Br0kenTeleph0n3

Following the broadband money

NAO report on BDUK: blame game starts now

with 48 comments

The government’s rural broadband programme will transfer £1.2bn to BT, finish two years late, and rely on civil servants to establish whether it has received value for money.

“The rural broadband project is moving forward late and without the benefit of strong competition to protect public value. For this we will have to rely on the department’s (culture media & sport – DCMS) active use of the controls it has negotiated and strong supervision by Ofcom,” said Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office.

The NAO has been investigating whether Broadband Delivery UK, the quango set up in DCMS, will deliver value for money.

It was expected to be critical; the Cabinet Office National Project report recently judged the BDUK project amber/red, meaning it is in danger of missing its targets. Few will have guessed how bad things are.

In the very baldest terms, the NAO said there is £1.2bn available to provide high speed (>24Mbps download) to areas outside BT’s commercial roll-out to two-thirds of the country. All of it will go to BT.

Central government’s contribution is £530m; the balance comes from local authorities’ budgets which are funded by the taxpayer, and BT. BT’s contribution will be 23%, way down on the 36% estimated in 2011.

There are 44 projects that call for 4.6 million houses to have access to ‘next generation’ broadband; BT has already won 26, and it has no competitors.

The original completion date for 90% of homes was May 2015. Last week DCMS increased the coverage target to 95%, and extended the deadline to 2017.

BT said in response, “BT’s fibre programme has been one of the most efficient in the world with the company going further and faster than industry experts thought possible. BT has applied these cost efficiencies to its BDUK work and so the company is delivering excellent value for money.‬‪”

It argues there was strong competition when prices were set at the start of the process. “That ensured counties have benefited from the best possible terms.
“Deploying fibre broadband is an expensive long-term business and so it no surprise that others dropped out as the going got tough,” it said.

On the specific claim that BT is likely to contribute 23% of the total funding or some £356m, BT said, “We would like to highlight we have committed more than £500m to date. With more than a third of the contracts yet to be signed, including a very large one in Scotland. We believe we will contribute around 38% of the total funds by the end of the programme, which is well above the 23% claimed in the report.”‬‪‬

Asked why, when the state aid issue delayed things for six months, the deadline is now two years later, BT said, “The timescales for when individual contracts are signed are out of our hands as these are dictated by the individual councils. Our commercial fibre roll out is at least 18 months ahead of schedule so we have proved we can roll out fibre at great pace.”

Few Br0kenTeleph0n3 readers will be surprised by the NAO’s findings. But some might be taken aback by the NAO’s plain-spoken statements of fact. It is rare, given that ‘superfast broadband’ has been such an iconic target for this government, and the vested interest in BT’s on-going attempts to rubbish criticism of the project, that the circumstances have been set out so plainly.

Indeed, the NAO has merely scratched the surface. It could have explored and said much more about why the BDUK Framework process attracted just two bidders from nine invited. These were BT and Fujitsu, which pulled out in March.

It could have said much more about the reasons for the six month delay before the European Commission swallowed its reservations and passed the Framework as fit for purpose. The commission spent weeks waiting for information from BDUK.

However, these would have placed responsibility squarely with individuals, and the tradition here is to apportion responsibility collectively, except in the most egregious circumstances.

That said, some people will have a chance to explain what they have been doing for the past three years. They include Colette Bowe and Ed Richardson, chairman and CEO respectively of Ofcom, the regulatory watchdog that became BT’s lapdog. They will face MPs on the culture, media and sport committee on Tuesday 9 July.

Next up on Monday 15 July are believed to be BT Openreach CEO Liv Garfield and Bill Murphy, MD of BT’s NGA project. They have been invited by culture secretary Maria Miller to face representatives from six alt-nets, including B4RN CEO Barry Forde, who are trying to get the go-ahead to build in the ‘Final 10%’ that BT won’t cover. The trouble is, BT won’t say what it’ll cover and when, leaving the alt-net vulnerable to state-funded competition from BT.

If that meeting agrees that BT is not allowed to overbuild where the alt-nets run, the alt-nets might say it was worth the trip.

Finally the Public Accounts Committee, chaired by Labour leader Margaret Hodge, is likely to want to explore why the Conservatives scrapped Labour’s plan for a national 50Mbps broadband network by 2013, funded by a 50p ‘broadband tax’ on fixed phone lines. But who shall be the victims? Will it be communications minister Ed Vaizey, who has presided over BDUK for the duration. What about BDUK head Rob Sullivan, or Matt Agar, who has been the lynchpin in the BDUK works? Or BT CEO Ian Livingston, who in September is destined for the lords and a job as investment minister at the department of business, innovation and skills? Or his successor, the former Procter & Gamble soap and nappy salesman Gavin Patterson?

