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BT Claims £2bn Funding Needed to Hit Government Broadband Targets

Gordon Kelly


BT Claims £2bn Funding Needed to Hit Government Broadband Targets

Late last month I scribbled a feature entitled Britain's Broadband Backlash and suggested we as a nation were getting sick of flaky broadband services, both on fixed line and mobile. Well now BT has come out and admitted it needs more help...

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live BT CEO Steve Robertson said the Coalition government's plans of making the UK the fastest broadband nation in Europe by 2015 will require an additional £2bn in public funding. The plan also guarantees a minimum of 2Mbit connections to every household.

Robertson pointed out that the Digital switchover project currently only sets aside £175m which is a long way short of the funding that is required. "As a society we need to make our minds up about what is an essential element of our social fabric. Today not having broadband makes people feel deprived," he added.

In response Culture minister Jeremy Hunt told the BBC that costs "had been scoped out" and "we should be able to deliver on our commitment... Obviously we are looking for solutions that allow extensions to superfast {broadband}. It would be a short-term fix if 2 megabits was the limit."

Is it just me who would like the term "superfast" defined? What is this magical term? 10Mbit? 20Mbit? 50Mbit? 100Mbit? Because even if it is the last of these figures then we'll still be lagging behind a number of European countries if we only get here after five years.

Yes the problem isn't as serious as the farcical situation with the Digital Economy Act, but you do have to wonder if MPs truly understand what they are talking about... again.


Via BBC News (and yes, we think its redesign is horrible too)

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