Examination of Witnesses (Question Numbers
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
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.