Fujitsu drove its tractor through your hay stack last night, when it cosied up with a range of broadband providers to bring next gen internet services to five million homes in rural Britain.
The company is throwing its pitch fork at BT Openreach to keep quiet, building an alternative “fibre optic broadband network” especially for communities in hard to reach areas.
It will also help authorities make the most of some of the £530 million promised by the government to help connect those out in the sticks.
Fujitsu’s open access wholesale network will be powered by Cisco and will be used by Virgin Media and TalkTalk to help the five million households who would have otherwise been left behind in next gen broadband plans.
Under the new scheme Fujitsu will run fibre optic cabling directly to the home (FTTH), rather than to the local street cabinet. This means that it will be able to offer speeds from one gigabit (1Gbps) to an eventual 10Gbps.
What’s more, customers will eventually be able to pick and choose from different service providers with Fujitsu claiming that all ISPs can join and offer their services – of course they will have to pay a wholesale charge for this privilege.
The plans rely on the remedy imposed by the regulator Ofcom, on BT Openreach, to provide access to its underground ducts and telegraph poles on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
In March, the government announced that it would allocate up to £20 million to help bring superfast broadband to rural communities.
Alongside the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), it set up the Rural Community Broadband Fund, which will obtain funds from the Broadband Delivery UK’s (BDUK) £530m budget and the Rural Development Programme for England for community-based broadband projects.
Communication Minister Ed Vaizey said that many rural and hard to reach areas were missing out on the benefits of superfast broadband and said that the whole of the UK should be able to download torrents really quickly.
He has praised the scheme by Fujitsu, claiming that this is “exactly the sort of ambition and innovation the government wanted to stimulate by removing barriers to broadband rollout.”