It should be Digital Britain - not ‘patchwork’ Britain

British companies working on next-generation broadband will have to provide a single service to run across multiple networks, across a single system.

This is according to UK and Ireland Alcatel-Lucent director Andy King, who said that if "commonality" wasn't achieved, there was the real risk that smaller networks would be relegated to just providing local or mixed services.

Speaking at the Westminster Media Forum, he said that this would make them less viable as networks, and be detrimental to the UK's overall ability to provide end-to-end next-generation broadband coverage.

He said: "It is essential that the industry succeed in their stated aim of creating a coherent national framework, from a patchwork of local next-generation open access broadband projects."

King said his company was surprised that the report didn't have plans on releasing 800Mhz spectrum, which he claimed could have provided rural areas with wireless broadband network capable of speeds in access of 2Mbs.

Alastair Davidson, a director at Arqiva, said he was also disappointed that the role of wireless in rolling out universal broadband access wasn't fully explored in the report.

He also claimed that rural areas could have been better provided for, as fixed line networks could not reach all of the 15 per cent of homes that couldn't receive 2Mbs.

He said: "We've got in the situation where notspots can be covered with wireless services."

"One of the continued disappointments for us is that you can keep investing in fixed infrastructure and squeeze another 10 per cent out, but that will leave a five per cent well and truly stranded."