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Next Generation Access Debate Hots Up

LONDON, UK -- Recent public statements by UK Minister Stephen Timms MP and telecoms company BT herald a significant shift in the debate on next generation access networks in the UK.In the past discussion has focussed on the technical and cost reasons that make rolling out a new fibre-based access network in the UK very difficult. Now there is a sense that it is in the national interest to move from this position of ‘too difficult/expensive to do’ to one of ‘this must be done -- how do we make it happen?’.The difficulties remain but the call is now for all stakeholders collectively to work out how to address them. This is being led by Stephen Timms MP, a Minister well known for both his expertise in and passion for ICT, who is to organise a Summit on Next Generation Access.A key milestone in the discussion was the publication of the Broadband Stakeholders’ Group report ‘Pipe Dreams‘. The next stage is a formal consultation that is about to begin on regulation of new network infrastructure by the UK communications regulator Ofcom.For anyone interested in the new services that a faster access infrastructure will enable, this is an exciting time in the UK, as we see signs that there is now the will to keep up with other countries who are making the same transition.

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