UK to have more ambitious broadband target

The UK’s culture secretary Jeremy Hunt said that the previous government’s commitment to a “paltry 2Mbps” universal net speed was “pitifully unambitious”.

He told the BBC that it was a “a scandal” that nearly three million households cannot access even this speed and he wants the “best superfast broadband network in Europe”.

Of course he does not know how he will do this, or pay for it, but he does think that he could regulate to force water, gas and electricity companies to open up their ducts.

He said that the biggest cost involved in rolling out new fibre optic networks was digging up the roads and if these can be used, straight away, investing in superfast broadband becomes a substantially more attractive proposition.

If Blighty could build a national superfast network it could add £18 billion to the GDP and create at least 60,000 new jobs.

It is starting to look like the UK government will help by using some of the cash from the BBC licence-fee. Although quite what this will do to the standard of telly on the Beeb, no-one is saying.