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UK industry mouthpiece wants 'near-universal' broadband speeds of 30Mbps by 2020

Anonymous Coward

USO

Any (competent) manager at a provider should expect the USO to increase with time - i.e. don't waste money rolling out a "fix" that barely meets the current USO.

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Use cases please?

I really, really want ultrafast broadband - I'm running an IT business here! But I'm not convinced that vast numbers of the population need 100mbps or even 30mbps. I suspect there are a solid portion of households with one or two people who are happy with a stable 10Mb - or even no internet at all!

Take a household with a couple of teenagers who want to stream video at the same time - three 8Mb streams is still only 24Mb. And spending billions on upgrades so that people can watch Love Island in 8K at sometime in the future is a bit silly.

What most people want I suspect, is consistency and reliability. Even 20-30Mb that is 24/7 and rock solid, is better than a flakey 50Mb that drops to 5Mb during the evening. A reliable FTTC that delivers 50Mb to everyone, with an extra cost option of FTTP for those who need more, should last us for quite a while.

Mobile coverage is a different kettle of worms, if I can mix metaphors.

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Re: Use cases please?

Exactly this!

My parents, despite living near the edge of the known universe. Sorry Cornwall. Are in one of the villages that BT used as some sort of flagship and hence get ~50Mb, which is completely wasted on them as their main web use is sending emails and checking the weather. I have explained streaming video to them and apart from occasionally watching iPlayer they're too busy* to really see the point. In fact I'm now convinced my Dad only signed up to it because it's more than the ~17Mb I get, something he never misses the opportunity to gloat about while we stream a movie in perfect HD on my TV...

*Retired people either seem to do nothing but watch TV or have a social life that would make Paris Hilton feel she was over doing it.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use cases please?

>I'm not convinced that vast numbers of the population need 100mbps or even 30mbps.

Don't have kids do you or live in shared student digs ?

Nope people want FTTP, don't piss about with the crappy FTTC compromise that suits BT. We should be biting the bullet like Germany and be going for full FTTP roll-out.

I know it's Talktalk but if they can do FTTP in York for £21.70 per month why can't BT ?

https://www.talktalk.co.uk/shop/broadband/ultra

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Re: Use cases please?

How about just convenience? Who is to say that people must fully utilise their bandwidth all the time?

My 72 y/o dad has a synchronous 120mbps fibre connection that he only really uses for email and a bit of surfing - but he likes that his surfing is snappy. In the past when I tried to provide phone support and navigate a site in parallel with him, it got very confusing when I'd have a page displayed and his was still only partly rendered - no point trying to actually remote desktop as that would slow down his connection even more.

(I didn't push him to get 120mbps but rather he signed up for the lowest speed FTTP at 50 mbps that has since been upgraded to 120 mbps automatically as the lowest tier has improved)

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Re: Use cases please?

"if they can do FTTP in York for £21.70 per month why can't BT"

Except they can't not even close. If is costing about £500 to lay fibre past premises and I would guess at least another £300 to lay into one and provide a modem. Then for £22 they provide a service 20 times faster than Virgin charge £33 for which uses stuff dug into the ground decades ago.

It is a huge loss which will have a future of substantial price hikes, or tax player funding, or going bust.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use cases please?

>Except they can't not even close.

Except that they do, now, today, this minute.

>It is a huge loss which will have a future of substantial price hikes, or tax player funding, or going bust.

Sounds like a BT FUD to me.

Oh PS B4RN do the same for £30 p/m + £150 connection fee.

It's in BT's interest to sweat their existing assets for maximum profits, not yours.

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Re: Use cases please?

@SorenUK

You're making my point for me. Your dad never needs 120Mbps - a reliable 20-30Mbps would let him do email, let you do remote support and still have 'snappy surfing'.

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Re: Use cases please?

@AC

Don't have kids do you or live in shared student digs ?

That's my point, the vast majority of the country don't live in shared student digs, or have 4 teenagers at home. For them, a reliable 30Mbps will be more than adequate. Landlords of HMO student digs can pay extra for FTTP and flog it as an extra benefit.

And can TalkTalk provide FTTP in Llanfihangel-aber-Arth or Ashby-de-la-Zouch for £21.70/month? How much fibre have they laid in rural areas? In fact TalkTalk are offering 38Mbps for £26.50 a month.

