Universal broadband coverage is still a technical challenge

For enterprises, this matters on two levels. Firstly, it affects their ability to roll out mobile applications to their employees, and forces them to have hybrid applications that work offline and online, with all the security and management issues that raises.

Perhaps more importantly, it limits the range of online services businesses and government bodies can offer their customers, and so makes it more difficult for them to cut costs. One French finance house, which has invested in an iPhone app, admitted that it really only sees any take up in "metropolitan" France Paris, in other words.

In the UK, geography might be less of an obstacle, but the public sector's appetite for pump priming investments in national broadband coverage certainly are, even allowing for the efforts of Ms Lane-Fox, whose work admittedly appears to be focusing more on social than physical barriers to going on line.

As for WiMax, IT PRO [a href="https://www.itpro.com/96729/wimax-in-the-uk" target="_blank"]has been tracking its development almost since our launch, but the idea of national coverage seems as elusive now, as it did in 2006.

Roll on 4G? Maybe I should invest in an LTE coverage map before my next holiday.