It's not unusual for me to be controversial, but today I'm going to put forward a radical proposition.
Some time ago I consulted with OFCOM on the concept of a 'Public Service Publisher', a kind of alternative to mainstream media creating content - or something like that. No one was quite sure what it was, in fact, and the project has hit the rails.
However, in a room full of TV professionals, all representing different social, political and commercial views, I was the only one who stood up and said that bandwidth provision needed to be equal. I was poo-pooed by the largely urban crowd around me.
Now, as BT quietly shelve the C21 rollout and the row between ISPs and the BBC simmers, the issue of bandwidth provision has to be back on the agenda.
And here's my radical thought: nationalise the broadband backbone.
Enable investment in fibre and then let commercial interests (including the BBC) lease out capacity.
There is a precedent to this. Railtrack was re-nationalised. In my opinion the railways are one of the few industries that do not benefit from competition. Indeed, it starves investment as shareholders need to be paid.
I would argue that broadband provision would similarly benefit from central investment and create a level playing field for the conflicting commercial interests in the broadband market.