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Summary:

A few years ago, the British government claimed that by 2012 it would have minimum broadband speeds of 2 Mbps available across the country. That target has now been shifted to 2015. Officials hold lack of funding for slow progress.

A few years ago, the British government claimed that by 2012 it would have minimum broadband speeds of 2 Mbps available across the country. But that isn’t happening, and yesterday the British culture secretary Jeremy Hunt blamed it on lack of funding and pushed the date to 2015, according to a report in The Financial Times.

“By the end of this parliament, this country should boast the best super-fast broadband in Europe and be up there with the very best in the world,” he told the daily. In order for that to happen, the government is going to use part of the BBC license fees to fund the project as opposed to implementing a broadband tax. He also wants to carriers to share their infrastructure as well. The government is going to make regulatory changes that would allow BT to share its cable ducts with other operators.

According to research firm, Point-Topic, at the end of the first quarter, the UK had 18.7 million broadband subscribers. Data from OECD notes that the UK’s broadband penetration was pretty low at 29.5 per 100 inhabitants versus its European counterparts like the Netherlands (37.1) and Denmark (37.1). In terms of speeds, OECD data from 2009 shows that the UK had an average advertised download speed of around 19.6 Mbps, versus the Netherlands, which had an average advertised speed of 33.8 Mbps and France with 54.6 Mbps.

Image courtesy of Gavin St. Ours on Flickr.

By Om Malik

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  1. i hope India also comes with something like this. If not the speed at least make service better in order to have decent experience when surfing the basic 256kbps broadband connections

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  2. If you go to most urban areas, then most people, even those on benefits, have access to relatively fast broadband (2mb or above) at home – although because much of it is based on BT’s old copper network, it still tails off as you get further from an exchange. The digital cable network alternatives only came to my area (west of London) in the last 4/5 years. Those not connected tend to be either a) In rural areas – hard to bring any new wiring to, b) In the other 50′s mark – a group only just catching up or c) Just plain not interested – there are still plenty just getting the idea.
    3G phone networks may start to bridge the gap for the rural areas.

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