Broadband funding shortfall

  • The UK is likely to fall short of its broadband targets for 2015 due to a £1.1bn gap in funding that will need to be met by private investors.
  • Government targets are to provide 100% access to fast broadband and 90% access to superfast broadband. A report by the London School of Economics (LSE) suggests that the target of 100% coverage by basic broadband by 2015 is likely to be met, but that it was unclear when the fast and superfast targets would be able to be met. The LSE defines “basic” broadband as services offering speeds of up to 2Mbps. “Fast” broadband ranges from 2Mbps to 24Mbps, and “superfast” exceeds 24Mbps.
  • Given the economic benefits of faster broadband, one of the report’s authors suggested that this year’s budget allocation for broadband seemed disproportionate in comparison to other infrastructure such as transport.

While the UK investment in broadband is more than in some other European countries, failure to meet targets is likely to be felt most in rural communities, which could see economic benefits from the rollout of faster broadband and provide important support to local businesses, farmers and rural home-workers.

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About Julia Chatterton

Systems modeller with a particular expertise in food, farming and agricultural systems. Working with life cycle assessment methods for over 4 years to assess and analyse the environmental burdens associated with food and other production systems.
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