Missing the target

I trust no one in the UK government needs to organise an alcoholic–based drinks party any time soon because, as this press release from the CLA suggests, they would not manage it even if they chose a brewery for a location – to coin a catchy phrase.

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), has issued a warning to the UK government that is unlikely that it will be able to reach its target of making at least 24Mbps broadband available to 90 per cent of the UK, and 2Mbps to all rural areas by 2015. That’s quite depressing, especially when you realise that this was a date pushed back by three years from its original 2012 deadline. And that 2Mbps is rubbish anyway.

What are the odds on that miserly baseline being pushed back further as we get closer to that date?

The CLA has pointed out that slow funding and a focus on fibre optic was slowing the process. “”The BDUK process is too bureaucratic and the allocation of the £530million funding too slow. It would be much simpler if the funding was allocated centrally rather than giving it directly to local authorities because they do not have the resource to plan for a superfast broadband network.

“An over-reliance on fibre optic is also a factor in the Government’s poor chance of meeting these deadlines. The CLA advocates a patchwork quilt model that uses the most appropriate technologies for a certain area, rather than using a single technology, so everyone can benefit from broadband.”

This makes sense. Fibre optic is clearly the preferred option but if it is causing delays, ADSL2+ wouldn’t be so bad would it?

As we’ve already noted, the issue is so bad that some in the UK have taken to taking matters into their own hands – and more power to them.

Along with the UK’s fumbling of the LTE spectrum auction, it’s looking more likely England will win the World Cup in 2014 (hint- it won’t) than for the UK to have the best broadband in Europe by May 2015, as rather optimistically stated by the country’s communications minister Ed Vaizey.

If it’s got any hope of getting anywhere close, then it had better get a shufty on.

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