Feeds

New competition minister makes broadband rallying cry

Calls for public sector buy-in

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

Competitiveness minister Stephen Timms has called for a road map to push forward the UK's move to super fast broadband.

In his first major speech as competitiveness minister, Stephen Timms said the UK is in urgent need of setting out a clear route for its move to super fast broadband and warned that other countries are already ahead of the UK.

Timms was speaking at the launch of a new work programme of the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) - the government's advisory group on broadband. He also announced a high-level summit on the need for public sector intervention in broadband deployment.

In response, chair of the BSG, Kip Meek, called on the government to set a target to benchmark the UK's broadband infrastructure against its key economic competitors.

Next generation broadband will involve the delivery of services capable of providing more than 20Mbps downstream, which would be sufficient to support services such as multiple HDTV feeds, broadband internet and voice services. The new technology would also enable faster upstream access to support more peer-to-peer applications and interactive and user generated services.

Timms commented: "When I became e-commerce minister five years ago, the UK was neck and neck with Croatia on broadband availability and use.

"Together, thanks in no small measure to the work of the BSG, we fixed that problem and put Britain in a leading position. However, today we face a new challenge. Other countries are starting to invest in new, fibre based infrastructure, delivering considerably higher bandwidth than is available in the UK today."

Timms said it was a priority to have in place a high performance telecommunications infrastructure in every part of the country, so the UK could compete on a global scale.

He said the summit, which he will chair later this year, would consider the circumstances that could lead to public sector intervention, and the form and level of intervention this might take place.

"I want it to be an open exchange, to bring together key people from government, from Ofcom, and from industry. It is essential that the UK undertakes timely deployment of technology - we can't lag behind."

Meek added: "We're not looking to government for all of the solutions, but we are looking for ministerial leadership. Communications infrastructure is a key enabler of competitiveness."

In April 2007, the BSG published its Pipe Dreams report, which called for a mix of investment incentives and competition policies to enable a market-led transition to next generation broadband.

Its new work programme aims to push through the report's nine recommendations, including working with local and central public bodies.

This article was originally published at Kablenet.

Kablenet's GC weekly is a free email newsletter covering the latest news and analysis of public sector technology. To register click here.

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

More from The Register

next story
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
Major problems beset UK ISP filth filters: But it's OK, nobody uses them
It's almost as though pr0n was actually rather popular
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
ITC: Seagate and LSI can infringe Realtek patents because Realtek isn't in the US
Land of the (get off scot) free, when it's a foreign owner
MPs wave through Blighty's 'EMERGENCY' surveillance laws
Only 49 politcos voted against DRIP bill
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
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.
Reducing security risks from open source software
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.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.