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Broadband summit to highlight UK's plight

The minister for Competitiveness (opens in new tab), Stephen Timms, together with other ministers will today hold an industry-wide meeting over how to tackle the growing gap between UK and other nations when it comes to ultra fast internet networks.

France is already ahead of UK when it comes to delivering speeds in excess of 50mbps at affordable prices, with other European countries soon joining the same league.

This leaves UK (opens in new tab) in a vulnerable situation, having to cope with speeds of up to 8mbps and limited line upgrades to 24mbps.

In 2008, BT will roll out ADSL2+ which will allow speeds of up to 24mbps although it is unclear whether this will be part of its 21CN project (opens in new tab) or just a temporary patch to cope with Britain's growing need for speed.

BT however has been adamant that they need the industry Regulator to raise the price of broadband for those customers would like high speed services to finance the investment, effectively mimicking similar demands in the US where the net neutrality debate hovers along the same lines.

Otherwise, other partners will have to chip in order to come up with the estimated GBP 25 bn investment.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.