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Re: Use cases please?

Copper is incapable of providing more than 1-3Mbps over medium distance runs. There are a significant number of people who either live remotely, or who live on the end of unfathomably long copper runs because of bizarre network layout (e.g. my parents, whose phone line comes from the next village 3 miles over, not their nearest village half a mile away which is Infinity-enabled).

This is not a rural issue though - lots of people even inside the M25 have EO lines or some weird legacy layout that means their connection is not much good for anything other than e-mail and voice calls.

For those who are more than 1 mile or so from their cabinet it's fibre or nothing. They don't need more than 10Mbps, but copper won't give them that - in order to reach anything better than 1-3Mbps over those distances you need fibre.

It's why B4RN exists - they don't need gigabit, but they need more than 1-3Mbps, which BT were either technically incapable of providing, or unwilling (on cost grounds) to lay. It's not about gigabit, it's about not-complete-shite.

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Re: Use cases please?

A reliable FTTC that delivers 50Mb to everyone, with an extra cost option of FTTP for those who need more, should last us for quite a while.

Yes, but its a while until 2025 or 2030. Since the TechUK request is remarkable only for its low ambition, I presume you're railing against independent networks wanting to roll out FTTP by 2026? I'd agree most people don't need 1 Gbps now, and won't need it by 2026, but if there's one thing that IT history tells us is that you can never have enough speed or storage - and whilst some might say we could get to that, the advent of 4k suggests that a surplus of network speed is perhaps a decade away.

We'll continue to struggle if we rely on last mile copper, it is only logical to aim for FTTP capable of 1 Gbps, accepting that most users won't need that, and won't pay for the premium service either. Virginmedia (how I hate thee..) have a network claiming up to 200Mbps, but what tiny proportion of their customers actually pay for that? In the case of national FTTP roll out, you'd see tiered commercial offerings, with most people on the lower rungs of say 100 or 200 Mbps. If all they do is send a few emails, does that matter? Note as well that this generation of oldsters didn't grow up with IT and its potential. We're the next generation of retirees, and I don't know about you, but I don't intend to sit in an armchair, sucking a Werther's Original watching terrestrial repeats of "Cash in the Attic".

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use cases please?

>And can TalkTalk provide FTTP in Llanfihangel-aber-Arth or Ashby-de-la-Zouch for £21.70/month? How much fibre have they laid in rural areas?

As I said earlier B4RN can do rural for £30 p/m + £150 connection for 1Gps so surely the mighty BT can leverage scale to do it cheaper or are they too big and suffer diseconomies of scale ?

>In fact TalkTalk are offering 38Mbps for £26.50 a month.

Nope that's using BT's FTTC and not their own installed network and FTTC isn't really fibre is it, just a bastardised compromise.

>For them, a reliable 30Mbps will be more than adequate

Hmm, they said that about 56k dial-up once then ADSL, you forget Parkinson's law.

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Thumb Up

Re: Use cases please?

As I said earlier B4RN can do rural for £30 p/m + £150 connection for 1Gps so surely the mighty BT can leverage scale to do it cheaper or are they too big and suffer diseconomies of scale ?

Partly it's diseconomises of scale but B4RN also has a number of advantages over BT namely:

* Local agreements to obtain wayleaves. They are a not-for-profit organisation so when Farmer Joe is asked to help out his community by allowing a cable to be laid across his land he readily agrees. When BT tries the same thing he contacts his solicitor and negotiations begin. Let's face it - if BT wanted something from you would you give them it for free?

* Free local labour. Not only does Farmer Joe not charge for the wayleave he might even lend his equipment to dig the trench. In fact the entire community might have the modern equivalent of a good old 'barn raising'. BT doesn't tend to attract such altruism and anyway 'Elf and Safety' rules probably prohibit it. Unions probably wouldn't be too happy about it either.

* B4RN doesn't have to share their local loop with anyone else. They can keep all the money generated by it. BT is required by law to share their local loop with others. That means at least some of the income from it is going to its competitors.

* BT has a large pension scheme to service. I believe they have the biggest single pension commitment in the British private sector. And it has a rather large hole in it. Possibly this their own fault but whatever the reason BT have to try and keep it afloat.

