Ofcom chairman Lord Currie has told delegates at the Communication Management Association conference in London that he is concerned about the danger of becoming "fixated on ADSL roll-out at the expense of other broadband technologies, such as wireless options, which should come onto the market this year".
According to ADSL Guide, there is a concern that the UK is too dependent on ADSL from a single source – BT Wholesale, and that the although the wireless broadband industry has potential, a lot of the roll-out is simply 802.11b kit tacked onto the end of a 2Mbps leased line.
The report says: "Although there is lots of talk of faster chip-sets for various broadband technologies, not many look likely to be deployed in the UK in the next 12 months and very few that are going to bring 10Mbps at an affordable price for consumers."
ADSL Guide recommends: "If the UK is to avoid the problem of still having 0.5Mbps as the standard broadband service in 5 years time, then BTs competitors need to start a moving in 2004 with at least trials of what will be the popular technologies in five years time, and more importantly are being rolled out in other countries.
"One would hope that companies are forward thinking enough to actually consider the advantages product wise that a greater than 2Mbps connection offers, e.g. the triple play of broadcast quality video, telephony and Internet access," it states.