Future Britain – Digital Britain, Broadband problems
Everybody, the politicians, the TV companies and the telecoms companies, seem to have clubbed together on a ‘never mind the quality, feel the width’ basis. They are trying to sell us spoof.
Both the main parties think 2mb download is wonderful. It’s patently obvious that they don’t use broadband to run the country. If they did they would know that the key constraint is going to be ‘upload’ speeds.
It doesn’t really matter if you can download at 30mbs if you can only upload at 256k (less than one-hundredth of the download speed.) If you are working on a shared file or word document or whatever, then the speed needs to be similar both up and down.
We use 3.5mb download and when we are using VoIP telephone there can be constraints. If therefore we want to add video / camera so that we can see our correspondent, whether customer or supplier, we need even more bandwidth. Adding this facility is going to be critical if we are going to have any chance of reducing travelling between offices or to reduce travelling into work.
The TV companies, I think, just want to save the costs of their next transmitters. (The images they are putting over the Internet are very poor, very small pictures, poor sound and slow (because there’s not enough bandwidth, even at 3.5mbs, let alone 2mbs.) The telecoms companies want to maximise their current income potential without any extra investment or they want to get a government subsidy for what they should be doing ANYWAY, or BOTH.
And as for the politicians, well, they just want to get a good sound-bite.
The reality is that the business of Britain PLC needs good quality broadband at a low cost. We need to get upto the quality levels that other countries have now and improve on them.
So to solve the problem and to achieve an objective of (say) 30mb upload and download speeds (SDSL) for business:
– nationalise the current hardwired twin core cable, still allocated to BT
– nationalise the current so-called glass-fibre network from Virgin Media and replace all the twin core cable connections
– get proposals and submissions for supplying SDSL synchronous networks
– review the costs benefits of having buried cables rather than overhead cables
– charge the TV companies several billion per year each for changing to a new medium.