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Welcome:   Opening up Dark Fibre

To improve customer options and fast broadband nationwide, talk of dark fibre network usage abouds. Hopefully that will help with the poor speeds that much of the UK receives. We all need to get our illegal file sharing done quickly before the doors close:

The chief of the Communications Management Association (CMA) has suggested that opening up the dark fibre network could reap rewards for the telecommunications industry and help to spread faster broadband throughout the UK. Dark fibre is a term for those stretches of network which are not used by any provider in particular and allow the user to choose which provider they want. David Harrington from the CMA has said that this network is currently only open to BT but could be opened up to be used by other suppliers. He suggests that regulation is required to make it mandatory for it to be opened up. He believes that it would lead to mobile companies offering broadband services and a better provision of internet services in rural areas.



Figures released by Ofcom have shown that the UK has a total of 20.89 million fixed broadband lines as of the end of the first quarter of this year. 46,000 new connections were added during the period. The first quarter of 2012 also saw the number of cable broadband subscribers increase from 4.12 million to 4.165 million. Finally subscribers to fibre broadband also increased significantly during the first quarter from 412,000 to 552,000. 29% of fixed line customers chose to go with BT as they offered a special deal during this three month period. Ofcom also reported a fall in the number mobile broadband subscribers who use a modem.


Research from Point Topic has indicated that 10% of UK homes and businesses can only get broadband speeds of less than 2Mb despite the continued investment from network providers. The figures revealed that there is an uneven distribution of adoption of broadband across the UK with those in the South of England much more likely to become subscribers. Oliver Johnson from Point Topic has said that the difference in take-up could be a contributing factor in the difference in earnings and health between the north and south. However he points out that there are a number of individuals and local authorities who are trying to stimulate demand and improve implementation rates. However he feels that this will not be enough for the UK to reach the goal of every home in the UK achieving 2Mbs or better by 2015. He predicts that there will still be 2.5million homes outside of the 2Mb target by 2016.


Virgin Media has taken the controversial decision to block a file-sharing site called Newzbin2. The UK site allows users to download files which could potentially infringe copyright laws. Mark Wilkin from Virgin Media left a comment on the Newzbin2 site which explained that the company has complied with an instruction from the courts, but added that changing consumer behaviour can only be done when there are suitable lawful alternatives available. He says that fairly priced content needs to be made available. Other ISPs including Sky and Talk talk have also made it more difficult for their users to access the site. † [last update: 15.08.12]



Related External Sources:

Number of possibilities in opening up dark fibre network - www.cable.co.uk
20.89m fixed broadband lines in UK, says Ofcom - www.uswitch.com
13% of UK stuck with 2Mb broadband or less - www.uswitch.com
Newzbin2 has been blocked by Virgin media - www.cable.co.uk




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