Eighteen months on from the FISP initiative ‘Digital for London’ (DfL) we have a flood of reports and commentary on the adequacy (or otherwise) of broadband connectivity and the lack of ambition apparent in the government consultation on a potential Universal Broadband Service Obligation.
Specifically on the poverty of London’s broadband, Oliver O’Brien, a researcher at UCL’s Consumer Data Research Centre, has produced interactive maps – not surprisingly highlighting the same London areas that FISP noted back in 2016. Even better – they are profiled in free commuter newspaper CityAM that appeals to city business readers.
This is indicative of a step change in UK media coverage: the topic is no longer the preserve of the network technology trade press. With extensive coverage in The Telegraph, The Times, Independent, Guardian and Financial Times, we observe improved level of reporting insight – even the beginning of concern for Upload capacities and Latency characteristics of different technologies, where previously only headline Download capacity dominated.
The torrent of reports in the past week may have been useful for news-starved media outlets but policy makers are mostly away on vacations and the full impact may be lost. The connectivity topic is, however, steadily becoming more difficult to ignore.
Post Script: The GLA’s immediate response is to set up a Not-Spot Team