* B4RN can create a bespoke solution to suit the particular community they are working with. BT has to stick to a standardised plan or risk chaos across its network in future years.

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Meh

Re: Use cases please?

Sounds like a BT FUD to me.

Nope. That cost-per-premise figure comes from Talk Talk and is inline with expected industry costs.

From the article:

"Similarly TalkTalk confirmed that its build costs for the network had been established at below £500 per home passed (this doesn’t include the final home install)"

It's in BT's interest to sweat their existing assets for maximum profits, not yours.

Absolutely true but they have legal obligations toward their shareholders that might leave them little choice in that regard. So many of these discussions ignore the fact that BT is not starting from a clean slate. That adds a whole slew of issues just as it does for anyone contemplating upgrading kit.

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Re: Use cases please?

@ SorenUk How about just convenience? Who is to say that people must fully utilise their bandwidth all the time?

For the simple reason that people have to pay for it all the time. To demonstrate the weakness of the suggestion it would undoubtedly be convenient for the train operators to have a much simplified ticketing structure; every ticket costs £100, irrespective of the distance being travelled. "But I only want to go 20 miles" would produce the reply "yes but you could go 500 miles - the choice to go only 20 miles is yours, not ours". Followed by "if you think about it its convenient for you as well, because you know how much every journey is going to cost you without having to look it up".

The western world's economies are based on selling people things they don't really need, whether they can afford them or not. The first step is to persuade them that they really do something and make sure their better judgement doesn't win the day. A look at most television advertisements should be enough to make this point uncomfortably obvious.

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Re: Use cases please?

"Except that they do, now, today, this minute."

CityFibre Infrastructure Holdings PLC market cap of £144 million. In 2016 lost £12.6 million on a turn over of £15.3 million.

Who knows how much their partners Sky and Talk-talk are losing in York as well.

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Re: Use cases please?

"For those who are more than 1 mile or so from their cabinet it's fibre or nothing. They don't need more than 10Mbps, but copper won't give them that"

Typical ADSL2+ data rate at 1 mile is 21Mb/s. 10Mb/s at 1.8 miles. Depending on the type/state of your cable - I used to get substantially better on ADSL2+.

And it is mostly a rural issue because only in rural areas would a single cabinet be able to support all connections in a 1-2 mile radius circle.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use cases please?

>BT has a large pension scheme to service.

BT's problem, not mine.

>Unions probably wouldn't be too happy about it either.

BT's problem, not mine.

>BT is required by law to share their local loop with others

BT get paid, they wouldn't if it were someone else's FTTP. That's why they fought for FTTC.

>if BT wanted something from you would you give them it for free

As a taxpayer the crown guarantee

BT's copper loops are ancient and BT are scared to death their near monopoly in rural is threatened by the likes of B4RN and are happy to stump up £600M to foist crap onto rural people to maintain that near monopoly and thus long term profits. BT is the problem, not the solution. FTTC is already obselete, FTTP is now and the future.

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Re: Use cases please?

If the playing field was level as far as 'sharing' goes, I'd have FTTP from BT.

as it is I'm FTTC + O/H and all because BT is not allowed to use the big pipe that runs right past my house.

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Re: Use cases please?

Give BT the same rights of access as the competitors have and I'd have BT FTTP, as it is they are prohibited from using existing access and have to go FTTC + O/H.

The competitors were given infrastructure on a plate and screwed it up by just wanting to control each other while constantly whinging about BT. About time things were levelled out and BT allowed access.

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Re: Use cases please?

An AC wrote: Nope people want FTTP...

An assertion based on what, may I ask? I strongly suspect that most people, faced with things like FTTP, FTTC, ACSL, VDSL and so on wouldn't have the faintest idea what they actually meant.

I suspect that you are taking your own wants (I concede that in your case they might genuinely be "needs") and projecting them on to everyone else in the hope that your requirements will be met, effectively by forcing others to pay increased charges to reduce yours.

FTTC is not perfect, but it has the advantage that it can provide a reasonable service at a reasonable price with a reasonable rate of roll - out. FTTP would undoubtedly provide a faster service (even if users don't actually need it) but at a significantly increased price to the end user and with a slower rate of provision.

I suspect that you are indulging in the marketing game of trying to persuade people that they need something that they, er, don't. See my point about television advertisements...

