Lords warn UK broadband strategy won't bridge digital divide
Some UK communities will be left behind by the UK's broadband strategy, the House of Lords Communications Committee has warned.
A report published on Tuesday (July 31st 2012) by the body accused the Conservative-led coalition of being preoccupied with speed, rather than concentrating on access and building a future-proofed national broadband network.
Consequently, the committee expressed concern that the government's investment in this area could prove to be a "tremendous missed opportunity", although it stressed that it is not too late for a change of direction.
Instead of delivering enhanced services for residents and businesses that already enjoy a high standard of connectivity, the Lords argued that broadband policy should be targeted at ultimately eliminating the digital divide.
To make the committee's proposal a reality, open-access fibre optic hubs must be brought within reach of every community, allowing consumers to access the broadband services they want in the short term and upgrade flexibly in line with demand.
Committee chairman Lord Inglewood, commenting on the report, said: "Our communications network must be regarded as a strategic, national asset. The government's strategy lacks just that - strategy.
"The complex issues involved were not thought through from first principle."