Davey wrote:\n\n[snip]\n[QUOTE]\nI remain, even without any good reason, optimistic.\n\nThere was somebody who recently publicly said that everybody, even\nthose who don't want to use a computer, needed to use the internet for\neveryday things, even if they didn't want to. But as somebody else\nreplied, "She should come up to north Northumberland and try saying\nthat, at least with our faster carrier pigeon system, we can eat the\npigeon after receiving the message".\nEast Anglia is not much better, I am only on ADSL Max, but I can drive\nto Bury St. Edmunds in 30 minutes, and Norwich in 45.[/QUOTE]\n\n\nIn the global scheme of things it would be a very good idea to avoid the\nneed for travel. More specifically this would be to avoid the need for\nreqular and frequent travel.\n\nExamples would be the daily commute to work, and the movement of\nmanufactured goods. I'm always annoyed that when I'm stuck behind a\nlorry carrying for example biscuits there's another biscuit lorry coming\nthe other way!\n\nWithout this travel we would have more time to do useful things, would\nuse less energy, create less pollution, and ultimately require less\nroad-building. Maybe it would also provide more local opportunities for\nwork - at a local biscuit factory, for example.\n\nA useful contributor to this travel minimisation would be a better\nfaster internet to all the population.\n\nOf course there are lots of other things that would be necessary -\nimprovement of insulation in the housing stock would save useful\nquantities of energy, and the availablity of local facilities and work\nwould encourage more walking and cycling thereby improving the health of\nthe population.\n\nBut these other things will take major investment and a change of\nmindset; whereas a universal fast internet service (say 20Mbits/sec\navailable to abolutely everybody) would be very low cost by comparison.\nAll it needs is for the ISPs to accept a universal service obligation,\nin much the same way as the electricity companies did at the end of the\nsecond world war.\n\nFTTP is probably the best solution, and I'm told its costs would be\ncovered by the value of the copper cable that could be recovered.