted to tell you all that Dolphinholme now has hyperspeed broadband! Thanks to the ‘fusing team’ the Village Hall and the first few houses came online today. A fantastic effort by everyone concerned, those who planned, those to dug and those who did the ‘technical stuff’. A real community effort by everyone involved. Particular thanks to those who have given us access over their land, those who have invested time and money and those who have supported this is so many ways.

“Of course there is still a huge amount to do and at the Fleece meeting this evening the DB4RNAG dedicated ourselves to completing this project, which means bringing the service to all those in Dolphinholme who want it. This will of course take time, but in the meantime having the Village Hall live means that there is a facility for anyone in the Village who needs to use it.”

Thus was the news broken last night that a tiny Lancashire village overcame red tape, appalling weather, and a fear, uncertainty and doubt campaign to get future-proof, fit for purpose broadband access to their residents.

After learning that Dolphinholme, which is less than five miles from the county seat in Lancaster, was unlikely to get high speed broadband from BT in the Lancashire County Council next generation roll-out, residents resolved to dig their way to hook up with the 1Gbps network installed by B4RN.

B4RN had included Dolphinholme in its original plans, but in a later phase. Impatient villagers vowed to speed things up. This led to correspondence reported  in July last year by the well-connected blogger Philip Virgo. It went as follows:

I thought you might be interested in an update on how BT is behaving around the B4RN patch.

We are busy digging towards a village called Dolphinholme (included in our list of postcodes for B4RN build out which RCBF/BT and LCC have had for a very long time). As we are getting close interest has climbed and some villagers held a meeting to see how to progress things into the village and the distribution around it.

One inhabitant of the village  is very pro BT and went back to Lancashire County Council to ask for an update on where the Lancashire County Council SFBB project was in relationship to Dolphinholme.

LCC wrote back saying they were going to deliver SFBB soon and there was no need for them to support B4RN, the villager then emailed everyone saying B4RN wasn’t needed as BT were going to do it.

I responded saying the patch was in the B4RN build out and we thought we had an agreement that LCC’s build out wouldn’t overbuild us. Also that because the village was a long way from the exchange and there was no PCP then FTTC would not deliver true NGA broadband to the village.

This was apparently fed back to LCC/BT (see snippet 1/ below) and triggered what appears to be a general letter about to go out to residents, see snippet 2/ below

1/

In view of Barry Forde’s comments, I wrote and subsequently spoke to Andrew Halliwell, Assistant Director at the Lancashire CC, overseeing the roll out scheme throughout Lancashire, and he has assured me the roll out to Dolphinholme is still on schedule to arrive sometime between September and December, 2013.  In order to allay any scepticism, Andrew Halliwell  has agreed to give us written assurances and I will notify you upon receipt of same.  

2/

Dear <resident>,

Due to the distance from the exchange BT will use FTTP technology in order to ensure that you and your residents in Dolphinholme get the best possible service.

This means that the cabinet location will not effect the installation of fibre into Dolphinholme as this will be fed direct from the exchange to the homes and business’s.  

This is excellent news for you and your residents and I will look forward to keeping you upto date with the latest plans!

With Kind Regards

Judith Brown

Superfast Lancashire Programme Control Manager

So what do we make of the fact that BT are choosing to roll out an FTTP deployment, focused entirely within the B4RN footprint targeting the core of a village we are digging into?

Also that they can find the resources to do this between September and December, before any other bits of the county are done but coincidentally matching the time frame for our service build and go live dates . I’ve not got any data on which properties they are targeting but wouldn’t be surprised to find it’s just the easy to service core of the village and that all the surrounding isolated properties are excluded unlike our project that is 100% inclusive.

That is now water under the bridge, although people in these parts have long memories. As Dolphinhome says, “The work goes on. Tomorrow we hope to bring a few more houses online and then in the afternoon at 2:00 we hope to start the duct from the cabinet to Corless Cottages.”

But for the moment, take a bow, chaps – you deserve it.

About these ads

Written by Br0kenTeleph0n3

2014/05/07 at 00:39

19 Responses

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. Congratulations to the B4RN team in Dolphinholme. A classic case of David vs Goliath. Don’t stop, keep digging all the way to LCC County Hall!
    Future-proof, fit for purpose & 100% inclusive, more than I can say for FTTC!

    Andy

    2014/05/07 at 08:01

    • Better than BT’s FTTP too – since B4RN is using “home run” fibre, each resident gets their own dedicated gigabit fibre to the Internet. BT’s FTTP uses GPON, where everyone in the street shares a single fibre cable.