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Re: Use cases please?

Totally, totally wrong, I am afraid. It's the opposite, we need 100M mini. Am on 50MB at home and was on 100MB at work (prev office) and whilst 50 is fine, it's the min you need today to cater for smooth streaming and allow others to do things like collaborative design work. Video conferencing needs resolution today if sharing screens.

I was surprised they even said 30MB by 2020, that's not very ambitious at all. Some Singapore like fibre to the home will allow for 3 or even 6 times that and be ready for 8K that will be the new 4K by 2022, in view of Tokyo Olympics in 2020, being shot and broadcast in 8K.

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Re: Use cases please?

The idea is that you would like 4K HDR, and being able to properly use "cloud services", and for that you need proper upload speed too, something we mostly lack in the UK.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use cases please?

"I suspect there are a solid portion of households with one or two people who are happy with a stable 10Mb - or even no internet at all!"

Just from the information you've given I've worked out where you are (and assuming I'm right, cross referencing everything), your telephone line ending 242 is capable of FTTC at 73.5Mbps, yet you're telling everyone else to make do with 10Mbps.

You sound a bit condescending/hypocritcal to me.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use cases please?

"I suspect that you are taking your own wants (I concede that in your case they might genuinely be "needs") and projecting them on to everyone else in the hope that your requirements will be met, effectively by forcing others to pay increased charges to reduce yours.

--Commswonk."

You are doing exactly the same in reverse, but you can't see. (and you do it everytime there is a post regarding Fibre)

We get it. You're desperate about keeping your copper Line for Emergencies such as Aid Call (Age Concern) devices. Any full move to Fibre would have to take these into account, anyhow by law. It's not an unsurmountable problem and more likely to lead to a device that allows for the option of a full video feed is there is no answer, from a vunerable person.

That would have saved my mother sitting for 3 days after a stroke, while the neighbour looked through the Windows thinking she was asleep, she was living at sheltered (without Warden) housing too. She had the Aid Call device round her neck too, it doesn't always help if things happen fast.

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Re: Use cases please?

>BT has a large pension scheme to service. "BT's problem, not mine."

If you're not a UK taxpayer, and not a customer of any of BT's assets that's true.

Otherwise it IS your problem, and a c£10 billion problem. The politicians agreed to backstop BT's pension deficit if BT went bust, in return for which BT agreed to probably not go bust, subject to some soft regulation in the Openreach "separation" from BT. That's why BT get soft treatment, why FTTP is a pipe dream for most, and why Ofcom couldn't do anything about it even if they had any balls.

So (assuming you're a UK taxpayer) your share is around £330. If you and every taxpayer pony up just over three hundred smackers, then Ofcom will be able to whack BT with impunity. C'mon, lets see the colour of your money.

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Re: Use cases please?

You managed to put both BT and Talk-talk into the same sencence without using any sweary words. Well done.

But honestly for the rest of us both of them are strict 'no-go' companies.

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Re: Use cases please?

> That's my point, the vast majority of the country don't live in shared student digs, or have 4 teenagers at home. For them, a reliable 30Mbps will be more than adequate. Landlords of HMO student digs can pay extra for FTTP and flog it as an extra benefit.

640K was more than enough RAM for anyone (Bill Gates [1]) and there is a global market for, at most, 5 computers (Thomas Watson, IBM [2]), and there is certainly no reason for anyone to want a computer in the home (Ken Olsen, [3])

Currently, perhaps it is only the "premium" users who feel the need for more than wet-string between themselves and their local green box, but isn't that how the world works? People will find uses for it, and service offerings that use more bandwidth will become more affordable - even if it's just to watch ultra-HD cat videos. Kids are being brought up using devices that have more compute power in than was available to the whole planet 50-60 years ago (or some such number).

FTTP should be made to be the norm for *anything* new, and funds should somehow be made available (taxes / subsidy via subscription / ...?) so that non-fibre folks can upgrade.

I've seen a document showing that Openreach's new copper cables are in fact copper around a fibre core, so they've got that box ticked, and I'd guess that the copper could even provide a little bit of power to guarantee the ability to make a call in the event of a domestic power outage. All they need is to swap out DSL cabs with FTTP cabs (yes, they have lots of cabs, so it won't happen overnight, but then nor is their "superfast" FTTC upgrade rollout).

