Ultrafast broadband trials set to start

It has been revealed that Cambridgeshire has been chosen for the first ultrafast residential and business broadband trials.

The trials of the new broadband, which will offer speeds of up to 500Mbps, are due to begin next month, according to telecoms company Daisy Group. The tests will take place in Cambridgeshire and use fibre optic technology; however, in the first instance most users are only likely to see speeds of 300Mbps.

In addition there are plans for the new broadband to offer speeds of up to 1Gbps once the services are rolled out across the country. Some providers have already carried out their own trials and some faster broadband speeds are already being rolled out to businesses; however, not all businesses can currently access the faster speeds, with some companies unable to take advantage due to the cost of installing the relevant infrastructure and running the services.

The chief executive of Ofcom, Sharon White, said that the watchdog is committed to dealing with the current problems surrounding the provision of business broadband in the UK. She made her comments at a government committee last week and explained that the telecoms regulator will be working with various government ministers to ensure that business broadband packages are more competitive and affordable for SMEs.

Both the news about the trials and Ofcom’s concern about broadband provision show that the UK still has a digital divide, which will need to be addressed as quickly as possible.