As doing business becomes an increasingly online affair and digital technologies are used more and more to support small business, Chief Executive of BT, Gavin Patterson has called for “a collaborative effort across industry and government” and a supportive regulatory and policy environment to help provide faster and more comprehensive intranet coverage.
Speaking at BTs Delivering Britain’s Digital Future conference in London, Patterson said:
“For the past five years, the UK has been the largest digital economy in the G20, by percentage of GDP. We think the UK has an even brighter future ahead if we make the right decisions today. We want to forge an ultrafast future for Britain and stand ready to help government deliver the broadband speeds necessary for every property to enjoy modern day internet services, such as high definition TV streaming and cloud computing. To achieve this, we need a collaborative effort across industry and government.”
According to Ofcom 90 % of premises can already access fibre optic broadband, putting the UK top of the EU’s countries. However many small businesses still cite inefficient broadband as a barrier to growing their digital capabilities and a barrier to growth.
Patterson committed BT to supporting government in delivering a new universal minimum broadband speed of 5-10Mbps, enough for everyone in the UK to enjoy popular internet services like high definition video. Stressing the benefit to homes and smaller businesses from ultrafast broadband technology and said that BTs new services of 300-500 Mbps would reach 10m homes and smaller businesses by the end of 2020, and the majority of premises within a decade.
If these commitments can be delivered, according to a new report from KPMG, they will be worth £20 to £30 billion to the UK economy over the next decade.