The government has recently made promises to provide the UK with the fastest broadband network in Europe, stating that “in order to be the best you need to be the fastest”.
While this statement may hold true in some respects, the government’s plans as outlined by Jeremy Hunt are far from perfect, as the internet infrastructure updates are not as ambitious as one would have hoped.
Good for the media
These plans aim to stimulate the creative and business industries by giving Britons the speed to transfer data across the globe like never before. Media industries are the primary focus, with the TV, music, video game and film industry set to reap the majority of these rewards as they deal with transferring huge amounts of data on a daily basis.
This recent announcement will come of huge relief to businesses, as recent surveys have shown that almost 60% of businesses feel that internet speeds are hampering growth and profits.
Public let down
Individuals however are considerably less well off than businesses in this deal. The government’s targets have done little to improve internet access nation-wide, with many rural areas still fighting to get even the slowest of connections.
This has triggered much complaint from MPs and locals alike, who claim that these plans only exacerbate the rural/urban divide when government strategy should be looking to bring more isolated areas into line (and up to speed) with the nation’s towns and cities.
These so called grandiose plans set out by the government are hardly impressive when you look at the proposed upgrades.
Mr. Hunt claimed that by 2015 90% of the nation would have access to broadband deals with a minimum of 24Mbps, with the rest of the country having access to at least a 2Mbps connection.
If this is the sum of the government’s plans, this is far from impressive. In order to achieve these speeds, little investment in newer technologies will be needed. These plans could be quickly be out of date when you consider the rapid evolution of fibre optic technology, which is already providing 100Mbps connection speeds.
Where’s the fibre optic?
The majority of Mr. Hunt’s plans still seem to be reliant on copper connections to the home, which in the grand scheme of things is highly short sighted.
In order to be the country with the fastest internet, having a fibre optic infrastructure is essential. When you consider that internet TV and HD content streaming is becoming increasingly data heavy, having super-fast internet connections will be a necessity.
As it stands, the UK is 15th in the European internet speed rankings. If the government thinks their plans will help us rank 1st by 2015, he is highly mistaken.