E-envoy Andrew Pinder talked up broadband Britain in his keynote speech at TMA 2002 this morning, insisting that the rate of uptake in high-speed services is now "faster than that of mobile phones".
Opening the conference stream at the annual Telecoms Managers Association conference in Brighton, Pinder claimed that growth is now exponential, but warned that the sector would suffer another year of pain before the turnaround.
"I was deep in the mire of broadband depression last year," he said. "But now we are seeing the beginning of an uplift."
The e-envoy explained that he is continually asked about broadband and when businesses and households would get their local exchanges upgraded.
While 500Kbps is a good starting definition of broadband because "it takes away the wait", and 2Mbps is good enough to run services and applications, he believed that 10Mbps is the target speed for broadband.
In his upbeat speech, Pinder suggested that the government is playing its part by trying to create the right environment for the telecoms industry to flourish and raising awareness of the technology among businesses and consumers.
Addressing a packed audience, he said that the Japanese had woken up to broadband, but that it would take a lot for them to overtake the UK.
However, he warned that it would not take the Japanese long to get up to speed, and that the country is already on the right path to succeed.
"We are now on a trajectory; no longer falling behind but catching up. We have to organise ourselves to grow faster than the US," said Pinder.
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