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Quango To Provide £1 Million Funding To 10Gbps Broadband Research

The Technology Strategy Board will provide a cash pot of £1 million to "develop technology" capable of delivering speeds of up to 10Gbps to UK homes and businesses although no timeline has been set.

TSB is backed by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills and will decide who, amongst a number of research projects, will get the sponsorships worth between £30,000 and £100,000.

The Quango's lead technologist Mike Biddle said in a statement that “The challenge is to identify ways to address the technical issues facing the introduction of ultra-fast broadband within the next decade and to build European collaborations to exploit the technology, while generating wealth for the UK.”

The key difference between what the TSB aim and what BT for example is trying to achieve has to do with the coverage. TSB is looking to foster a pan-European Ultra Fast broadband network, while BT, being more pragmatic, aims at rolling out a 40Mbps coverage nationwide.

It must also be noted that rather than investing in research per se, the Technology Strategy Board is actually looking for feasibility projects. It would be interesting to see whether the main European multi-gigabit computer network for research and education purposes, GEANT2, could be used.

This network of GEANT, the older version, has a minimum speed of 155Mbps, going all the way to 10Gbps on the core optical fiber network.

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Our Comments

Can the TSB achieve what others like Virgin Media and BT have failed to come up with? Certainly not. After all, BT's Research and Development budget by itself is worth tens of millions of pounds per annum. Plus there's the question over whether the internet, as it stands right now, can handle anything near 1Gbps, let alone 10Gbps.

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Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.