Time is running out to get the UK in shape to cope with the next wave of net use, says a report. Tough decisions on how to encourage telecoms firms to build faster networks must be made within two years, warns the Broadband Stakeholder Group (BSG). Without these networks the UK could suffer profound social and economic setbacks, says the industry group. Taking no action could also mean that digital divisions across the UK become entrenched.
The BSG report looks at next generation networks that industry experts believe will take hold in many developed nations as web-based ways of life become more accepted. In 2001, notes the report, the UK was 21st among OECD nations ranked by the number of broadband users. Now the UK heads G7 countries for availability of lower speed broadband (up to 8Mbps). However, it warns that all the hard work done to reach that position could be for nothing if more work is not done to update the UK's telecoms infrastructure to handle very high-speed broadband.