A Merseyside Telecoms businessman says the lack of superfast broadband for Liverpool is ‘a kick in the teeth for Merseyside businesses’ and could put other businesses off looking to invest in the area.
It follows the announcement by the Chancellor that Liverpool will not be included in the £100 million investment to bring superfast broadband and Wi-Fi technology to the area.
Tom Cullen, MD of Birkenhead based Digitel Europe Group said: ‘The Chancellor’s announcement today is a major blow to both Liverpool and Merseyside.
‘This investment is not just about superfast broadband for fast Internet access. It’s about the next generation of communications technology where voice, data, multimedia and cloud-based solutions will be delivered via superfast broadband and Wi-Fi services up to 100 Mb.
‘Over the next 5 to 10 years, this technology will change the way we communicate. Other countries have had this Superfast broadband technology for many years. Why is it when it comes to the UK the government has to ration technology and subsidy to just a few cities, placing those cities that do not have the subsidy in the technology slow lane.
‘Businesses that are looking to relocate both within the UK and from overseas will favour those cities that can deliver the latest communications technologies. Without this technology Liverpool and Merseyside will be placed at a big disadvantage to those cities that have been provided with government money to enable them to be more competitive than other cities.
‘This is nothing short of government subsidies, giving a clear advantage to those cities who have the subsidy over those that don’t. It is not government’s responsibility to provide commercial advantage to some cities over others.
‘It is imperative that both Liverpool and Merseyside in general kickback against this and demand parity with those other cities who are receiving government subsidy.
‘It is also interesting to note that Manchester has received the go-ahead investment in enhancing railway links between Manchester and other UK cities, not including Liverpool. This follows on the back of Manchester receiving the go-ahead for the extension of their tram service. Whilst Liverpool’s government support for a similar project was denied. Where is the government investment for Liverpool and Merseyside projects?’