Everyone, well mostly everyone, wants screaming fast broadband... but at this cost?
According to the government's broadband advisory group, bringing next generation broadband speeds to every UK home will require the nationwide installation of a fibre optical infrastructure that could cost more than £28.8bn. This massively tops the £10bn-15bn Ofcom estimate (though that did only allow for 80 per cent coverage) and is on a different planet to BT's recent £1.5bn July investment.
"This is the most comprehensive analysis produced to date on the costs of deploying fibre in the UK," said Broadband Stakeholder Group CEO Antony Walker, whose company authored the report. "The scale of the costs looks daunting but the report does shed light on how some of these costs can be reduced and what the likely extent of commercial rollout will be. It should focus minds of commercial players, policy makers and regulators on the potential solutions to these challenges."
One solution could be to take the fibre to street level boxes only which shouldn't greatly hamper speeds (at least not for a number of years) at a cost of 'just' £5.1bn. Other mooted options are sharing 2.5Gbit connections between homes at a cost of £25.5bn allowing households to get up to 1Gbit each.
Of course during all this Virgin Media is sitting back and smiling since it claims its entire cable broadband network is already fibre optic based. In that case however why do we still get bottlenecks and where's that 50Mbit service you long promised us?