Lord Carter says Government will intervene to build broadband access

ISBA Conference: The Government will have to intervene to ensure the infrastructure to support majority access to high speed broadband becomes a reality, the minister for communications, Technology and Broadcasting Lord Stephen Carter told marketers at the ISBA annual conference this morning (March 4).

Despite the progress made by the competitive market, not least the efforts of Virgin and BT, there was not enough commercial impetus for the market to build the necessary infrastructure fast enough on its own, he says.

Carter warns that only 40% of businesses and individuals will have access by 2015 at the current rate of progress so the Government needs to work out how to handle the challenge of intervention without obstructing the market.

He describes the interim Digital Britain report, which calls for all to have broadband access by 2012, as “setting the floor” from which the next generation infrastructure, technology and content could be delivered in the UK and not the “ceiling”.

Carter’s report confirms the government intends to deliver broadband to all homes in the UK by 2012, using a mixture of fixed, mobile and wireless technology. However, he has previously said public money will not be used to help build the necessary infrastructure.

He also warns that industry should recognise that the report is from Government, so will be influenced by politics as well as business and market interests and dynamics.

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