26 June 2002
“The UK is finally turning the corner on broadband services, but we have to up the pace,” said Keith Todd, Chairman of the Broadband Stakeholder Group
The BSG’s mid year report, published today reveals that:
- There are over 600,000 broadband subscribers, 64% of the population is within reach of a wired broadband connection and over 20,000 broadband customers are being added each week.
- After a slow start, the UK is making progress. The last six months has seen significant improvements in terms of pricing, products and promotion, which have been reflected in the increased take-up.
- However, the UK has some way to go to catch up with the lead group of broadband economies and the adoption rate will have to accelerate further if the UK is to claim a position of leadership in the G7. The contrast in terms of availability of services between rural and urban areas is a cause for serious concern.
“We set out on the broadband service journey later than the lead countries but we are now very much on our way, ” said Todd. “This is a journey similar to the microprocessor journey of the past 25 years. All stakeholders must play their part in continually developing and enhancing the user experience being offered at affordable prices”.
There is a lack of detailed information about the exact geographic reach of current broadband services in the UK. With assistance from the Office of the e-Envoy the BSG will develop a detailed map, which will colour code broadband availability across the UK.
|Green||Competitive market for affordable mass-market broadband services|
|White||At least one provider affordable mass-market broadband services|
|Grey||No services currently available but potential for the deployment of commercially sustainable broadband services|
|Red||With little expectation that the market will provide affordable broadband services for the consumer market|
The report sets out four critical path action areas for the successful deployment of broadband services:
- It challenges all stakeholders to agree the conditions precedent to the Broadband services journey.
- It sets out action areas to ‘nurture the market’ by creating the conditions to encourage competition and sustain market growth (green & white areas). Stating clearly that the new OFCOM will have a pivotal role in creating the right environment. ‘OFCOM will be all about broadband services’.
- It identifies some innovative solutions to encourage the deployment of competitive services where there is potential for their deployment (Grey areas) and seeks further views on other potential solutions.
- It challenges government to develop a plan, with the assistance of the BSG, for areas that the market will not reach (red areas).
This reports sets out the BSG’s latest thinking and activities with the aim provoking further contributions in the run up to the second full BSG report to be published in November. The BSG is seeking views from all stakeholders so that it can provide further input to the government on how to accelerate the rollout and take-up Broadband services.
Keith Todd the Chairman of the BSG said: “We are on our way on the ‘Broadband Journey’ with one million broadband service users in sight by the end of the year. The ‘action areas’ are clear but all stakeholders must work vigorously to ensure that the objectives are met. If all stakeholders adopt a ‘Killer attitude’ we will succeed.”
Stephen Timms, the e-Commerce Minister, said: “The Broadband Stakeholder Group has already made important contributions to Government policy and decisions. The advice and expertise which the provides are invaluable and I would to thank Keith Todd and the Stakeholder Group for this new drive they have brought to the Broadband journey.”