Telecoms regulator, Ofcom, is making a fresh push to secure the future of the UK’s broadband infrastructure. Chief Exec, Ed Richards, told the Intellect conference in London “Ofcom favours a regulatory environment for the next generation of networks and access that both allows and encourages operators to make risky investments, to innovate for the benefit of consumers and, if the risks pay off, for the benefit of their shareholders too.”
In short, it is setting out to ensure that the business environment is appealing enough to encourage investors to put their money on upgrades. However, it won’t come cheap and a fibre optic network covering 80% of the UK is likely to cost between £10 and £15 billion. Lucky old BT gets to shoulder most of that investment.
But as the current networks are beginning to struggle to cope with increasing popular, bandwidth-heavy web applications and services like iPlayer and YouTube, something has to be done to stop the internet from shrivelling up and dying. That’s the scientific term, I think.
BT hasn’t been exactly thrilled about the upgrade situation in the past, mainly because it has to stump up the cash and then share its costly network with all the other providers. Hopefully Ofcom’s fresh push will help overcome those concerns and we’ll be able to YouTube and iPlayer to our heart’s content. Looks like that naughty piracy business will have been destroyed by then too.