Former Labour Party politician and Chair of the National Infrastructure Commission Andrew Adonis has warned that the UK risks falling behind other countries in its next generation mobile and broadband connection if urgent action isn’t taken now increase capacity. His comments were made as part of a broader meeting in Birmingham where mayors from around the UK discussed the country’s infrastructure.
At the meeting, Adonis said:
“We have a proud history in this country of delivering world-class infrastructure – but for years funding has been squeezed, policy decisions have been erratic and the network is showing signs of age and strain … We also risk falling behind internationally if we don’t improve our mobile and broadband connections.”
Adonis highlighted that the UK currently lags behind the United States, the Netherlands, and Japan for 4G and broadband speed. The UK government is currently supporting investment to provide speeds of 24Mbps to 95% of the UK by December and making sure everyone in the country has access to a minimum of 2Mbps.
Industry regulator Ofcom said that it agrees with Adonis that mobile coverage must improve. Current Ofcom rules mean almost every household should receive 4G by the end of this year. The regulator also said it wants to see more people get access to faster broadband.