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Consumer Focus Criticises Digital Britains Broadband Vision
By: MarkJ - 13 March, 2009 (9:15 AM)

Consumer Focus, the independent watchdog, has criticised Lord Carter's interim Digital Britain Report for its lack of vision, neglecting consumer interests and risks leaving the UK in the Internet "slow lane".

The group said that the government's apparent unwillingness to consider a minimum universal broadband speed above 2Mbps by 2012 is also a major concern, particularly when other European countries have gone further.

Consumer Focus points to countries such as Germany and Sweden, which already achieve average speeds of 4.8Mbps and 7.4Mbps respectively and Finland has even set a target of 100Mbps:

Consumer Focus said: "2Mbps will not support a future of digital innovation and will inhibit Britainís digital economy as consumers find themselves unable to take advantage of digital services and products considered standard in other countries."

The group added that significant sections of the population are limited in their access to IT by costs and by the lack of knowledge/understanding. The majority of this group are not working or in semi-skilled or unskilled manual jobs.

The prohibitive cost of equipment, software and broadband services and the lack of knowledge and understanding of IT will reinforce existing patterns of social exclusion if they are not addressed.


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