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December 13, 2010

Government’s broadband budget doubted by BSG

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by Darren Allan

The government’s plans to attempt to haul the UK’s broadband infrastructure up to be the best in Europe by 2015 has come under fire from the BSG (Broadband Stakeholder Group).

The BCS Chartered Institute for IT reports that the BSG has serious doubts about whether the government can muster the necessary funds, particularly in the current climate of cuts and austerity.

CEO of the BSG, Anthony Walker, was quoted by the BCS as saying: “How do you achieve that target whilst also entering a situation where there’s very constrained public spending?”

“I think that is the really tricky bit; we’re not in a situation where the government can throw vast amounts of money at this.”

The government is currently planning a spend of £830 million on a scheme to deliver digital hubs to enable even more isolated rural communities to benefit from high-speed broadband. However, other experts have previously indicated that this money won’t be enough, and the government’s likely to find it difficult to get more.

Certainly, the target of the best broadband in Europe in five years time still looks like a hugely optimistic aim, as it did when first announced.

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