Telecoms industry 'too concerned with new technologies to address broadband issues' header image

Published: 22nd Jun 2016

The telecoms industry is devoting too much of its time focusing on the development of new technologies and is not paying enough attention to resolving UK residents' broadband issues, it has been suggested.

Speaking to Cable.co.uk, Craig Tillotson, a member of Ofcom's Communications Consumer Panel, said he believes there needs to be more support for people and communities struggling to connect to particular types of technology, before new avenues are explored.

"There's a focus on depth - 'What's the best we can do? What's the fastest we can do? How quickly can we do that?' - rather than breadth," he explained.

"But they have to be secondary to the 'What are you trying to achieve?' and not, for example, be distracted by the technological divisions."

Mr Tillotson added that he agreed with points made in a recent report from the House of Lords, which suggested that broadband should be regarded as an essential utility for households and businesses alike, in a similar fashion to electricity and water.

Although there are large-scale, government-backed rollout programmes in place throughout the UK to deliver improved internet connections to the country's domestic and commercial properties, these are only aimed at 95 per cent of premises, leaving five per cent somewhat neglected.

However, there are alternative options that consumers can opt for, such as taking matters into their own hands and investing in a satellite broadband connection, instead of waiting for telecom service providers to get round to connecting them to a roadside communications box.

Wireless connectivity solutions such as this were highlighted by Mr Tillotson as an answer to the issue of how adequate broadband can be brought to rural communities.

In addition, he said that any technological developments that telecoms firms are spending their time on must be affordable and cost-effective, or this will be another example of the industry wasting its time and failing to address prevalent problems.