Just how bad is Britain’s broadband network? It’s clear there’s a huge divide in the country between big city dwellers and rural residents. Some parts have superfast speeds measured in the hundreds of Mbps, but cross the road into another post code and it’s a different story, with 2Mbps or less. We’ve been living with this for far too long which has given rise to all the talks about breaking up incumbent networks.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn stated at last month’s Labour Party Conference that:
I am not content with accepting second-class broadband, not content with creaking railways, not content with seeing the US and Germany investing in cutting edge and green technologies, while Britain lags behind. A country that doesn’t invest is a country that has given up. That has taken the path of managed decline. A Labour government will never accept second-best for Britain.
Then he set out proposals for bringing the UK’s broadband up to scratch with a National Investment Bank.
Not to be out done, UK Prime Minister Theresa May this week felt the need to weigh in on the Digital Britain debate:
Where markets are dysfunctional, we should be prepared to intervene. Where companies are exploiting the failures of the market in which they operate, where consumer choice is inhibited by deliberately complex pricing structures, we must set the market right. It’s just not right, for example, that half of people living in rural areas, and so many small businesses, can’t get a decent broadband connection.
Our own Emma Hosgood, Portfolio & Community Manager, Broadband World Series commented that:
The Brexit outcome has left the future direction of the UK’s telecoms industry in question, meaning it is more important than ever to set a pro-market approach to telecoms regulation and innovation. This will enable us to retain our position as a global technology powerhouse.
It’s clear that if we really want to be a force to be reckoned building cities of the future then we have to get serious and fix the poor connectivity we have at present.
We’ll be talking about this and more at Broadband World Forum, 18-20 October at London’s ExCel Convention Centre. There are still a few free visitor passes left so get yours today and join in the debate.