The quality of London’s broadband is so poor it does not even make the list of top 30 performing cities and is causing real problems for businesses, the London Assembly has heard.
Representatives of the capital’s businesses and academics told the Assembly’s Economy Committee that London is lagging behind Seoul, Berlin, New York – and even Vilnius and parts of Moldova - when it comes to broadband speeds.
They said slow and unreliable broadband meant that new start-ups would avoid London and set up elsewhere and existing companies, frustrated by slow speeds and poor service, are being driven out.
Committee Members also heard that BT was taking far too long to set up broadband connections – in one case up to three months - meaning some companies had to use dongles so they could carry out day-to-day work. BT denied the allegation, saying it took seven days, on average, to connect broadband in London.
Chair of the Economy Committee, Andrew Dismore AM, said:
“London’s broadband is becoming the 21st century equivalent of tin cans on a string. There is no doubt that this is having a detrimental effect on the capital’s competitiveness and is hampering both old and new businesses, as well as many residents.
“The Government, Mayor and providers must work together to ensure our businesses can promptly access effective broadband which anyone would expect in a world class city.”
The Economy Committee is examining the impact of broadband speed on the capital’s economic performance and what could be done to boost the service.
Notes for editors:
- Third Annual Broadband Quality Survey 2010 - Said Business School and University of Oviedo.
See the table on page 34 for the full list of cities.
- Watch the meeting on webcast.
- Andrew Dismore AM, Chair of the Economy Committee, is available for interview. See contact details below.
- As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
For more details, please contact Lisa Moore in the Assembly Media Office on 020 7983 4228/4283. For out of hours media enquiries please call 0207 983 4000 and ask for the Assembly duty press officer. Non-media enquiries should be directed to the Public Liaison Unit, Greater London Authority, on 020 7983 4100.