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Monday, 28 July 2014

Not so super fast broadband

We can now see the two faced Government who have stated they want to see 90% of the UK homes covered by fast (25Mbs+) by 2015.

According to the Government in 2010: “The Government wants the UK to have the best super fast broadband network in Europe by 2015, with a minimum 2mbps broadband for virtually every community in the UK, whilst making sure that people in remote, as well as urban areas, get good online access with the social and economic benefits that brings.”.

Now their MP for Penrith and the Borders, Rory Stewart, who goes with the title of ‘Rural Broadband Campaigner’, says that the services must be commercially viable.

Yeah….. and providing fibre services to rural communities will only be ‘commercially viable’ if the customer pays a very hefty premium. All we have to rely on is the hanging of copper wire from pole to pole. One really must ask where the £530m funding is going – profits for city investors and bonuses for chief executives?

I have just moved into the country and we struggle to get 2Mbs broadband. OK, I knew that when I moved here and I can supplement it with mobile broadband that delivers a decent signal, but certainly not enough for streaming video.

Even the pot of money allocated to Cumbria as part of the pilot scheme for rural broadband remains mostly unspent with Cumbria Council rejecting both of the current bids. It would be interesting to see what they proposed but, of course, that will be ‘commercially sensitive’ and us mere mortals are not allowed to feast at THAT table!

The super fast services will be rolled out to the likes of Carlisle and Workington/Whitehaven in the next couple of years but these are hardly rural. Carlisle is a city for heaven’s sake! Even Penrith, a town Rory Stewart surely has some knowledge of, is hardly rural? It is a market town with the HQ of the local police with major road connections and a station on the west coast mainline – hardly a pretty little hamlet in the countryside.

No, once again, we have government proposals that will make money for their pals in the telecommunications industry. Why, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rory Stewart, who clearly has his beady eye on some tawdry Government post, ends up on the board of directors of one of the big telecoms companies.

In an age where it is increasingly clear that unless you live in the home counties of London, you will get sweet FA out of this lot who are simply looking after their own. We’ll end up with inferior wages for doing the SAME job, less services, higher costs (we don’t have buses every 2 minutes passing at the end of our street!) providing second homes for the rich.

I’d send an email of complaint except it would be quicker to write a letter!

By Ashley Tiffen
Published: June 18, 2012

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