“The government’s attitude to high speed broadband to rural areas is ridiculous when you consider over a third of the country will suffer, and it is simply not good enough to push the burden to fall back on to businesses – in effect causing a rural/urban digital divide – which is strange for a government preaching equality!” said Mark Seemann, product strategy and development director at leading cloud-based and Unified Communications specialists Outsourcery.
The government has pledged to offer all homes a minimum speed of 2Mbps (megabits per second) by 2012. But critics say these speeds are far too slow for the ever-increasing demands of web users.
“What is now required is a carefully thought out strategy by the next government to encompass both the short and long term plan to make the UK’s Broadband infrastructure competitive and fit for purpose,” said Seemann. “Due to the time scales required to roll-out high speed 100mb broadband services to the UK (estimates from 5 to 10 years are being quoted), a short term plan to give UK’s businesses superfast broadband is critical.
“The most effective method of delivering a short term plan is to establish a Broadband Grant system whereby businesses can receive government subsidised discounts for ordering fibre optic private circuits from BT, Virgin and other Independent Service providers.