• When you don't have choice, and shareholders want money, you pay

    BT and Virgin raising broadband pricing, because they can ...

    With BT raising the "broadband tax" of the phone line rental by 3.5% next January (15.49 up to 15.99), and it's broadband pricing by 6.5%, and Virgin just announcing a 6.7% rise early in 2014, we have to think about alternatives to this model.

    Sweden have used public-private collaboration to build the fibre optic cables that the network providers use to deliver the HUGE bandwidth that they enjoy. Over there the government is aiming (hah!) at 40% of homes to have "access to" a MINIMUM speed of 100 Mbps by the end of 2015. There are reports that 53% already have access to at least 100 Mbps since the end of last year - HERE. What are we aiming at with BDUK? We should ask BT, as only they know. When are we getting it? BT again, and they're not telling either because they don't know, or they don't want to tell. Our government refers to our paltry targets as "the best broadband in Europe". Nope.

    Within the Swedish investment model the public-private investment is amortised and dealt with fairly across the market, with retail broadband pricing kept low as ISPs alone do not have to offer up the entirety of the investment funds for something with a very long term view. It involves and encourages participation of rural communities in digging their own duct, to reduce costs. The central government offers 50% of the costs, out of its own pocket, however their involvement and oversight of the projects is substantially more than lobbing 1.2 billion over to the in-situ monopoly provider, which appears to be our approach in the UK.

    Links to articles regarding the Virgin increase, and a Guardian article on the BT price hikes below.