Fujitsu, Virgin Media, TalkTalk and Cisco have agreed to collaboratively build a fiber based network to deliver next generation internet services to 5 million homes in rural Britain. In addition to all of the benefits broadband services provide to homes and businesses (education, entertainment, remote healthcare, government services, etc), there are a number of other things I find appealing about this collaborative effort:
- It's rural - these are areas that typically suffer most, lacking any broadband services.
- The network will be Fiber To The Home (FTTH) based with initial symmetrical bandwidth of 1 Giga bit per second (Gbps).
- Because they are going to be using fiber, the network is future-proofed with the potential to run at speeds greater than 10 Gbps.
- The network will be open access to any ISP, giving rural customers options. When broadband is available in rural areas, often there is only a single choice. Competition should be good because it usually drives prices down and bandwidths up to the consumer.
- The collaboration will involve local community broadband groups, enabling dynamic and flexible solutions in rural communities.