Entertaining as such spectacles might be, there is serious work to be done. Ofcom’s role may be crucial. But it may need a shake up. It refuses to accept its decision to allow BT to refuse the use of its physical poles and ducts for third party leased lines had any effect on the BDUK process. Yet this was the main reason why everyone except BT and Fujitsu dropped out of the BDUK framework bid. Geo CEO Chris Smedley was particularly forthright in his comments.

Ofcom suggests he should have gone through proper channels rather than ‘have a slanging match’ in the press. Asked why, if it was aware of the problem BT’s terms and conditions for access to its physical infrastructure (PIA) were causing, it did not consult further, an Ofcom spokesman said it believed its feedback process was clear and transparent and should have been used.

The spokesman felt there may be “a new role” for PIA in future. This might also involve Active Line Access, a standard way for fibre carriers to connect that was developed but not enforced by Ofcom.

(There is more to be said about PIA because it is addressed in detail in Ofcom’s Fixed Access Market Review consultation published the day before the NAO report. But that is for another time.)

Just ahead of the NAO report Ofcom set out a consultation that makes it easier and cheaper for firms that rent fibre from BT to switch.

In a more formal statement referring to the Office of Fair Trading investigation into competition in public sector procurements, which include rural broadband and the still-born £150m Superconnected Cities project, Ofcom said it doesn’t regulate public service procurement or contracts. “Rather, we regulate competition in the private telecoms sector. Likewise, the BDUK programmes are entirely matters for DCMS,” it said.

Whether it can persuade others that is the case remains to be seen.

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48 Responses

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  1. Whilst it is obvious that there are serious administrative difficulties, the current activities overlook several important facts.

    1. Even now everyone is STILL using the term PASSING a property which is NOT the same as entering it. The BT solution relies upon individual twisted pair wires entering EVERY building at least from the PCP Green cabinets. The BT solution cannot provide the capacity for everyone nor are all wires in good condition or short enough to provide adequate future-proof broadband services.

    2. Virgin Media’s coaxial cable is similar in concept to a water main with every house tapping into the same cable and which is contained within ducts to every house they enter, although it is not available everywhere even in conurbations. Where it is available it has the potential for faster and more reliable services which can be upgraded as requirements grow without very expensive major excavations.

    3. Everyone seems to be ignoring the advice from Dr Peter Cochrane, BT’s former CTO that the BT FTTC design “is one of the worst mistakes that humanity has made”. (See his House Of Lords Evidence transcript.) He and many others advocate the immediate construction of a full symmetric Fibre To The Premises solution just as B4RN are doing NOW and are already achieving close to 1 Gbps downstream AND upstream. This performance is vastly superior to the very best asymmetric “up to” speeds delivered by the monopoly. See

    http://www.slideshare.net/PeterCochrane/why-ftth-fibre-to-the-home

    4. Although laboratory conditions can demonstrate faster broadband speeds over wires, it is quite impossible to maintain the degrading twisted pairs in the entire country at a sufficient quality especially for any more than a few hundred metres from the cabinets.

    5. Successive Governments, Ofcom and other Public Servants have yet to grasp the nettle that all public funds must be directed solely towards Fibre To The Premises. It seems total folly to continue subsidising the infrastructure monopoly which shows little sign of making rapid changes to universal symmetric Fibre To The Premises. Even the new fibre being installed by the monopoly for its FTTC offering is not designed to provide FTTP so must be ignored for public funding.

    Merrow Drover

    2013/07/05 at 07:06

    • 1 – Why can’t FTTC provide a connection for every property? 4 – Many properties are close to a cabinet. 5 – How do we get funding available for FTTP to every premises in the UK?

      Somerset

      2013/07/05 at 08:02

      • 4 – Many properties are not close to a cabinet. Are there stats for the distribution of the distance of households from cabinet ?

        Clive

        2013/07/05 at 08:23

      • I did see some stats on that a while ago. I’ll try to dig them out. Please be patient.

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/07/05 at 08:43

      • This just in from BT “The vast majority of premises are within 900 metres of a cabinet – and over that sort of distance, speeds of 30Mb/s and above are achievable.”
        Am checking, but I would guess that’s the 66% of premises within BT’s commercial roll-out footprint.

