Life in the slow lane

A short while ago PM David Cameron put in place a Universal Service Obligation (USO) whereby UK citizens had the "legal right to request a broadband connection capable of delivering a minimum speed of 10Mbps by 2020."

Note that this isn't the same as the right to RECEIVE such a service, and in any case 10Mbps is already too little too late. And this refers only to the download speed, the upload speed is generally 1/10th the download speed based on the DSL technology widely deployed, and 1Mbps at best is pretty feeble.

Meanwhile, this is what's proposed in the rest of the EU: 

"The Commission hopes that the ECC will help Europe meet its target of providing 1Gbps (1000Mbps) broadband to schools, hospitals and large businesses, and a minimum of 100Mbps for all households – which need to be upgradeable to 1Gbps – by 2025."

Where's Wally? The UK is conspicuous by its absence... From FTTH Council Europe FTTH Panorama webinar 6.4.2017

As we are leaving, we won't be subject to this, and Ofcom don't seem to be on the same page as the European Commission when it comes to broadband, preferring instead to tinker with organisational change, rather than infrastructure change.

Because those pesky laws of physics means that to deliver a "minimum of 100Mbps to ALL households" requires swapping copper wires for optical fibres (the case of VirginMedia is different as, where they have their own infrastructure, they already use a different tech).

So our continental competitors and former EU colleagues will soon be in the optical fibre fast lane, with all the competitive benefits that provides, while the UK, or potentially what's left of the UK, will be limping along on copper wires.

If you're not into telecoms, this would be like Europe having motorways and the UK having only leafy country lanes.

Which would be somewhat... slow, don't you think?