TechnologyBlair promises Broadband revolution

Blair promises Broadband revolution

Prime minister Tony Blair has promised a UK broadband revolution that will take place over the next few years and be kick-started by the government.

Speaking at an international e-summit, Blair pledged that by 2006, every primary and secondary school would have broadband connections.

Blair said every doctor’s surgery, hospital, primary care trust and health authority, and the entire criminal justice system, would be broadband enabled. ‘We aim to have all government services online by 2005. Our strategy will focus on key categories in NHS, education, transport, benefits, tax and criminal justice,’ he said.

‘Our plan is not only to offer more convenient access to services but also to transform how we organise mainstream delivery,’ he said.

The government is setting up an internet taskforce within the Department of Trade and Industry to ensure value for money. It will be headed by Peter Craine and will oversee government procurement, to improve the broadband availability across the UK.

‘This is the first time the government has asked departments to work out what they spend on IT,’ said Anthony Walker, chief executive of the Broadband Stakeholder Group. ‘Now they are pulling it all together.’

The announcement was welcomed by the group, which has told the government that although in many areas broadband would always be market driven, where the demand is not enough to attract a supplier to the area, there had to be government responsibility. ‘Tony Blair has recognised the power of government as a procurer of services. By establishing the taskforce he is bringing together the purchasing power of government agencies,’ said Walker.

‘In areas where there is not enough demand for broadband access, if public services such as libraries, schools and government agencies combine they can create enough demand to pull in a supplier. Overseeing this will be a key role for the taskforce,’ he added.

Related Articles

Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

Audit Is predictive analytics the end of the annual audit?

3d Martin Herron, MHA MacIntyre Hudson
Cybersecurity webinar: how protected are you and your data?

Security Cybersecurity webinar: how protected are you and your data?

7d Emma Smith, Managing Editor
Back to the Future: why financial transformation just hasn’t happened

Technology Back to the Future: why financial transformation just hasn’t happened

1w Workday | Sponsored
GDPR: Don’t forget the human touch

Security GDPR: Don’t forget the human touch

2w Neil Patrick, Director of GRC and Centre of Excellence EMEA for SAP
5 key tech innovations helping accountants transform their businesses

Accounting Software 5 key tech innovations helping accountants transform their businesses

3w Heather Darnell, Founder of Ask the BOSS
HMRC scaling back digital projects to ‘release project capability to EU Exit work’

Brexit HMRC scaling back digital projects to ‘release project capability to EU Exit work’

3w Alia Shoaib, Reporter
What is the role of governance, compliance, and control in financial transformation?

Corporate Governance What is the role of governance, compliance, and control in financial transformation?

4w Workday | Sponsored
Grant Thornton joins with Immersive Labs to increase cyber talent

Career Grant Thornton joins with Immersive Labs to increase cyber talent

1m Lucy Skoulding, Reporter