2011 will see many developments in the broadband market in the UK, with increased investment leading to faster speeds and greater access across the country. However the UK will continue to lag behind much of the rest of Europe and other parts of the world with the slow implementation of Long Term Evolution or WiMax.
According to Thinkbroadband, firms such as BT and Virgin will lead the way in the deployment of next-generation broadband services, with BT starting the implementation of full fibre-to-the-home (FTTH), enabling speeds of up to 110Mbps at home. BT will also begin fibre-to-the-cabinet services next year.
Virgin will continue the role out of its 100meg service, hoping to provide access across the board by the end of the year.
BT has also announced trials of 1Gbps broadband, although this is not expected to see full use for until at least next year after being delayed.
Other firms such as TalkTalk and Sky are expected to increase their own network coverage which could in turn mean the wider availability of cheaper broadband. TalkTalk is targeting 93 percent population coverage for its own broadband network in the medium term.
It is forecast that the government’s broadband strategy report will support the expansion of services, with £830 million funding to help develop broadband in rural areas with the supply of a digital hub, essentially a fibre cable to every community. There will also be trials to see how “next generation” technology can be delivered to these areas but we’ll have to wait and see exactly how next gen they mean.
YouView, formerly Project Canvass, should become widespread in homes – allowing for on demand services like BBC iPlayer or 4oD through your telly plus more. It will be the swift take-up of products such the YouView that will drive demand for faster broadband across the UK according to thinkbroadband.
While this all sounds rather impressive it still means that the UK will be lagging behind many parts of Europe where LTE is already being rolled out – a luxury that the UK will probably not see until early 2014 due to Ofcom’s slow progress in the auctioning process.