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ABC broadband conference cancelled

Clashed with Govt-backed summit

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The organisers of a broadband conference have been forced to abandon the event because it clashed with a Government backed "Broadband Summit".

The "Broadband End Game" conference was due to take place next Tuesday (November 22) in London. Its theme was for Government and the industry to look beyond ADSL and consider what technology and infrastructure needs to be put in place over the next decade.

Event organiser ABC (Access to Broadband Campaign) believes that although much progress has been made to date in rolling out high-speed services, there is too much complacency around and that the UK is falling behind other nations.

ABC even managed to secure in excess of a £1,000 in an eBay auction for BT's former CTO, Peter Cochrane, who was delivering a keynote speech at the event.

Now, though, organisers are left counting the cost of having to return ticket money to those who had signed up.

"We just haven't been able to compete with the publicly subsidised 'Summit' event the day before our End Game Conference," said a disappointed Lindsey Annison, co-founder of ABC. "The 'Job's Not Done' message is obviously not what government and industry want to hear."

"Fat pipes, fibre and connected homes with innovators in bedrooms do not suit the political or corporate shareholders' agenda at this time when so many believe that a basic 512kbps or 1Mbps service is going to meet the future needs of our economy.

"This country and some others in the EU with incumbent 'copper' telcos risk playing broadband second fiddle for years to come. We are ignoring the economic threats in the new industrial revolution that is the knowledge economy," she said.

The Government-backed "Broadband Britain Summit" to be held at London's QEII Conference Centre on Monday (November 21) includes presentations by Industry Minister Alun Michael and Ofcom bigwig Ed Richards, and will look at how "achieving digital excellence can improve the cohesion of UK society, the wealth of its economy and the quality of life of its citizens". ®

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