Feeds

Minister confirms commitment to broadband

Funds forthcoming, future bright

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

"We are determined to commit funds to broadband," government minister Nigel Griffiths told the Access to Broadband Campaign conference in London yesterday.

Griffiths, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Construction, Small Business and Enterprise, was challenged to say what the Government was doing to bring about the dream "FiWi" future, of fibre and wireless, which Lindsey Annison called for earlier in the session.

He warned that: "Nobody can foresee the future," and added: "That's why we assemble with people like you - people with practical experience, and our own expert advisers, to find out what you people think are the issues."

In response to a NewsWireless challenge: "What are you doing to bring about the Fibre-Wireless, FiWi future, given that we don't see BT doing much yet?" Griffiths suggested that there was no dragging of feet - but that it wasn't necessarily clever to jump in.

"I've tracked this issue for some time," Griffiths said. "The number of cul-de-sacs we could have gone down for the last five years, is considerable"

His experience, he insisted, was revealing: "I worked with Douglas Alexander when he was the e-commerce Minister (after the last election) and I did many seminars with him. It is interesting, four years on, to look at what we were being urged to do, and see what actually happened. For example, we spent £9m, I think, on rural broadband pilot schemes at that stage. We were testing everything from sending data over electricity wires, and wireless, and various types of wireless, including satellite wireless." He clearly regarded some of the experiments as failures.

The Minister re-affirmed his support for Community Broadband Network. "Effective use of broadband is key to economic productivity and competitiveness. This is well understood by Britain's competitors, and to our inward investors; we have to make sure we have the right environment and infrastructure," he said.

Things are good, Griffiths said enthusiastically. "We have the most extensive broadband market in the G7 group of countries; we are ranked second in the 60 leading countries for 'e-readiness' - which means having an infrastructure available to take advantage of internet commerce."

Griffiths also hinted that the BT 21st Century Network project might solve any perceived problems.

His enthusiasm was only slightly spoiled by ABC director Brian Condon, who called for realism, and quoted OECD figures to show that in terms of broadband installed per head of population, Britain ranked right next to "average" and hopelessly behind world leader Korea.

Condon controversially called for a shift of attitude from "managing scarcity" towards "exploiting abundance" by releasing what he called the "middle mile block" in bandwidth.

© NewsWireless.Net

Related stories

UK boffin demos plane-based broadband
Kent gets UK's first WiMAX network
Reg road tests the Wi-Fi pub

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Déjà vu: Virgin Media jacks up broadband prices
Screw copper phone lines, we're UNIQUE, bleats telco
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
Netflix swallows yet another bitter pill, inks peering deal with TWC
Net neutrality crusader once again pays up for priority access
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
US TV stations bowl sueball directly at FCC's spectrum mega-sale
Broadcasters upset about coverage and cost as they shift up and down the dials
UK mobile coverage is BETTER than EVER, networks tell Ofcom
Regulator swallows this line and parrots it back out at us. What are they playing at?
What's the nature of your emergency, Vodafone?
Oh, you've dialled the wrong number for ad fibs, rules ASA
EE network whacked by 'PDP authentication failure' blunder
Carrier is 'aware' of cockup, working on a fix NOW
ROAD TRIP! An FCC road trip – Leahy demands net neutrality debate across US
You crashed watchdog's site, now time to crash its ears
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.
Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.