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.