I’m playing catch-up here as, although the year started slowly (well at least as far as Broadband is concerned), the pace of events seems to be picking up. So here goes:
1) The Digital Economy Act, which became law in April, enabled the creation of a new broadband universal service obligation (USO) giving every household and business the right to request a broadband connection of 10 Mbs minimum speed. There is now a consultation going on (closing date 9th Oct) prior to possible secondary legislation bring a scheme in by 2020. See https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/broadband-universal-service-obligation-consultation-on-design
2) Meanwhile BT have made a conditional offer to do the job with minimum 10 Mbs download and 1 Mbs upload speeds by 2022 for 99% of premises in the Country without further public funding provided USO regulations are not progressed. Where’s the money coming from? Well customer bills of course......
The Government is now working with BT to help it develop its proposal which would be legally binding if accepted. However there are mutterings that a deal is being done behind closed doors.
BT are indicating that they would use a range of technologies to get this coverage – with Fixed Wireless Access featuring as well as Fibre to the cabinet (FTTC) and to the premises (FTTP).
3) So which way to go? It’s sparked some lively debate with hub coordinators but I think it’s fair to say that with a number of caveats and assurances, the consensus of opinion is that we are likely to get quicker action with less paperwork if BT is mandated to get on with it. Have a look on the web and see what you think.
4) Turning now to closer to home. Phase 1 of Connecting Cumbria has now been completed – having exceeded the targets it was set. There have been just short of 3,000 SF connections added under phase 2 to date but there are now more obstacles being encountered. The target is 11,000 premises by the end of the 2018/19 financial year – Oxen Park being in that mix – getting to 98% fibre connected of which 94% will be over 24 Mbs (SFBB).