Letters: Broadband league

So Jeremy Hunt thinks Britain will have the fastest broadband in Europe by 2015 (Report, 21 August). He’ll be lucky. Akamai places Britain at 15th in Europe. Will Europe do nothing while Britain tries to catch up? Britain’s telecom infrastructure is a mess. It was obvious in the mid-1980s, when BT invented and developed fibre-optic communications technology, that the UK should have a single nationwide fibre-optic telecoms network, with fibre to every home and business. But that did not suit the Thatcher government, with its desire to privatise BT and blind faith in markets. It shackled BT and gave us a mess of satellite and cable companies. Now, nearly 30 years later – with the shackles finally removed – we will soon have fibre to the roadside cabinet and copper cable for the last mile to the home – but not for everyone. Perhaps in another 30 years we will have the national telecoms infrastructure that the UK needs if it is to retain a place in the top 10 biggest economies of the world. But by then countries like Korea will have gigabit networks and we will still be struggling to keep up.
George Donald
Hook, Hampshire

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