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April 13, 2011

Fujitsu plans 1Gbps fibre for 5 million UK homes

by Darren Allan

Fujitsu has come somewhat out of the blue with an announcement that it wants to hook up 5 million UK homes with a super-speedy fibre network.

The scheme, which is a collaboration with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco, will be fibre-to-the-home, not cabinet, bringing monster 1Gbps connections to the properties in question (in the majority of cases, anyway).

Fujitsu’s wholesale network will be underpinned by Cisco, and both Virgin and TalkTalk will access the wholesale products to provide next-gen retail packages for consumers in more remote parts of the UK (which have been overlooked by current next-gen solutions due to their lack of commercial appeal).

Other ISPs will also be able to sell their products off the network, which will utilise both underground and overhead infrastructure, making use of Ofcom’s imposition on BT that the company must share its broadband infrastructure on fair terms.

However, there’s been a bit of controversy lately about BT’s stance on opening up its ducts and poles, as its initial pricing estimates have been set way too high according to ISPs (including Virgin and TalkTalk).

That’s what the dig about fair terms refers to, and if BT insists on maintaining current estimated pricing levels, the whole scheme could be scuppered. BT has said it may adjust costs yet – whether they will, and whether Ofcom will stick a persuasive boot in if they don’t, we shall have to see…

Communication Minister Ed Vaizey said: “I am delighted that Fujitsu along with Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco share the Government’s vision. The collaboration between these companies was exactly the sort of ambition and innovation the Government wanted to stimulate by removing barriers to broadband roll-out.”

“Creating this superfast broadband network will help improve the economic and social prospects of the homes and businesses where high-speed internet access remains just a dream.”

Hopefully this will come to fruition, as British users in rural areas could certainly use a break when it comes to broadband. And this could be a serious break.

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  1. Unlike some of the people in remote areas I have Brodband ,,but ,,it takes up to 4 minutes to boot up from start up ,come on B.T. get your act together and get some Fibre Optics down like other leading Countries

    Comment by john parrott — April 13, 2011 @ 4:13 pm

  2. “Five million homes in rural Britain are set for super-fast broadband” - really!!!

    I think not - seems more like a loose consortium saying please give us some money (that nice big BDUK pot of £500M will do nicely thank you) and then we’ll think about building it.

    There are no commitments here. There is no “A fujitsu led consortium is going to invest £250M of their own cash to bring broadband to rural communities” statement. Standard Marketing rubbish.

    Comment by Nick Williams — April 13, 2011 @ 5:46 pm

  3. Yes, that’s a fair point Nick, they haven’t mentioned anything to do with the actual investment amount….

    Indeed BT made similar noises regarding that point. We’ll just have to wait and see what they lay on the table.

    Comment by Darren Allan — April 13, 2011 @ 6:22 pm

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