      Robert Robinson

      2014/05/07 at 08:16

      • …..As are most of the worlds FTTP installations done on the basis of a PON of some form.
        GPON indeed cannot by definition be symmetrical
        but other PON’s can be symmetrical

        CM7u

        2014/05/07 at 20:25

  2. Most importantly a shared fibre is still an asymmetric one whereas the B4RN is a full point-to-point connection direct into the distribution cabinet.

    It might perhaps come as no surprise to many that there seem to be no faster BT services available yet in the area, unless the September to December 2013 calendar is as “flexible” as “passing all the properties” too ?

    MANY MANY CONGRATULATIONS AND VERY WELL DONE INDEED TO ALL IN THE B4RN PROJECT.

    walterwillcox

    2014/05/07 at 08:54

  3. Whilst I may be pointing out the bleedin’ obvious, this is not unique to this area.

    BT/BDUK are aggresively targetting media in an effort to make sure that we (‘the public’) ‘understand’ how well the programmes are running, and how lucky everyone is to be getting such delivery.

    They are even running (at last count) around 12 Twitter accounts which seem to spend a lot of their time dedicated to ‘dealing with’ adverse comments online.

    They hold up examples where it has been an unmitigated success. And in some instances it is truly revolutionary as a delivery.

    ‘Some instances’ is inadequate given the amount of nonsense that is simply reprinted by many areas of the press – they have a Press Release processing machine that essentially adds a lead and closing paragraph and reprints exactly what they have been sent.

    In Wales it is worse, with the Press Release often being the entire article, with the ‘journalist’ (Press Officer by any other description) having only to add a suitably representative image to get their byline.

    Thanks to real journalism (hat tip to Ian), situations such as Dolphinholme have at least some sort of outlet for those who want to read about the darker underbelly of the BDUK operations, and the universal (in the respect that it is not restricted to just one location) failure of the BDUK plan to deliver.

    BT are not the culprit here (although their disingenous, misleading and sometimes downright false statements are part of the lubrication to the deception). Gov ministers/councils/officials etc have a lot to lose if the truth of the situation is allowed to be truly exposed before the next round of elections.

    As a result, genuine critique is met with FUD (fear uncertainty and doubt) efforts, and phrases such as ‘premises passed’ are repeated to try and undermine those asking the questions.

    BT will deliver precisely to their contracts – they have a history of doing so, and have a history of making sure that those contracts suit their shareholders first. This is as it should be.

    The difficulty is then the ‘false plans’ (often only discovered when it is perceived to be ‘too late’) or the lack of transparency, or hiding behind Gov Officials who are lobbied into believing that release of content/data/evidence would cause irrepairable damage to BT etc. Then BT have to share the blame, and it is often those who hold ‘MD’ posts who are used to perpetuate the myth that BT are ‘doing good’.

    Thank goodness for B4RN.
    Thank goodness for Br0kent3l3ph0n3.

    I wish you did not have to exist – but as we need you, I am glad you do.

  4. Great to see, please keep reporting the cost per premise connected on first pass and your estimate for costs for subsequent second pass connections.

    NGA for all

    2014/05/07 at 12:27

  5. Just for the record, as this blog is keeping a history of the B4RN and other altnet projects I thought I would add my twopennorth…
    In the same way that Dolphinholme was targeted by BT (lucky for them they had people of grit who ignored the marketing hype) we now find that all the areas round B4RN are getting the same treatment. Some will fall for it, some won’t. It matters not for the project, as there are plenty of areas digging and many new customers to install. It is good to have competition and people are free to choose.
    Anyway, back to the point, another group who want to join on to the B4RN network, the BAYS group have had a parish council visit where 3 BT representatives gave their presentation to the council. https://www.facebook.com/groups/B4YSfibre/

    Whittington, another village on the North side is hosting the BT folk on Friday night. It just makes me wonder why our parishes are getting this treatment. It also makes me wonder if there is anyone at these meetings to ask the pertinent questions, or are they allowed to ask questions? such as how much does it cost for BT fibre? or are they just being offered ‘infinity’ on a fibre. Are they going to do real fibre to the homes or put it through copper phone lines and call it fibre? Are they going to run fibre to the remote farms and businesses in the parish and what are the ‘excess construction charges’.

