A digital divide


Broadband delivery a key driver for growth says Prospect

Prospect has welcomed Policy Exchange’s report on the rollout of broadband across the UK. 

Deputy general secretary Dai Hudd said: “The report states that the government’s plan to deliver 2Mbps broadband to 90 per cent of the country by 2015 is inadequate. Under these plans, local businesses and communities, particularly in rural areas, will be part of the 10 per cent of the country left behind.

“Policy Exchange is right to highlight the impact of the digital divide, because it will exclude many communities from government services and leave businesses in the economic slow lane.”

However, Hudd said the union disagreed with Policy Exchange on the issue of future subsidy, which will need to continue beyond 2015 to boost economic growth.

“Broadband delivery is a key driver for economic growth. Policy Exchange is right to point out that the government’s approach to rollout delivery will leave over 5 million pensioners and thousands of small businesses on the wrong side of a digital divide.

“The investment in the information super-highway is dwarfed by the investment in other infrastructure projects like the High Speed 2 railway line, and is only just over half of what was pledged by the last government through its proposed landline duty.

“Only continued investment and a serious plan to deliver to the whole country will ensure that the everybody benefits from the economic and social advantages of broadband access,” said Hudd.