BRC chief says 4G windfall should be spent on rural broadband
Calls for earnings from the sale of 4G mobile spectrum to be spent on speeding up the rollout of super-fast broadband have been backed by the British Retail Consortium (BRC).
In a letter to the Times, BRC director general Stephen Robertson echoed comments from the newspaper's chief business commentator David Wighton, who argued that the expected windfall should be used to boost broadband provision in rural areas.
Mr Robertson said the move could deliver a "vital shot in the arm for our economy" and may also provide a fillip to the UK's already-blossoming online marketplace.
He described Britain as "the world's great nation of online shoppers and online shopkeepers", noting that UK citizens spend more per head via the web than those in any other country.
More than one in ten online retail sales are made to British shoppers, but the BRC chief insisted there is still room for improvement.
For instance, by making fast broadband more widely available, internet shopping could become more appealing to the 40 per cent of households that have never tried it, he explained.
"Improving retail efficiency at home will help UK retailers to be even more competitive on the global stage," Mr Robertson added.