Greenock Telegraph 10th February

When I first started working in information technology the ability to connect one computer to another was basic to say the least. We used a phone handset to call a person in the other location, they answered the phone and then we left the line open, and the computers used the phone line. It wasn’t fast and it wasn’t reliable. Technology has moved on at a great pace and the demand to use it is stretching the capabilities to the limit. These days everybody wants ultra fast fibre optic broadband to the house as we download movies, music and sport in different rooms while browsing the internet, emailing relatives around the globe and doing our online shopping. Back in the day this was science fiction but now it’s routine. The infrastructure to supply this is almost entirely controlled and managed by Openreach and Virgin Media. There are other suppliers, but physical infrastructure ownership is very limited. In Germany, the companies responsible for the rollout had to provide the service to the more rural areas first and then made their money extending into urban settings.  Unfortunately, in the U.K. we allowed the suppliers to sell into the most densely populated areas first and as a result we have ‘not spots’ dotted around on the fringes or outside towns and cities. There have been incentives to encourage take up to such a degree that additional fibre has been blown but as the demand for speed increases the infrastructure has struggled to keep up. It’s a constant battle between demand and availability. While the figures show that Inverclyde generally has good broadband connectivity, I fully understand that is not enjoyed by all. I am working with providers to get better faster and stable access for all.