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£30bn Cost For Nationwide Fibre Optic Broadband

Gordon Kelly by

£30bn Cost For Nationwide Fibre Optic Broadband

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?

Speaking of which...


via BBC

Go to comments


September 8, 2008, 4:08 pm

Virgin don't have to offer anything more than a tiny speed bump over the best DSL speeds. It means they are always the "fastest" while keeping costs down. In reality they could probably offer everyone 100Mbit up and down tomorrow if they wanted.

I really hope they get a move on with delivering fibre, we are a small country, there's no reason why we can't have a network on par with Japan or Korea. BT's "21st Century Network" is a frickin joke. Maybe if they went with VDSL for it we would catch up to countries like France, but the fact they choose to do no upgrades at all then give it that name is just pathetic.


September 8, 2008, 4:15 pm

bah Virgin are bastards, you barely get what you pay for from them with their stupid shoot-themselves-in-the-foot throttling policies! I moved off Virgin because of this, and I know a lot of other people doing the same.

If you pay for these broadband speeds, you should have these broadband speeds at all times. Full stops, no questions, no throttling, no caps.

Barry Ward

September 8, 2008, 4:50 pm

Yes, there's no way in hell I would go back to VirginMedia, even if/when they roll out 50Mbit. Like ChaosDefinesOrder said, you barely get what you pay for with them. Like him, I moved away from them to O2, as I was constantly getting throttled down to 1Mbit speed, which is diabolical- you couldn't even rent a film from iTunes without it slowing to a crawl halfway through the download. They can't cope with the traffic at the moment- how do they think they will cope when they promise 50Mbit speeds? They can't- that's the answer. They advertise it, but they won't be able to deliver, not without severely throttling traffic, perhaps even more than what they are now.

I only get 7Mbit speed with O2, but I am paying for 8Mbit, so I am almost getting what I am paying for at &#1637.50p/m, and at least the speed is constant.

I do wish there were more options than VirginMedia cable or BT line though.


September 8, 2008, 7:18 pm

Just a point of note 30bn was roughly the same as what the mobile operators paid for the 3G licences. So if that has been put in the piggy bank, this is effectively free. :)


January 21, 2013, 10:31 pm

um, what's with the recyced 4 year old irrelevant comments? Padding out the comment count?


January 22, 2013, 12:12 pm

There seems to be a comments bug, thanks for pointing it out. We're looking into it. What would be the point in padding out the comments count?

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