As pledged in its spending review, the Government will be investing £530 million in superfast broadband over the next four years. The project is being run by Broadband Delivery UK, a government organisation with the task of ensuring broadband access to the whole of the UK by 2012, and high-speed broadband to the majority of the country by 2017.
A project aimed at the rural market – 27 market towns where broadband provision was previously considered economically unviable – will see broadband running at up to 50 times faster than the conventional speed, by using fibre-optic cable. It is thought that around 2 million households will benefit from the scheme.
A stumbling block for this sort of roll out in the past has been cost. Installing fibre-optic cable across the country in order to reach those in remote areas is an expensive task and one that, had it been carried out, would have seen costs being passed to the end user had government funding not been made available.
Although this news means there will be a marked improvement in broadband speeds, the UK is still lagging behind the top countries when compared – ranking 18th. A recent study by European academics states that “…the UK national broadband network is not ready for the future”. The report also says average UK broadband speeds now stand at 6.4Mbps which is more than double that in 2008 and also above the global average of 5.9Mbps.
With internet TV, HD video communications and a strong cloud computing industry we would hope to see superfast broadband infrastructure continue to improve to support the continuous development of technology.