Government faces broadband revolt


Government faces broadband revolt

Emma Nash
Small businesses, frustrated by Government and telecoms companies' prevarication over broadband, have launched an online petition to force ministers to speed up the deployment of fast phone and internet access in the UK.

Barrie Desmond, chairman of a small communications company in Chepstow, has established Broadband4Britain and is hoping to present the Government with an online petition containing one million names by Christmas.

Desmond said he is "fed up" with the quality and cost of broadband services in the UK and is worried that the country is falling far behind its international counterparts.

"High-speed broadband services should be like water: a fundamental given," Desmond said. "At this time the UK's record is scandalous. Broadband Britain? More like broadbanned in Britain."

Broadband4Britain hopes it will be able to force the Government to help accelerate the rollout of broadband. The group also wants 100% subsidised services, British Telecom to make a U-turn on its open access policy and a nationwide campaign to educate the population about the benefits of broadband.

The online petition went live on 27 November and boasted 6,000 signatures by lunchtime on 28 November.

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