If BT don't do it, other folks like B4RN and Gigaclear will, and BT will lose customers, as will Openreach as they migrate onto competing fibre networks. Bye-bye BT, it was good to talk.

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[1] - meh, probably fake, but excellent urban legend

[2] - probably over-interpreted, allegedly only speaking about a single model of a single computer on sale at the time, but the spin applied since then makes it a juicy quote

[3] - over-interpreted remark, although current IoT moves are bringing it more into context, IMHO, if the discussion on http://www.snopes.com/quotes/kenolsen.asp is anything to go by

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Re: Use cases please?

I think that the problem is more of an "if you build it they will come" issue. Most of us managed to get by on 56k 20 years ago - including reading the news and looking at pretty pics on the NASA site. Bandwidth is like a bypass - it generates traffic till it's full. Some newspaper pages (Independent) are 40 - 60MB if you allow all the scripts and advertising through - for less than 100kB of useful information. Do you think that will get better or worse if they reliably have higher available bandwidth and can increase the crud without impacting load time.

So, yeah - in 10 years time when everyone in the street has installed mini-iMax 3D TVs people will be whingeing at the the poor decision to only provision for 30MB.

I'm stuffed cos I'm twisted pair back to the box, which is about 300 yards away, so my 5Mbps is pretty miraculous and won't change unless they dig the street up and install fibre.

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Re: Use cases please?

An AC wrote: You are doing exactly the same in reverse, but you can't see. (and you do it everytime there is a post regarding Fibre)

We get it. You're desperate about keeping your copper Line for Emergencies such as Aid Call (Age Concern) devices.

Right, and wrong in that order. I will cheerfully admit to "projecting" a view, not so much about retaining copper pair into the premises to the exclusion of fibre, but on the basis of keeping domestic users' costs down to a "manageable" level. If BT were to offer me FTTP at the same cost as FTTC in perpetuity then I would be quite happy to have it, as I suspect would everyone else. But they won't; there are (significant) costs to be recovered and that can only be achieved by increasing the costs to the end user. If the aim is to have "everybody" on - line then pricing a service at too high a level will result in digital exclusion, which would be entirely counterproductive. There is also the point that higher fixed line costs might result in more users ditching fixed line altogether and relying on smartphones for internet access. (I don't and won't have a smartphone and if I need access when "away" I use an external dongle on my laptop, but that can be an expensive way of doing things as well.)

Another point that is apparent from one or two posts is that business and domestic use are being conflated; I will happily accept that business users may well need higher speeds but that need does not translate directly into everybody needing higher speeds; a business case for higher speeds only applies for business users, and it is dishonest to argue that the same case applies to all and sundry. Fair enough; if someone wants higher speeds to support a housefull of teenagers then they are perfectly at liberty to make their case; they are not at liberty to claim that that case applies to everyone.

Go and visit a supermarket at a busy period; some will have trolleys groaning under the weight of "stuff", possibly because they are buying for a housefull; other trolleys are less heavily loaded because the buying is for a lesser number. Nobody in their right mind would shop for (say) 6 if the household contains only 2 people.

I have never tried arguing that nobody should have FTTP; I just wish that those who do want it would stop claiming that "everybody" wants or needs it.

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Re: Use cases please?

30Mbps is what I get at peak times when the local network is congested and it's running slow in my boring old small provincial UK town..

And don't people get almost 30 on LTE 4G phones?

By 2020 I would hope aspirations are better than a crappy 30Mbps.

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Re: Use cases please?

'Some Singapore like fibre to the home will allow for 3 or even 6 times that and be ready for 8K that will be the new 4K by 2022, in view of Tokyo Olympics in 2020, being shot and broadcast in 8K.'

And it's not as if Singapore is any easier to wire up than a country 352 times larger...

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Mushroom

"Need" is irrelevant

When other countries, and even other companies within the UK, can do what BT is apparently unable to with £2.4 billion in profits every year, and that's even allowing for a half a billion loss due to their accounting scandal.

Here's what I "need". I need BT to spend a small fraction of their obscene profits on giving me and every other BT customer a decent internet speed, preferably some time before I die of old age.

That would be a good start.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Use cases please?

