Spend mobile licence cash on infrastructure, says Microsoft



The Government should spend the expected £20bn windfall from the sale of mobile wireless licences on building a broadband infrastructure for the whole...



The Government should spend the expected £20bn windfall from the sale of mobile wireless licences on building a broadband infrastructure for the whole country.

That was the view of Microsoft UK's managing director Neil Holloway, speaking at the CSSA conference in Newport last week.

The UK Government should emulate the Swedes, who have invested to ensure the availability of high bandwidth in all parts of Sweden, Holloway said.

"Given the windfall the Government is to receive through the mobile licences, we have to ask how the Government should spend the money - by investing in education and the National Health Service, or to take the opportunity to roll out high-speed access?" he told Computer Weekly.

Holloway says the money should be spent on bandwidth investment. "Let's start with the acceptance that it should use it all in the UK to be truly successful in giving us a lead in the knowledge economy," he said.

However, John Higgins, director-general of the CSSA, disagreed with Holloway's suggestion.

He said building a broad-band infrastructure should not be a Government initiative but should be the industry's responsibility.

Higgins said, "The priority is to get our workforce educated for the Internet age."

He added that the CSSA would press the Government to use the prospective windfall for greater investment in training.

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