Fujitsu to create UK fibre (FTTH) network

A recent report showed that less an one percent of UK households are currently able to receive broadband speeds of 25Mbps or higher. According to the BBC, Fujitsu plans to change this by constructing a rural fibre network throughout mainland UK, "assuming we are successful we would hope to add our first retail customer in 2012 and reach 5 million in three to five years" said Andy Stevenson, the Managing Director of Network Solutions at Fujitsu. The company are asking for £500m funding from the UK Government, which will be mostly paid for by the license fee and money already set aside for this type of project.

British Telecom (BT) is the current number one provider with 5.5 million customers, followed by Virgin Media with over 4 million subscribers, and although Virgin already offers 100Mbps services, their fibre network does not cover much outside of the south, and the picture is a similar one with BT. In Recent reports into European broadband speeds, the UK found itself near the bottom of almost all of them, and Fujitsu hopes that by building this network there will be more consistency of speed and quality throughout the country.

However all of this does depend on additional funding from local councils, "We don't want to end up with 40 fragmented networks so it makes sense for regions to come together. That is not mandated but it is what we expect to happen," said Stevenson. So far Virgin Media and Talk-Talk have already said they will be using the network which will be built over BT's existing infrastructure using telephone poles and underground ducting.

Image Credit: Point Topic, Virgin Media

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Live in Canada presently but I'm from N.Ireland.

The graphic in the post is seriously misleading. Seems to suggest that Virgin cover all of Northern Ireland which is false. Outside of a few areas around Belfast and Londonderry you can't get Virgin Cable. You can get their crap ass ADSL service of course but so can just about everyone in the entire UK.

Was one of the first on BT Infinity last summer and it's pretty epic and even then we only got 25Mbit down and 7Mbit up at our location.

Live nearly in downtown Ottawa this year and the best Bell Canada can offer is some half assed 4Mbit service with a comedy usage restriction.

Back to the UK in August and one of the things I'm looking forward to is the "nearly unlimited" BT Infinity connection. Newsgroups at around 3MB/sec...super.

Hopefully they'll get the grant and start rolling it out to rural areas ASAP. We just moved house, previously got 40Mbps/10Mbps, now getting 512kbps/256kbps so I can no longer work remotely and have to commute 2 hours each day to work.

BT just enabled infinity here... but they only activated one of the cabinets so only about 10% of the area can get it and they have no intentions of activating the others.

Wish BT Infinity would reach my area. I like Virgin Media, but I can't say its the cheapest deal around.

I'm getting BT Infinity on Tuesday with estimated speeds of about 32Mb, which considering I can only get about 2Mb on the current ADSL Max network (miles away from the exchange) is dream land territory!

I remember when BT first rolled out ADSL (the 1mb/2mb packages) and I was too far away to get that. How times are changing!

Yes, recently Virgin Media have had serious problems in London, I am receiving my broadband speeds of 50mb down but my line suffers from SEVERE packet loss, at times it is unbearable, I recently asked why and they said because people are switching too much to Virgin Media, when I asked when it will be fixed they never bothered giving me an ETA...so yeah I guess they are concentrating on upgrading rather than expanding, and in my case I hope they are.

AP707 said,
Yes, recently Virgin Media have had serious problems in London, I am receiving my broadband speeds of 50mb down but my line suffers from SEVERE packet loss, at times it is unbearable, I recently asked why and they said because people are switching too much to Virgin Media, when I asked when it will be fixed they never bothered giving me an ETA...so yeah I guess they are concentrating on upgrading rather than expanding, and in my case I hope they are.

Same here, I hope you are demanding a daily refund from them, I got them to refud £47 for 2 weeks crap service.

Best refund i got for loss of service of TV AND Broadband for 48 hours+ was £5!? Also sometimes there on demand movies 'CHARGES' you fro a movie then says you can't play it because of "High Demand"

SuperKid said,
Best refund i got for loss of service of TV AND Broadband for 48 hours+ was £5!? Also sometimes there on demand movies 'CHARGES' you fro a movie then says you can't play it because of "High Demand"

The refunds are basically worked out at what you pay per month / 28, then * the number of days it's down for. So if you pay £40 a month, that's about £1.40 a day, so 2 days should really only be about £3 at the most, unless you pay more. Generally, they'll round up though.
If your service is down or not working as best it should, you SHOULD get a refund for each day it's happening, just keep calling up and demanding compensation and you'll get it until the problem is fixed.

