Campaigning for better Connectivity and Universal Broadband Access!

A UK 'bit' commons.

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Updates to this website have been put on hold.  Note all views expressed are personal opinion only and subject to change.
Most recent thoughts and actions are recorded on the Broadband Britain blog.
February 2010
The Ofcom consultation on the £9bn BT pension deficit provided an opportunity to outline a Terabit Incentive scheme. The legal framework supporting communication networks in the UK is focused on telephony services.  The current inter-network settlement system is based on call conveyance.  Digital Britain needs a 16 fold increase in peak capacity if it is to the support key applications like quality home working and advanced telecare applications. The Terabit Incentive scheme is a suggestion on how incentives could be created for operators for releasing additional peak hour resources.  A one page summary is available on the blog.  The full submission is downloadable from here.
January 2010
The department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) issued a consultation on the workings of the proposed £1.2bn Next Generation Fund.  Having made a submission to Digital Britain suggesting a 50p levy on all Broadband connections,  I have followed up with a framework for how that money should be spent.  I believe the following is possible for rural networking;
  • at least a 5 times increase in average speed over todays average urban speed for both fixed (15Mbits ps) and an abillity to roam from home (600Kbits pa).
  • a 10 times improvement (.1% packet loss) in quality for applications that need it.

  • a factor of 16 times increase in peak hour resources.

  • Unlimited usage for all local networking.

Comments on the Next Generation Fund submission are welcome.


The impact of the Next Generation fund will be profound.  In many sections I have added a pre and post Next Generation Fund (NGF) due to the possibilities it makes available.

December 2009
BBBritain submitted a paper in early December to BIS requesting some clarifications on the proposed direction to Ofcom on the spectrum modernisation plan.  Specifically a request was made to allow for the emergence of home cells or small cells.  These are or would be multi-vendor femto cells.  The benefit for end users would be a merging of fixed and mobile access,  where our fixed broadband connectivity would host a mini-base station and assure mobile services throughout your home and some of our neighbourhood.  Users would get a better mobile services and get more from their broadband connectivity.  It should also allow the emergence of a mulit-media communication service replacing legacy fixed and mobile voice services.
BIS did issue a clarification to the consultation on Monday 21st Dec making it clear spectrum sharing was permitted and to be encouraged.  This should permit industry to discuss the possibilty of creating home cells and agreeing on the allocation of spectrum to deliver this outcome.
The paper can be downloaded from here - BIS Digital Dividend.  This was preceeded by a blog on the matter accessible here written on Novemeber 10th.
June 2009.
In the world of UK Broadband late 2008 and the first half of 2009 have been dominated by the debate which has supported the publication of the Digital Britain report in June 09. The supporting online debate including the 300 formal responses to the interim report pointed to a big split between user demand for connectivity and an industry trying to hold on to what they have while managing the impact of the Internet.  My opinion of that report and its conclusions are outlined here.
BBBritain made a number of submissions to the Digital Britain on defining Universal Access, suggestions on creating a Universal Broadband Fund,  and a need to invest in rural FTTC.  As one of 300  submissions to the Digital Britain team, it is good to to see these elements begin to emerge in one shape or another,  specifically the notion of an ongoing fund to fill in not spots and upgarde rural areas.
The estbalished media have had a parallel debate on their own futures, mostly focused on their economic survival.  The 'forsenic' changes in the Digital Report has meant the established Mobile and Fixed line operators have not had a great deal to say.  It is business as usual with the opportunity for a top up investment to help increase coverage and assist in FTTC (Fiber to the cabinet)to rural areas.
The principle issue for was and is service transparency,  specifically the planning rules that determine our user experience.  Gaining an understanding of the potential of the world wide web,  the use of internet protocols,  and the use of copper, fibre and the airwaves to create high speed connectivity does inevitably lead one to reconciling this potential with the provision of existing legacy services.
To achieve this,  I needed to improve my definition and use of terms like Broadband and the Internet,  next generation access (NGA) and next generation networks ( NGN).  These terms can be used in lieu of understanding or clarity,  so I would be grateful to any reader to point out where I am going astray.  For the most part we are not discussing Broadband at all but connectivity to an open platform consisting of millions of interconnected computers.  I have thus switched the focus to connectivity.
I have changed the public policy section to a Big Picture which is my idealised conclusion on what all this connectivity means and how we get it.  The Digital Report is a start,  as is the action plan on Digital Inclusion.  The Digital Britain report outline some tweaks and remedies and these are all welcome,  but it does not identify a vision.  This site attempts to show how a location independent 24x7 connectivity for all bit transfer is possible from the £95pm each household pays for TV/Radio/Fixed /Mobile and Broadband services today.