UK PM demands broadband details from BT

UK Prime Minister David “one is an ordinary bloke” Cameron is demanding that BT “give more detail of their roll-out plans”.

It seems that David is miffed that rival ISPs can’t see whether there are different ways of filling any gaps in the planned broadband coverage.

At present the Government’s Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) initiative is working with BT to make fixed line superfast broadband (25Mbps+) download speeds available to 95 per cent of the United Kingdom by 2017.

Critics of the cunning plan, such as Margaret Hodge, have been frustrated by both the apparent lack of competition or alternatives to BT’s infrastructure.

She moaned that operators lack detailed broadband rollout plans to create conditions whereby alternative suppliers may be crowded out.

Smaller ISPs cannot afford to bid for Broadband projects but they can apply to the £20m Rural Community Broadband Fund (RCBF). But this means that they cannot overbuild another Next Generation Access (NGA) network. This means that these smaller ISPs have to see if their plans will conflict with the BDUK or BT deployment.

But BT is not telling anyone nuffick.

The Liberal Democrat MP for Argyll and Bute, Alan Reid, asked Cameron for help at prime minister’s question time yesterday,  saying that his constituents are very frustrated that BT cannot tell them when, or even if, their home will be connected, which makes alternative planning impossible.

Cameron said that he had a chat with BT about this subject and he was happy to have it again.

“We have asked BT to give more detail in their roll-out plans about which homes and areas will get broadband so that other companies and organisations are then able to see whether there are different ways of filling any gaps,” he said.

However, Cameron did not agree with some who think that BT has somehow not been putting its shoulder to the wheel or any other clichéd metaphor.

Cameron said that BT was putting a massive investment into broadband: 10,000 homes and businesses are being connected every week. This is a real success story for our country, apparently.