CyberTech Rambler

May 21, 2010

Perhaps the right idea, wrong implementation

Filed under: Uncategorized — ctrambler @ 7:27 am

The news in the UK is the government is considering using part of BBC license fee to fund broadband development.

Perhaps the idaea is right, but it is definitely the wrong implementation.

Subsidizing broadband development, especially for rural area access, is a right move. Subsidizing superfast broadband? I am not that sure. Superfast broadband evolve organically in South Korea and Japan because there was demand. While one can increase demand with subsidy, and a subsidy can and should be used to kick start superfast broadband, if eventually superfast broadband is not self-sustaining, there is no point to subsidize it now.

I don’t think BBC’s licensing fee is the right way, even after considering BBC iPlayer’s heavy use in the UK internet scene. I said previously that an idea to use telephone subscription to drive broadband development was misguided, using licensing fee this way is even worse.

I much favour broadband users subsidizing rural area access. However, it is clear that if you think superfast broadband needs to be subsidized, by definition, you cannot get the money from broadband users as the reason for subsidy isĀ  they are not generating enough revenue. So how to subsidize it? I don’t know.


1 Comment »

  1. To be honest, I think superfast broadband is overkill. I somehow doubt that many can claim they actually need it, although I’m sure plenty want it. That’s a different matter entirely.

    Broadband has been likened to electricity in terms of necessity and I agree. In my opinion, any money going towards broadband needs to go towards ensuring everyone can access a workable connection, which they can use for the essentials. And in some cases, simply establishing coverage.

    Where that money comes from… I don’t know. As you say, it’s a tricky issue. Wherever it comes from, it’s going to have to come from the public and they’re not going to like it. But they need to remember that not everyone can go online, compare broadband packages and just pick an ISP. Some can only go with one. Other can’t get any access at all. Ok, that’s not the public’s problem per se but funds do not grow on trees and a public is made up of people. Everyone has to be considered.

    Comment by Nic — May 25, 2010 @ 11:21 am | Reply

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