Google bod: Fast net 'absolutely CRITICAL' to UK future

Pukka mobile needed to save hard-up Brits

Top three mobile application threats

Digital London Google is championing the need for improved fixed and mobile internet access while flying the flag for British small businesses online.

High-speed broadband and mobile coverage go hand-in-hand, helping businesses get online and helping consumers to buy their services, Google's man said, adding that this in turn boosts the UK's GDP.

Google’s vice president for northern and central Europe, Matt Brittin, said on Tuesday that while the UK government seems to appreciate the importance of high-speed broadband and mobile, funding the necessary improvements remains a problem.

Brittin said in response to questioning from The Reg at the Digital London event: “High-speed broadband and high-speed mobile are absolutely critical... You clearly have to have strong infrastructure and it’s not enough to have strong broadband - you have to have strong mobile, too.

“We see the pace of mobile growth as absolutely transformational, not just for business but to help people out of poverty. I think government understand how important is when you talk to them; the challenge is getting it funded and getting it out fast.”

Broadband and mobile internet access remain patchy concerns in the UK.

Carriers cluster in and around major cities like London at the expense of places only just outside – meaning access, speeds and choice quickly disappear. When it comes to raw access, even mobile networks in cities can just disappear at peak times of the day.

Speaking at Digital London, Brittin said Google data showed locations in the UK that have a high density of growth in internet activity are urban. These include Scunthorpe and – within the London area – Croydon, Sidcup and Uxbridge. He reckoned that internet business makes up 7 per cent of the UK's GDP and that 60 per cent of that revenue comes from shoppers buying online.

David Cameron’s government wants 90 per cent of homes and businesses in the UK to have access to a "superfast" broadband network come 2015. However, progress is sticky, even with the £530m Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) fund to help get there.

In December, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport had to set a February 2012 deadline for local councils to submit plans for broadband rollout in their areas after it emerged they were fumbling the ball and that most hadn't even attempted to snaffle for a slice of Whitehall pork. By February just two authorities – North Tyneside and South Tyneside – had missed the deadline.

In October, the chancellor announced that £150m would become available this year to “improve the coverage and quality of mobile service” for 5 to 10 per cent of consumers and businesses “where existing mobile coverage is poor or non-existent".

The goal is to extend mobile service to 99 per cent of the population.

Speaking at Digital London, Brittin called the UK a “world leader” in e-commerce because it spends more per-head online than any other country.

He cited good credit card security and the pioneering work of retailers like Tesco and Sainsbury’s as having given UK consumers the confidence to shop online. ®

Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction

More from The Register

next story
Virgin Media so, so SORRY for turning spam fire-hose on its punters
Hundreds of emails flood inboxes thanks to gaffe
A black box for your SUITCASE: Now your lost luggage can phone home – quite literally
Breakfast in London, lunch in NYC, and your clothes in Peru
AT&T threatens to pull out of FCC wireless auctions over purchase limits
Company wants ability to buy more spectrum space in auction
Turnbull leaves Australia's broadband blackspots in the dark
New Statement of Expectations to NBN Co offers get-out clauses for blackspot builds
Facebook claims 100 MEEELLION active users in India
Who needs China when you've got the next billion in your sights?
Facebook splats in-app chat, whacks brats into crack yakety-yak app
Jibber-jabbering addicts turfed out just as Zuck warned
Google looks to LTE and Wi-Fi to help it lube YouTube tubes
Bandwidth hogger needs tube embiggenment if it's to succeed
prev story


Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.