Britain in the ‘internet slow lane’

Among the study's findings, 78 per cent of directors surveyed said significantly faster broadband speeds would increase their company's productivity. Picture: TSPL
Among the study's findings, 78 per cent of directors surveyed said significantly faster broadband speeds would increase their company's productivity. Picture: TSPL
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Business leaders today accused the UK government of a “poverty of ambition” when it comes to broadband speeds, claiming Britain was lagging other developed nations on the roll-out of fibre optic cables.

Publishing a new report, the Institute of Directors called for a more ambitious target for households and business to have access to speeds of ten gigabits per second (Gbps) by 2030 – 1,000 times faster than the current official aim of ten megabits by 2020.

Among the study’s findings, 78 per cent of directors surveyed said significantly faster broadband speeds would increase their company’s productivity, while 60 per cent thought it would make their business more competitive.

Just over half – 51 per cent – felt that faster internet access would enable them to offer more flexible working to their staff.

Dan Lewis, senior advisor on infrastructure policy at the IoD, and author of the report, said: “Now is the time to set a bold new target for genuinely world-beating broadband. We have the leading internet economy in the G20, and yet download speeds are mediocre and the coverage of fibre optic cable is woeful.

“The demand for data is growing exceptionally fast, and with virtual reality and the internet of things just around the corner, about to grow even faster. 
Unfortunately, the government’s current target displays a distinct poverty of ambition.”