Ofcom has announced its Communications Market Report 2013 – an analysis of developments in the communications sector. While it showed that the number of internet connected devices are on the increase, with 51 percent of all UK adults now owning a smartphone and 24 percent owning a tablet, a fifth of UK households still do not have basic access to the internet.
Askar Sheibani, CEO of UK IT and telecoms repair company Comtek, offers the following comments on the report and how investment needs to be shifted to benefit the entire UK population, rather than just the wealthy:
“Ofcom’s report reveals a worrying divide between the rich and poor’s access to the developing communications industry. While opportunities for the rich to connect to a faster network are plentiful, thanks to the increase in tablets, smartphones and the development of 4G networks, the poorer sections of society, who aren’t able to afford these gadgets, are being left behind. It is these people that most likely make up the 20 percent who aren’t even able to access the internet.
“It is clear from the report that the telecoms industry is heavily investing in technologies which benefit the economically prosperous, and as activities such as ‘media multi-tasking’ increase, the strain on networks is also likely to be felt. With operators constantly trying to ensure that telecoms infrastructures are able to cope with increasing demand, it is important that more basic services are not forgotten. Essentially, more needs to be done to ensure a reliable, well-maintained and far reaching internet network for everyone.
“While those in the telecoms industry need to take responsibility for improving this network access, the Government must also play its part and encourage operators to provide a broader service, that benefits all corners of society.”