This is a huge industry hot topic that screams loudly from every piece of telecoms industry press. What is this ‘Digital Britain’ that businesses, suppliers and the government is continually obsessing about?
The concept of Digital Britain envisages the nation joining the ranks of other European countries currently streets ahead in the race to full fibre. According to government figures the UK currently has only four per cent full fibre connections, lagging behind countries like Spain (71 per cent), Portugal (89 per cent) and France (28 per cent).
The targets set out in the Governments Future Telecoms Infrastructure Review (FTIR) has set targets for UK-wide full fibre by 2033 and 5G access by 2027. This ‘full fibre’ promise will replace an aged infrastructure that’s no longer fit for purpose (based on copper wiring) with one that delivers against organisations requirements for speed, capacity and resilience.
What is full fibre?
Full fibre describes an internet connection that is entirely served by a fibre optic cable, from the exchange all the way to your house or business. This is known as Fibre To The Premises (FTTP).
This is not to be confused with one of the present systems, which uses fibre optic cables under the pavements and then a traditional copper cable running from the green box in your street to your premises.
This process, known as Fibre To The Cabinet (FTTC), can offer a speed increase but ultimately, it’s putting a plaster over the problem, which is that the internet is still being served by a copper cable.
What is driving this major change?
Technology is now a way of life. From the way we shop and consume media to the way organisations operate and communicate, advancements in technology are changing our daily lives at rapid pace. But with so many services on-demand at our fingertips, we expect everything to be ultrafast. 5G promises to create more reliable and responsive mobile internet connections, enabling the widespread adoption of technologies like 3D video, virtual and augmented reality in apps and services, smart cities and self-driving cars.
At the same time the business environment has been evolving. The UK’s workforce is more mobile than ever before. They expect to be productive wherever they are, work smarter and remain effective. But to do so they need the tools that allow them to stay connected and work from anywhere.
It’s not just mobility that’s changing. Openreach’s announcement on completely closing the PSTN network by 2025 (Analogue/Digital lines) changes the dynamic for UK organisations. Everyone will need to migrate to an IP voice service. This means catering for customers that may have many barriers to becoming ‘all IP’. The Evoke team have been discussing some of these challenges with our customers over the last few months.
What challenges have we identified within our customer base?
- Main or satellite/branch location not currently able to support IP services (ADSL only – no FTTC/FTTP)
- Old cabling that either can’t be replaced due to age/protection of building or the expense of re-wiring large buildings/campus environments with new cabling (CAT5/6).
- Budget constraints around replacement of old legacy telephony system that doesn’t support IP.
- The myth that you must replace your digital phones to move to IP. On this note we have just exposed on business media a company who were targeting UK business by using this myth as a selling tactic. One of our customers alerted us to this when they received a very pushy and confusing call.
At Evoke we will help you to understand and embrace all the upcoming changes at your own pace. We will keep our customers abreast of the mandatory changes within the technology space whilst ensuring all existing assets are maximised in terms of lifecycle and investment. Here’s a few ideas that could be used to help our customers on their ‘own pace’ journey.
If you would like to know more about how Evoke can help you understand the impact and benefits of any of our September Informer topics, pick up the phone or email one of our super sales team on 01509 278278 or [email protected].