Broadband - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee Contents

Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers 140-144)


24 NOVEMBER 2009

  Q140  Mr Hoyle: Obviously if you are at the end of the line you get the worst possible service because you are furthest away from the exchange and the box. Is it possible that this should be coming in from two exchanges because I am finding that with a new village it seemed to be from an exchange that is further away than another one but if it were to come from two ends actually you would get better broad speeds or equal broad speeds across the whole of a new village. Is that a possibility?

  Mr Richards: It is a very interesting question and I would have to take it away and ask our technical people about that.

  Q141  Mr Hoyle: I was thinking that may help broad speeds in other areas. The second one is: what do you think of the Swindon effect of Free?

  Mr Richards: Free Wi-Fi?

  Q142  Mr Hoyle: Yes.

  Mr Richards: Really interesting.

  Q143  Mr Hoyle: I know it is interesting!

  Mr Richards: I am quite excited about it. What will it do? I do not think anybody quite knows. It is going to be run partly as a service, partly as a commercial business and you have to pay for the video reach services and out of the area. So we will see what it does. It is exciting in terms of ubiquitous mobile or Wi-Fi broadband; that is exciting. It is fascinating because, as I understand it, it is using lampposts for base stations, which is really interesting and we are looking at that now to see whether that is something that could be extended. Too early to say what it will do. This goes back to the Chairman's question about fragmentation. It is very difficult to be against that sort of innovation because it is going to take us forward and we are going to learn from it, and so long as it is not distorting competition and is consistent with state aid I think we find it very interesting.

  Q144  Mr Hoyle: Swindon: the new Singapore?

  Mr Richards: Who knows?

  Chairman: Thank you for your evidence. If you could sort out my problems in Demon and BT Openreach I would be extremely grateful! They both deny responsibility and the line is appalling. Thank you very much, Ed, and we will see you again next week.

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