The Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG) has warned that Britain’s broadband infrastructure is in need of a serious upgrade if the country is not to fall behind competing nations. In its report the government advisory group said that uncertainties surrounding next generation broadband must be resolved within the next two years or the digital divide will widen further.
The report says that the UK’s current broadband infrastructure may not be able to meet the increasing demands of both users and content providers. “Broadband is key to the UK economy and has a critical impact on many people’s daily lives. We have a limited window of opportunity: if steps are not taken now to prepare for next generation broadband, then we may well find ourselves in a position where it is too late to catch up,” said BSG chairman Kip Meek.
According to the report there is little prospect for the widespread deployment of next generation broadband, even though there are significant benefits to the economy, because operators are unable to justify the additional expense.
BT’s so-called next generation network is looking to deploy speeds of 25 Mbps. Virgin Media is planning to double the speeds enjoyed by 10 Mbps customers and has been testing speeds of 50 Mbps in Ashford, Kent. However, the introduction of EuroDOCSIS 3 in continental Europe will make speeds of 200 Mbps possible.