POST - Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology

UK Broadband Infrastructure

Published Friday, May 29, 2015

The growing use of smart phones and data intensive services (such as video streaming), has increased demand for both fixed and mobile internet. This POSTnote looks at patterns in broadband access and use, and the technical and policy challenges of enhancing UK broadband infrastructure to meet future needs.

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The UK Government has identified broadband internet access as key for economic growth and the delivery of public services. It has made a number of commitments for expanding broadband infrastructure, which include targets to provide ‘superfast’ fixed-line broadband (with download speeds above 24 megabits per second) to 95% of the UK population by 2017, and to provide mobile broadband to 98% of premises by 2017. There is debate over how best to meet such targets and how this affects innovation, consumer choice and geographical variation in services. Approaches for enhancing the UK’s broadband networks include building new infrastructure, sharing existing infrastructure and operating networks more efficiently.

POSTnotes POST-PN-0494

Authors: Lydia Harriss; Christopher Emmott

Topics: Broadcasting, Companies, Competition, Consumers, Internet and cybercrime, Media, Regulation, Small businesses, Telecommunications, Utilities

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The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology produces independent, balanced and accessible briefings on public policy issues related to science and technology.