“Within this parliament we want Britain to have the best superfast broadband in Europe.”
An ambitious goal given the progress in Finland and the plans in Germany and France, but this was the target set out by the new UK government through Jeremy Hunt, the Culture Secretary.
So how are they planning to do it?
Building on pre-election Conservative party policy, the approach is largely based on stimulating private investment by opening access to passive infrastructure, such as ducts and poles, not only of the incumbent BT, but also of other telecoms providers, the sewers and utility networks. They have also announced three market testing projects for high-speed broadband in rural areas and plans to use part of the underspend on digital switchover to bring basic broadband to all.
The best in Europe. A welcome aspiration – let’s hope they show the commitment necessary to meet it.