Expert comment on the UK’s plan for post-Brexit broadband

Following on from the news of the Chancellor’s plan to boost the post-Brexit economy through an expansion of Britain’s superfast broadband (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-44215833), Dave Millett of independent telecoms brokerage Equinox offered the following comment:

The Chancellor’s pledge to boost Britain’s broadband may look like a good headline, but the UK will still lag well behind our neighbours, and there is still no coherent plan to improve things. The target set by the Chancellor is 15 million FTTP (fibre-to-the-premises) connections by 2025. By my calculations that is about 50% of all premises. So, in seven years that would merely bring the UK up to the level that Latvia has already reached.

Spain, with a landmass twice the size of the UK, is already at 33%; meanwhile the UK’s performance is so poor, we don’t even appear on the league table. Clearly something radical is required. But the Chancellor’s create-conditions-for-the-marketapproach isn’t radical, it’s merely more of the same. If he truly wanted to be radical, if he truly wanted to make British broadband fit for purpose, he could scrap HS2, and use that money to build the UK’s fibre network into a national asset. That would bring far greater benefits to many more people and businesses more quickly.”