Tuesday, September 6, 2011

About Broadband Projects in UK

By: C S Kumar

Aim of the current initiatives is to implement a superfast broadband in UK which should be acclaimed as the best in Europe. It is almost 11 years since broadband was introduced for pubic consumption. Admittedly the quality of service is yet to be improved if UK wants to showcase its capabilities in this field. Both cable and mobile broadband are suffering from several infirmities. The sole reason for UK to initiate Broadband Development UK (BDUK) is to offer the country with an efficient broadband system which covers the entire country. The massive investments that are pumped into the projects are very significant. It is at a time when the country has not yet recovered from the onslaught of the worst recession in the century.

Along with the state, private sector is also playing important roles in the broadband projects. BT, the premier internet service provider has made millions of pounds investments. Virgin Media is another player involved in the broadband sector. Both copper wire and fibre optic broadband connectivity are now available to the consumers, thanks to the above service providers. Fujitsu, the market leader from Japan is contemplating on investing in UK’s broadband projects. In this context the latest project from BT is to be mentioned. The new ADSL 2+ service which will offer up to 20MB is poised to be implemented by 2013. BT claims that this new version will help 2.5 million consumers to gain access to superfast broadband. This advanced copper wire broadband is in addition to their fibre optic cable broadband. It is also claimed that 200,000 consumers have already opted for their broadband BT Infinity which is capable to achieve speeds up to 40 MB.

BDUK is the fulcrum of all activities in this regard. Apart from the above participants, the civil society is also playing positive roles. County councils encouraged citizens to invest in this National initiative. Independent network of Co-operative Association (INCA) is a non-governmental organization. It has set up a new organization known as Big Society Broadband Project. Plunkett Foundation and Action for Communities in Rural England (ACRE) are collaborating in the venture to help millions of households and business to avail next generation superfast broadband. INCA is now representing several other grass root organizations working for the promotion of broadband in the country. The enterprise is offered financial support by Nominet Trust. The collective efforts aim to empower communities in their endeavours to build capabilities for superfast broadband.

The multi-thronged initiative from all segments of the society offer encouraging signals about the future of broadband in UK. It is to be remembered that time is running out for the Government to implement promised superfast broadband before the current term expire. Superfast broadband is not yet another project to benefit the people, but an essential ingredient for overall development of the country. Notwithstanding apprehensions by skeptics that the projects may not be materialized by 2015 as envisaged, the government is not taking chances. Intensive monitoring of the work undertaken by different agencies and needful intervention by the government is expected to deliver positive results.