My Comments on this campaign
There have been steps taken in the UK to “get broadband to the farm gate” but there are still a lot of questions concerning how this is going on. The main issue being raised regarding rural broadband in the UK is lack of “proper access”. IMHO, this would mean “at the door” access speeds that match service-package “headline speeds” for mid-tier ADSL packages.
Previously, I had blogged about rural broadband not just being about planting a DSLAM in to a rural telephone exchange and providing a backhaul to one or more Internet services. There is a lot more that needs to be looked at in this context, such as the quality of the telephone wiring from the exchanges to the properties. The act of planting a DSLAM in the telephone exchange may provide close to headline-speed DSL to every one of those fixed telephone lines in the built-up area such as a hamlet or village. Then you have the issue of “clapped-out” telephone lines servicing the rural properties that limits DSL performance to these properties. Other factors also include a failure to use the options that are part of the ADSL2 standard to “push out” the signal over long distances.
I would therefore recommend a gradual but prompt process of renewing and reorganising telephone lines for particular geographic areas as users register interest in broadband Internet in their areas of residence. This may also include investigating the use of ADSL repeater setups and similar “push-out” hardware setups. I would also look at the idea of deploying fibre-based Internet like Vitesse did in Birch Green, Bramfield, Hertingfordbury and Stapleford in Hertfordshird (UK), whether directly “to the door” or as part of a backbone to copper-based runs.