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/07/05 at 13:02

      • In fairness it has to be remembered that part of the BDUK funded, BT dominated, approach involves not just upgrading old street cabinets but also adding new ones into other areas to help improve speeds via FTTC. I’m not sure how much of a part this will play though and it’s difficult to be sure until after all the contracts have been signed.

        Still if BT has chosen the wrong approach then they risk paying for it further down the road when 5G crops up, although for now mobile isn’t quite flexible enough to take on fixed lines.

        Mark (ISPreview)

        2013/07/05 at 11:42

      • 1. Thats exactly the question BDUK should have asked themselves before ‘entrusting’ BT with our taxes!
        2. Many but not all. My property, and 49 other houses/businesses, are between 2.5 and 4.2km from our FTTC enabled cabinet. We ask ourselves question 1 quite regularly.
        3. By scrapping HS2! Although I would happily pay £1000 to get a FTTP connection as long as BT had nothing to do with it.

        Andy

        2013/07/05 at 15:44

      • I believe BT’s normal position is something along the lines of “90% of us live within 1km of a cabinet”.

        Not, however, necessarily the cabinet to which the property is connected.

        I did some maths on this once and came up with a conclusion that if every single cabinet in the country were “enabled”, this could potentially supply the oft-quoted “superfast speeds” of 30Meg down to about two thirds of properties. I believe ThinkBroadband did a similar analysis once and came out at about the same number. My analysis incorporated a 15% adjustment for what I’d call “sub optimal lines” – those which perform poorly (badly maintained, leaking joints, aluminium, etc). I doubt even BT could put a figure on that.

        Clearly in some areas, such as high density housing estates, FTTC could be a viable short to perhaps even medium term proposition. In other areas, it might not be a waste of money per se, most users would see some improvement admittedly from a dire baseline, but lets not pretend this is a blanket “superfast broadband” solution or that “doing every cabinet” will suffice.

        The other important factor is the upstream speeds which begin tending towards zero rather rapidly as the line length increases.

        Hence the originally proposed mix of FTTC and FTTP necessary to attain the goal “90% to get superfast”. If WiFi is ruled out, then this leaves swathes of rural and urban areas needing nothing less than full FTTP just to get some fairly basic speeds (the expression “paint yourself in to a corner” seems apposite) – 30Meg is hardly very quick, and calling it “Next generation access” is laughable. This is “current generation access” enjoyed by half the country for years already.

        So it largely depends on whether you’re looking at tech solutions which deliver speeds, or which “pass homes”. A tech solution which is theoretically capable of delivering certain speeds is not the same as a tech solution which will deliver those speeds and leave the potential for expansion.

        And on that final note, the most worrying aspect of the entire project is the longer term – beyond FTTC whether that supplies you with 5Meg or 80Meg now, the only realistic way to get those speeds increased is to replace the old copper with fibre and so it was essential to ensure that this way forward existed at an affordable cost. Yet, based on certain assumptions, the cost of FTTC + “Fibre on demand” for this village based on 30% of the village needing “On demand” to get 30Meg+ is actually higher than the cost of laying an entirely new FTTP network.

        Mark

        2013/07/09 at 08:55

      • Judging from the evidence from FTTP roll-outs elsewhere, like rural Scandinavia, I suspect your sums are in the ballpark, Mark. But, as I hope I’ve indicated all along, that is not the issue; the issue is BT’s preservation of its monopoly and capacity to disrupt any competitor service or at least seek high rents for those parts of the network others can’t avoid.

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/07/09 at 14:45

      • One report said ‘the distribution of lengths between the cabinet and the customer, with a typical 420m length and a small proportion of lines (10%) with a very long length’. Across the UK.

        Somerset

        2013/07/09 at 18:54

      • Link?

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/07/09 at 19:39

    • The scale of the subsidies now (£260 per home passed or nearly a £1,000 connected) and the lack of verifiable BT investment, suggests you could do a substantial shift to FTTP in rural. Although I do not always agree with Peter Cochrane on this point, the money looks to be there to do as he suggests.
      The lack of BT investment also suggests the Open Access rules could be re-written in favour of the customer.

      NGA for all

      2013/07/05 at 08:50

      • Where does PC say the money is available? BT is investing in the BDUK projects.

        Somerset

        2013/07/05 at 09:19

  2. It would be interesting to see the same sort of analysis with regard to the current state of the Welsh rollout

    Clive

    2013/07/05 at 07:06

    • The Welsh subsidies are even higher >£300 a premise passed and less transparency.

