Reference Library – England – Hertfordshire Broadband

Thousands of homes in Hertfordshire and Buckinghamshire to get superfast broadband boost

Herts County Council is working with BT to roll out superfast broadband to more homes. The extension will benefit more than 7,700 additional premises across Herts and Bucks. residents will be able to order faster fibre broadband, achieving superfast speeds of more than 24Mbps.

Currently, 94 per cent of homes in Hertfordshire have access to superfast broadband, and when this latest fibre rollout programme is complete in December 2019, it should reach a total of 98 per cent of homes. David Williams, Hertfordshire’s County Council’s executive member for resources, property and the economy, said: “It’s great news that even more homes in the county will benefit from superfast broadband, including some hard-to-reach rural locations in the east of the county.

“Good connection to the internet is vital for our residents who use online streaming services, as well as for our businesses who rely on being able to connect with customers.”

Giles Ellerton, BT’s regional partnership director, said: “It’s excellent news that the rollout in Bucks and Herts is proving to be so popular.

“The Connected Counties team are out and about in the community doing a great job of raising awareness of the benefits of fibre broadband. The technology really does have the ability to transform the way people and businesses use the internet.

Anything you can do online you can do better and faster with superfast broadband.”

See if you will benefit at www.connectedcounties.org/

Ofcom pressuring BT to slash wholesale prices for superfast broadband

Ofcom could force BT’s Openreach to slash the prices it charges rivals for access to its superfast broadband network under plans that could shave millions off consumer bills. With proposals published by the watchdog today intended to encourage “full-fibre” investment, Ofcom said it wants to cut the wholesale price that Openreach – the part of BT responsible for its network – can charge telcos for its popular superfast broadband service, which has a download speed of up to 40Mbps. By doing so it “wants to protect broadband customers and promote competition”.

Openreach charges rivals ?88.80 a year in wholesale charges for each individual superfast package, but by 20/21 Ofcom wants that to fall to ?52.77 a year. “We would expect much of this reduction to be passed through by retail providers to their customers, resulting in lower bills,” it said. Earlier this week Ofcom whacked the former state monopoly1 with a ?42m penalty for its failure via Openreach to compensate other providers for delays to fixing leased line “Ethernet” services. As a result of the investigation, BT said it estimates it will pay an additional ?300m in compensation to the affected communications providers.

The new rules would also include stricter requirements on Openreach to repair faults and install new broadband lines more quickly. Jonathan Oxley, Ofcom’s competition group director, said: “Our plans are designed to encourage long-term investment in future ultrafast, full-fibre networks, while promoting competition and protecting consumers from high prices.

“People need reliable phone and broadband services more than ever. We’re making sure the market is delivering the best possible services for homes and business across the UK.”

BT finally agreed to a voluntary legal separation of its broadband division Openreach this month after Ofcom identified serious market failings in the previous structure.

As such, more than 30,000 engineers will be transferred over to Openreach, all BT’s branding will be removed from the unit and it will be governed by an independent board.

However, BT will still formally own the Openreach network assets and the body’s budget will ultimately be determined by BT, along with all Openreach profits flowing back to the BT Group. (R)

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  1. ^ Ofcom whacked the former state monopoly (www.theregister.co.uk)
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Trump to repeal US broadband privacy regulations

Republicans in Congress this week narrowly passed the repeal of the privacy rules, with no Democratic support. The fight over privacy sets the stage for an even larger battle later this year over plans to overturn the net neutrality provisions adopted by the administration of former president Barack Obama in 2015. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said he did not know when Mr Trump would sign the bill.


The privacy bill would repeal regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission requiring internet service providers to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites. Under the rules, internet providers would need to obtain consumer consent before using precise geolocation, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing. Republican commissioners have said the rules would unfairly give websites the ability to harvest more data than internet service providers.

Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer said in a tweet the vote was “terrible for American ppl, great for big biz”. Republicans next plan to overturn net neutrality rules that in 2015 reclassified broadband providers and treated them like a public utility. The rules bar internet providers from obstructing consumer access to web content and ban giving or selling access to speedy internet to certain internet services.