BDUK misson creeps to include very high speed city networks
Broadband Delivery UK, the government agency set up to deliver high speed broadband to the country’s broadband “not-spots” is to review proposals for very high speed broadband in cities.
This was revealed in a job advertisement for an accountant. It said, “BDUK is also taking forward other ministerial priorities such as proposals for very high speed broadband in cities.”
The department of culture media and sport, to which BDUK reports, did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Until now the government has said the BDUK’s £530m budget is to ensure that so-called “final third” of homes and businesses currently without a decent broadband service will get one. It has said it will rely on the market to deliver high speed (above 24Mbps) connections largely in towns and cities.
It is therefore not clear why BDUK should be involved in urban networks.
Virgin Media is already testing a 1.5Gbps network at London’s Tech Hub in Old Street, and BT has said it will have spent £2.5bn on fibre to the cabinet (FTTC), with a little fibre to the premises (FTTP), by 2015. It has started rolling out some 100Mbps FTTP projects in high density locations.
Br0kenTeleph0n3 asked the DCMS press office the following questions about BDUK’s apparently extended mission:
What proposals for very high speed broadband networks in cities is BDUK looking at?
Who has submitted them?
What time period do they cover?
How much taxpayers’ money could be involved over and above the £530/£830m already earmarked for not spots?
BDUK was set up to address the problems of broadband not spots. This looks like mission creep. Is it?
This is its reply in full:
“Broadband Delivery UK – a team within DCMS – was set up to deliver the Government’s broadband strategy, bringing superfast broadband to all parts of the UK.
“The Government wants the UK to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015.
“Our priority is to ensure the whole country can join the digital age by helping take superfast broadband to areas the market will not serve on its own.
“We have set out plans to provide 90 per cent of homes and businesses in each local authority area with superfast broadband access and everyone with access to at least 2Mbps.
“We are also exploring other ways to ensure Europe’s best superfast broadband network is in the UK.”