Manufacturers slam 'High speed broadband' rollout is too slow

Not impressed with 'poor communication', either

Manufacturers have slammed the UK government for its "poor communication" and "lack of clarity" over the high speed Broadband UK (BDUK) programme.

In a survey of 134 manufacturers by representative body the Engineering Employers' Federation (EEF), 40 per cent rated broadband as "quite poor" or "very poor". Only 30 per cent said broadband internet quality had improved over the last two years.

This is despite £1.7bn being earmarked by BDUK to extend fast broadband to 95 per cent of homes and businesses by 2017. The strategy was launched in December 2010.

Broadband was rated as the second most important infrastructure investment priority, after "motoring and strategic A-road network" investments.

Businesses are increasingly reliant on digital communication networks such as broadband internet to maintain existing customer and supplier relationships such as supporting maintenance and servicing activities, said EEF.

Chris Richards, senior business policy adviser, said a more hands-on approach is needed: "On broadband, manufacturers are becoming increasingly reliant on high quality access to maintain existing customer and supplier relationships, such as supporting maintenance and servicing activities.

"Manufacturers report that the current high speed broadband programme is being rolled out at a slow pace with poor communication and a lack of clarity on when upgrades will take place." ®

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