The findings show that the broadband community fears the UK is reaching the limit of its broadband network (72% of respondents were concerned or very concerned) but 59% disagree with the introduction of a broadband tax, announced in the Budget on March 24th, which will charge people 50p a month on their fixed line connections to help fund super-fast broadband.
The Government’s broadband plans, outlined in its controversial Digital Economy Bill, have two main strands that confirm it wants to ensure a minimum speed of 2Mbps (megabits per second) to all parts of Britain within two years and then deliver super-fast broadband to most of the country by 2017, which will be funded by the tax.
The UK’s digital infrastructure is high on the political agenda for the imminent General Election in the UK and the broadband community has given the tax a “No” vote. This is in line with the cross-party Business Innovation and Skills Committee, which opposes the Government’s broadband tax proposals.
The 10yearsofBroadband survey, which ran from February to the end of March 2010, and targeted the broadband user community, aimed to identify future broadband challenges, gathering feedback on issues such as connection speeds, network limits, security, government intervention and devices and applications.
It also showed that the UK broadband community feels that the biggest challenge for broadband networks over the next 10 years will be increased data traffic (38%) followed by demand for higher speeds (19%) and security (16%).
However, when asked how important security is when connecting to a broadband network now, the vast majority (92%) said that it is important or essential, with only 7% willing to take a risk and just 1% feeling security is not important.
Graeme Powell, Managing Director EMEA, iBAHN, comments: “The findings of the 10yearsofbroadband survey show that the broadband community demands a strong, secure broadband network for the UK but that the Government’s introduction of a broadband tax is not welcomed by the majority. It’s refreshing to see some political debate focused on the UK’s digital economy, but a lack of real consultation during the development of plans, such as the Digital Economy bill, has caused a negative reaction, and this survey underlines that it is an essential issue that needs to be addressed fully to answer the concerns of businesses and consumers in the UK.”