The current broadband market in the United Kingdom is a very competitive one and going by recent news reports, the issue of next-generation cheap broadband is slowly creeping up the political agenda. Broadband speeds have been going up in a number of countries with speeds of up to 100Mbps, and it seems the UK is falling behind.
The recent Australian election campaign saw the issue of next-generation broadband played a significant role in the polls. And only last week, Britain's Minister for Competitiveness Stephen Timms hosted a summit for the UK key industry players to work out the main issues to address the new networks.
Questions that were up for debate included:
* Who will pay for such a network?
* How to make sure that any new networks stay as competitive as the current one?
* Do people in the UK need higher speeds?
* Are people prepared to pay a premium for the new network?
Although BT, the UK's biggest broadband provider, is convinced that there's more bandwidth to be squeezed out of the network, others are not so sure because of the astronomical cost -- an estimated £15bn -- to set up a new nationwide fibre network.
Meanwhile, BT is supplying over 3 million UK households with its cheap broadband services - BT Total Broadband. And BT has rolled out its next generation wireless router - the BT Home Hub. Just to recap, Wi-Fi is a high-speed wireless Internet connection and that means you don't need wires to hook up to your PCs, laptops and gaming consoles with this BT "ultimate package."
BT Fusion is another of its next generation mobile service that brings together a combined package - VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) calls, Wi-Fi and mobile phones - for a high-speed Internet connection.