Published: 22nd Jun 2016
The leader of Buckinghamshire County Council has called for the government to provide better broadband coverage across the south-east of England.
Martin Tett has claimed the coalition should make super-fast fibre optic connections available to 100 per cent of the region, rather than the 95 per cent it is currently aiming for.
Mr Tett has made this point in a letter to secretary of state for culture, media and sport Maria Miller, which is jointly authored by South East England Councils and South East Strategic Leaders. He is the vice-chairman of the latter - a group that represents county and unitary council leaders.
According to Mr Tett, having access to super-fast broadband is crucial to the economy and the general wellbeing of people in the south east.
"In Buckinghamshire we have the highest percentage of small businesses of any county council area. Many operate beyond the reach of super-fast broadband and we must find ways to bring them all on to the digital highway," he stated.
It remains to be seen if Mr Tett's calls for 100 per cent super-fast coverage in the south-east will be heeded. Even if the government does increase its target, the project will take at least three years to complete, as the 95 per cent goal is not expected to be achieved until 2017.
The final five per cent of the county will most likely be located in rural areas where installing fibre optic technology is expensive and time consuming. A quicker and easier alternative for people living in such locations is satellite broadband, which can provide high speeds of up to 20 Mbps and is available immediately.
At present, many rural areas in the south-east and across the UK have slow and unreliable internet connections and a media expert has warned the country could become "second class" if its broadband is not improved.
Speaking at a recent seminar on the topic in Westminster, Chris Marsden, professor of media law at the University of Sussex, claimed companies will not invest in Britain if its level of connectivity fails to keep pace with other nations, techradar reports.
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