Broadband expert warns of growing digital divide

Thursday, November 25th 2010
Tim Johnson of Point Topic has warned the fastest broadband speeds may not be available in rural areas in future.
Broadband expert warns of growing digital divide
The government has been urged to take "radical action" to stop the broadband speed gap between urban and rural parts of the UK getting wider.

Speaking at the NextGen10 conference in Birmingham, Point Topic chief analyst Tim Johnson said the organisation has carried out research on the digital divide and warned: "[It] doesn't paint a rosy picture."

Mr Johnson argued remote parts of the country will fall even further behind as fibre optic broadband makes faster speeds available in more heavily-populated areas.

"The higher speeds which people will expect and need in future will simply not be available in the countryside unless radical action is taken," the analyst remarked.

He added the prospect of being "gazumped" by BT and Virgin Media is putting off smaller providers from deploying fibre in rural regions.

Last week, communications minister Ed Vaizey restated the coalition's desire for the UK to have the best super-fast broadband network in Europe by 2015.

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