    If BT do their presentations but parishioners aren’t allowed to ask questions it amounts to brainwashing. The superfastlancashire sales force is very good at marketing. oh yes indeed. I haven’t heard them tell anyone that their fibre product costs £99+vat a month, that it only does asymmetrical with 330Mbps download and comes bundled with massive construction costs. We need transparency and less of the marketing hype. http://www.ispreview.co.uk/index.php/2014/01/bt-openreach-hike-price-already-expensive-330mbps-fibre-demand.html

    I do wonder if other areas are getting this special treatment, as Glasson Dock can’t have ‘superfast’ and it’s a lot bigger place than our little hamlets. Even Tunstall which only has about 20 houses has been offered fibre to the home from doorknockers from BT? Is it all just FUD? In the same way superfastlancs didn’t deliver to Dolphinholme last September will it deliver to anywhere it promises?

    Chris Conder

    2014/05/07 at 15:19

    • Chris Conder has a very valid point regarding questions. A simple question should be asked such as:- How are “Superfast” connections to our area to be provided ?

      Now answer that question with a known example using the Government and Local Authority accepted parlance as used by Ed Vaizey et al.

      The Wennington area is serviced by cables starting in the Hornby Exchange and its associated single FTTC close-by; so the Wennington area can be ticked off as “Being passed” and “Having Access” to VDSL FTTC services.

      The inconvenient fact (I.e. the Laws of Physics) is that the Distribution side cables are around 5000 m for all those scattered residents. Yet it is common knowledge that the fastest VDSL speeds are only possible within about 300 m of the FTTC and even the slower “Up to 40 Mbps” services degrade substantially by about 1,000 m.

      The practical answer to these types of question is that the residents will only achieve future-proof hyperfast connections with Fibre-To-The-Home which is precisely what B4RN are already deploying.

      It is then abundantly clear that the Incumbent just does not have a viable economic solution for such sparsely populated areas as Rural Lancashire’s villages, uplands and fells. Perhaps one might then ask how LCC were convinced that taxpayers’ money should be provided to the Incumbent for that vital objective ?

      Finally, it must be expected that the BT group are primarily responsible to their shareholders for producing a good return upon investment. This might be achieved from BT’s Sports revenue in urban areas but surely the shareholders should be questioning the investment in minute partial installations offering inferior services at vastly greater costs to the consumer ? If you are one of the intrepid band of B4RN volunteers and investors, rather than the small number of Local Authority associates, could you be expected to select (currently non-existent) services from the Incumbent ?

      walterwillcox

      2014/05/08 at 08:17

  6. BT sees B4RN as a major threat. I mentioned this whilst standing in thick mud nipped at by a mean wind outside Wray recently watching fibre being blown and new volunteers from the next village being instructed on site.

    B4RN is no longer a fluffy yogurt knitting community project – it is a hardcore commercial concern, and everyone should now realise that, as BT clearly have had to. The ring fencing that is being attempted with these parish presentations on the outskirts of the original B4RN phases is evidence of the fear that for once is within BT rather than being spread outwards to the populace by their PR.

    The problem now for BT is that B4RN is no more susceptible to these arbitrarily chosen boundaries than wifi is to regional development area borders etc. (When we built the Wennington wireless network, the signal point blank refused to respect that Yorkshire boundary and only go to houses in Lancashire – naughty 2.4Ghz) The success of B4RN means it is being given serious consideration and replicated in parishes, communities and villages across the country; B4RN is not just growing organically outward, nor was it ever planned to, as the publicly available business plan clearly shows. Whilst these B4RNlets may still appear to be tiny lily pads that could not possibly threaten the incumbent, there are three reasons why BT is bricking it.

    1) a sustainable symmetrical gigabit solution is a long way down BT’s roadmap, yet B4RN has already delivered it, as are other companies
    2) as more people actually use gigabit that is fit for purpose, the alternatives are going to seem more than just dreary, they are going to seem expensive and unfit for purpose in 2014, let alone beyond. Should this become publicly obvious prior to 2015 elections, heads will roll, and blame will be laid for BDUK; some of those heads and that blame will fall on and in BT
    3) it is very simple to get online and talk to join dots up to cut costs between different community networks, bulk buy, streamline admin systems etc. No competition, just co-operation and collaboration in the community world. BT simply can’t do that.

    The final reason BT is scared is that despite all the best efforts to block receipt of any public money (let’s make no guesses about who may have been behind DCMS, BDUK, RCBF etc decisions on that front), B4RN continues to progress without public subsidy. Unlike BT.