      NGA for all

      2013/07/05 at 08:52

  3. […] the press cover. Then enjoy some of the blogs, such as those of Andrew Ferguson, Mike Kiely , or Ian Grant . Then consider whether you want to join the blame game or to look ahead to what Ministers should […]

    • On speed splits for FTTC lines see http://www.thinkbroadband.com/images/factsheet/q2-2013/projection-of-uk-broadband-speeds-2015-q2-2013-large.jpg which shows the figures based on estimates, that are largely proving correct based on user feedback.

      Andrew Ferguson

      2013/07/05 at 12:43

      • One of the neat things about the software that makes this stuff work is that you can cap speeds for users, right down to individuals. That allows the operators to provide QoS and SLAs. That makes speed a pretty relative indicator of anything. How would users know if their speed is capped, “shaped” or otherwise interfered with, and what caused it?

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/07/05 at 13:12

      • Users will have great difficulty i.e. virtually impossible except for the cognoscenti !

        BT Openreach employ restrictive practices to lock all VDSL modems down so ordinary end users can’t see their performance. BT’s DLM logic caps a line at the lowest safe speed and never releases the cap even if a fault has gone without a (chargeable ?) Openreach visit. Similarly a phone line fault has the same effect as a “no dial tone” is likely to cause line abnormalities which also cause the VDSL service to be capped. In this case you must have one Openreach visit to repair the phone fault and another, delayed by about one week, just to reset the DLM logic.

        One line with only an 821 m road distance was found capped at 15 Mbps. After one Openreach visit it achieved about 44 Mbps but within 4 days it became :-
        Max: Upstream rate = 4286 Kbps, Downstream rate = 43928 Kbps
        Path: 0, Upstream rate = 4291 Kbps, Downstream CAPPED rate = 34999 Kbps
        (although it is restricted under a 40 / 10 VDSL service). It sometimes achieves 46229 errored seconds in 24 hours or 86400 secs. This has caused a further restriction with a new sync limit of 32.40 Mbps down.

        So far we have had three tortuous “chats” with India** who ask questions such as “are the modem lights flashing” and “have you done a speed test” – “yes, the result is 30.61 Mbps down and 3.51 Mbps up”. “So you don’t have a fault then, except the upstream seems a bit slow ”

        ** Today for the very first time we were transferred immediately to the level 2 help desk AKA Back Office | BT RETAIL – Kolkata (Presumably Calcutta) instead of the standard 24 hour wait. We now wait in eager anticipation of an Openreach response within another 24 hours, inviting us to chose a site vist time after the regulatory 4 days wait.

        When the engineer arrives he will discover that pole DP 31 has a red D nailed to it indicating that it is dangerous to climb; so a wait of around an hour is required for a cherry picker, always assuming it is available.

        I invite you all to consider what these operations are actually costing UK plc ? Yet Broadband Bill is exclaiming modern technology can achieve 1 Gbps on copper cable in the laboratory.

        Might we all be far better off donating our taxes to a B4RN type FTTP solution run by a Community Interest Company where any eventual profits must be used within that community? (When you have a potential of a symmetric 1 GBPS, I doubt many would mind a drop to say 900 Mbps if something needed tweaking.)

        Merrow Drover

        2013/07/05 at 15:01

    • Philip, you may call it a blame game; however, at least two other reports (Pennell and Deighton) have indicated a serious lack of ‘commercial nous’ in BDUK/DCMS. Are you seriously saying we should keep these people in post? I would call it dereliction of duty to keep them on in charge of a whelk stall.
      Further, in the light of the NAO report, I would be tempted to ask Pinsent Mason and KMPG for my £10m back. That would increase the RCBF fund by 50% at a stroke and probably do the country a lot more good.
      As for BT, I have already expressed my admiration for how well it has played its hand. Its only problem is that it is trying for overtricks in a grand slam contract.

      Br0kenTeleph0n3

      2013/07/05 at 20:43

  4. I hope the NAO do kick some ass, but how exactly do you measure value for money? With the exception of the ludicrous “100% connecting at 2Mbps”, what are the benchmarks against which a BDUK project can be judged a success/failure or value for money?

    As for BT, their PR machine is in full swing again!!

    “BT’s fibre programme has been one of the most efficient in the world with the company going further and faster than industry experts thought possible.”