'What most people want I suspect, is consistency and reliability. Even 20-30Mb that is 24/7 and rock solid, is better than a flakey 50Mb that drops to 5Mb during the evening.'

Yes, exactly. The bit the idiots who keep pushing these 'we need faster speeds' schemes keep leaving out the 'consistent' part, leaving the industry to then interpret this as meaning 'the max speed you might get, tailwinds etc depending' .

I've gone from a rock-solid 20Mb/s connection to a flakey-as-fuck 70Mb/s, where, at best, I'll usually maybe see 40Mb/s for maybe an hour, maybe one day a week. Some upgrade.

I'll sort of take issue with

'But I'm not convinced that vast numbers of the population need 100mbps or even 30mbps.'

True, I don't need these sorts of speeds on a regular basis, for most of my day-to-day usage I'd probably be happy with a solid 10Mb/s down - 5Mb/s up, but as more and more writers of code out there are making base assumptions that people do have access to these sort of speeds, I'd like to have them just in case of 'issues'.

As an example of what I'm talking about here, updating one of my DAW packages over the weekend became a serious pain in the arse as the connection kept dropping/timing out during the transfer of one large (900MB+) update file, apparently the people who wrote the update section of the software have never heard of the concept of 'resuming partial downloads'... every time it failed to get a good copy of the file from their bizzarely hidden secure updates web server, it started the transfer again from scratch every.fscking.time ....

so, over 5GB of data transfer and many hours later, finally (@ 4:00amish) when the connection miraculously sped up (53Mb/s) the download succeeded, it got a good copy of the file, and off it merrily went. Average incoming data rate of my connection over the period the download kept fscking up according to my firewall? - 3.2 Mb/s..

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Re: Use cases please?

> @Commswonk For the simple reason that people have to pay for it all the time.

Indeed. My dad pays £20 a month for synchronous 120 mbps FTTP. That's way cheaper than the £35 a month I pay for roughly 45 mbps FTTC (incl. line rental). FTTP does not need to be more expensive than the slower FTTC.

The original comment was about use cases, i.e. why people would need faster than 30mbps connections - not about cost. Convenience of having a fast connection is a valid reason for wanting it, even if you are not going to utilise it to it's maximum.

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Near universal

Define "near".

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Meh

"By 2025 we would expect to see at least 90 per cent of premises having ultrafast connections available to them driven by clear market demand," it said.

There is currently no 'clear market demand' for ultrafast connections. VM only has a relatively small number of customers on their fastest service. The majority of FTTC connections are on the lower 40/55 services even allowing for those too far from their cab to benefit.

The only 'clear market demand' is for an adequate connection at the lowest price possible.

So forget market demand for now. Sort out those that are still on crappy ADSL connections first.

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Netflix

...recommend 5Mbps per HD stream, or 25Mbps per UHD stream.

Empirically, I have very stable low-contention 55Mbps DSL connection and we start to notice quality degrade when more than four people in the household are streaming video independently.

So I would share the view that 30Mbps is inadequate.

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There is a great possibility that we will discover unicorn poo first

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Ultrafast

I know it is a "comment bait", but 30 Mb is not ultrafast. Today.

I would call it "adequate for a small family that can't afford better".

Ultrafast is 1Gbps symmetrical, today.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Ultrafast

BT class 'Ultrafast' as 100Mbps+. As that suits their Pointless "up to" (super sweated over copper) G.fast rollout.

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Re: Ultrafast

Ultrafast is 1Gbps symmetrical, today.

--------------------------------------------------------------

Agreed

Pinch points should always be avoided in any network. Where your LAN standard is 1Gbps then it seems to me that a WAN standard should also be 1Gbps - or at least that should be the aim point. All these other continuously varying 'universal standard' figures plucked from the aether, (2Mbps, 10Mbps, 20Mbps, 30Mbps etc etc), are frankly ALL irrational, ridiculous and short-sighted.

1Gbps definitively implies FTTP. It seems fairly obvious to me that FTTP is the ONLY sensible universal option for the future so it becomes a question of how we can get there in the fastest and most economical way and how great a percentage of the population can we extend it to? (In my opinion anyone who has a copper line).

BT/Openreach have continually avoided facing up the reality by installing FTTC in preference to FTTP and exploring evermore ways to try and extend the range and life of its frankly shoddy, unreliable and costly to maintain copper network.

