In the latest article on its opinion website, (http://opinion.enta.net/), leading communications provider Entanet hits out at the UK’s two main political parties for using broadband to try and win over voters ahead of the General Election.
Yesterday, Gordon Brown said that he wants to make Britain “the world leader in the digital economy” by 2020 and ensure that all homes in the UK have access to ‘super-fast’ broadband. The Conservatives meanwhile have claimed that they would be able to deliver 100Mbps broadband to most of the UK by 2017.
In an article responding to these proclamations, Entanet’s Head of Marketing, Darren Farnden, criticises the plans and calls on both parties to consult industry before setting potentially over-ambitious targets. “Both the Labour and Conservative parties’ plans and promises are at best badly thought-out and almost certainly won’t be achieved without the constructive and experienced contribution of the industry bodies and service providers (large and small) that make the UK Internet access market tick”, he states.
He goes on to point out that, while worthy in their intent, the idea of taking broadband out to all rural areas almost as quickly as it is being made available in cities and towns, is a fallacy. “Providing the infrastructure and service is a balance between giving customers what they want and doing that in a way that delivers a sustainable return-on-investment for shareholders. Simply telling them [service providers] to open up or extend their networks without appropriate support and incentive is a naive proposition. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist, let alone a politician, to understand that infrastructure is going to be placed first in the most densely populated and business occupied areas.”
Farnden calls on both parties to stop using the issue as a way of trying to score points with electors. “We’d urge both parties to stop kicking the ‘super fast’ broadband football around. There’s little confidence that either’s pledges will work or indeed if they’ll follow through on them. There’s a real danger that they’re setting unrealistic expectations for UK voters that’ll be left with a bitter taste in their mouths when those pledges evaporate. But then, government will just blame the industry for that!”