Friday, January 09, 2009

UK - broadband as an economic stimulus

Can broadband save the economy?

After the depression of the 1920s, US president Roosevelt started a public works programme which saw billions of dollars pumped into a series of projects, including the building of roads, airports and dams in an effort to reignite the economy.

In the UK there are increasingly loud rumblings that a similar thing is needed in the UK, with a superfast broadband infrastructure a prime candidate for cash.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has recently acknowledged that such an infrastructure could play a part in pulling the country out of economic gloom - although he has stopped short of committing public money to it.

Nevertheless his comments have pleased those in the industry keen to get next-generation broadband out of the starting block.

"It would be easy to see broadband as an expensive luxury in difficult times but it is encouraging that Gordon Brown has recognised that investment in the broadband infrastructure could provide long-term benefits to productivity," said Antony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholders Group.

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