Skip to main content

Why UK Superfast Broadband Plan is Underfunded

Delegates at the recent Westminster e-Forum were warned by Point Topic that the £530 million allocated to the planned broadband infrastructure development across the UK is inadequate funding.

The warning came from Point Topic Chief Analyst, Tim Johnson. Speaking to an audience of top broadband executives and politicians, Mr Johnson said, "The Coalition says it aims to provide the UK with the best superfast broadband in Europe, with a minimum 2 megabits per second connection speed for every household. To hit that they will have to find a lot more money from somewhere."

For example, Point Topic estimates that about 6.3 million homes and businesses will need some degree of subsidy to get superfast broadband services at an affordable price. But the whole amount proposed in the Spending Review would be needed just for the 900,000 or so who would require the biggest subsidy, leaving 5.4 million without up-to-date broadband services.

Johnson pointed out that the French are now proposing to spend €660 million (£570 million) of public money per year between now and 2025 to achieve their broadband aims, more than the UK is budgeting for over the whole Spending Review period.

Another €200 million (£170 million) per year is due to come from local government and European funds. "If anything, the French objectives are less ambitious than ours are supposed to be," according to Johnson. "They are also working on a more realistic timescale."

The French program will be funded mainly by a tax on fixed and mobile phone connections, very similar to that proposed for the UK by the previous government. "But that's water under the bridge now," said Johnson. "I’m sure the Coalition won't want to raise the money that way."

Johnson suggests instead that the money could be found by changing the priorities of the Coalition's £40 billion infrastructure investment program.

"Broadband helps more people, provides more benefits per pound and is greener than even the most modern railway," he said. "George Osborne needs to shave another billion or so out of other investment program to give us a truly modern economy."

Popular posts from this blog

Digital Transformation Investment at $3.4 Trillion

Business technology leadership matters. Across the globe, more leaders have been pursuing bold Digital Transformation (DX) initiatives with the goal of creating new sources of business value through digital products, services, and experiences. As an additional benefit, the COVID-19 pandemic revealed that digital transformation efforts improve an organization's resilience against global market disruptions. Global DX investment is forecast to reach $3.4 trillion in 2026 with a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.3 percent, according to the latest worldwide market study by International Data Corporation (IDC). Digital Transformation Market Development "Despite strong headwinds from global supply chain constraints, soaring inflation, political uncertainty, and an impending recession, investment in digital transformation is expected to remain robust," said Craig Simpson, senior research manager at IDC . The benefits of investing in DX technology -- including aut

Artificial Intelligence for National Border Security

National border protection agencies are under pressure to provide the highest level of security in the face of growing threats, such as increasing illegal migration and international terrorism. Now, government agencies are embracing advanced border security technologies to aid in effectively and reliably securing national borders. These solutions look to detect and identify potential threats and prevent them from escalating to a point that may jeopardize security. Security Surveillance Market Development Traditional border security patrols and Closed-circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance systems aren't adequate protection, and agencies must increasingly deploy new solutions to stay ahead of criminals and other potential threats to ensure the safety of a country’s borders. According to the latest market study by Juniper Research, the value of the border security technology market will exceed $70 billion globally in 2027 -- that's rising from $48 billion in 2022. Growing by 47 p

How to Apply Sustainability to Drive Value Creation

Global climate change policy initiatives have been an emerging topic for CEOs and their leadership teams, as they look to the future. Many organizations are preparing to play their part and help reduce carbon emissions. Eighty-seven percent of business leaders expect to increase their organization’s investment in sustainability over the next two years, according to the latest worldwide market study by Gartner. Customers are the stakeholder group creating pressure for these organizations to invest or act on sustainability issues -- selected by 80 percent of executives, followed by investors (60 percent) and regulators (55 percent). Sustainability Market Development "Sustainability enables businesses to cope with disruption," said Kristin Moyer, VP analyst at Gartner . "Economic uncertainty, geopolitical conflict and escalating materials and energy costs are forcing businesses to reexamine all forms of expenditure." According to Gartner, this focus on essentialism --