My word, those bastards eh?
Yet, as Cochrane points out, only one part of the British Isles actually has superfast broadband running at 1 gigabyte a second: Jersey, which ran the entire thing through its publicly owned telecom company.
Wiring up 98,000 people on 120 km2 of land is to be compared to wiring up 65 million people on 244,000 km2 of land eh? I mean, seriously, he\’s comparing wiring up Dagenham to wiring up the entire nation.
Damn, you could have wired up Jersey using a pack of ferrets let alone a publicly owned telecoms company. In fact, way back when Cable and Wireless did in fact wire up The City using a pack of ferrets.
This is your money that\’s being wasted, yet BT doesn\’t think you should know where it\’s going. Speaking to the Public Accounts Committee last month, one expert estimated that taxpayers were putting in 77p of every pound going into rural broadband (BT disputes this figure). In Sweden, country of forest and islands, a comparable project had required a maximum of 33% from taxpayers.
Yet government officials who have blown the whistle on BT\’s opaque charging have been sacked, and community groups who have tried to lay their own broadband connections have found themselves under pressure from local councils.
Given this level of public subsidy and the lack of any real competition, it would have been far simpler and possibly even cheaper to have done this through a public entity. But 21st-century market-fundamentalist Britain must always run a race, if only to give a gold medal and a massive handout to the one competitor that actually ran.
BTW, guess who Jersey used to wire the island?
BT is rolling out its superfast fibre network across the country and the Government has pledged to subsidise part of the programme, but some critics are unhappy about the way it sells wholesale access to the technology.