    If BT and politicians learn anything from this, which is sadly unlikely, it should be “Don’t promise what you cannot deliver”. Especially to Dolphinholme and rural communities who can JFDI ;)

    lindsey annison

    2014/05/09 at 20:08

  7. Interesting how, from what I’ve seen everywhere else, Openreach leave the ‘hard’ bits of BDUK projects to the end of the rollouts, using the cash remaining from simpler FTTC, yet here they allocate a presumably pretty large amount of both their own and the intervention money to deliver FTTP to Dolphinholme.

    Other places like Dolphinholme end up in the final phase of the deployment, being offered an ‘alternative technology’ to supply at least 2Mb, and if there’s enough cash left might get FTTP, yet here the decision is made right in the early phases to deploy FTTP.

    Think Superfast Lancashire got ripped off. Clearly BT had some money spare from the project if they knew with confidence they could spend the pretty large amount of cash on FTTP for Dolphinholme already.

    Carl

    2014/05/10 at 17:52

  8. The bit that worries me about these community based projects like B4RN is what happens after the enthusiasm has worn off and the knowledgeable people have moved on, bits of land and properties have been sold to others etc all with a different outlook on contributing to community projects.
    Who is going to volunteer to do the maintenance, and fix the faults/damage then?

    Sad to say I’ve seen this issue before in clubs and societies where something is fixed/sorted/improved by a group within the club – it works for a period and then is left to decay and no one else is prepared to get to grips with/learn about it.

    CM7u

    2014/05/10 at 21:44

    • Don’t worry cm7u, all that is taken care of in the plan and there will be paid staff soon, some of which will be chosen from the splendid volunteers. B4rn hasn’t been able to access kickstart funding so has had to rely on the community to start the build but once there are enough customers it will be able to pay people properly.

      chrisconder

      2014/05/10 at 22:03

    • Whilst CM7u has a point to some extent for clubs and societies where they are providing a benefit to part of a community; there are some fundamental differences in B4RN’s case.

      1. B4RN is one of a very small number of organisations who have accepted a Universal Service Obligation to provide symmetric 1000 Mbps services to EVERY property throughout their area to all that request that service; so there need be no exclusions. The service is providing an absolutely vital communications network over vast, sparsely populated, areas where others are still unable to do so. One reason for this situation is that the community operated network only needs to cover its costs and is not beholden to shareholders demanding a return on investment. Consequently costs to consumers is likely to remain substantially below other lower-performance partial offerings.

      2. The fibre solution is very significantly more reliable than any solution based upon the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN) so their maintenance costs will continue to be very small, probably limited to the replacement of a few electronic modules. The network itself is entirely immune from all forms of noise interference and even all but direct lightening strikes on the small number of active cabinets. Unlike the distribution part of the PSTN, some resilience is also inbuilt with at least dual diverse-routed feeds to cabinets. To a first order of magnitude, line distance does not affect a fibre route either. With the exception of a small number of road crossings, almost the entire network is buried (without any overhead services) mainly over private land away from all other services so there is unlikely to be much storm damage or interference from other utilities.

      It is acknowledged that deployment times can vary as project management must necessarily rely on “happenstance” to some extent. Some farming operations are seasonal and are weather-affected too; so quite obviously these things take a priority. Once the installation phase is complete the need for volunteer “person-power” drops significantly. The amount of work required in an area varies too. The initial plan estimated there might be a 50% take-up rate (already far above usual take-up rates) yet in many places installations are remarkably close to100%, even if some have just asked for fibre as a future investment and to protect their property values. The project has been and is sometimes limited by funding. It is quite remarkable that over 200 km of fibre duct has been installed without any form of Government subsidy. It follows that a more co-operative stance by some public servants would yield significant benefits too.

      walterwillcox

      2014/05/11 at 01:26

      • @walterwillcox With respect, I don’t think you understand the meaning of the term “Universal Service Obiligation”.

        Also, and more importantly, your statements vastly underestimate the maintenance that will be required on the network – it is every bit as hard to maintain a fibre network as a copper one since the problems will be the same – especially the physical damage to the lines caused by diggers, accidents and even vandalism.

        You also dismiss a key point in the original question regarding changes of ownership on the land that B4RN currently crosses and the loss of landowner support – not just wayleave but access for maintenance etc.

