UK to follow broadband lead of S Korea – Hewitt

Or not, as the case may be

There's confusion today over whether Britain should follow South Korea and use Government money to finance the deployment of broadband.

Today's FT reports that trade and industry secretary Patricia Hewitt "made the case for heavy government investment in high-speed internet infrastructure", while visiting South Korea.

At the same time, she warned that "extra public funding would be hard to secure" adding that broadband would have to "take its place in a list of competing priorities alongside things like health and transport".

So which is it to be - Government money or not?

Despite several requests for clarification, the DTI failed to respond by press time.

Ms Hewitt also urged BT and the UK's cable operators to "follow the example of their Korean counterparts by cutting prices and aggressively marketing services", according to the FT.

But a spokesman for BT replied: "Every time we try and cut prices we get investigated by the regulator."

South Korea tops the OECD's league table for broadband. Britain doesn't. ®

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