UK faces superfast digital divide say network providers

Speakers at the Westminster eForum said that around 10% of the UK will not be able to get superfast broadband in the next decade. Government funds set aside to address so-called notspots were insufficient, they said.

BT said that EU targets for all citizens to have speeds of at least 30Mbps (megabits per second) by 2020 were "impossible to achieve". Meanwhile Fujitsu revealed more about its plans to fill in the UK's broadband blackspots.

The Japanese electronics giant burst onto the UK broadband scene in April, pledging to offer a fibre-to-the-home network to the third of the country bypassed by commercial broadband rollouts.

Using the £530m pot of government money set aside for rural broadband, it said that it could create a fibre-to-the-home 1Gbps (gigabit per second) network for around 5 million users within five years. But it has been slow progress.

So far Fujitsu has bid to build fibre networks in just three areas - Wales, North Yorkshire and Cumbria. In two areas, including the Highlands and Islands, it decided that the sums simply did not stack up. "Even with government funding there are parts of the UK where the business case will not work," said Bill MacKenzie, Fujitsu's business unit director.

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13 April 2024

12 04 2024