        Unfortunately there is an image of altnets as being run by well meaning but ultimately inexperienced volunteers and this is one of the reasons there is a credibility problem amongst both the public and local authorities. Of course, BT are exceptionally good at milking this “FUD” and I expect them soon to commission adverts portraying B4RN as some kinds of “dad’s army” operation.

        Let me be controversial: Why was CLEO taken from LUNS and given to BT to run? It looks like the council wanted the security of dealing with “the” telco rather than a bunch of academics running a network in their spare time.

        Remember in the old days they used to say “nobody got fired for buying IBM”? Same.

        Robert Robinson

        2014/05/11 at 09:34

      • Cleo wasn’t taken away from LUNs, the tender process virtually eliminated LUNs from applying, the same as the current BDUK funding is impossible for anyone other than BT to apply for.

        The home guard kept our country safe, no point in dissing them. Maybe B4RN isn’t yet as slick as other altnets who have private funding, but its getting there, and operations are more streamlined than they were.

        Changes of ownership won’t really matter in the B4RN footprint as it is currently the only way anyone can get a connection and there isn’t much likelyhood of BT digging 200 km of fibre to connect 400 properties when they can lay a few strands in a city to a cabinet and connect thousands, so it isn’t anything to bother about. There are many areas like B4RNland, and they are all going to be stuck on 2Mbps USC where as b4rn promise USO to everyone in the parish.

        I agree, nobody got fired for buying IBM and the telcos have put the fear of God into the councillors and the government and we’ll all pay the price by being tied to copper for yet another decade.

        Support the altnets, they are our only chance of competition and innovation happening. Some may fail, but at least they tried and didn’t just roll over and let a greedy monopoly pull the blanket over them.

        It is estimated 90% of the UK land mass is outside the BT/Virgin commercial footprint. After the BDUK funding is spent it is estimated 72% will still be unable to access a fit for purpose connection.
        And still nobody will get fired. But lots of names will be remembered. Looking at you Ed. and this blog is keeping a history of it all.

        chrisconder

        2014/05/11 at 10:28

      • @ Chris

        I agree whole-heartedly with your comments. The world isn’t perfect but B4RN, together with other altnets, are actually providing a viable and future-proofed solution that is overwhelmingly superior to the major commercial world.

        @ RR

        To paraphrase an apocryphal Irish joke about a stranger asking directions who was told “I wouldn’t start from here if I wanted to go there”. I echo Dr Peter Cochrane’s view that we have “one of the biggest mistakes humanity has made” (HoL enq.) and that vast sums will be a continual drain in maintaining “the wrong technology” (BBC Newsnight).

        I admit I was using the term USO rather lightly to emphasise that the B4RN project will connect all premises that request a service without the usual “Not economically viable” stance. I would be happy to be corrected if my view is incorrect that USO was initially used to differentiate between a telephony service via PSTN and any other “Best efforts” service using the same infrastructure. You may remember the naughties boast that “We are the proud guardians of the Nation’s Local Access Network” which seems to have evaporated entirely.

        I am a pragmatist and do expect there will be some damage to the fibre network but I believe there are some mitigating circumstances. Having a very small number of cabinets – usually discreetly hidden, fibre runs across fields, etc. surely has a lower risk of damage than highway operations, especially as the occupiers realise their ongoing services rely on intact fibre cables ? A resilient fibre feed design, battery backed power with generator sockets all mitigate against serious failure. (I believe FTTCs have a 6 hour battery life and no generator plug when future power starvation is a distinct possibility. This seems totally inadequate in rural locations.) There are additional fibre loops installed in the inspection chambers and, as a last resort, a new duct and fibre section could replace a damaged one. The design also has far, far fewer bullet joints than the existing PSTN. A completed fibre fuse is likely to be much more reliable than double crimps on every twisted pair in submerged underground joints that are often used as foot-placements by contractors. Overhead joints can often be seen inverted acting as rainwater receptacles too.

        Land ownership might raise a question or two occasionally but this is a project run by the community who have an overwhelming interest in their own survival. There have been a few awkward owners who have been circumvented or who have been convinced of the benefits of co-operation.

        I agree that there can be credibility problems but I believe an examination of predatory tactics and restrictive practices of the incumbent will increase the perception that major reform is required too. This would become more apparent if a parallel was drawn with the railway’s case that killing passengers is unacceptable. The putrefaction of the PSTN must eventually be tackled perhaps by a sea change in the overall organisation. Comments are circulating that vast investments in sport do not counterbalance deceit** and inadequate PSTN maintenance / replacement. A dramatic increase in complex fragile active field components exacerbates an already difficult situation made even worse during major storm damage repair delays.

