Government likely to miss 2017 superfast broadband target, warns thinkbroadband.com

The government is likely to miss it target of superfast broadband access in 95 per cent of the UK by 2017, research from thinkbroadband.com has warned.

Target: thinkbroadband.com carried out research

The research was carried out by the broadband news and information organisation following concerns about the government’s roll-out, and results suggest the government will miss its target and broadband speeds will vary significantly between regions.

Bournemouth, Portsmouth, Brighton and Hove and a number of London boroughs are expected to have the best access to superfast broadband, while more rural areas such as the Shetland Islands, Herefordshire and Aberdeenshire are predicted to have poorer speeds.

Andrew Ferguson, editor of thinkbroadband.com, said: “Just 23.1 per cent of the City of London is likely to be ‘superfast’ or better which is a lot lower than the 99.2 per cent of the London borough of Merton for example.

“In addition, the Shetland Islands, Herefordshire, Aberdeenshire and Moray are just some of the areas that are still expected to be receiving poor broadband speeds by 2017.”

Ferguson warned that even if the government does meet its national target, the broadband coverage will be uneven and could hinder the UK’s aims in becoming an economic force in the digital industries.

“The national target may be met, but it is the well performing, densely populated areas that will mask the plight of large areas like rural mid-Wales,” Ferguson said. “Although it is likely to be better than it is now, it will not be at a standard to compete in a global digital economy.

“According to our research, rural districts will not feature in the top 10 best broadband locations. These rural places will still be the poorer cousins to the bigger cities and this will undoubtedly have an impact on the growth of small businesses within these areas.”

In February, former culture secretary Maria Miller announced an £250m government investment to boost the roll-out of faster broadband to more rural areas.

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