Spending cuts: What will it mean for broadband?


ANALYSIS: In the days running up to the spending review, there was a lot of fear about what would fall under George Osborne's axe to pay off the deficit.

In the telecoms sector, the anxiety was that the plans for broadband rollout across the UK would be for the chop.

In previous months, the new coalition had already rolled back schemes to ensure everyone in the country could access a minimum of 2Mbps by 2012 this has now been moved to 2015 and despite earlier promises of better speeds for all, it was left mostly down to the private sector to invest.

Private sector rolls over

Luckily for the Government, invest they have. The largest telecoms company in the land, BT, has taken the lead with impressive investment and consultation of the public.

BT announced back in 2008 it would be putting 1.5 billion into rolling out fast broadband across the UK and set a goal at the time of 10 million homes by 2012.

However, in May this year, the company added a further 1 billion to the investment pot and reassessed its goals, promising speedy connections for 66 per cent of the country by 2015, and it also began surveying the country on where needed the connections the most.

Its biggest rival, Virgin Media, has also been putting its stamp on the broadband landscape in the UK, rolling out speeds of 100Mbps to its 12.6 million customers over the course of this year.

The company is now trialling super speeds of 200Mbps in some places and hopes to continue to take on its competition.

Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott is a former freelance journalist and currently political reporter for Sky News. She has a varied writing history, having started her career at Dennis Publishing, working in various roles across its business technology titles, including ITPro. Jennifer has specialised in a number of areas over the years and has produced a wealth of content for ITPro, focusing largely on data storage, networking, cloud computing, and telecommunications.

Most recently Jennifer has turned her skills to the political sphere and broadcast journalism, where she has worked for the BBC as a political reporter, before moving to Sky News.