Broadband is soon going to be added into the list of basic amenities in UK, as Lord Carter has dropped a hint yesterday that his notion for ‘Digital Britain’ will embrace broadband for all residents in UK by 2012.
The Communication Minister, who took charge in November, asserted that the government wants every citizen in UK to have internet access, either through a mobile phone network or via a traditional phone line network.
According to the industry sources, the outlay for launching broadband for all will be disclosed by Lord Carter in his ‘Digital Britain’ report, which is expected to be published sometime later this month.
During his speech to MPs and industry yesterday, Carter called broadband as “enabling and transformational service”, which must be universalise, and mentioned ambitious plans for assuring internet access for all by saying, “We have to ensure that fairness and access for all is more than a soundbite in a manifesto”.
However, this could prove to be a challenging task for the government, as more than one third of UK homes still don’t have broadband connections, and getting them connected would surely require huge investments from both government and private players.
Along the same line, Gordon Brown vowed to spend a whopping £300 million for a period of three years, so as to provide 1.4 million children access to web with free broadband connections along with computers.
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Universal broadband will come at a price and it is likely that, if this is imposed on the Internet Service Providers, current users will end up paying a stealth tax to encourage ISPs to invest into broadband technologies capable of blanket covering the rest of the population.