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Analyst firm warns that building out high-speed infrastructure in the U.K. offers no guarantee it will be taken up

18 июня 2009

The U.K. government's Digital Britain Report must identify ways of attracting new broadband users, and not just address technology and funding issues in order to adequately shape the future of next-generation Internet services, said Deloitte on Tuesday.

The Digital Britain Report, due to be published later on Tuesday, is expected to recommend a Universal Service Commitment that would ensure every home in the U.K. has a broadband connection speed no lower than two megabits per second by 2012.

However, Deloitte warned ahead of the report's publication that the industry needs to avoid the 'build it and they will come' mentality that has plagued some migrations to new technologies.

"Making high-speed broadband access widely available to consumers is no guarantee that it will be taken up," said Chris William, media partner at Deloitte.

"Demand and willingness to pay for services varies significantly, with some segments viewing broadband as an essential utility, and other groups choosing to opt out even if services were free," he said.

Williams' comments come after research from U.K. regulator Ofcom last week revealed that 42% of adults without a broadband connection have no interest in accessing the Internet at home.

A separate question revealed that a staggering 43% of those without a broadband connection said they would choose to remain unconnected even if they were given a free PC and broadband connection.

The research runs counter to comments by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

"A fast Internet connection is now seen by most of the public as an essential service, as indispensable as electricity, gas and water," wrote Brown on Tuesday, in the Times.

Meanwhile, Ofcom's research said another 30% of adults currently without broadband said their main reason for not accessing the Internet at home is that it's too expensive, or they feel they lack the knowledge or skills they need to use it.

"To be successful in this climate, service providers need to focus on un-met customer needs," said Deloitte's Williams.

Deloitte said that for the U.K. government's vision to be realised, online services need to attract new customer segments and drive the need for increased bandwidth.

"Successful organisations will recognise the need for continual innovation, fast experimentation, a desire for increased cooperation across the industry and above all a 'customer-first' mentality," said Williams.

Источник: Total Telecom

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