Fibre access essential says industry group
David Meyer ZDNet UK
Published: 16 Apr 2007 13:18 BST
High-speed fibre access must be rolled out across the UK if the country is to avoid falling behind the rest of the world in the broadband stakes, a key industry body has warned.
A report by the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) — which includes representation from organisations as diverse as Ofcom, the government, BT, the BBC and Time Warner — suggests that such a rollout must begin within the next two years, despite a current lack of evidence that "fibre to the premises" (FTTx) will be necessary. The report also claims that the investment required for this rollout could be recouped by telcos such as BT selling wholesale access to their networks and making deals with content providers. (...)
CMA Communications Management Association | Press Release | 16th April 2007
ENTERPRISE WELCOMES UK BROADBAND REPORT
The CMA today welcomed the latest report from the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG). The report exposes the dangers of the UK falling behind in broadband provision. This recognition of the need for Next Generation Broadband will, said the CMA, come as a considerable relief to business enterprises who increasingly depend on high quality services.
For the first time a reputable and independent body has declared in print what many customers have been saying to government, suppliers and Ofcom for some time.
There is, said CMA’s David Harrington, a lack of clear policy direction. We intend to continue to press, on behalf of business consumers, to update the UK’s time-expired policy on access to broadband.
CMA emphasises the report’s finding that the cost estimates for nationwide fibre to the home have now fallen to less than £10bn – less than half of the amount invested in 3G spectrum licences. The BSG report explains that the UK has a narrow window of opportunity in which to change the investment climate for Next Generation Broadband.
The CMA agrees with BSG Chairman, Kip Meek, that the report contains ‘substantial and challenging recommendations’. It seems that, at last, we have a menu that will take the UK off its present addiction to a low fibre diet.
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