Feeds

Ofcom urges government restraint on new broadband

'Hands off!'

Business security measures using SSL

The public sector should take a minor role investing in high bandwidth broadband capacity, according to a senior Ofcom official.

Peter Phillips, partner for strategy and market developments at the communications regulator, said public investment should be "targeted at areas left behind by the markets".

Speaking at a Westminster eForum conference, Next Generation Broadband, on 6 November 2008, Phillips said that Ofcom believes the private sector should play the leading role in providing the infrastructure for broadband connections of 25-30Mbps. This largely reflects Ofcom's belief in the primacy of private investment, but also that the difficult economic outlook weakens the case for public intervention.

He acknowledged, however, that some areas may prove relatively unattractive for private investment, and that there is more scope for the public sector to get involved in the few areas that do not have broadband coverage.

"The public sector should consider action to implement private investment but not crowd it out," he said.

Phillips added that at this stage it is difficult to predict the limits of private investment. He pointed out that before its implementation there were estimates that the existing broadband network would reach just 60-70 per cent of the country, but it has achieved a much higher level of penetration.

Conference chair Nick Palmer MP said the private sector is more likely to step up its investment if the benefits of high bandwidth services quickly become apparent and prompt a surge in public demand.

The UK's existing broadband network has been installed almost entirely by the private sector, although there have been some government initiatives to make it available in rural areas. The Public Sector Broadband Aggregation programme provided the impetus for rolling out the infrastructure in parts of Wales, and in North Yorkshire the county council and Yorkshire's regional development agency are providing extra capacity on their own network for internet service providers.

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.

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

More from The Register

next story
Brit telcos warn Scots that voting Yes could lead to HEFTY bills
BT and Co: Independence vote likely to mean 'increased costs'
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
New 'Cosmos' browser surfs the net by TXT alone
No data plan? No WiFi? No worries ... except sluggish download speed
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Google+ GOING, GOING ... ? Newbie Gmailers no longer forced into mandatory ID slurp
Mountain View distances itself from lame 'network thingy'
ISPs' post-net-neutrality world is built on 'bribes' says Tim Berners-Lee
Father of the worldwide web is extremely peeved over pay-per-packet-type plans
Vodafone to buy 140 Phones 4u stores from stricken retailer
887 jobs 'preserved' in the process, says administrator PwC
Bonking with Apple has POUNDED mobe operators' wallets
... into submission. Weve squeals, ditches payment plans
Drag queens: Oh, don't be so bitchy, Facebook! Let us use our stage names
Handbags at dawn over free content ad network's ID policy
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.