I don't accept the arguments over need - you don't put a 1/2" water pipe or a 5KW maximum electricity supply into premises because "the pensioner who lives there doesn't need anything bigger" - premises change hands and requirements are continually changing - you plan ahead for all sensible eventualities, (such as multi-use, 'smart' TV's & IOT for example). FTTP should be part of the infrastructure of all new business and residential developments and the aim point for all such existing developments as FTTP is (relatively) future proof, copper is long past its use-by date. Having FTTP connected does not preclude the possibility of any individual being able to pay just for exactly what they use, i.e. a metered connection.

I accept there are problems to be solved over methods of providing 24/7 security services over FTTP, but FTTP is simply the transmission medium and the problems are solvable. There are also backup services such as 3G and 4G. There are also provisions for preferential electricity supply services for vulnerable people not to mention battery backup of security service equipment. All problems are solvable given the will to do it.

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Unhappy

30Mbps? By 2020! Sad! Nay, Pathetic!

One country that didn't even have toilet paper until 1950 now boasts 1,000Mpbs domestic service. That's South Korea. TODAY!

Another developing country that was ravaged by the Americans offers 100MBPS domestic service. That's VietNam. TODAY! (I have two 100 Mbps feeds from separate ISPs over one fibre optic line in my condominium.)

Fingers out, BT, et al.

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Megaphone

Re: 30Mbps? By 2020! Sad! Nay, Pathetic!

Not to mention Romania.

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Re: 30Mbps? By 2020! Sad! Nay, Pathetic!

Not to mention Romania.

From some of the figures in the linked article and a look here: http://uk.businessinsider.com/brexit-eu-members-net-contributions-and-net-funding-2016-12 it may well be that Romania was in the happy position of being able to provide decent broadband at someone else's expense entirely.

I don't doubt that if the UK received a pile of money every year from somewhere else it might have been able to provide better BB services.

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I am 1.5 miles from the exchange on a suburban estate. I get a rock solid 8Mbs ADSL+. It is perfectly fast enough for me and although I do virtually no streaming I don't imagine I would have issues. If I paid more money I could get 30Mbs fibre (cabinet 1km away) or Virgin cable at whatever speed they do. But why pay more when what I have is enough. I agree with others above, many households simply don't need 20Mbs, even less faster.

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Silver badge

"I get a rock solid 8Mbs ADSL+"

And just knowing what your internet connection speed is puts you in a minority of broadband users.

Everyone wants FTTP they scream while your run of the mill internet user would barely notice if they had it.

But hey, count me in I want Gb FTTP just not enough to pay for it, same as I don't want 100 or 200 or 300Mb/s from Virgin enough to pay for it.

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Bronze badge

Shame how 10mbps is a struggle for the country and for those that can get higher, unstable connections, price increases, latency issues, over subscription, lack of investment ... this can go on and nothing will improve unless OFCOM force BT, VM and the smaller players to act !

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Anonymous Coward

"Near-Universal"? >SHUDDER!<

The landline telephony world is moving inexorably to call-charge-free VoIP, such as Skype. This increasingly has video thrown in for free. For one such as myself, down the end of a BT-monopoly piece of wet string, even 1 MB bidirectional is an unattainable bad joke. Within the "Superfast Worcestershire" project, our County Council paid BT many millions of squids for a deal which included a promise to make 2MB broadband available to us all by the end of last year. At the appointed time, BT remarked, "Oh, you can get that via satellite these days. Latency? Oh, that no longer exists." and walked off, its boots jingling. Last I spoke to my County Councillor, he was spitting feathers but, sadly, that seemed to be all he could do.

So I know full well that I will be one of the not-so-near universal losers, and anybody who wants to do business with me - like, say, selling me videos, will have to take a hit too.

And why do I get the feeling that I know whose boots will still be jingling from the Government "incentive" to deliver?

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Anonymous Coward

What about competition and the, supposed, pressure of free market to improve? ;) A country the size and population of the UK should have FTTP already. If these ISPs need Government money to build out FTTP then either they are robbing the public or are so inefficient that they have do not deserve to exist as profit creating companies and the government should take them over. Fast Internet is becoming/has become social and economic requirement.

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