There have been a few efforts to deploy broadband Internet service into rural Britain that matches or betters the similar service available in urban Britain as I have covered previously on HomeNetworking01.info. Some of these have been underpinned primarily by local private companies with, in some cases, help from local government.
Now, London has come to the fore through the establishment of Broadband Delivery UK and the national funding of rural broadband projects. Four of the first few projects that have been started on under this funding are in Devonshire, Somerset, Norfolk and Wiltshire.
The funds allocations are GBP30m for Devon and Somerset; GBP15m for Norfolk and GBP4m for Wiltshire. Of course, the local councils and private investors in all these areas will provide supporting finance to the broadband provisioning effort in their areas.
An example of this is the Devon County Council pledging GBP22m towards the effort in their area. Here, their goal is to have at least 85% of Devon’s residents having access to the superfast broadband Internet service with a rated speed of 16-20Mbps at the end of the project.
The rhetoric put forward by the UK’s Cultural Secretary is that broadband Internet service is to be a common utility for homes and business in the same vein as mains electricity and telephone. They even have a goal to have the United Kingdom to be known for super fast broadband Internet service in Europe by 2015.
There was no talk about what kind of technology was going to be used to provide the service “to the door”. It then opens questions on whether a particular area was being provided with fibre technology or wireless technology; or whether the “last mile” to the customer’s door was to be copper, fibre or wireless links.
Of course it is so easy to think about whether an area will be covered by a broadband improvement drive but it is worth making sure that the service arrives at the customer’s door at the proper standard. This includes questions about how farms and similar properties are to be covered and the issue of older telephone wiring in rural areas, a factor that is increasing real when deploying cheaper “copper-in-the-last-mile” setups like VDSL2 FTTC systems.