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CMA Warns - Slow UK Speeds Threaten Businesses
By: MarkJ - 03 July, 2008 (2:24 PM)

The Communications Management Association (CMA) has warned that Britain’s comparatively slow broadband speeds are threatening business efficiency. It claims that there is a lack of provision to meet predicted demand, which could hamper companies’ e-commerce operations.

Over a third of UK businesses predict they will need speeds of 100Mbps to be able to meet future demand for next generation Internet technology, according to the CMA’s Next Generation Access report, a major survey of UK business broadband needs.

57% of businesses questioned desired 10Mbps or higher, with 38% sighting the main benefits of next-gen broadband as bandwidth, speed and quality. Roughly a third say they currently do not receive satisfactory access to internet technology, such as infrastructure, services and applications:

David Harrington, CMA’s director of regulatory affairs, says: “The gap between government rhetoric and formulation of policy appears to be as wide as ever. Back in April last year, we warned there was a limited window of opportunity over the next 12-24 months to develop and implement a concerted and innovative approach to regulation and policy-making that would lead to a market-led transition to next generation broadband.

Fourteen months on, there is little sign of either a concerted or innovative approach to regulation and policy-making, which the government acknowledged as recently as last September as being necessary.

More than one in four companies would be willing to pay more for next-gen broadband. However, nearly a half were not. These were typically very large organizations, which already used high bandwidth services.

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