University research centre to boost UK broadband

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University research centre to boost UK broadband

Antony Adshead
Brunel University's Department of Information Systems and Computing is to set up a Broadband Research Centre.

The main aim of the centre will be to carry out research into the applications needed to boost broadband take-up in the UK, including proposals to "hardwire" broadband access into newly constructed housing.

The thinking behind the creation of the centre is that UK broadband adoption could lag further behind that of other countries unless a way is found to stimulate customer demand for innovative applications, rather than just lowering prices.

Jyoti Choudrie, director of operations at the centre, said, "At the moment, we are not doing ourselves any favours. There are critical lessons to be learned from studying how other societies are successfully sewing broadband into the fabric of everyday life.

"Our research missions to South Korea and Hong Kong have demonstrated the potential of hardwiring broadband access into new housing developments. Across the Atlantic, broadband access is becoming an 'inalienable right' for regional housing associations in the state of Kentucky."

Last year, the department undertook a Department of Trade & Industry-funded trip to Korea which found that 9.2 million Korean households had broadband connections by June 2002 and that its government has set a target of 20mbps to the home by 2005.

These figures were revealed in the same week that e-commerce minister Stephen Timms announced the UK's one millionth broadband connection - a figure passed by Korea in April 2000.

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