UK the fastest broadband network in Europe?

  Matt Egan 12:42 16 Feb 2012

God bless them but The House of Lords has announced plans to investigate the government's plans to have "the best superfast broadband network in Europe by 2015".

I'd love to be a fly on the proverbial. One because I suspect the august members of the House of Lords are not the most web savvy (although I may well be wrong) and two because the plan is doomed to fail!

  johndrew 14:37 16 Feb 2012

With all the problems the UK is facing I would have thought that an investigation by the House of Lords would be low priority given that it is the likes of BT (a private company now to my knowledge) who will be providing the infrastructure.

Additionally, no Government has had a great deal of success either introducing computerised systems or upgrading them - always seems to have ended up with a committee designing a horse with humps!! Given this situation I would have thought the wisest idea would have been to leave any investigation to private enterprise but to urge them to supply the infrastructure and provide praise in achievement of suggested targets. Probably much cheaper in the long run as well.

  Matt Egan 14:48 16 Feb 2012

The private sector needs incentives to expose itself to risk and build infrastructure. I totally agree about any government involvement in tech projects, but I suspect it might take a bit of carrot and stick to claw back the competitive advantage.

  john bunyan 15:01 16 Feb 2012

In S Korea, our plans would seem very outdated. They are aiming at 1Gigabit broadband speeds!

  Forum Editor 22:26 16 Feb 2012

Countries in South East Asia know that fast internet access is one of the keys to economic development in a global economy. They have a 'can do' philosophy which is ideally suited to a world that is increasingly influenced by the internet.

Their other advantage is that - in general - they aren't saddled with huge creaky old copper wire telecoms networks. They can leapfrog over people like us.

As a result of the importance these people give to internet access, four of the top five countries in the world as far as percentage of population with broadband access are Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Singapore.

  Strawballs 16:08 18 Feb 2012

I have 20meg virgin and regularly get between 17 and 19 meg on different speed tests.

  Forum Editor 18:17 19 Feb 2012

On Tuesday my home broadband connection is being upgraded to BT Infinity. I've been waiting for over a year for BT to get around to providing the service, and during that time they have repeatedly delayed the 'available by' date.

When the time eventually came BT asked me to select the Infinity package that was right for me. I don't download millions of music tracks or hundreds of movies, so I picked the 'Up to 40Mb download with a 40Gb a month limit' package at £18 a month.

That didn't suit BT, because it would have resulted in them getting less money from me than I'm currently paying for my BT broadband and phone package, so they popped up message telling me that the package I selected 'isn't available to you'. I had to stump up for the 40Mb unlimited usage package at £25 a month.

It irritates me because here is a company that advertises Infinity heavily on TV as if it's the best thing since sliced bread. Then, having got me on the hook they behave like a bunch of spivs, telling me that if I think I can save a pound or two by being clever I've got another think coming.

If it wasn't such a reliable service (something I really want) I would tell them where they could put their fibre-optic cable.

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