UK Govt wobbles on support for broadband

Buy it, or we back off

The Government's commitment to broadband has been called into question following remarks made by the e-envoy at the CBI conference today.

Netimperative.com reports that Andrew Pinder "told business chiefs to embrace the broadband revolution if they want the Government to support its roll-out".

Can this be right? The Government will only support the roll-out of broadband if business gets behind it?

And this from a Government that has made a song and dance about broadband Britain, and yet now it won't give its support unless business pays through the nose for services it may or may not be able to get.

Only last week one of Mr Pinder's underlings told delegates at a conference in Brighton that price, broadband availability and lack of content were all hampering the take-up of broadband in Britain.

Chris Parker of the e-envoy's office also admitted that both industry and Government have "failed to communicate a compelling argument as to why we need broadband".

Now, though, it seems Mr Pinder method for communicating this "compelling argument" is by using threats instead of any other cohesive argument. Slick.

And that's in spite of a recent report by the respected Communications Management Association (CMA) which found that more than two thirds of businesses want broadband Net access but can't get it.

Instead of putting the frighteners on business, perhaps Mr Pinder would be better employed using his strong-arm tactics on the likes of BT, Oftel and others in a bid to make broadband available nation-wide and at a cost that is not punitive to those who sign up for it. Just a thought. ®

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