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Channel Telecom Puts Pressure on UK Govt.

Channel Telecom has been putting pressure on parliament through the launch of their “targets for telecoms” manifesto. Last week Channel Telecom held a champagne and canapé reception at the Houses of Parliament with special guest speaker Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP, highlighting the importance of the UK telecoms industry to both the economy and national infrastructure.

The ever growing reliance on our ability to connect, instantly and globally, means that our dependence on connectivity solutions is astronomical. Increasing investment in the UK mobile data network and initiatives such as ‘Super Connected Cities’, highlight exactly how important the current government understand the telecoms to be. However, what was previously revolutionary, now sees our majority copper network losing traction in the race for global connection speeds. A report published in 2014 ranked the UK 15th globally, 13.7Mbit/s slower than world leader South Korea. Whilst the UK already leads the EU “big five” nations when it comes to superfast access, the major issue is that as one of the oldest established economies, our infrastructure cannot keep up with rapidly advancing technologies.

Over 70 VIP guests, including Channel Telecom partners, suppliers, industry press, local MP’s and the deputy speaker to the House of Commons, Eleanor Laing MP (who also kindly sponsored the evening), heard first-hand how the current government supports UK telecommunications.

After Deputy Speaker to the House, Eleanor Laing MP, called “Order! Order!” the attending audience received a warm introduction by Channel Telecom MD Clifford Norton, the Secretary of State was then invite to the stage. Sajid Javid started his speech “Under the watchful gaze of the legendary Sir Winston Churchill”, The Secretary explained how this particular room (The Winston Churchill Room) was one of the most intimidating to speak in. He went on to explain “It’s a bit like being asked to draw a picture at the national gallery or being asked to demonstrate your pace bowling in front of Stuart Broad”.

What was clear from The Ministers speech, is the government have identified the importance of connectivity and the need for further long term investment; “As part of our long term economic plan, we are investing £1.7 billion in this parliament of public money, to make sure that we can get superfast broadband to every corner of the United Kingdom. Now we have gone from 45% coverage of the country, already to 80% and by the end of 2017 we will be at 95%. That’s better coverage than every other major European country. Despite that, I still think there’s a lot more to do and therefore we still have a long way to go”.

With a general election approaching in May, Channel Telecom took the initiative in highlighting key areas where government intervention can help support the industry and officially presented these ideas to the Secretary of State through their manifesto which reassuringly the Secretary explained “will be a very warm edition to my reading list and I will definitely take a closer look as I have heard so much about it already”.

Steve Yates, Head of Partner Sales, concluded the evening by exploring the contents of Channel Telecom’s manifesto and how three keys areas of improvement will make a hug difference to the industry. Securing the industry against fraud and redistributing funds to limit what are often crippling effects, improving connectivity across the UK to ensure we can compete on a global scale and finally regulating Ofcom to ensure the restrictions they place on key stakeholders is beneficial for the majority.

If you would like to hear more from Channel Telecom and their manifesto you can see them at the Convergence Summit North next week, 17th and 18th March. The event is free to attend, visitors can sign up here

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine