Fraudband clouds Brown's web vision

IF GORDON Brown really thinks he can get every person in Britain on-line within four years ("Brown to put all Britons online", News, 21 March) the poor man really ought to take a break and lie down in a dark room for a few weeks.

The telecommunications system in the UK is decades out of date and needs a total physical rebuild to bring it up to the basic standard provided in many other countries. All the copper wires need to be ripped out and replaced with fibre optic cabling.

Britain does not have proper broadband, it has feeble fraudband. Most people in cities are lucky if they get 25 per cent to 33 per cent of the advertised connection speeds, which are only around 8Mbps compared with 20Mbps to 100Mbps in other countries. Outside of towns, BT is bringing rural exchanges up to 2Mbps, which in reality will give users speeds of around 512kbps.

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Before everyone in the UK can go online we need to take our phone system out of the Bronze Age and at least bring it up to 20th-century standards. If Gordon Brown does not realise this, he is slower than a dial-up modem.

John F Robins, Dumbarton