Fibre broadband in UK is ‘lagging behind’

News 8 Jun, 2010

The director general of the FTTH Council has said the UK is slipping behind when it comes to the rollout of fibre broadband.

The UK has a lot of work to do to catch up with Europe when it comes to rolling out fibre broadband to its citizens.

So claims Hartwig Tauber, director general of the Fibre to the Home (FTTH) Council, who is pushing for more FTTH connections, but still has concerns about British broadband altogether.

In an interview with IT PRO Tauber said: “Summer last year South Korea announced it wanted to become a 1Gb country… and there was a clear push from Government. At the same time the UK released the [Digital Britain] report and wanted to become a 2Mb[ps] country, 500 times smaller.”

“It just illustrates in the decision making process that [the Government] has not realised the potential of telecoms, both economically and for society.”

Tauber admitted it was down to both Government and the industry to make a push for greater investment.

“If there is positive investment from the Government side, we see operators follow,” he said, “but also if there is good competition in the last mile, this will drive it too.”

Tauber believes the UK is ready for the push towards better fibre rollout and improved FTTH capabilities. With the new coalition Government coming into power and recent investment boosts from industry leaders like BT, he thinks the opportunity is there for the taking.

There is also a lot of support coming from the European Union, with commitments for the first time that every home in Europe should have 30Mbps and 50 per cent should receive 100Mbps.

However, Tauber had a stark warning about these promises. “All these bandwidth discussions are very weak [as] what they do not define is [whether] it is “up to” or “at least” these speeds or if it is just download or upload speeds," he said.

“These are the things that are still missing.”