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Government in broadband time warp

Microscope contributor

Westminster has once again come under fire for being trapped “in a time warp” over its plans for a 2Mbps universal broadband service.

The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) said the government’s plans, originally outlined in the Digital Britain report, lacked ambition. A fibre optic-based infrastructure could push broadband speeds over 100Mbps, but even with the most advanced technology behind it, copper can’t get much beyond 50.

It warned that SMEs, particularly those outside major cities, were in danger of being left behind.

“More than half of small businesses rely on the Internet for up to 50% of their annual turnover, yet simple tasks are time-consuming because broadband speeds are letting them down,” said FSB national chairman John Wright.

Hosted ICT provider Outsourcery, which runs Microsoft solutions from its own data centres, called for the government to get on with the job of upgrading the infrastructure, and accused Westminster of “tinkering” with the national network instead of trying to solve the underlying issues.

“The UK is using arcane technology; the nation’s copper infrastructure desperately needs to be upgraded to fibre optic in order to satisfy businesses’ requirements,” said product strategy and development director Mark Seemann.


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