UK.gov abandons 2012 rural broadband pledge
Digital divide stays for now
The government has dumped a commitment to deliver universal access to 2Mbit/s broadband by 2012.
The culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said this morning that the previous government had failed to allocate enough funding to meet the schedule.
Instead, he pledged that all households will have access to a 2Mbit/s downstream service by the end of this Parliament, which assuming the coalition holds together will be in May 2015.
Last year's Digital Britain report claimed one in 10 homes' broadband access falls short of 2Mbit/s, and the government currently estimates there are 160,000 homes in rural areas unable to get any broadband access at all.
Labour first committed to universal 2Mbit/s access by 2012 in January last year, planning to use a large proportion of the £130m annual surplus from the television licence created by the switch off of analogue transmitters.
Hunt today said: "Unfortunately... we found it wasn't enough."
The plan remains to deliver ubiquitous access through an array of national and local providers, and both fixed and wireless technologies.
He was speaking at a conference convened by Broadband Delivery UK, an new unit in the Department of Business that will manage the universal service committment and the rollout of next generation fibre networks. ®
Martin, you Cock(ney) Tw*t.
"Rural" in a lot of cases could also mean large market towns, where "broadband" can sometimes exceed a whopping 1Mbs if the wind is in the right direction. Also even in large towns / cities there are broadband dead spots, where new estates get built without proper infrastructure being considered. I expect even in your miracle city of wonder, with its shining lights and fluffy pigeons, there are similar places in existence.
The sooner London disappears up its own arse the better off the rest of the country will be. Except you will all move up North and ruin it for the rest of us.
Apologies to the Londoners who aren't wankers.
How to avoid a digital divide
Simple. Legislate to cap all internet connections at 2Mbit/s until such time as ALL internet connections (except perhaps for 1% of genuinely remote refusemiks) can reliably deliver that rate.
Raise cap to 8Mbit/s and repeat. The 20Mbit/s, then 50Mbit/s, etc.
Market forces (i.e. those people fortunate enough to live in areas with faster infrastucture) will force the telcos to upgrade the not-spots. The telcos will be happy to oblige since it will allow then to charge more when the next cap comes off.
Everybody happy. Especially us deprived urbanites who have neither rural tranquility nor broadband above half-meg.
Food for Broadband
If you townies don't want to subsidise our broadband then why should we subsidise your food?
It's more expensive to ship food into the big cities yet you don't pay more.
And yet by the arguments above for not subsidising our broadband cos you think anyone who wants fast broadband should move to a city the same applies to food if you want it move to where it is! ie the countryside.