Consultation outcomes aside – it is time to consider an alternative

Member News | 14.11.2017

Consultation outcomes aside – it is time to consider an alternative

Conversely, London’s vast and intense cluster of businesses creates the economies of scale that significantly reduces the cost of an FTTP connection.

With one dominant provider, the incentives simply are not strong enough to cover more rural areas – or even urban areas outside of central London.

Thankfully, pockets of ingenuity have helped create “community broadband” initiatives, with a number in Scotland such as those in Kingussie and Ullapool – where local spirit has seen groups mobilise, collaborate and work with an alt-net to enable ultra-fast connections at reasonable costs per person.

Likewise, fleet-footed infrastructure builders such as CityFibre (with its metro networks in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen) have stepped up to install their own gigabit-capable pure fibre networks.

In Edinburgh, the local council has stepped in and supported this network, helping it grow to an impressive scale, that will immeasurably benefit the capital’s schoolchildren, council workers – and its businesses.  

So while the perception may be that we are lacking a vision on a national level, it is safe to say Scotland’s entrepreneurial spirit is bubbling away, doing what it can, where it can.

Partnerships between communities, alt-nets (alternative network providers such as Commsworld, Hyperoptic and Gigaclear) along with government and local authorities is a model that now has countless proven successes at a local level.

This model should become the blueprint – with further support from government to help join the dots between communities, business and councils.

With the universal acceptance that FTTP infrastructures are essential to grow our economy and prepare us for the future, then we must find a way to get this done, once and for all.

Ricky Nicol is Chief Executive of Commsworld, Scotland’s leading Telecommunications Network Provider.

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