Government broadband ambition needs to be a thousand times higher to meet the needs of UK businesses according to the Institute of Directors. It’s accused our country’s leaders of a “poverty of ambition” when it comes to broadband speeds.
The IoD has expressed concern that the UK is falling behind neighbours in Europe in its Ultrafast Britain report. Now the institute is calling for a new target for businesses to access speeds of 10 gigabits per second (Gbps) by 2030, 1,000 times faster than the current official aim of 10 megabits per second (Mbps) by 2020.
The Government have highlighted that most UK homes and businesses can get “superfast” broadband.
However, the IoD maintains that the UK is lagging behind the rest of Europe on the installation of fibre optic cables that facilitate the fastest connections. They interviewed their members for the report and found that the pace of productivity, flexible working for staff and becoming more competitive were all issues that were high on their agenda but that they felt were not being backed up with adequate broadband speeds.
Dan Lewis, senior advisor on Infrastructure Policy at the IoD, who led the report, said: “Now is the time to set a bold new target for genuinely world-beating broadband.
“We have the leading internet economy in the G20, and yet download speeds are mediocre and the coverage of fibre optic cable is woeful.”
It comes after Ofcom’s Strategic Review of Digital Communications outlined measures to improve competition in the UK broadband industry – a move welcomed by the IoD.
Head of Businesscomparison.com, Philip Brennan echoes that sentiment;
“With Britain looking to be a hub of technology it is embarrassing that our companies are being hampered by slow internet speeds. The Government should have made a requirement that fibre optic cables must be used on any new development in the past 5 years, instead new buildings are still being built with depilating copper cables. Romania has a faster average speed than the UK and Spain has plans to replace 80% of its copper wiring – they now promote speeds of 300mbs whereas we get excited over 30mbs!
Our country’s small and medium-sized businesses deserve the very best possible chance to start-up, grow and succeed in their enterprises and that is reliant on them having the fastest broadband. The only way that this is going to get done is if the expectation is raised and this is prioritised by the government.”
Ofcom has proposed that decent, affordable broadband should be a universal right.