Minister cuts ribbon on Herts village fibre

Minister cuts ribbon on Herts village fibre

Summary: Launching Vtesse's high-speed broadband service in Birch Green, communications minister Ed Vaizey gave his opinions on net neutrality and the Digital Economy Act, but knew nothing about Acta


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  • According to Aidan Paul, the chief executive of Vtesse Networks (pictured above), the company's new cabinet can serve around 120 houses in a 3km radius.

    Asked how the economics of this deployment worked, he said they did not. Asked whether the deployment was an attempt to put pressure on the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to get BT to make it cheaper for smaller rivals to use BT's infrastructure in rural areas, he replied: "That's the point of all of this".

    Photo credit: David Meyer

  • The ribbon-cutting ceremony was a very British affair, complete with scones and pouring rain.

    Vtesse's service actually went live a few weeks ago, despite the fact that the company said Vaizey "officially switched it on" on Tuesday. Around a dozen customers already use it.

    Photo credit: David Meyer

  • Mark Betteridge is one of the first customers to have signed up to Vtesse's Birch Green offering.

    The solicitor, who sometimes works from home, signed up for a 16Mbps service. He told ZDNet UK that although the company offers packages of up to 40Mbps, he "wouldn't need that".

    Betteridge said his testing had indicated download speeds of 15.6Mbps and upload speeds of "just over a meg". His previous broadband connection, provided by "a certain satellite TV company", had given him "barely 0.75Mbps", he said.

    "In terms of quantifying time saved, over a year it will save thousands," Betteridge said. "My wife also runs a business from home — for her, it's a massive improvement."

    Photo credit: David Meyer

Topics: Broadband, Networking

David Meyer

About David Meyer

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't pay the bills. David's main focus is on communications, as well as internet technologies, regulation and mobile devices.

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  • Great stuff, vtesse going where BT fear to tread, into the final third. I hope Ed listens to Aidan because he doesn't half have some good ideas for the NGA solution. Unlike the incumbent he doesn't just fall over when things get tough.
  • "Vaizey surprised many of those present by saying he had never heard of Acta, the global copyright treaty being negotiated behind closed doors."

    Time for him to earn he's keep then eh.