Former BT CTO slams UK's 'visionless' broadband plans

By Sooraj Shah
02 Aug 2012 View Comments
Peter Cochrane

The government's lack of a vision, mission or plan in its implementation of broadband is hampering the UK's economy, according to the former CTO of BT, Peter Cochrane (pictured).

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In an exclusive interview with Computing, Cochrane explained the importance of broadband to the UK economy and said that by not connecting all areas – rural and urban – the economy would suffer as a consequence.

"The future of any economy is absolutely dependent upon broadband and connectivity and if industry and home workers have not got the capacity to work online anywhere, the UK will be frozen out," he said.

He also criticised the government for a lack of clear goals or a long-term vision to work towards.

"What is the vision, mission and plan of the UK? It doesn't have any of these, and it has no idea what the UK is going to be when we grow up as a nation in the next 20 years.

"If you look at south eastern Asian countries, they have all got five-year planning cycles and know where they want to be in the next 20 years, but we do not have any plans as a country or as a nation; we are randomly walking into the future," he said.

The UK desperately needs a national strategy, Cochrane said.

"The UK used to lead the computer games industry, not anymore – we lost the £3bn industry to Korea because we have no bandwidth or connectivity – so how much more do we want to lose?" he asked.

"The government needs to sit down and put together a business plan for this nation, until we have a vision and a business plan for this nation we will continue to wander around at random, making decisions that make no sense and that are extremely expensive, wasting vast amounts of money," he said.

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