Will the Government miss 2015 broadband targets?Rural group warns of 'rural-urban digital divide'
04 July 2012
The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) is concerned about the 'slow funding process and a reliance on fibre optic networks' of broadband delivery across the UK.
The group, representing rural land, property and business owners, has warned Government broadband targets may not be met on time.
Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) are responsible for managing funding to meet the targets, including £530 million to encourage the roll out of high speed broadband in rural communities.
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Rural group voices concerns
CLA President, Harry Cotterell says: 'The BDUK process is too bureaucratic and the allocation of the £530 million funding too slow. It would be much simpler if the funding was allocated centrally rather than giving it directly to local authorities because they do not have the resource to plan for a superfast broadband network'.
He also raises concerns about relying heavily on a single technology - fibre optic - rather than using the most appropriate technology for a certain area.
2015 targets for broadband
Government targets for broadband are to provide a superfast broadband service to at least 90% of premises in the UK, as well as universal access to broadband with a speed of at least 2Mbps, by 2015.
An Ofcom report released in November last year put the figures so far with some way still to go. There are 58% of premises currently with access to superfast broadband - offering a speed of over 24Mbps - and still 14% of homes that still can't get a minimum 2Mbps connection.
In May 2012 Culture Secretary, Jeremy Hunt announced that three quarters of local authorities have completed their plans for rolling out superfast broadband to rural areas.