The UK government has an overwhelming task on its hands if it hopes to provide every household in the country with a 2Mbit/s connection by 2012, according to a report from analyst firm Point Topic.
Lord Carter revealed in the interim Digital Britain report last month that the government plans to provide at least 2Mbit/s services to all UK homes by 2012, a claim which has provoked widespread scepticism.
Point Topic believes that the government pledge will be a "massive challenge ", especially in areas like Northern Ireland and Wales, where nearly 30 per cent of homes are unable to receive such speeds.
While only 1.2 per cent of London's population is out of the 2Mbit/s range, Point Topic chief analyst Tim Johnson said that "towns such as Basingstoke and Milton Keynes, which people might expect to be well connected, have notspots" rather than hotspots.
Johnson emphasised the need for co-operation between the government, regulators and operators, but remained optimistic that 90 per cent of UK households could theoretically be connected to broadband at speeds of 32Mbit/s within the next decade - if the government backed the right technology. "We think that fibre is the right way to go," he added.
BT has said that it will step up to provide approximately 40 per cent of the fibre connections, if favourable market conditions allow.
The full Digital Britain report, to be released in May, is thought to include suggestions that any gaps in broadband coverage could be bridged using satellite or mobile broadband technologies.
Even if broadband is available throughout Britain, however, Point Topic estimates that "15 to 20 per cent [of people] say that they will never get it".
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