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Old 28-December-2013, 15:49
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News! General Public See More Need for High Speed Internet than Conventional Infrastructure

Out of the 2,011 British citizens aged 16-75 surveyed by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), 43 per cent believed that extending superfast broadband to all UK households would deliver more economic benefit than building new airport and airport runways.
Read more at the IET.

While this does make sense, it does not mean that investment in other areas should cease, rather it is a measure of perceived priority. Living in a rural area myself - a great many miles away from a city - I would like to have a reasonably fast and reliable Internet service as well as see transport enhanced in at least one way, e.g. a fast and direct rail service to an airport.

I can work from home and I can have goods delivered to my home, meaning I have little use for a car or to drive anywhere. Savings in running costs are not insignificant, I can work longer hours, I can work hours to suit a lot of the time. I can very often have goods delivered to me at less cost than traveling to the nearest town, which is not that well catered for.

As a nation we would rather give up fruit and veg rather than our broadband during a recession
Liv Garfield (Ex Openreach CEO)

I do not doubt the truth in this but it does make me question the reasoning behind peoples opinions in the survey. For some, the Internet is a necessity and for others it may be more a form of addiction, with fast flowing input from their friends and acquaintances as well as things like online games to amuse an entertain.

In this rush to roll out fibre, I also feel that things such as faults are receiving poorer attention and ultimately, only 90% will benefit. The roll out of 4G is doing quite well but increasing costs of licensing and bandwidth are sure to hamper this in the nearer future.

What is your opinion on this?
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Old 31-December-2013, 13:19
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Default Re: General Public See More Need for High Speed Internet than Conventional Infrastruc

If you have been caught in a traffic jam on the M25 trying to meet the boarding time of an aircraft you will realise how daft it is to extend Heathrow and all the consequent environmental damage to the area. I have never seen a risk assessment of the chances of an air crash over London from an aircraft leaving or landing at Heathrow.

If on the last London Airport review we had opted for a new airport in the Thames Estuary area we would not be in the mess we are in now. Opting for the cheapest alternative then has been a poor investment for the future and likewise now.

The associate public transport improvements associated with an offshore airport would bring better transport to the lands east of London!

It could be argued that the vast investment in the high speed trade from London to the North could be better spent on improving services throughout the country. From the Worthing area it takes longer to reach the coastal resorts of the West than it does to cross to the continent! Appalling if we wanted to take a short break rail holiday in the UK.

Sad to say our investment program for broadband and other services is appalling. Unlike the Victorians who gave us a useful rail network and public buildings such as libraries, museums, indoor swimming pools, durable concert halls etc our legacy will be one of a Country in debt with crumbling roads and poor utilities and public services.
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Old 01-January-2014, 02:39
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Default Re: General Public See More Need for High Speed Internet than Conventional Infrastruc

I think there are many poor investments and bad choices made and yes, perhaps some were unable to be seen at the time they were made but most certainly not all.

The Victorians are a whole other subject! They did well in anticipating the Industrial Revolution but their projection was a little off... or was it? Yes, they provided a rail system only for a lot of the urban rail systems to be ripped up in the 1960s and then subsequently built on! Victorian moves were bold but they were also made in a time when labour was less costly than materials. It really is not a viable option these days to turn people out of their homes, tear them down and run a fast link service of some sorts in a nice direct route.

Are we stuck with these poor decisions forever now?

I recently read about several miles of fibre optic being laid in Manchester back in 2002 for the Commonwealth Games intended to be pressed back into service for good use. I do hope it is successful but this is an exception rather than the rule. If only existing infrastructure were more able to be recycled like this, it would do a whole lot of good. Yes, I do include never allowing building on disused rail routes here.

I am sure there are compromises. Just how essential is that speed for example? Just last night I included some detail of an EPOS system in a report and it transfers data by dial-up modem. Perfectly acceptable! The company suffers not one bit due to slow speeds. I do think it is more important to ensure everyone has a reasonable speed though rather than necessarily "super fast". I do lay the blame here fairly and squarely at BT's door. They have a massive, aged and aging copper network to replace and it is just impossible to do it fast enough. Personally, I would have begun with the poorest served areas and then worked towards the better served ones but hey, I am not doing it for the money! There is also a bit of a race against 4G to try and retain custom. How will this pan out in time? Will people not just use both or will it not all be amalgamated by then?
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Old 01-January-2014, 06:51
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Default Re: General Public See More Need for High Speed Internet than Conventional Infrastruc

As an alternative to Victorian manual labour we have the option of JCB's!!!!

What we need to change from the Victorian approach is to recognise the environmental impact of developments. Where compulsory purchase orders are needed the market price and reasonable compensation is given.

Certainly in our rural area lack of fast broadband affects business development and can be a factor for relocation for domestic or business requirements.

On the question of speed the Victorians used canals for the bulk transport of goods. The problem seems to be we want everything NOW. Why not plan ahead as you did and not get frustrated with the use of slower transmission speeds?

As a rural broadband user I do not have the option of cable and satellite is way too expensive. Would investment in new technology be carried out with more urgency if the charges for my slower ADSL elderly copper wire service were reduced by regulation?
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Old 02-January-2014, 21:15
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Default Re: General Public See More Need for High Speed Internet than Conventional Infrastruc

I tell you what really bugs me..........it's when I read in the news that the average BB speed is around 6Mb and that users in larger conurbations are having their already fast BB increased to 50Mb and above yet many of us in the sticks are really doing well if we get 2Mb.

Instead of upgrading yet again those already on fast speeds they should at least do something for rural users first! We are still on 19th century connections!
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Old 02-January-2014, 21:45
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Default Re: General Public See More Need for High Speed Internet than Conventional Infrastruc

Exactly!
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