BCC: Digital infrastructure investment vital to UK growth ambitions

Posted On: 19th July 2016

Commenting on the publication of the connectivity report by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, Dr Adam Marshall, Acting Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, said:Government Opportunities

“Many business parks, both new and existing, still do not have superfast broadband, and we fully support the government prioritising the delivery of connections to these areas.

However, the target of a 10Mbps Universal Service Obligation as a starting point is not ambitious enough. This must be higher for business broadband, in order to reflect the pace of developments in the digitalworld. Digital infrastructure investment needs to be a high priority for government, as a lack of investment now will undermine future growth and will put UK firms at risk of falling behind our international competitors.

As the report rightly points out, the current over-reliance on the existing copper access network instead of driving fibre-to-the-premises could create a hard-to-solve digital divide for business in the future.

It is important for the government’s Digital Strategy to be published as soon as possible so businesses can review if it is fit for purpose. We see mounting evidence that businesses are suffering from poor service standards, ‘not spots’, unreliable connections and a market structure that fails to offer competition and choice. Unless firms see improvements on reliability, speed and coverage, their performance, and the productivity of the UK as a whole, will continue to be severely affected.”

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