Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Next Phase of Broadband UK

The Caio Report to UK government, Sept 2008:

(Francesco Caio, the Europe vice-chairman of Lehman Brothers and a former chief executive of Cable & Wireless:)

The Next Phase of Broadband UK: Action now
for long term competitiveness
( X: pdf)

"The evidence gathered through the process indicates that the case for any major public intervention at this time is weak at best."

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Broadband, until a few years ago a minor interest confined to the tech-literate, is today a domestic essential for millions across the UK. It has in a short space of time come to rival technologies established for a century as a vital component in the country’s communication, entertainment, and cultural life, and a crucial enabler of economic activity.
The government is proud to have helped foster development of broadband in the UK. In ten years, we have gone from no broadband connections to being one of the world leaders in coverage, with high up-take and consumer choice.
These factors are not coincidental. The development of a competitive market in broadband has been the cornerstone of the Government’s strategy.
We now stand at the edge of another rapid development in communications technology. Next Generation Access (NGA) marks a major change in the services people can enjoy. It also brings to smaller businesses the promise of high-speed connections previously only available to their much larger competitors.

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zdnet.co.uk | FRIDAY 12 SEPTEMBER 2008, 11:14 AM | Govt fibre report to nix subsidies? | Posted by David Meyer


bbc.co.uk | No aid for next-gen network firms | Friday, 12 September 2008

There is no need to use public money to bankroll next-generation broadband in the UK, says a report.The six-month long review of the UK's readiness for high-speed net access said the case for government intervention was "weak".The review said there were "promising signs" that the market was already delivering high-speed broadband.But, it said, the government must oversee initiatives that will smooth the route to high-speed access.Speed boost"There is little evidence that in the short term the UK is going to suffer from the lack of an extensive next generation access network," said review author Francesco Caio as he unveiled his conclusions.

Government review set to advise against state aid for high-speed broadband network | Jemima Kiss | guardian.co.uk | Thursday September 04 2008 15:16 BST

A government review on Britain's broadband infrastructure looks likely to advise against major public investment in a high-speed network, with the inquiry's head, Francesco Caio, saying that this decision would not impair the competitiveness of Britain's digital market.

Caio, the Europe vice-chairman of Lehman Brothers and a former chief executive of Cable & Wireless, said he was minded to advise the government that it leave the development of a high speed broadband network to the market, rather than recommend state intervention.


CMA Adds Its Welcome to the Caio report on Next Generation Broadband

15 September 2008

The Communications Management Association (CMA) - speaking for its UK business broadband user membership - has welcomed the government's Caio report on Next Generation Broadband and supports the proposal that telecoms and internet companies should finance a new broadband infrastructure.

According to David Harrington, regulatory forum leader at the CMA, "Not only does the report endorse the need for broadband as a major enhancer of enterprise and creator of wealth, but it also emphasises that Ofcom (supported by government) must assume leadership in the process.

"The CMA believes that in rejecting the case for an immediate injection of government subsidy, but recommending an immediate start on policy initiatives (and their associated planning), this will encourage and facilitate national broadband coverage, thus echoing CMA's long-term stance. 
"CMA especially welcomes Mr Caio's positive approach to the issues. He identifies four main areas where government action is needed to support investment, further defined as ten initiatives, or specific and detailed actions, such as creating an overall framework and implementation path, accelerating the release of spectrum, resolving the long-running saga of unfair business rates on infrastructure, making new buildings fibre-friendly and ways of reducing civil works costs. 

"All of these things have been addressed or protested by CMA over the last few years and we are therefore delighted to see them reflected by Mr Caio. We sense that at long last the UK is off and running on the broadband track and we now await Ofcom's Statement on NGA together the government's response to the report."

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