Tuesday, June 14, 2011

UK - EURIM claims govt should make broadband a fourth utility

[pc pro] A leading broadband think-tank claims Britain could have universal 100Mbits/sec connections - without spending any more public money - if utility companies shared their infrastructure.

The Information Society Alliance (EURIM) says the Government needs to "consider all options to get the ‘fourth utility’ to many hard-to-reach homes". That includes encouraging the different utility firms to share their infrastructure.

"100Mbits/sec broadband across the UK can be provided with the funds already available, provided a mix of local enterprise and market forces makes full use of existing infrastructure," EURIM claims, referring to the £530 million of public money dedicated to encouraging next-generation broadband rollouts.

"Sharing and building on existing infrastructures could dramatically cut the cost of providing local online access to public services, thus enabling major savings to both central and local Government as well as opening up access for business," it adds.
EURIM cites the UK's electricity network as one potential route for broadband services, claiming that the 150,000 power substations dotted around the country already serve 98% of homes. "In many cases fibre could be strung up alongside power lines to homes instead of digging up roads," EURIM claims.

Sharing high-speed connections provided to local schools and piggybacking on other Government projects - such as the £11 billion scheme to introduce smart power meters - could also increase the availability of high-speed fibre broadband, the think-tank claims.

Britain could have 100% fibre "without more public money"

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