A new shared infrastructure and better spectrum allocation for wireless access are among the Broadband Stakeholder Group's (BSG's) recommendations for increasing broadband coverage in the UK.
Local authorities or private sector organisations, such as large building companies, should be given the job of digging the trenches for fibre optic cabling, so that different telecoms operators can share the same physical infrastructure, said Keith Todd, chairman of the BSG.
At the moment each operator digs its own trenches, which can account for up to three-quarters of the cost of laying new cable.
If this cost can be reduced, operators are more likely to extend their network coverage, according to Todd.
"It is unacceptable to leave one third of the country [without broadband access]," he told vnunet.com.
"We are putting forward some ideas about civil utility infrastructure, and some different approaches to create broadband coverage and competition. The cost of digging is 65 to 75 per cent of the cost.
"The idea is to separate out the digging of the trenches from the ownership of the fibre.
"If you can share that as a managed facility the costs are lower. Even incumbents that have dug trenches are saying why can't we open up our trench?"
Todd explained that the BSG will also be recommending better spectrum allocation to improve wireless broadband access. "Wireless has not fulfilled its full potential," he said.
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