    Great sound bite but come on BT, at least follow it up with some facts!
    Efficient compared to what other countries? Senegal? South Korea?
    How do you measure “further and faster”? Maybe you should publish speed and coverage data?
    Who were the industry experts? Were they paid by BT?

    We all know what BT really means is that they’ve given priority to enabling FTTC on the easy to reach cabinets (or where they have have competition from Virgin Media) at the expense of the hundreds of harder to reach cabinets that they will do “at a later date” or get subsidised via BDUK.

    BT has been allowed to apply the exact same “business” model to it’s BDUK contracts… “BT has applied these cost efficiencies to its BDUK work and so the company is delivering excellent value for money”.

    For example, in South Gloucestershire the council website all but admits this is the case with their BDUK project. It first states that “Connecting up our most rural areas will be one of the challenges we face, as upgrading the network in these areas may require new infrastructure. The new fibre network has been designed to provide the greatest possible coverage for the investment. Other designs have been considered, for example connecting very rural areas first, followed by larger villages and towns.”

    At first glance it looks promising for the most rural areas, but it then goes on to say “However, the existing infrastructure requires that the work be completed in a specific sequence of events and will dictate the order of the rollout. This approach will ensure the best value for money, but it does mean that we cannot deviate from how the network will be rolled out across the area, as doing so would result in a time-consuming and costly project and would ultimately reduce the number of premises we are able to deliver superfast broadband to.”

    Who needs a challenge? South Gloucestershire and other such councils obviously don’t!

    Andy

    2013/07/05 at 15:13

    • Make commercial and engineering sense to roll out in the most effective way, building out from the existing connectivity. As in Devon & Somerset where villages around Taunton are first.

      Somerset

      2013/07/06 at 13:03

      • What you say is true only for an operator. You ignore the economic benefits gained by the rest of society, which I find strange, since it is so much part of BT’s pitch to local councils. I presume you are happy that taxpayers will buy 1.2bn worth of kit for BT. The assets BT buys will remain BT’s in perpetuity. Some, such as the fibre, will have useful life of more than 50 years, but taxpayers will enjoy them only for 10, according to the NAO. As this benefit is being gifted to BT, I see no reason why BT should not start building from the outside in, as the LTE licence holders in Germany have been required.

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/07/06 at 13:28

      • Those who can access NGA get the benefits, where-ever they are.

        Taxpayers are funding a solution. Would you prefer BT to recover the fibre and return it to the taxpayers in 10 years? I see no connection with the order of the build. We are funding an infrastructure for the future, not just 10 years. I don’t understand how you think a 10 year contract converts to ‘ taxpayers will enjoy them only for 10′. What do you think will happen in year 11? WIll they switch off Sky Fibre?

        ‘When Germany auctioned LTE frequencies in 2010, operators were required to first deploy the high-speed internet technology in rural areas before deploying to the more lucrative urban areas.’ Just in rural areas first, not outside in. Also building a mobile network is different to a fixed one as radio links to base stations can be used.

        Somerset

        2013/07/06 at 20:02

  5. The NAO have looked at timescale and costs. On both they have found serious shortcomings (2 years late and costing local taxpayers more than anticipated).

    Quality, the third element of any project, has not been addressed. How can anyone assess value for money without knowing whether the purchased product will meet the original specification? Who is auditing the local authority contracts and who will carry out an evaluation post project to establish whether the targets have been met and whether take-up has exceeded the claw back threshold?

    In Surrey the county politicians say we can look forward to 99.7% of premises having access to superfast broadband (originally defined by SCC as greater than 24Mbps download sync speed). More recently this target has not been stated with the same certainty as it was before the contract with BT was signed. Can anyone explain how this original target will be achieved using the available BT technology? By the way, I have asked Surrey County Council, but have not had a reply.

    Paragraphs 5.6 and 5.7 in the NAO report should be cause for concern as it acknowledges that the job will need doing again and that this round of public spending reinforces BT’s monopoly to such an extent that they will be in a strong position to secure even more public funding!

    It may be worse, as here BT representatives say that they do the easy areas first and work done the list until the money runs out! http://54.228.246.170/blog/?p=516

    David Cooper

    2013/07/05 at 20:03

    • Paras 5.6 and 5.7 do not say ‘the job will need doing again’. They say ‘some (not listed) commentators are suggesting further upgrade will be needed’. Upgrades over time are a standard activity in any engineering project, not remotely like ‘doing again’.