The reason they don't like giving ETAs for this kind of "fault" is because it takes weeks and weeks to actually upgrade the systems and nobody generally knows when it'll happen until it's done.

Virgin need to expand more, I get 50/5 (5.8mbps/530kbps) and its quite good, I have friend in other cities, such as London, who only get 5mb.

Piers said,
Virgin need to expand more, I get 50/5 (5.8mbps/530kbps) and its quite good, I have friend in other cities, such as London, who only get 5mb.

As far as I know, they do have plans to expand, but at the moment they're mainly concentrating on upgrading the existing network.

Shaun. said,
I hope Sky sign up too, I only get 4 meg and pay for 20. This could boost my service!

You know, I used to get 4Mbps with Sky, but I did that trick where you connect to the test port (instead of your normal phone port), then Sky retested my connection for noise. I jumped right up to 7Mbps and I don't live in a particularly old house, so I don't know how bad an older house's wiring would be.

It was actually Skys customer service that walked me through this, I was very impressed after previously being with Tiscali...

Uhyve said,

You know, I used to get 4Mbps with Sky, but I did that trick where you connect to the test port (instead of your normal phone port), then Sky retested my connection for noise. I jumped right up to 7Mbps and I don't live in a particularly old house, so I don't know how bad an older house's wiring would be.

It was actually Skys customer service that walked me through this, I was very impressed after previously being with Tiscali...

Surely if your router was plugged into the same wall socket as the test port is on, they would be pretty close to each other? It's only if you plug it into a socket upstairs or something where the internal wiring comes into play?

DomZ said,
Surely if your router was plugged into the same wall socket as the test port is on, they would be pretty close to each other? It's only if you plug it into a socket upstairs or something where the internal wiring comes into play?
That's actually what I thought. I don't even have multiple wall sockets but I checked noise levels on my router for myself and there was a pretty massive difference. To be honest, I'm under the assumption that we've got some faulty wiring or something.

Uhyve said,

You know, I used to get 4Mbps with Sky, but I did that trick where you connect to the test port (instead of your normal phone port), then Sky retested my connection for noise. I jumped right up to 7Mbps and I don't live in a particularly old house, so I don't know how bad an older house's wiring would be.

It was actually Skys customer service that walked me through this, I was very impressed after previously being with Tiscali...

If your internal wiring sucks and you get better speed from the test socket, one of these might be useful
http://www.solwise.co.uk/adsl_splitters-faceplates.htm

They let you use internal wiring for your phone but provides a direct port for your modem. My speeds went from 800kbps to 4 meg after, I i can use all the extensions in ny house.

David Cameron promised the best broadband in Europe by 2015
and its going to take ~5 years to add another 5 million customers (12% population) to 25Mb

pfft

i currently get 250kbps down, 60kbps up and thats in a city. (actual speed not overhead)

addc182 said,
David Cameron promised the best broadband in Europe by 2015
and its going to take ~5 years to add another 5 million customers (12% population) to 25Mb

pfft

i currently get 250kbps down, 60kbps up and thats in a city. (actual speed not overhead)

wow, thats horrible.

addc182 said,
i currently get 250kbps down, 60kbps up and thats in a city. (actual speed not overhead)

Not that I don't believe you, but are you actually meaning kbps, or kB/s?

It's not anyones fault that this gets mixed up, I think that ISPs purposefully confuse the issue by advertising with a metric that nobody uses. Just to clarify, there are 8 bits (b) in a byte (B), so 250KB/s would be pretty close to 2Mbps.

From the BBC page it doesn't seem to be mainland only, but will hopefully include N.Ireland. I live crazy close to my exchange and would have got 40/10 Mbit on FTTC but it seems i'm one of the few premises whose line goes directly into exchange rather than the cabinet. Hopefully this initiative will give me the opportunity for speeds better than 8/0.2 which I current get

Hollow.Droid said,
From the BBC page it doesn't seem to be mainland only, but will hopefully include N.Ireland. I live crazy close to my exchange and would have got 40/10 Mbit on FTTC but it seems i'm one of the few premises whose line goes directly into exchange rather than the cabinet. Hopefully this initiative will give me the opportunity for speeds better than 8/0.2 which I current get

Don't take 8 Mb/s for granted. I only get 1.