The UK is set to miss out on its already watered-down target to deliver gigabit broadband to 85 percent of the country by 2025.
This is the conclusion of the “Broadband and the Road to 5G” report, published earlier this week by the Digital, Culture, Media and Sports Committee, as well as the National Audit Office (NAO).
The committee’s report states that there is “no genuine belief” that the goal can be met, while NAO argues it would require roadworks on most UK roads, the laying of more than 500,000km of new cable to 31 million households.
Initially, the government wanted to bring high-speed broadband internet to 96 percent of UK’s homes and businesses by 2025, but quickly realized this was impossible. Exactly one year ago, penetration sat at roughly 10 percent.
The report states that the government’s change of heart is surprising, adding that it is unacceptable to abandon one unrealistic target and then fail to meet a second, less ambitious one.
The committee urged the government to be more transparent on its rollout goals explaining, among other things, how it settled on 85 percent for its target, and how it assessed that it could have delivered.
“The government’s decision to abandon its 2025 gigabit-capable broadband target within weeks of ministers reassuring us of their commitment to it was a belated recognition that it was unrealistic and unachievable, underlining concerns we’d heard from industry. Valuable time has been lost, making meeting even the revised-down target a major challenge,” said Julian Knight, chair of the DCMS Committee.
The Committee urged the government to be more transparent on its rollout goals explaining, among other things, how it settled on 85 percent for its target, and how it assessed that it could have delivered.