Friday, January 16, 2009

Benefits of universal broadband - "enormous" - UK Minister

I continue to be impressed by the UK government's approach to egovernance, and the understanding they have of the importance of broadband infrastructure to their nation's future.

Lord Stephen Carter, the minister for communications, technology and broadcasting in the UK, has discussed the importance of broadband access at a Westminster eForum and Westminster Media Forum Keynote Seminar on Digital Britain in London.

Reported by, the Minister made it clear that for him fixed wire broadband was only part of the mix, with mobile broadband also being a very important approach for the UK's future.

He also commented that,
"There is a convergence of need and opportunity that calls on government to make its contribution [to digital infrastructure]," Lord Carter said.

If the UK has an array of technologies delivering next-gen services, there is an opportunity for the government to change the way it delivers services to the public, he continued.

UK Telcos are already in the process of rolling out 50Mb internet connections (up from a slow 20Mb) and laying fibre to millions of homes to provide 100Mb access by 2012, and 1,000Mb access (or 1Gb) in the future.

I worry about Australia's ability to remain internationally competitive with our current broadband situation - or a future scenario when Australia proudly launches a 6-12Mb broadband network when other developed nations are already enjoying 50-100Mb speeds.

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