        ** “Passing homes”, “Having access”, “Up to 80 mbps”, Subcontract VDSL installations without test equipment, condemning cables rather than replacement, locked modems, call-centre “customer diversion” etc. etc.)

        walterwillcox

        2014/05/11 at 11:54

  9. Re Cleo, as another example I crave your indulgence for the repetition of a reply from one of the Isle of Wight providers to an Economist article “Going underground” of 26 April 2014.
    I ask whether this is appropriate behaviour by public servants and politicians alike?
    Is this example an appropriate use of taxpayers’ funds ?
    Are such processes likely to help in the salvation of the UK’s broadband infrastructure ?

    Perhaps we all might like to remember these activities when we have a General Election next year.

    _____________________________________________________

    I think you may be missing the point that many of us feel very strongly about.

    Many of us agree that these massive sums should not have been spent from the public purse. We would much rather have seen an ‘inclusive’ tender process where innovative, effective, efficient and well established regional providers were allowed to bid to offer more effective solutions at far lower costs. Instead the tender process ensured that every single regional provider was excluded – so that lower cost, higher speed and far more effective solutions were all ‘buried’ from view – leaving only the encumbant BT’s outdated, hugely expensive, and under performing copper based FTTC as being eligible for public funding.

    This narrow minded and unjustifiably exclusive approach by government and supported by local authorities, led to the elimination of any competition and the suppression of genuine private investment initiatives that were well under way getting the job done in many rural areas.

    For example in our county on the Isle of Wight, there are 2 local providers who have invested hundreds of thousands of their own money – with ZERO pounds of public money – to deploy effective solutions to provide high speed into rural areas that had little or nothing from BT’s phone lines. Both providers submitted comprehensive details of their coverage and capabilities to the local authority and BDUK – NOT TO ASK FOR ANY PUBLIC FUNDING – SIMPLY SO THAT PUBLIC MONEY WAS NOT WASTED SUBSIDISING BT IN THE AREAS ALREADY COVERED BY THEM.

    The local authority and BDUK made the ludicrous decision to deem all existing coverage as ‘not existing’ and gave a green light to their own BT/BDUK project to use public money to overbuild areas where private investment had already solved the problem. This caused 2 major issues : 1. It cost the tax payer millions of pounds that did not need to be spent, and 2. It caused independent local providers to be forced to stop all further investment as they have no way of knowing or finding out which areas the public money will be spent in and which it will not – this information on where public money is being handed out to BT is being actively kept SECRET from everyone! Independent local providers cannot therefore identify areas where they can target their own investments. The result is that the private money that providers are ready, willing and able to spend in our region has to sit ‘unused’ while public money is drained down the BT plug hole buying overpriced cabinets and supporting an outdated FTTC system that every shred of evidence that exists proves will under-perform, under-deliver and cost far more than other options – options that were silenced, buried from view and excluded.

    As a result the cost to the public purse in rural areas is massive. The sums are so huge I’m not surprised that people are upset by how much is being spent on rural folk. However it’s not the fault of the rural folk that live there – they did not ask for and did not want overpriced and under-performing ‘old fashioned’ copper phone line broadband contracts awarded to a monopolistic and inefficient incumbent in an competitive process that excluded the majority of available providers. All that rural folk wanted was decent broadband – and that was available and achievable at a fraction of the costs that will be incurred by these BT/BDUK schemes.

    The problem is the sums are so unreasonably high because the technology choice was unreasonable. That happened because the tender process was unreasonable – a one horse race where the winning horse runs slowly and only on expensive copper hooves.

    If there had been a shred of genuine competition in the tender process then local authorities would have had a portfolio of choices from competing ‘systems’ offering a range of price, performance and coverage templates to choose from within different technologies. If some genius had then thought of possibly even combining technologies – so that copper was used in high density areas with short distances, and perhaps wireless was used for low density areas with long distances, then the results could have been a cost effective, efficient and ‘fit for purpose’ system at a small fraction of the cost to the public purse. Saving hundreds of millions of pounds and easing the sting in the tail for the public purse.

    walterwillcox

    2014/05/11 at 15:15

  10. […] question is, has Dolphinholme been cut out of BT’s proposed subsidised coverage area in Lancashire? Email correspondence […]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 975 other followers

%d bloggers like this: