Still No Consensus On The Need For FTTP Argues UK Government
Those hoping for a big rollout across the UK of ultrafast pure fibre optic broadband connections / Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) have been frustrated and disappointed this week by the UK government’s comments on the subject.
Why The Consultation?
One of Europe’s Digital Agenda goals is to make sure that every home in the EU can access a 30Mbps+ capable “superfast” broadband connection (plus 50% subscribed to a 100Mbps+ service) by the year 2020. In order to make this happen, and as part of a wider inquiry into the digital single market, the EC has been running a public consultation among its members “addressed to citizens, businesses, NGOs, public authorities and every sector”.
What Is FTTP and How Could It Help?
FTTP is the shorthand term for providing Internet access by running a fibre optic cable directly from the Internet Service Provider to a user's business - “fibre-to-the-premises”. The benefits of doing so are much faster speeds, greater capacity and reliability.
Why The Government’s Recent Response?
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) chose not to respond directly to the consultation i.e. there was a lack of response. The government did however point to the findings of a year old consultation from the Digital Communications Infrastructure Strategy (DCIS).
This response has been met with criticism that with the UK ‘s broadband consumption doubling year on year, there is a very strong argument for Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) services being extended now. Critics have also taken this opportunity to point out the limitations of the current Fibre-to-the-Cabinet (FTTC) infrastructure (slow speeds, distance attenuation & slowdowns at peak times), and to cast doubt on the ability of G.fast technology to live up to its promise.