New government plans released this week mean that every community in the UK will gain access to super-fast broadband by 2015.
The private sector is to deliver broadband to two thirds of the UK, whilst other, mainly rural areas will receive public funding to create a “digital hub” with a fibre optic internet connection.
“In order to determine what constitutes ‘the best’ network in Europe, we will adopt a scorecard which will focus on four headline indicators: speed, coverage, price and choice,” the strategy says.
“These will be made up of a number of composite measures rather than a single factor such as headline download speed.”
Matt Holmes, MD of cloud accounting market-leader, Liquid Accounts, Chair of the Cloud Computing Special Interest Group for BASDA (the Business Application Software Developers’ Association), and member of the governing body for CIF (the Cloud Industry Forum) said:
“This is a great boost to cloud computing in the UK. Small businesses around the country are already benefitting from the time and cost-savings of cloud and software as a service, but until everyone has access to good quality, fast broadband then people are still going to questions whether it works, and whether it’s fast enough and reliable enough. And as we’ve seen, from the recent extreme winter weather, the ability to be able to work from home, or somewhere else other than your office is becoming essential!
This is also great news for the UK’s economy: In South Korea, where superfast broadband is the norm, the economy is booming and revenue from internet-related technological innovations has exploded. Plus today, the CEBR (the Centre for Economics and Business Research) are reporting that the EU’s top 5 economies (including the UK) could get a multi-million Euro boost from cloud computing in the next 5 years, and several million jobs could be created as a result. But none of this can happen without the implementation of fast, reliable, universal broadband. “
The aim proposed by the government is to deliver a ‘fibre point’ to every community in the UK by the end of this parliament. The coalition has allocated £50m to pay for trials, mainly in current hard-to-reach areas to see what the super-fast broadband can achieve for these communities
These new trials will run alongside projects in North Yorkshire, Herefordshire, Cumbria and the Highlands and Islands, announced earlier this year.
Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt said that BT may match the government’s proposed £830m of funding if it is rewarded the contract to provide the infrastructure for the community hubs.
The firm said that if it was to “win funds on that scale” it would be able to provide fibre to 90% of the UK.
According to the BBC, its fibre will extend to 66% of the UK, although only a quarter of this would be the faster Fibre-To-The-Home (FTTH) technology.
The rest is the slower Fibre-To-The-Cabinet (FTTC), similar to the government’s “digital hub” plans, which does not guarantee a super-fast fibre connection all the way to a person’s home.
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