UK govt says wants Europe’s best broadband by 2015

LONDON, Dec 6 (BestGrowthStock) – Britain should have a digital hub
in every community to help it build Europe’s best broadband
network by 2015, which could create up to 600,000 new jobs and
add 18 billion pounds ($28 billion) to GDP, the government said.

Culture ministers Jeremy Hunt and Ed Vaizey, announcing an
extra 50 million pounds for broadband pilots in remote and rural
areas, said on Monday former state telecoms monopoly BT (BT.L: )
and local communities could both play key roles.

Britain, which has plans for a Silicon Valley-style hub of
high-tech firms in east London, currently ranks 10th in Europe
in terms of fixed-line broadband penetration, according to the
Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Hunt said the government’s 830 million pound investment
should stimulate the private sector to follow suit and said
local communities should organise the delivery of superfast
broadband from the digital hubs to individual users.

“We want to do more than bridge the digital divide,” Hunt
and Vaizey said in a strategy document.

About four-fifths of British fixed broadband connections are
via DSL, according to the OECD, with the remainder via cable
provided by the likes of Virgin Media (VMED.O: ). The average
connection speed is 5.2 megabits per second (Mbps).

The government, which has delayed the previous government’s
commitment to universal coverage of 2 Mbps to 2015 from 2012,
said the criteria it would use to judge its performance in
delivering the “best” network were still in development.
(Reporting by Georgina Prodhan; Editing by David Holmes)
($1=.6338 Pound)

UK govt says wants Europe’s best broadband by 2015