Broadband campaigners take report to Westminster header image

A number of campaign groups travelled to Westminster yesterday (March 24th) to present MPs with a report that criticised the government's attempts to improve the UK's broadband services. 

Named 'The UK's Enduring Broadband Deficit - A Divided Nation - Time for An Effective Plan' the document has been created by Digital Business First, Digital Policy Alliance and the European Internet Foundation. 

It criticises the quality of UK broadband compared to other nations and calls on the government to create a new broadband plan in which local enterprise partnerships and other groups are able to specify their individual requirements.

"Our central message is that enabling a faster, more connected infrastructure for the UK is the best way to promote growth and jobs," the report states.

"The digital economy is the economy and digital infrastructure is the key to economic recovery in the UK, allowing the private sector to innovate, grow and flourish," it added.

Inequality of broadband services is one of the main topics discussed by the report, which states that despite £1 billion of taxpayers' money being invested in improving connectivity, some people are still left with minimum connection speeds of just two Mbps.

It claims that with speeds this poor, some people living in the Home Counties will have slower broadband than those in Peru or rural parts of the US, despite being no more than 50 miles away from London. 

The publication says the UK's internet services are "super-slow" compared to the super-fast connections available in other nations. For example, in South Korea 90 per cent of the population is set to have access to broadband of 1,000 Mbps by 2017.

It argues the lack of a decent level of internet access in rural parts of the UK means these areas are set to fall behind as they will struggle to compete with more connected locations. The report also claimed the government's current target of bringing minimum speeds of two Mbps to the country's hardest-to-reach areas is unnecessarily low and provides no real benefit to people and businesses in these communities.