Broadband minister should look east for inspiration

The UK government must set a deadline for ensuring ubiquitous access to high-speed broadband if any plan to improve access is to succeed, a Japanese minisiter has advised.

At an address to the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform, Kiyooshi Mori, the Japanese vice-minister for communications policy, said that Japan had already rolled out 100Mbps fibre broadband to 85% of households.

Japan expects ubiquitous access for businesses and consumers to high-speed broadband by 2010 – the result of a four-year government programme designed to improve access.

Studies showed that the ICT industry accounts for 40% of real Japanese GDP. This helped the government realise the importance of starting a programmme for ubiquitous access with a deadline.”

Mori said the government also introduced competition policies to make it easy for new ISPs to enter the market and for open, shared access to networks. As a result, the price of broadband per 100kbit/s is 0.07 dollars compared with the UK where it is 0.69 dollars.