Govt to miss superfast broadband targets header image

The government has admitted it is set to miss its targets of delivering superfast broadband services to 95 per cent of UK households and businesses by 2017, while also admitting it is unlikely to meet its 2015 deadline for upgrades.

Announcing an additional £250 million investment in delivery budgets as part of yesterday's (June 26th) Comprehensive Spending Review, chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander made the admission claiming the current economic climate has called for a rethink of the government's goals.

He commented: "We are shifting the government's policy horizon to match the modern economy's horizon ... we are putting long term priorities before short term political pressures."

Mr Alexander repeated the pledge that the delivery of superfast broadband services to the majority of UK communities is seen as a key part of delivering a lasting economic recovery in the UK and therefore, ministers will be doing all they can to complete the process as quickly as possible.

He noted that it is not just the UK's biggest cities and urban areas that are the focus for delivery efforts, as superfast broadband is required by all.

Indeed, satellite broadband may be an ideal solution for those whose internet remains painfully slow despite the government's ambitious plans.

The news follows calls earlier this week from culture secretary Maria Miller for the management of delivering rural broadband speed increases to be taken out of the hands of civil servants and handed to experts in the field.

She claimed it is imperative that providing superfast services to all UK residents be viewed as a key government target, with expert advisors in a much stronger position to achieve this aim than the bureaucrats at Whitehall.

A greater level of autonomy is also to be provided to Broadband Delivery UK, with the government keen to emulate the successes it achieved in the staging of the recent London 2012 Olympic Games by outsourcing and collaborating with industry experts to fulfil the nation's expectations.

Posted by Craig Roberts