15th, October, 2009
Government should facilitate affordable, accessible and reliable broadband coverage in the UK by 2012 to ensure future UK competitiveness, a report published by The Royal Academy of Engineering reveals.
ICT for the UK’s Future, launched at Aston University in Birmingham, examines the changing nature of Information, Communications Technology and how it can be exploited to benefit the prosperity and diversity of the UK economy.
This 18- month UK-wide study recommends that an improved IT infrastructure and better education in IT are crucial for future UK competitiveness. This includes; widespread exploitation of cloud computing and collaborative web-based capabilities by UK businesses; greater emphasis on complex IT systems in ICT teaching, and the need to encourage more young people into the IT industry.
Professor Robert Berry, Executive Dean of Engineering and Applied Science at Aston University and Secretary of the Academy study group, said that in the Midlands region alone, over a third of SME’s still have no internet capabilities.
“This report highlights that broadband internet is an essential, social, cultural and economic development tool for the nation and we need to achieve 100 per cent broadband coverage for the UK. In addition, we need better IT education at all levels of society and stronger engagement with SME’s, to ensure they can receive adequate IT guidance and support to address any technological concerns.”
“The IT industry is worth £30 billion to the UK economy and has the ability to double in the next five to seven years, which is why we want to ensure we have the right skills and infrastructure to compete in this global market.”
Professor Jim Norton, a member of the study group, which was chaired by Rear Admiral John Trewby, added; “A pervasive broadband infrastructure is a pre-requisite for a modern knowledge based economy. This Royal Academy of Engineering report makes a number of key recommendations, and describes how the gaps in our broadband coverage could be filled cost-effectively, by building on the UK’s proud history of leadership in communication technology.”
To see a full copy of the Study Group’s report, log onto www.raeng.org.uk and follow the home page links. Or for further information contact the Royal Academy of Engineering on 020 7766 0600
Notes for Editors
Founded in 1976, The Royal Academy of Engineering promotes the engineering and technological welfare of the country. Our fellowship – comprising the UK’s most eminent engineers- provides the leadership and expertise for our activities, which focus on the relationships between engineering, technology, and the quality of life. As a national academy we provide independent and impartial advice to Government; work to secure the next generation of engineers, and provide a voice for Britain’s engineering community.
For further information or to receive a copy of the report please contact: Tonia Page, tel. 07770 845984; email email@example.com or alternatively contact Alex Earnshaw, Press Officer, Aston University, on 0121 2044549 or email firstname.lastname@example.org