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Universal Broadband In The UK?

Universal Broadband In The UK?

Lord Carter, the UK communications minister, is due to issue his first Digital Britain report later this month. But in a speech yesterday he dropped a hint about at least one of the issues the report addresses, the idea of universal broadband, according to the Guardian.

"Today we are way beyond the view that broadband is a niche product, it is an enabling and transformational service and therefore we have to look at how we can universalize it," he said. "We have to ensure that fairness and access for all is more than a soundbite in a manifesto."

Lord Carter advocates using not only the existing landline infrastructure, but also mobile phone networks to achieve this. He’s also an advocate for digital literacy, stating that improving digital literacy could convince the 40% of the population who could have broadband but choose not to, to sign up for it.

The speech also looked at the rollout of next generation broadband networks, giving an indication that there could be government financial support for the expensive venture, as there is in Australia and Portugal.

"It is clear that there are many other countries in the world taking a completely different view of the role of infrastructure as an essential part of an economy and the role of government in the provision of that infrastructure," said Carter.

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