According to Scott Fletcher, founder of the ANS Group, the government should invest the £45 billion it has committed to spending on HS2 in broadband instead.
Fletcher said: “I just cannot accept that spending that amount of money on cutting a journey time from London to Birmingham by 20 minutes will have anything like the financial benefits that are claimed for HS2…Superfast Fibre-to-the-Premises broadband would be of immense benefit to British business in the short term and would accelerate the development of new technology in the long term.”
Fletcher believes that faster internet connections are necessary for businesses in the digital age. He said: “The way we conduct business is rapidly changing and will continue to change in the future. The only thing that we can predict for certain is that the fast interchange of data will be an essential feature of the digital age. The need for face-to-face business meetings, and hence the need for superfast trains, will become less important in a world that is more dependent on digital conferencing and mobile computing devices.”
Malcolm Corbett, CEO of the Independent Networks Co-Operative Association (INCA) said to IT Pro: “Upgrading our digital infrastructure to create networks capable of delivering 100mbps and 1gbps symmetric services for the prices that Hyperoptic, CityFibre, Gigaclear, B4RN and other players are offering would enable more people to work more effectively from home, at least some of the time. This will help to reduce the burden on our transport infrastructure. It will also put in place the sort of transformational digital networks that will support innovative new digital applications and services for the benefit of the whole economy.”
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Public sector needs to take action to help everyone enjoy the benefits that digital can offer