Will Gordon Brown Bail Out Next Gen Broadband in UK?

The British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has unveiled in an interview with The Observer newspaper details of an economic blueprint that will seek to create thousands of new jobs partly by building a superfast broadband network.

The plans, akin to a modern version of Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal programme, seek to boost employment numbers by investing massively in public infrastructures, something that the Prime Minister reiterated in BBC One's Andrew Marr Show and in numerous recent interviews.

Brown told Gaby Hinsliff, political editor at the Guardian that "You could talk about the digital infrastructure and that form of communications revolution at a period when we want to stimulate the economy. It's a very important thing."

The current economic downturn, he has said, is one where investments will be made to turn Britain in a more green and more technologically advanced country. Funds for the nationwide, fibre-optic cable network are likely to come from a £10 billion fund that Mr Brown has promised to spend over the next two years to renew the country's ageing infrastructures.

This could be good news for Telecom companies like Virgin Media and BT, which have announced that thousand of their employees would be losing their jobs as the economic downturn becomes deeper.

The government could provide with a "telecom fund" and "bail out" BT's project to roll out fibre optic network nationwide on the condition that BT shares it with its competitors.

BT announced earlier in November that it might have to delay the implementation of a £1.5 billion investment in high speed broadband because of concerns by some of its shareholders.

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Our Comments

We'll believe the government's plans when we will have read it carefully. As it stands, details are scarce but it looks dead certain that a faster broadband in the United Kingdom is on its way thanks to the dire ecomonic climate. Thanks Mr Recession!

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