Strike Up the Broadband
The government's aim is clear: by 2015, it wants Britain to have the best superfast broadband network in Europe. The internet is so essential to businesses, the argument goes, that the network over which internet traffic travels is becoming a vital part of the UK's infrastructure - as important as energy and roads.
Right now, though, the country is a long way off from the target. Nowhere is this more apparent than in rural and remote areas of the country. In Norfolk, some small businesses are struggling just to get connected, much less plug into the high-speed network the government has pledged to help expand.
A decade ago, internet access was a luxury for many small firms, but today it's essential. Orders are placed and received online, a website is a key marketing tool for all sorts of companies, and businesses must now file VAT returns via a website.
This week on In Business, Peter Day evaluates the government's plans for broadband and finds out how close the UK is coming to a high-speed future online.
Producer: Mike Wendling.
Contributors to this programme
Owner, Lucy’s Tea Rooms, Burham Market, Norfolk
Programme manager, Better Broadband for Norfolk
Founder of the Centre for Science and Policy at Cambridge University
Founder, Headforwards, St Agnes, Cornwall
Ed Vaizey MP
Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries
Chief executive, BT Openreach
Managing director, Virgin Media Business
Project manager, WiSpire
Director of operations, Diocese of Norwich
Owner, Lawrence’s Garages, Norfolk
Chairman, Lords Select Committee on Communications