Sunday, October 06, 2013

UK Internet infrastructure subsidization policy reveals split between citizens and incumbent telco BT

BBC News - Rural broadband: How to reach the broadband notspots

This BBC article goes into good detail on the Internet infrastructure deployment difficulties in the UK. As in America with AT&T, the incumbent telco, BT, prefers to deploy slowly over a period of many years, employing FTTN (Fiber to the Node) network architecture (or FTTC as it's called in Britain -- Fiber To The Cabinet). AT&T's analogue is its U-Verse product, which feeds neighborhood nodes with fiber and uses existing copper twisted pair cable designed decades ago for voice service to bridge the final link to customer premises. However, unlike BT, AT&T limits U-Verse to urban and suburban areas.

British households and small businesses left of the Internet are running short of patience with the slow BT rollout after having waiting about a decade to get some form of wireline Internet connections. Some communities see the passage of time and burgeoning bandwidth demand as having technologically obsoleted FTTC and want Fiber to the Home (FTTH) infrastructure.

Government subsidies are available.  As the article notes, a big question is whether they continue to go toward older but less costly FTTC infrastructure favored by BT or FTTH preferred by the locals who don't want to spend more years waiting for modern Internet connectivity and want a greater degree of control over infrastructure deployment in their communities.

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