      Somerset

      2013/07/06 at 13:00

      • Those left with a 2Mbps connection after BDUK, RCBF and BT’s commercial rollout will need doing again to be able to achieve the minimum 30Mbps set out by the EU.

        If the job had been done properly in the first place it wouldn’t need doing again for 50 years!

        Andy

        2013/07/07 at 00:54

      • In Surrey politicians and BT say that 99.7% will have access to superfast broadband by 2014. This is unlikely to happen based on the engineering standards of the current BT rollout, by 2014 or any other deadline. Therefore any upgrades will be to “do again” what should be covered by the current contract. If the term superfast does not really mean greater than 24Mbps download sync speed then perhaps we should be told what it does mean.

        David Cooper

        2013/07/07 at 22:33

      • Are there any details of the Cornwall project to compare?

        Somerset

        2013/07/08 at 11:11

      • The simple answer is invest more money, the complicated question is ‘how much’?

        Somerset

        2013/08/12 at 21:07

    • Some details for Cornwall, Somerset and Surrey:

      http://tinyurl.com/lprbn4p

      http://tinyurl.com/kb5ezaq

      http://tinyurl.com/os4evcn

      David Cooper

      2013/08/12 at 18:44

      • The simple answer is invest more money, the complicated question is ‘how much’?

        Somerset

        2013/08/12 at 21:07

      • “Invest” implies a return 1. of the money 2. on the money. What’s BT’s offer in order to attract that investment?

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/08/12 at 23:39

    • It’s been there ever since there was talk of a “Mbps universal service commitment. BT has cleverly managed to change the terms of the debate from 100% to 90% coverage with an unspecified “up to” rate and no published quality of service standards such as mean time to repair, contention/congestion levels or latency standards.

      Br0kenTeleph0n3

      2013/08/09 at 09:47

    • ‘talk of’ is hardly evidence of facts. We could have 100% superfast in the UK if the government was willing to fund like HS2. Clearly DSL has a variable rate hence the use of ‘up to’.

      As usual you divert the topic of coverage by introducing something unrelated about quality of service. Do LLU suppliers like TalkTalk and Sky publish service standards?

      Somerset

      2013/08/09 at 12:36

      • It is a fact that the original discussions and intentions, led by Stephen Carter, were to deliver 100% coverage. You are merely BT’s pawn in trying to rewrite history. It is very likely that if BT hadn’t been so anxious to preserve its monopoly by destroying potential competitors in the Final Third that there might well be 100 % coverage, or at least more than BT can deliver for any taxpayers’ money. You think quality of service is unrelated to coverage? Perhaps you think that a fibred-up cabinet defines “coverage”, and that the user experience from that cabinet counts for nothing. Which would be fully in line with BT’s attitude to customers.

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/08/09 at 13:54

      • Not ‘superfast’ though from Carter:

        To ensure all can access and benefit from the network of today, we confirm our intention to deliver the Universal Service Broadband Commitment at 2Mbps by 2012.

        One county says ‘deliver a minimum of 2Mbps for all premises by the end of 2016′.

        Somerset

        2013/08/09 at 15:17

      • So BT reneges on its USO – is that what you are saying? Or is the USO and its ability to sweat those assets way beyond their amortised lifespans why it wants to keep copper in the network?

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/08/12 at 08:37

      • What is the current USO for broadband? Is there a proposed funding scheme for 100% FTTP across the UK?

        Somerset

        2013/08/12 at 20:14

      • You know the answers, so why ask them here?

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/08/12 at 23:37

      • Answer – there is not a USO for broadband. And does BT have a real monopoly, it’s a single supplier in some areas and that does not prevent others providing service to users eg. by fibre, wireless or satellite?

        Somerset

        2013/08/13 at 07:06

      • According to Ofcom, BT has an effective monopoly on high speed networking (>1Gbps) outside London. This is the noose with which it can strangle local network operators.

        Br0kenTeleph0n3

        2013/08/13 at 09:47

      • Please give a link to that statement. How does B4RN get its connectivity and VM and Vodaphone have extensive networks across the UK.

        So we agree the Carter plan was 2M for 100%.

        Somerset

        2013/08/13 at 11:51

  6. […] BT is not taking its beating from the the Public Accounts Committee, the National Audit Office, nor even culture secretary Maria Miller, lying down. On BT’s behalf, Yardley […]

  7. […] as to the use of taxpayers’ money.  Only the cynical might think that the coruscating National Audit Office report on the value for money that taxpayers can expect from the £1.2bn (or is it £1.4bn?) they are […]


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