UK Broadband Target May Need To Be Reassessed

Ofcom’s chief exec Ed Richards yesterday talked about the challenges the UK government could face in materialising its ambitious project of providing broadband for all in UK by the end of 2012.

While speaking on “The Future of Telecoms” at the London School of Economics, Richards discussed about the research to be published by the UK telecom watchdog sometime around later this week.

He asserted that ensuring broadband access could prove to be tough task for the government, as around 40 percent of the UK’s total 25 million households don’t have access to broadband at all, and around 1.5 million of users unable to have the speeds vowed by Lord Carter in his Digital Britain crusade.

In addition to this, the situation even becomes trickier due to people who decide to opt out from using broadband voluntarily, he added.

Citing the same, Richards said in a statement, “55 per cent have decided they do not want it at all, even though they can afford it - we call these the ‘self excluded’”.

Furthermore, he went on to say that around 30 percent of the household are restricted by limited financial resources, termed as “financially excluded”, whereas 15 percent neither want the broadband nor have the financial resources to afford it.

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Our Comments

For all the talk about how essential broadband is to the modern life, it is surprising to find out that some people would refuse to get broadband (arguably, even if it was free). A few days after the 20th birthday of the WWW, a fifth of UK households said that they can live without broadband. Can't say the same about other "essential" utilities like electricity, gas or water.

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