UK broadband targets face £1bn shortfall

A report from the London School of Economics predicts that the UK government’s plans for universal access to fast broadband will face a £1.1bn ($ 1.8bn) shortfall unless private investors step in.

The report states that the likely cost of meeting the targets (which stipulate 100 per cent access to fast broadband and 90 per cent access to superfast broadband by 2015) will come to £2.4bn, but funding from all public sources will come to £1.3bn.

“The government target of 100 per cent coverage by basic broadband by 2015 is likely to be met, but it is less clear when the government targets of 90 per cent coverage by superfast broadband, and 100 per cent coverage by fast broadband, are likely to be met,” said the report.

The LSE defines “basic” broadband as services offering speeds of up to 2 Mbps, “fast” broadband as ranging from 2Mbps to 24Mbps, and “superfast” as exceeding 24Mbps.

Content delivery network Akamai issued its latest quarterly State of the Internet report last week (here), in which the UK did not place among the world’s top ten countries for household penetration of broadband services.

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