UK not just having the 'best' broadband in Europe by 2015 but also 'fastest'
20th Aug 2012 | 15:36
Feels the need for speed
Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt has revealed that he no longer wants the UK to have the "best" internet by 2015, but he wants it be the "fastest".
In a speech he made at Google's Campus building in London, Hunt recognised the importance of decent broadband for all in the UK and also explained that his broadband plans have been given a speed injection.
"When the Lords Committee criticised me this summer for being preoccupied with speed, I plead guilty. And so should we all," explained Hunt.
"Because we simply will not have a competitive broadband network unless we recognise the massive growth in demand for higher and higher speeds. But where their Lordships are wrong is to say my focus is on any particular speed: today's superfast is tomorrow's superslow."
And to make sure his plans work (and are not just MP hyperbole), Hunt is looking to invest some of the £300 million that comes from the TV license to make sure there's enough money to bring superfast broadband to 90 per cent of homes, the target he has set for the next three years.
Speaking about the news, Dominic Baliszewski, telecoms expert at website Broadbandchoices.co.uk, said: "Jeremy Hunt's revision of his broadband ambitions from 'best in Europe' to 'fastest in Europe' by 2015 is admirable but there is still a long way to go until the universal commitment of 2Mbps for all is met.
"Recent Ofcom data found that 14 per cent of households still receive average broadband speeds of 2Mb or less.
"Hunt is absolutely right to want to future proof the UK's broadband networks as this is the surest way to aid the UK's economic recovery."
He does go on to note, however: "We would like to see Mr Hunt come up with a solution for people left in these so called 'digital ghettoes' who face being forgotten in the UK government's need for speed."