Feeds

UK Govt should do more for broadband

'Fair terms at competitive prices' for all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Boost IT visibility and business value

The Government should do more to ensure that all of the UK - and not just towns and cities - is hooked up to affordable broadband services.

That's one of the suggestions put forward in a report Always on, Changing Britain published by communications thinktank, The European Media Forum (EMF), which examines the social and economic potential of broadband in the UK

Sponsored by BT, the report consists of essays from the likes of e-minister Stephen Timms, the information commissioner Richard Thomas and BT futurologist Ian Pearson.

Sociologist Professor Frank Furedi reckons that Governments should play a more active role in the universal provision of Internet infrastructure.

"The aim should be to secure broadband access on fair terms and at competitive prices to all communities regardless of location. The British government has set the target for having 100 per cent broadband coverage by 2005. However this is likely to require more than exhortation to reach all the one in six of the population that are at present not served by DSL or cable access," he writes.

And he reckons that the UK could learn a thing or two by looking at how other countries have approached the roll-out of broadband.

"For example, the South Korean government's system of backing for the rapid dispersal of high speed residential cabling cannot be replicated exactly in the UK, but relevant lessons should be assessed by government and could be applied here."

Last month, that tack was effectively ruled out by Ofcom boss David Currie who insisted that the Government should rely on good-old competition to deliver true broadband services.

"We do not 'do' state monopolies well in this country," he told delegates at a conference.

"So we should be just as wary of putting all our eggs in one basket in broadband as we are in other areas of economic activity. We have to work with our capital markets and our system. Competition. Let's harness Adam Smith. Our vision has to be that we have to get to 10 Mb, competitively."

Elsewhere, Professor Furedi argues that email, instant messaging and chatrooms have "brought about ways of maintaining social relationships, which already has had profound effects".

"While internet communication has partially displaced some existing forms of social contact - letter writing, phone calls - the more important effect has been to create many more linkages between people," he wrote, leading to new social practices such as online communities. ®

Related Story

UK fixated with ADSL roll-out - Ofcom

Seven Steps to Software Security

More from The Register

next story
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Bring back error correction, say Danish 'net boffins
We don't need no steenkin' TCP/IP retransmission and the congestion it causes
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Telstra to KILL 2G network by end of 2016
GSM now stands for Grave-Seeking-Mobile network
Seeking LTE expert to insert small cells into BT customers' places
Is this the first step to a FON-a-like 4G network?
What FTC lawsuit? T-Mobile US touts 10GB, $100 family-of-4 plan
Folks 'could use that money for more important things' says CEO Legere
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.