Jeremy Hunt, the current culture secretary of the United Kingdom, has expressed his desire for Britain to have the fastest broadband speeds among the major countries in the European continent by the year 2015. According to The Guardian, Hunt announced this last Monday in an event in Google’s offices in London.
“To really be the best you need to be the fastest,” Hunt states. He further claims that the fast speeds will not only make consumers happy, but more importantly, it will boost the nation’s creative industries. Among the industries that would be benefited are the music, gaming, television, and animation sectors, all of which require fast network speeds to bring their digital products to other parts of the world.
Hunt’s declaration elicited disapproval from the opposition party in the country. Instead of fast broadband speeds, the opposition avers that nationwide access should be given top priority. Doing otherwise, according to Helen Goodman, the Labour culture spokeswoman, would mean that many people need to wait more time to get the fast Internet speeds that Hunt is aiming for.
The U.K. wants to have 90% of Britain to have a speed of at least 24 Mbps by the year 2015. The entire population, however, should have a minimum of 2 Mbps by the same year.
Globally, the U.K. is far from securing the top position for the fastest broadband speed. It is currently in the 21st spot. The other countries in the list are South Korea, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Japan. The highest position currently held by Hong Kong which boasts of having an average broadband speed of 49.2Mbps.
Nonetheless, speeds in the U.K. are increasing, which means that the fastest broadband speed goal among major European countries is not so far-fetched. Ofcom, a regulator and competition company for communications in the U.K. reports that broadband speeds have gone up by 22%. In 2011, they recorded 6.2 Mbps as compared to 2012’s 7.6 Mbps.