Why Thanet is still not IT investment ready
Thanet is the ideal IT centre for Kent but for one thing - our network connection is worse than our rail link.
In all of Thanet the only quality connection that I am aware of is the CCCU-T PoP (Thanet's MAN hub) having a measly 1000Mbit/sec dedicated line to a JANet hub in Canterbury (this serves Thanet College and a few other places). This also serves as our only connection to KPSN (Kent's Public Service Network) which TDC does not have a direct line to. JANet and BT are two of the main UK Internet Backbone providers.
Two companies offer LLU (required to bypass BTWholesale and offer cheaper ADSL) in some Thanet exchanges Sky and AOL. And they offer connections of 10Mbit/sec. To put it into scale a company offering rackmounted hosting would offer a minimum of 10 Mbit/sec for each server and would have available 100 Mbit/sec and 1Gbit/sec (Gigabit) connections per server to a ultra high speed mainline Internet backbone.
Our MAN connection is 100 meg whereas The London MAN can offer 1 gig (1024 meg) to home users
This set up is what we call a SPoF - single point of failure - whereby if it goes down everything breaks. Our particular SPoF is the business equivalent of a handful of small scale servers that do a bit of email. Whereas Canterbury university can afford to host a Sourceforge Download Mirror due to it's hub's direct JANet connection Thanet couldn't even host TDCs website.
For IT to find Thanet interesting we need to up our network connection by a factor of 10,000%. Thanet means that TDC need to sponsor their own connection at least to the hub in Canterbury or sponsor the Thanet hub to upgrade to 10 Gbit/sec which is still not a commercially viable connection but would give grounds for fighting to get LLU uptake improved. Eventually we must connect directly to JANet or some other backbone provider to be a credible IT development site.
In short we need to connect to the London MAN and to dot hat we need to become a significant part of the Kentish MAN only then will the billions of pounds spent in IT be willing to come near us. With low property prices and a high availability of skilled workers Thanet would be an astounding place for a technology company to do business if only our Internet connection was not third rate.
Thanet District Council needs to wake up and realise that ten years ago it's IT was out of date and it has done little to catch up falling only further behind. Building art galleries with arts funding is all very nice but it will not crate the investment that is needed. A quality connection to the Inetenet backbone will. Market forces alone will assure this happens.