Lord Carter defends digital plan

Lord Carter has defended his Digital Britain report, especially the countrywide 2Mbps broadband speed.

The interim report, which was published at the end of January, has been criticised.

Lord carter claims the decision to offer 2Mbps broadband to all is necessary to kickstart the movement of online government service. Leaving people out, he says, is "not an option."

"Those who say that a Universal Service Obligation of 2Mbps is a ludicrously low ambition miss the point," said Lord Carter at a meeting of Nesta (National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts).

"There is going to be 30% of the country not covered by traditional markets and I'm not prepared to leave them behind. It is not an option to say that we will find a mop-up solution in 10 years' time," he said.

"In our judgement two megabits is a base level that means people can access government services and have an acceptable user experience," he said.

Some government services are available already online and it is generally agreed that making others available will save money and put people back in control.

However, critics have pointed out that the 2Mbps offered will not be enough to support high-bandwidth applications like the iPlayer.

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